I am scheduled to begin my master’s in business administration this spring. However the ranking of the grad program that I am attending is low; will the ranking of a graduate program affect perspective employers’ perception of me? I do not anticipate working for a Fortune 500 company but I do wish to be marketable. Thanks.
The Career Doctor responds:
If your ambition is to work at a Fortune 500 or top global corporation a degree from a “known” program (one in the top of the various rankings) will certainly give you a big edge but as I have stated on numerous occasions it is NOT the most qualified job-seeker who get the job but the most prepared job-seeker who excels in job interviews. To me rankings are purely public-relations opportunities for the programs and bragging rights for the graduates.
Since your ambition it not working for a Fortune 500 company in the foreseeable future then the real key is the program’s (and the university’s) reputation in your area. Contact people in your professional organization local area chambers of commerce and people in your current company and seek their opinions of the school and its MBA. Contact the school and ask to see a list of alumni placement for the past few years.
Perhaps the bigger question for you is whether an MBA will be worth it for you at this point in your career. For these reasons I also recommend to you my article: The Master of Business Administration: Is the MBA Worth the Time Effort and Cost?