2021 Report Card: How Alums Grade Their B-School Experience

An improv class at the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce, which finished third in this year’s Poets&Quants ranking of best undergraduate business programs. Professor Cady Garey is on the far right, seated in the blue sweater. Photo by Dan Addison, University of Virginia Communications

How would you rate the opportunities given to you in the business program to nurture and improve your soft skills in business (verbal and written communication skills, adaptability, delegation, time management, etc.)?

This year’s version of this question was altered a bit to include “soft” before skills, to try to measure those more intangible skills employers are increasingly looking for. Yes, there are many things graduates can’t learn until they’re on the first job. But schools can still do everything they can to prepare graduates as much as possible for the first jobs, which includes development of soft skills. This year, alumni from Virginia’s McIntire School had the highest rating of their school at 9.64, which was slightly down from last year’s leader, North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler School (9.69). Wharton and Indiana Kelley both tied for the next highest rating at 9.5. Rankings newcomer Marian University of Indianapolis had the next highest score at 9.48.

Overall, the average of 8.74 was slightly lower than last year’s average of 8.82 and lower than 8.92 in 2019. It was, however, higher than 2018’s average of 9.73. Overall, the average of 8.82 was lower than last year’s 8.92 average. But it was higher than the previous year’s average of 8.73. Some 28 schools earned a rating of 9.0 or higher, which is slightly lower than 30 schools that earned 9.0 or higher last year.