B-School Ranking..?? Which one to believe..??


Jimbeans

Hi Folks,
I have another question for you. Sorry if its been discussed already.
Which is the most authentic B-school ranking report/site.? I see different sites rating colleges differently.
I am looking for an overall ranking irrespective of region.
Thanks.
VA

Hi Folks,
I have another question for you. Sorry if its been discussed already.
Which is the most authentic B-school ranking report/site.? I see different sites rating colleges differently.
I am looking for an overall ranking irrespective of region.
Thanks.
VA
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Rhino

See FT global ranking then sort it by recommendation.
That should do the trick.

See FT global ranking then sort it by recommendation.
That should do the trick.
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borism

FT and the Economist are the "solid ones". i also like to look at "Beyond Grey Pinstripes" as an Alternative Ranking. i don't think you can "believe" any ranking, as they all have different methods to rank and maybe different agendas. at best use a few of them to narrow your choice, and then research further....

FT and the Economist are the "solid ones". i also like to look at "Beyond Grey Pinstripes" as an Alternative Ranking. i don't think you can "believe" any ranking, as they all have different methods to rank and maybe different agendas. at best use a few of them to narrow your choice, and then research further....
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Clam

In terms of pure data:

I personally prefer The Economists rankings. If you click on the school you are interested in, they provide you a full profile that includes very solid data. The actual rankings (as in what school is higher than what) is questionable, but the data they collect is VERY solid.

My rant on PPP (you don't have to read this part, but you could):

I don't trust FT (financial times) rankings because they adjust for PPP. I personally think adjusting for PPP skews the data in a globalizing world, this is especially if you don't do it right. It also makes it hard to calculate ROI (return on investment). They adjust the salary data according to PPP, but they don't adjust the tuition for PPP, so if it costs you US$30,000 in absolute dollars, FT will tell you this and won't adjust it for PPP (US$30,000 is a lot in China for example, but they won't adjust it for PPP). But if the starting salary is $55,000, they won't tell you this. They will say $55,000 is a lot for a Chinese person. Magically it becomes $120,000 to account for PPP. It's ridiculous.

Furthermore, they don't tell you if the salary is calculated based on where they end up working, or just done lazily. This makes it very hard to calculate ROI. For example, if they are lazy, they just gather up all the data and then do a PPP based on where the school is located, the data is very inaccurate. An alumni from CEIBS, for example, might go to NY and make only $70,000 (after having paid $50,000 for the MBA). Furthermore, they don't benefit from cheap living costs of China since they left China. So if FT is lazy about it, they would take this person's data and adjust it for Chinese PPP and then magically he is making $140,000 despite in reality the person is not doing so well (pretty bad off actually).

Even if they don't calculate in questionable ways as the above, you JUST ranked up $50,000 in debt, and now only make $60,000 a year in China. In imaginary PPP dollars, you might be rich to a Chinese local. But in reality, you are shouldering a lot of debt, and don't make a lot. If a ranking provides actual data (instead of PPP), a person could more easily calculate ROI and know when their debts will be paid off. Otherwise its hard to know what the burdens will be.

Not only that, because of these adjustments, Chinese schools (just using them as an example, I have nothing against Chinese schools, but they're just the first thing that comes to mind) would get a boost and out of nowhere be higher than schools with higher actual salary. So it depends how it is calculated. And on their website, there is no clear methodology on it. So to me, FT is questionable and should not be relied on. In a globalizing world, if your school is actually top notch, your alumni will land jobs in top centers of the world, such as NY, London etc... This means your ACTUAL salary should be very high, because they are landing jobs that are ACTUALLY top notch (not just jobs that are comparatively better than everyone else in a poor country). A lot of top schools are located in advanced countries, and they also send their graduates to top financial centers. But FT woudl give these schools a disadvantage by adjust for PPP. I think they should stop doing it.

A lot of people say that adjusting for PPP makes the ranking fair to Chinese, Indian or other schools in such countries. Maybe that is true. But in terms of data gathering, it becomes very misleading to look at $140,000 starting salary on FT rankings, and then go onto the school's actual website and see that they actually only make $50,000 in absolute US dollars. I don't believe in imaginery money and PPP adjustment.

