Harvard Business School is sitting pretty in the latest business school rankings released last week by Forbes magazine, finally reclaiming the top spot for the first time since 2003. Forbes’s ranking of MBA programs focuses on return on investment five years after graduation; Harvard Business School’s class of 2006 saw their median salaries skyrocket from $79,000 before school to $230,000 in 2010–the highest among U.S. schools, says Forbes.
Forbes Top Ten Best Business Schools
- Harvard Business School
- Stanford Graduate School of Business
- Chicago Booth School of Business
- The Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania)
- Columbia Business School
- Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
- Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern)
- The Johnson School (Cornell University)
- Darden School of Business (University of Virginia)
- MIT Sloan School of Management
The downside to ranking schools by ROI, says Poets & Quants‘ John Byrne, is that the numbers don’t fully capture the true value of a graduate business education over one’s career. These results are culled from alumni surveys, and Byrne says small sample sizes could distort the results, or unemployed/underemployed alumni may not have responded to the Forbes survey.
For more on what these rankings might mean for prospective applicants, including which schools make up the bottom of the list, read Byrne’s complete analysis here and via the Poets & Quants link above.