Bloomberg Business Ranking Methodology

Bloomberg Business Ranking Methodology

Bloomberg Business Ranking Methodology
Rojina Raut

The Bloomberg Business MBA ranking is one of the world's most widely recognised and respected MBA rankings. It is used by prospective MBA students, employers, and schools to evaluate and compare MBA programs. 

Bloomberg Business Week is a highly trusted ranking provider for business schools and MBA programs, with its MBA rankings being widely used by students to select colleges. Bloomberg's rankings are considered particularly authentic as they survey MBA graduates about their study experiences and companies about the professionals they hire from MBA schools. Bloomberg has been publishing its list of best B-schools since 1988. In 2019-20 it changed its ranking methodology, producing two separate lists for US and international schools using the same methodology. 

The Bloomberg Business MBA ranking is a widely recognised and respected tool for evaluating MBA programs. The methodology used by Bloomberg Business to compile the rankings involves collecting data from schools and students, evaluating the data against a set of criteria, and analysing the results using statistical methods. While there are potential drawbacks and criticisms of MBA rankings, they can still be valuable tools for students and schools to use when evaluating MBA programs. In the future, Bloomberg Business could consider incorporating additional criteria and exploring alternative ways of presenting the rankings to address some of these criticisms and concerns.

This article will explore Bloomberg Business's methodology to rank MBA programs. We will describe how Bloomberg Business collects data, the criteria it uses to evaluate MBA programs, and how it analyses the data to produce the rankings. We will also discuss the potential limitations and criticisms of the Bloomberg Business MBA ranking.

Indicators of Bloomberg's MBA Ranking

The Bloomberg Business MBA ranking uses a range of indicators to evaluate MBA programs, including:


This indicator measures the median salary and sign-on bonus MBA graduates receive within three months of graduation. It is based on data provided by schools and self-reported by alumni.


This indicator measures the strength and diversity of a school's alumni network, including the number of alumni in top executive positions and the percentage of international alumni.


This indicator measures the quality and diversity of the curriculum, as well as the effectiveness of the teaching and career services. It is based on data provided by schools and self-reported by students.


This indicator measures the number and quality of new businesses MBA graduates start. It is based on data provided by schools and self-reported by alumni.


This indicator measures the percentage of MBA graduates who secure a job within three months of graduation and the school's reputation among employers. It is based on data provided by schools and self-reported by alumni.


This indicator measures the school's global reach, including the percentage of international students, faculty, and partnerships with overseas institutions. It is based on data provided by schools and self-reported by students and faculty.

Each indicator is weighted differently in the final ranking, depending on its perceived importance to MBA students and employers. The exact weighting of each indicator may vary from year to year, depending on changes in the MBA landscape and stakeholder feedback.

Bloomberg Business Ranking Methodology

Data Collection

To rank MBA programs, Bloomberg Business collects data from various sources, including business schools, alumni, and students. Schools are asked to provide data on admissions, career placement, and faculty qualifications, among other factors. Alumni and students are surveyed to collect information on their experiences with the program and their career outcomes.

Collecting data from schools and students can be challenging, as not all schools may be willing to provide data, and not all students may respond to surveys. To address these challenges, Bloomberg Business uses various methods to ensure its data is as comprehensive as possible. For example, it may contact schools directly to request data and incentivise students to complete surveys by offering them a chance to win prizes.

Ranking Criteria

Bloomberg Business uses a variety of criteria to evaluate MBA programs, including student satisfaction, post-MBA outcomes, and academic quality. Each criterion is assigned a weight based on its perceived importance, and the weighted scores are used to rank the MBA programs.

The criteria used by Bloomberg Business have changed over time to reflect changes in the business education landscape. For example, the weight assigned to post-MBA outcomes has increased as employers become more interested in hiring MBA graduates with solid career prospects.

Data Analysis

Once the data has been collected, Bloomberg Business uses various statistical methods to analyse it. This includes normalising the data to account for school size and location differences and adjusting for outliers that may skew the results.

Bloomberg Business also takes steps to address potential biases in the data, such as self-selection bias. For example, the survey questions asked of alumni and students are designed to be as objective as possible, and the data is analysed in a way that minimises the impact of individual biases.

Interpretation of Results

Bloomberg Business presents the MBA rankings to the public in a way that is easily accessible and understandable. Schools often use the rankings for marketing their MBA programs, as a higher ranking can be seen as a measure of prestige and quality. However, there are potential drawbacks to using rankings to evaluate MBA programs. For example, rankings may not fully capture the nuances of each program and may not accurately reflect all students' experiences.

Despite these limitations, rankings can still be a valuable tool for students and schools to evaluate MBA programs. For students, rankings can provide a starting point for their research and help them narrow their list of potential schools. For schools, rankings can help them identify areas to improve and differentiate themselves from other programs.

Criticism and Controversy

MBA rankings, including the Bloomberg Business MBA ranking, have been subject to criticism and controversy over the years. Some critics argue rankings are overly focused on post-MBA outcomes and may not consider other factors necessary to students, such as program culture or location.

There are also concerns about the potential for rankings to perpetuate inequality in the business education landscape. For example, schools that are already well-resourced and well-known may have an advantage in the rankings, even if their programs are not necessarily better than those at less prestigious schools.

To address these criticisms and concerns, Bloomberg Business could consider incorporating additional criteria into its ranking methodologies, such as program diversity or social impact. It could also explore alternative ways of presenting the rankings, such as creating separate rankings for different MBA programs.

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