Every MBA candidate loves a ranking and, unlike Business Week, the Financial Times offers candidates their fix on a yearly (instead of bi-yearly) basis. The FT’s annual Global MBA Ranking, the most extensive ranking of American and international MBA programs, was released today and there were winners and losers. Among the winners, MIT, IE Business School and Cambridge all vaulted into the top ten. Meanwhile, NYU and Dartmouth fell from the top-ten and Kellogg fell from the top twenty.
Of course, with every ranking that displays such volatility, we always question the relevance of rankings. How can it be that in one year, an organization that has virtually identical administration and academics (and 50% of the same students), can suddenly rise or fall several places? Do the students who were in first year last year and are now in second year notice any appreciable difference in the quality of their education? Of course not. Nonetheless, the rankings will continue because they sell advertising and candidates can’t help but take notice of them.