Prospective MBA students planning their graduate program usually do extensive research over the course of 18-24 months. There are many useful MBA resources available and I will share some here. The time and expenses of an MBA degree are significant and you should be deliberate in the research.
There are several areas that I suggest working through to determine the best MBA program for you. They are rankings, descriptions of programs, social media, and networking.
Starting with US News & World Report rankings is the first step in researching an MBA program. You can filter by part-time, location, tuition, enrollment, and other factors. Each university’s program is profiled with links for more information. Other legacy media with rankings include Financial Times, CEO Magazine, and Fortune.
Another great source of MBA ranking and information is the Poets & Quants website. They cover every aspect of the MBA degree and have lots of great content to review. I recommend signing up for their email newsletter to get the latest MBA news and rankings.
Note about rankings data, be sure to consider the Acceptance Rate % in your research. A Top 25 program with a 10% acceptance rate will review your application much differently than a program with a 60% acceptance rate. The former is aspirational and the latter is a safer choice. On some ranking websites, there may be a fee to access this detailed information.
As you build a list of programs to review, check out each program’s website. You will see their tuition, fees, schedules, curriculum details, videos, and have sign ups for webinars or in-person meetings. In some cases, they will post news updates such as the Virginia Tech update on not starting an Executive MBA cohort for fall 2022 here. If you are a US military veteran, check out this Linkedin article.
There are several helpful social media platforms to consider. Reddit, LinkedIn, and Facebook/Instagram are good choices. Here are my suggestions:
- MBA Network 26,700+ members
- MBA Finance 16,400+ members
- National Black MBA Association 52,000+ members
- MBA Jobs India 19,000+ members
- MBA 30,000+ members
- M.B.A Students group 25,000+ members
- MBA(Master of Business Administration) 22,000+ members
- MBA grads helping MBA aspirants 6,000+ members
Connecting with current students and alumni is a great way to assess the program you are considering. They will share an unfiltered perspective of the curriculum, faculty, program resources, and more. Most programs will connect you with current students or alumni if you ask. International students should see this post for additional consideration. In some programs, a referral from an alum or current counts heavily in the admissions process.
Your goals, financial resources, and career plans will need to align with the MBA program that you want. There are many resources to help you get a clear view of the program and how it will support your plans. Be sure to read this post on “Thinking about an MBA” to really think through the best program for you.
TLDR: Time spent on research will boost your confidence in the program selection that you make.