In its annual business school rankings, the Economist magazine ranked Yale School of Management as the 15th best school worldwide — a jump from previous years — on Oct. 16.
The SOM’s leap in Economist rankings falls within a general trend of improvement in the school’s rankings. Since 2014, the SOM has stayed within the top-20 range in ranking results published by respected agencies in management education, including the Financial Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report.
The Economist also ranked the school’s EMBA program as top four in the U.S. and the 10th best in the world.
According to the magazine, the criteria for the ranking include networking opportunities, career choices, salaries and educational experience. SOM administrators and students interviewed said while rankings shed light on some aspects of student experience, they neglect other important factors such as the diversity of the community.
“In the last few years, the school has focused on being a global institution, and the global educational experiences have greatly helped us on all the dimensions of our work — attracting more applicants, placing our graduates in professional fields, and hence shaping the perceptions that go into the rankings,” said Anjani Jain, SOM senior associate dean for the MBA program.
Jain added that the school values the Economist ranking because it factors in the quality of students’ experience on campus, which is central to the SOM’s core mission of educating future business leaders. The ranking also emphasizes feedback from employers, which the SOM also appreciations, Jain added. However, she added that a young school such as the SOM might be at a disadvantage when it comes to rankings, because it might not have a strong alumni presence in senior positions in the corporate world.
Jain said the SOM’s rankings in the past few decades have always “lagged behind” the true caliber of its students, faculty and academic programs, adding that its recent improvement in rankings reflects a “convergence” between how the outside world perceives the school and how it is actually performing.
Marema Diop SOM ’17 said although she was pleased with the overall ranking, she, like most of her peers, stopped keeping track of rankings once she enrolled in the school.
SOM students have always seen the school as one of the nation’s top business schools, said Bernier Lauredan SOM ’17, one of the student government admissions chairs who organize events that facilitate communication between students and the SOM’s admissions office.
Priyanka Karuvelil SOM ’17 said rankings in general undervalue a key aspect of a SOM education, which is the opportunity to take classes in the undergraduate college and other professional schools in the University. For instance, Karuvelil said, SOM students can enroll in classes at the Law School and the School of Public Health without any restriction. Karuvelil herself is currently a member of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy, a yearlong program consisting of classes and research in global affairs, alongside many undergraduate Yalies. Her classmates also take introductory computer science classes and language classes offered at Yale College, Karuvelil added.
“[Rankings are] an initial filter but not at all my final determinant,” Lauredan said. He added that in particular, he cared about its networking opportunities, reputation in various career fields and the sense of community.
Bloomberg and Poets & Quants will release this year’s business school rankings on Nov. 16.
Correction, Nov. 2: An earlier version of this story misstated the program at the SOM that the Economist ranked fourth in the U.S. and 10th in the world.