If you’re thinking about getting an MBA, you’ve probably seen a lot of lists that rank the best business schools in the country. The problem is, none of those lists help you figure out which school or program is the best match for your specific needs. Launched in February 2014, BestMatch aims to help students see past the brand names and the hype to find the MBA program that will give them the career they want.
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Most “best business school” rankings concentrate on factors like peer and recruiter assessments, starting salary after graduation, and placement success. While these are all worthwhile measures, evaluating a potential school based on a list geared toward every potential applicant does not necessarily help students find the best MBA program for their specific needs. Worse, students might overlook a program that doesn’t get as much press as Harvard Business School or Wharton, but that might be a better choice than a prestige brand.
“There are lots of really interesting programs out there … if folks only knew about them,” said BestMatch CEO Stuart Flack.
Flack founded BestMatch with a group of business school deans and partner Ivycorp. The non-profit site uses PayScale data on post-graduation salaries by school and metro region, as well as job satisfaction after graduation, and allows students to evaluate schools for themselves, based on their selection criteria.
The Difference Between the Best Schools and the Best Schools for You
“We don’t rank the schools in any way,” says Flack. “We just give the information … and let you evaluate the schools.”
The site is also a little different in terms of the view it provides of each program. Flack describes it as showing the “ecosystem” of each school: where the alums live and what it’s like to live in those cities, how much money they make, how they feel about their jobs after graduation.
“Ecosystem is the larger, mostly regional, world that the school and its alums actually function in and have influence in,” Flack says. “Interestingly, for most schools, self-presentation would lead you to believe they are national players, but in most cases they actually play a unique and important role in a region. So understanding the dynamics around this gets you to a real understanding of what the school has to offer.”
How It Works
Each school page offers a profile of the program and its ecosystem, including general information about the school, where the alumni live, alumni city profiles, and social media activity around the school.
(Image Credit: School Page via BestMatch)
Students can evaluate schools based on several criteria, including emphasis of program, location, total program cost, type of program, and average GMAT scores. They can also search schools or programs by name. Once they come up with a list of possible schools, they can compare them side by side.
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