Let’s be real. Most people are trying to move on from 2020. It wasn’t an easy year, to be sure. Of course, the overarching issue — the Coronavirus pandemic — wreaked havoc on colleges and the plans of college students around the world. Campuses were shut down. Graduations canceled. And those graduates were thrust into a reeling and sketchy job market. Then there was the social and economical unrest caused by the pandemic, a presidential election (and campaign leading up to it), and the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others.
Understanding the bottom line of business education was top-of-mind for our readers. We’ve curated our seven most-read stories of 2020. The list includes typical stories like our own proprietary rankings published annually for the past four years. It also includes practical stories like schools feeding the most students into Wall Street and consulting positions. And it includes our annual list of “Schools to Watch,” which is always popular. But there are also some surprises.
In descending order, below are our most-read stories in 2020.
Since 2016, we’ve annually recognized the “Best & Brightest” business majors of the most recent graduating class. To do this, we invite the top-50 schools in our annual undergraduate business school ranking to submit two graduating students that fit their definition of “Best & Brightest.” If schools decline to participate, we replace them with others to ensure we get 100 students to honor. This year’s list included 60 women and 40 men from 50 of the best undergraduate business programs in the country.
“The senior class was born into a world at war and grew up amid a financial collapse,” wrote Poets&Quants Senior Writer Jeff Schmitt last April. “Now, they watch as a pandemic sweeps away their opportunities. After every upheaval, some people step up to drive recovery and restoration. Make no mistake: this class will be the one who rise to these demands.”
Like previous years, this year’s 100 Best & Brightest included an eclectic group of young stars from elite athletes to social activists to military veterans to startup founders.
The third version of our undergraduate rankings published in December 0f 2018 continues to be one of our most popular. At the time, it was our largest-ever ranking, including 88 schools. After abstaining from the first version of the ranking published in 2016, The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania participated in 2017, debuting in first place. A year later, Wharton did it again, repeating as the top-ranked business school. In 2019, Wharton again placed first. This year, Wharton looks to go for four-straight years at the top of our data-focused ranking.
“If you have Wharton graduate next to your name, it’s something that is going to define the next 40 years of your life and set you up for a lot of success,” Wharton Class of 2016 graduate Garrett Breeden told us in 2018. “Obviously, just because you went to Wharton doesn’t mean your path is paved in gold and you don’t have to work hard. You still absolutely do have to work hard, but it sets you up with an incredible network of peers and alums.”