In the personal battle to choose a college and business program, the stakes are high, and the best weapon is information. And that information comes from research. An effective early-stage process for gathering the facts, opinions, and ideas about undergraduate colleges and programs requires digging into a variety of information pools: details and statistics concerning schools and programs, internet commentary from students and prospective students, analysis of the costs and benefits specific to the institutions and programs on the “possibles” list, and, of course, examination of rankings.
Over the past year, Poets&Quants has published nearly two dozen articles focused on ranking undergraduate schools and business programs. Now, at 2014’s end, we have collected them together into an information clearinghouse about the most important aspects of undergraduate business education: the quality of education, the quality of the experience, and the value the education and degree confers. Beyond the Top 10 undergraduate business school rankings, we’ve added 12 links to additional valuable ranking articles.
Top Ten Undergraduate Business Rankings of 2014:
And the surveys show: It’s a great time to be a business major. Companies are looking to the holders of business degrees more than to any other undergraduates. But not all business programs receive the same interest, and the same valuation, from employers. And employers’ preferences don’t always mesh with overall rankings results: consider Brigham Young University, 34th overall in the U.S. News & World Report undergraduate business ranking, but No. 3 for employers. Even approval from companies, however, doesn’t guarantee commensurate pay: No. 1 Indiana University, highly regarded by employers, saw starting salaries fail to rise over the previous year.
It’s not just about the program – it’s also about the school as a whole. Undergraduate applicants to business schools take a variety of courses outside their majors, in order to meet graduation requirements, and round out the education and college experience. Poets&Quants‘ rankings methodology, unlike others, includes college reputations, to capture the entire picture of a business program and its wider context.
What may surprise in this ranking is the placement of some private schools – lower down than their reputations might suggest. Not surprisingly, STEM studies drive the high salary potential at No. 1 Harvey Mudd College in California. This ranking of schools by salary potential provides both a short-term and long-term view: see how much money grads from each school make right after school, and in mid-career.
Bang for the buck, that’s what much of business is all about, and college is no exception – it’s expensive, and it needs to pay off. This article lists undergrad business programs and supplies the return on investment information necessary to figure out if there will be sufficient bang for the precious buck.