Management Degree Program Rankings
One of the key ways to research college programs in any field is to look at how the programs that interest you compare to others on published college rankings. Rankings are compiled by a number of publications and organizations, including BusinessWeek, Forbes, and U.S. News & World Report. While you shouldn’t base you college decisions solely on a college’s rank, this can help you make your choice.
Management degree programs are ranked in many different ways. Some rankings list colleges in general, so they’ll include schools both with and without management programs. Others have specific lists by major, allowing you to more directly understand what to expect in the management field. Still other lists will break it down by types of degree, so you can see rankings for just bachelor’s degree programs or just master’s degree programs.
When using rankings to help you make a college decision, it is important to find out the metrics the publication uses to create the list. Management degree programs come in all shapes and sizes, and not every characteristic that is important to you may be considered on every program ranking list. Some of the common characteristics that are considered include student to professor ratio, graduation rate, freshman retention rate, professor publications, research facilities, financial aid availability, library resources, student spending, and student satisfaction. Many rankings also ask professors or staff members to rate colleges comparable to their own, so this opinion factor is also considered.
Often, it is more valuable for students to realize what a ranking list is not considering as the list is compiled. What is important to you as a student? For example, do you want to attend school at a large campus or are you more interested in online classes? These are things not considered by rankings in most cases. As you’re comparing schools, make a list of the things most important to you, even if they are not necessarily characteristics that can be used to rank colleges on any list.
One thing a ranking list can tell you that is extremely helpful is whether or not a school is accredited. Most lists won’t include unaccredited schools, and while these programs do have some value, they often aren’t the best options for students. If your school isn’t accredited, your management degree may not mean much to employers or graduate schools, making your education a waste of time. In the vast majority of cases, going to an accredited school is the best option.
Which rankings should you consider when comparing management degree programs? As many as possible! Look at both general and management-specific lists, as well as lists that rank programs across various characteristics. Always remember that these lists are subjective on some level, so having more opinions is always better. Narrow the field to your top three to five management degree programs, and make sure to visit these campuses or take a virtual tour of their online campus before you make any kind of decision.