Standardizing MBA student success data

Ensuring business schools, prospective students and the media have accurate, comparable employment information

The percentage of students accepting job offers three months after graduation is a common—and logical—MBA student outcomes stat. But why do most business schools share that particular outcome, and others like it?

It’s likely the result of many institutions following the Standards of Reporting MBA Employment Statistics created by the MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance, a global organization for employers and administrators working in graduate business career services.

Following the Standards gives prospective students an apples-to-apples comparison when evaluating the outcomes of programs they’re considering, says Kenneth White, associate dean of MBA & executive programs at the College at William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business.

Link to main story: Colleges touting outcomes boost MBA programs’ profiles

“It’s nice that in the business school world, we have guidelines that we all follow to make it easier for prospective students. And the outcome statistics page is one of the more popular pages on a business school website, for sure,” he adds.

The original standards were created in 1998 based on feedback from business schools.

“At the time, employment data collection was being done in an inconsistent, and therefore unreliable way,” says Megan Hendricks, the alliance’s executive director. Over the years, the standards have been updated, ensuring that the career outcomes schools are sharing are always relevant to the current market, she adds.

The most current standards ensure business schools, prospective students and the media have accurate and comparable employment information from graduate business schools.

Henricks says, “In the absence of standards, stakeholders do not have an accurate way of comparing business school employment data, and schools do not have a way to ensuring the data they are making available to the public is reliable and accurate.”

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