In terms of the rankings itself:

I like businessweek. That's just personal preference. But in the end, it's better if you look at the hard data yourself and consider the factors of what you consider is most important to you. In terms of prestige, if you are aiming for that, just check out the various big name rankings. FT is shitty for data in my opinion, but in terms of the ranking itself (ordering which one is better than which), they do alright. Economist is pretty off on this side of things (although good for data), so not so much Economist for this part. Forbes is also alright.

In terms of pure data:

I personally prefer The Economists rankings. If you click on the school you are interested in, they provide you a full profile that includes very solid data. The actual rankings (as in what school is higher than what) is questionable, but the data they collect is VERY solid.

My rant on PPP (you don't have to read this part, but you could):

I don't trust FT (financial times) rankings because they adjust for PPP. I personally think adjusting for PPP skews the data in a globalizing world, this is especially if you don't do it right. It also makes it hard to calculate ROI (return on investment). They adjust the salary data according to PPP, but they don't adjust the tuition for PPP, so if it costs you US$30,000 in absolute dollars, FT will tell you this and won't adjust it for PPP (US$30,000 is a lot in China for example, but they won't adjust it for PPP). But if the starting salary is $55,000, they won't tell you this. They will say $55,000 is a lot for a Chinese person. Magically it becomes $120,000 to account for PPP. It's ridiculous.

Furthermore, they don't tell you if the salary is calculated based on where they end up working, or just done lazily. This makes it very hard to calculate ROI. For example, if they are lazy, they just gather up all the data and then do a PPP based on where the school is located, the data is very inaccurate. An alumni from CEIBS, for example, might go to NY and make only $70,000 (after having paid $50,000 for the MBA). Furthermore, they don't benefit from cheap living costs of China since they left China. So if FT is lazy about it, they would take this person's data and adjust it for Chinese PPP and then magically he is making $140,000 despite in reality the person is not doing so well (pretty bad off actually).

Even if they don't calculate in questionable ways as the above, you JUST ranked up $50,000 in debt, and now only make $60,000 a year in China. In imaginary PPP dollars, you might be rich to a Chinese local. But in reality, you are shouldering a lot of debt, and don't make a lot. If a ranking provides actual data (instead of PPP), a person could more easily calculate ROI and know when their debts will be paid off. Otherwise its hard to know what the burdens will be.

Not only that, because of these adjustments, Chinese schools (just using them as an example, I have nothing against Chinese schools, but they're just the first thing that comes to mind) would get a boost and out of nowhere be higher than schools with higher actual salary. So it depends how it is calculated. And on their website, there is no clear methodology on it. So to me, FT is questionable and should not be relied on. In a globalizing world, if your school is actually top notch, your alumni will land jobs in top centers of the world, such as NY, London etc... This means your ACTUAL salary should be very high, because they are landing jobs that are ACTUALLY top notch (not just jobs that are comparatively better than everyone else in a poor country). A lot of top schools are located in advanced countries, and they also send their graduates to top financial centers. But FT woudl give these schools a disadvantage by adjust for PPP. I think they should stop doing it.

A lot of people say that adjusting for PPP makes the ranking fair to Chinese, Indian or other schools in such countries. Maybe that is true. But in terms of data gathering, it becomes very misleading to look at $140,000 starting salary on FT rankings, and then go onto the school's actual website and see that they actually only make $50,000 in absolute US dollars. I don't believe in imaginery money and PPP adjustment.

In terms of the rankings itself:

I like businessweek. That's just personal preference. But in the end, it's better if you look at the hard data yourself and consider the factors of what you consider is most important to you. In terms of prestige, if you are aiming for that, just check out the various big name rankings. FT is shitty for data in my opinion, but in terms of the ranking itself (ordering which one is better than which), they do alright. Economist is pretty off on this side of things (although good for data), so not so much Economist for this part. Forbes is also alright.
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Lost4Now

The best ranking would have BOTH PPP and non-PPP adjusted salaries, side by side. PPP adjusted skews the reality of how much a graduate earns in my opinion. But it could be valuable in determining how prestigious MBA programs are in that particular country. If an MBA graduate makes 45k in China at CEIBS whereas everyone else is only making 5k, it tells you something about how much Chinese society values the MBA generally. If in Japan Waseda graduates make 45k a year, whereas everyone makes exactly the same or a bit more, you know exactly how little they value the MBA. So including it is informative in that way. But it is also leads to misunderstanding, and so the best thing to do is to have the non-PPP adjusted salary right under it. This way you are getting the full information and mislead no one. You can calculate ROI easily, can figure out if it's a good investment, and calculate to see if it's worth giving up your current job for.

