Cornell’s SC Johnson College of Business was once again named the United States’ 15th best business school, according to U.S. News and World Report’s annual rankings released on Tuesday.
Every year, U.S. News — which is best known for its annual ranking of undergraduate schools — sorts America’s 475 graduate business schools on the basis of selectivity, undergraduate GPA, GMAT and GRE scores, placement success, starting salary and recruiter and peer assessment scores.
Johnson edged out UCLA and Carnegie Mellon’s graduate business programs to rank 15th for the second year in a row, but trailed the University of Virginia, New York University and the other five Ivy Leagues that offer an MBA degree.
U.S. News’ latest rankings estimated that 80 percent of Johnson graduates found a job upon graduation, with the average base salary coming in at $126,000 — figures largely comparable to most of its peers but lagging behind front-of-the-pack Wharton, which posted an expected starting pay of $140,000. Last year, the 280 students enrolled in Johnson’s traditional two-year MBA program had an average GMAT score of 699, 3.4 average undergrad GPA and five average years of work experience, according to the school.
U.S. News’ annual report is one of several publications that rank MBA-awarding institutions. For instance, The Financial Times surveys programs globally — last year, it pegged Johnson as the world’s 17th best in the third consecutive year the school had improved among the London-based outlet’s rankings.
However, ranking is only a minor portion of what employers look at when hiring graduates and a high-quality education is what matters more, according to Prof. Andrey Ukhov, finance.
“[Employers] use rankings to decide which schools to recruit at, but rankings are only a part of the story,” Ukhov told The Sun following the release of last year’s Financial Times ranking.
Johnson regularly places large numbers of students into some of the business world’s most coveted occupations: 25 percent of the class of 2018 entered consulting following graduation, while 19 percent found a position in investment banking, according to the school.
The school’s alumni have spanned a wide variety of high-profile corporate positions, including Silicon Valley venture capitalist Mary Meeker MBA ’86, former Chevron CEO Ken Durr MBA ’60, and SC Johnson & Son — the school’s namesake — head Herbert Johnson MBA ’84.