The advice that you should “always go to the best business school you can get into” is helpful up to a point. But it's also true that some business schools have strengths in terms of faculty, curriculum, and links to industry. And many prospective MBA students have concrete plans for what they want to do after business school, such as working in a specific industry or specific role.
So, how can those future students quickly survey some of the most suitable MBA programs on the market?
Our shortlists of "top" business schools for careers in a particular industry or function have been designed for this purpose. They are not intended as definitive or scientific rankings; rather they are editorial lists compiled by taking a few factors into consideration:
Employment Data - Since these shortlists are primarily about career advancement, we take a close look at the employment statistics that business schools provide to see where recent alumni have gone to get jobs, and in what functions
Concentrations - Just because a school offers a concentration in a particular subject does not necessarily make it the "best" school to go to in that field. (That's one reason we created these shortlists.) But a school's MBA specialization sometimes suggests depth in faculty expertise, available electives, and possibly strong links to industry through research centers or student clubs, all of which we also consider.
Existing Rankings - We look at how schools have been ranked in subject-specific MBA rankings - not only in publications like the Financial Times and Businessweek, but also in industry trade magazines, which sometimes rank graduate school programs in their field.
International Balance - Many of the available rankings are geographically focused, for example, on US business schools. Wherever possible, we have tried to take a broader view of the strengths of business schools globally.
Location – A business school’s proximity to local companies and organizations is another thing we look at, since this affects MBA internship opportunities, as well as recruiting and hiring activities.