Unfortunately there are no rankings that do it this way. They either choose one or the other. Hopefully someone picks it up and do it that way, would be a better system to provide both.

But yeah, for rankings you can't truly trust any of them. Just go on gut feeling and just shoot with that feels right. General perception goes a long way.


The best ranking would have BOTH PPP and non-PPP adjusted salaries, side by side. PPP adjusted skews the reality of how much a graduate earns in my opinion. But it could be valuable in determining how prestigious MBA programs are in that particular country. If an MBA graduate makes 45k in China at CEIBS whereas everyone else is only making 5k, it tells you something about how much Chinese society values the MBA generally. If in Japan Waseda graduates make 45k a year, whereas everyone makes exactly the same or a bit more, you know exactly how little they value the MBA. So including it is informative in that way. But it is also leads to misunderstanding, and so the best thing to do is to have the non-PPP adjusted salary right under it. This way you are getting the full information and mislead no one. You can calculate ROI easily, can figure out if it's a good investment, and calculate to see if it's worth giving up your current job for.

Unfortunately there are no rankings that do it this way. They either choose one or the other. Hopefully someone picks it up and do it that way, would be a better system to provide both.

But yeah, for rankings you can't truly trust any of them. Just go on gut feeling and just shoot with that feels right. General perception goes a long way.
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Magnet

this story helps to go some way to explaining the FT rankings!? http://www.businessbecause.com/admissions/financial-times-global-mba-rankings-2010.htm

this story helps to go some way to explaining the FT rankings!? http://www.businessbecause.com/admissions/financial-times-global-mba-rankings-2010.htm
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Clam

this story helps to go some way to explaining the FT rankings!? http://www.businessbecause.com/admissions/financial-times-global-mba-rankings-2010.htm


That's probably the closest thing to explaining it, but it isn't very convincing. It's actually kind of misleading actually, the way they word things in that article. It's as if the person writing it doesn't know what PPP means.


particularly over sensitive issues such as the Purchase Power Parity index (PPP) that converts all salaries to US Dollars. Salaries play a huge part in the rankings ? 40% weighting is given over to the salary today, weighted salary and salary percentage increase - and this does not necessarily favour all schools.


That sentence kind of makes it sound like PPP is simply converting currencies based on market rate. Especially saying "converts all salaries to US dollars." Very misleading. That's not the point of PPP at all. Even wikipedia has a better description of what PPP is:


PPP takes into account this lower cost of living and adjusts for it as though all income was spent locally. In other words, PPP is the amount of a certain basket of basic goods which can be bought in the given country with the money it produces.



For example, the World Bank's World Development Indicators 2005 estimated that in 2003, one United States dollar was equivalent to about 1.8 Chinese yuan by purchasing power parity [4] ? considerably different from the nominal exchange rate that put one dollar equal to 7.6 yuan.


Essentially, instead of converting on market rate PPP is some imaginary conversion rate. It's saying that, because you can buy a house in China for $10,000 but would have to spend $100,000 to get a similar house in NY, making $10,000 in China is giving you the same life style as someone making $100,000 in the US. So your PPP salary is $100,000 even though you're only actually making $10,000.

Another way to think of it is: Assume the average starting salary is 300,000 Yuan for a person graduating from Tsinghua (i'm making up numbers here for simplicity sake, and am picking on China because the numbers are right infront of me). This should translate to US$40,000 (300,000/7.6). This is the actual number using real conversion rates (using the numbers quoted above from wikipedia for simplicity sake). When you use PPP, because they're comparing how much an apple costs in China vs. an apple in the US, EVERYTHING changes. The conversion would end up being $166,000! Basically it is saying that a person making US$40,000 has the same living standards as a person making US$166,000 in NY, so they list the starting salary as US$166,000 instead of US$40,000.

In my opinion, this is inappropriate utilization of PPP. I don't care how well off you live in China and how people in China perceive you as being wealthy. I make US$120,000 in real dollars currently. If I am going to give up this annual salary, I want to be making real US$120,000 in China or elsewhere once I graduate not $US 40,000 and pretend i'm doing well because PPP tells me I have over US$100,000 in imaginary money.

