Business- and employment-centered social media site LinkedIn has tapped its vast professional network in an attempt to rank the top MBA programs in the U.S. The site’s “50 best U.S. business schools to grow your career” is its first foray into annual MBA program rankings and effectively uses its own data to do so.
What differentiates LinkedIn’s MBA rankings from existing sources such as U.S. News & World Report, Bloomberg, and Financial Times? First, the site researched how valuable an MBA degree is by looking at its own aggregated profile data, discovering firsthand how more likely and quickly MBA grads advance their careers over those with a bachelor’s alone. The next step was determining what MBA programs best positioned graduates for success.
To do so, LinkedIn looked at positive career outcomes and identified five factors that impact success: hiring and demand, ability to advance, network strength, leadership potential, and gender diversity. The data users supply to LinkedIn, whether organizations or individuals, details promotions and positions, entrepreneurship, and vividly depicts professional networks, allowing for comparing program graduate career outcomes to generate the rankings.
Their top ten list is an all-star selection of the other annual MBA program rankings, being the most visible and respected business schools in the U.S. HBS took the top spot while Stanford GSB landed in second. Dartmouth Tuck claimed third place while The Wharton School comes in at number four and MIT Sloan at five.
|1||Harvard Business School|
|2||Stanford Graduate School of Business|
|3||Dartmouth Tuck School of Business|
|4||The Wharton School|
|5||MIT Sloan School of Management|
|6||Northwestern Kellogg School of Management|
|7||Berkeley Haas School of Business|
|8||Yale School of Management|
|9||Chicago Booth School of Business|
|10||Duke Fuqua School of Business|
Further down the 50-school list are a few lesser-known programs at prestigious universities (like Pepperdine’s Graziadio) or smaller, more localized MBA programs (like Baruch College’s Zicklin). Scheller College of Business, housed at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta checked in at #23, outranking several programs they usually sit behind. Similarly, Boston University’s Questrom placed at #30, which is higher than we usually find the program in other rankings.
Clear Admit Co-founder, Graham Richmond, offered the following take on LinkedIn’s MBA ranking: “While this is a novel ideal – and we do see a lot of the expected schools making the cut – it’s unclear to me how much this ranking is adding to the landscape. I am also somewhat concerned about the notion of basing a ranking on LinkedIn use alone. For instance, if we consider who it is who tends to keep their LinkedIn profiles fully up-to-date, isn’t it those actively seeking employment due to a lack of job satisfaction or a layoff?” Richmond added an additional concern: “I’m curious about their decision to only include MBA programs that graduated 500 alumni between 2018 and 2022 (who are on LinkedIn) , since that may eliminate some smaller programs. Also, I would have liked to see some non-US schools on this list, too.”
For professionals in the business sphere, earning an MBA grants the tools necessary for career advancement, developing a valuable professional network, and accessing greater opportunities. The quality and reputation of business schools and their MBA programs have a demonstrable impact on graduate’s success both on paper and in practice. For future business leaders, it’s more than just pursuing a degree — it’s pursuing the right degree from a respected business school with a rigorous program.
For the 2023 inaugural MBA program ranking, LinkedIn used data on graduates from 2018 through 2022. Check out the complete list here.