Anyway, that's just my rant. I have problems with the concept of PPP for starting salary. For data gathering it's very misleading. It's good for comparing how well off you are within said country, but does not say much else.

<blockquote>this story helps to go some way to explaining the FT rankings!? http://www.businessbecause.com/admissions/financial-times-global-mba-rankings-2010.htm</blockquote>

That's probably the closest thing to explaining it, but it isn't very convincing. It's actually kind of misleading actually, the way they word things in that article. It's as if the person writing it doesn't know what PPP means.

<blockquote>
particularly over sensitive issues such as the Purchase Power Parity index (PPP) that converts all salaries to US Dollars. Salaries play a huge part in the rankings ? 40% weighting is given over to the salary today, weighted salary and salary percentage increase - and this does not necessarily favour all schools.</blockquote>

That sentence kind of makes it sound like PPP is simply converting currencies based on market rate. Especially saying "converts all salaries to US dollars." Very misleading. That's not the point of PPP at all. Even wikipedia has a better description of what PPP is:

<blockquote>
PPP takes into account this lower cost of living and adjusts for it as though all income was spent locally. In other words, PPP is the amount of a certain basket of basic goods which can be bought in the given country with the money it produces.</blockquote>

<blockquote>
For example, the World Bank's World Development Indicators 2005 estimated that in 2003, one United States dollar was equivalent to about 1.8 Chinese yuan by purchasing power parity [4] ? considerably different from the nominal exchange rate that put one dollar equal to 7.6 yuan. </blockquote>

Essentially, instead of converting on market rate PPP is some imaginary conversion rate. It's saying that, because you can buy a house in China for $10,000 but would have to spend $100,000 to get a similar house in NY, making $10,000 in China is giving you the same life style as someone making $100,000 in the US. So your PPP salary is $100,000 even though you're only actually making $10,000.

Another way to think of it is: Assume the average starting salary is 300,000 Yuan for a person graduating from Tsinghua (i'm making up numbers here for simplicity sake, and am picking on China because the numbers are right infront of me). This should translate to US$40,000 (300,000/7.6). This is the actual number using real conversion rates (using the numbers quoted above from wikipedia for simplicity sake). When you use PPP, because they're comparing how much an apple costs in China vs. an apple in the US, EVERYTHING changes. The conversion would end up being $166,000! Basically it is saying that a person making US$40,000 has the same living standards as a person making US$166,000 in NY, so they list the starting salary as US$166,000 instead of US$40,000.

In my opinion, this is inappropriate utilization of PPP. I don't care how well off you live in China and how people in China perceive you as being wealthy. I make US$120,000 in real dollars currently. If I am going to give up this annual salary, I want to be making real US$120,000 in China or elsewhere once I graduate not $US 40,000 and pretend i'm doing well because PPP tells me I have over US$100,000 in imaginary money.

Anyway, that's just my rant. I have problems with the concept of PPP for starting salary. For data gathering it's very misleading. It's good for comparing how well off you are within said country, but does not say much else.
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Clam

The more I think about it, the more I am a fan of The Economists data gathering skills. No useless conversion BS. Their rankings need tweeking though, big time, but the data is genius.

I looked at Forbes website, and they do things by PPP too, assuming "adjust for cost of living" is essentially the same thing. I don't know about businessweek, it says their salaries are weighted. Not sure if it means they also PPP things, but if it does, then don't look at their salaries either.

It doesn't mean the rankings are bad (as in what school is better than what), it only means you shouldn't look at the salary and take it as a fact. No one from CEIBS make US$140,000. It's actually much less than that. Don't let PPP calculations fool you.


The more I think about it, the more I am a fan of The Economists data gathering skills. No useless conversion BS. Their rankings need tweeking though, big time, but the data is genius.

I looked at Forbes website, and they do things by PPP too, assuming "adjust for cost of living" is essentially the same thing. I don't know about businessweek, it says their salaries are weighted. Not sure if it means they also PPP things, but if it does, then don't look at their salaries either.

It doesn't mean the rankings are bad (as in what school is better than what), it only means you shouldn't look at the salary and take it as a fact. No one from CEIBS make US$140,000. It's actually much less than that. Don't let PPP calculations fool you.
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