The generally reliable Economist magazine published something a little naive early this year.
In a February column titled A ranking of business schools' alumni: Network effects, the magazine listed the business schools with "the most useful alumni."
There may be a reliable methodology for determining such a ranking, to some approximation. But The Economist's method isn't it. Their methodology is simple. To quote them:
Each year, The Economist asks students to rate their school's network.
So what's wrong with this system?
[There may be a reliable way to find the 'most useful' alumni,
but The Economist's method isn't it]
Simply put, it is in the direct interest of every student surveyed for others to believe that the student attended an influential and successful institution. This confers the maximum perceived value to their degree.
For that reason, every student asked to rate their own school's network should rate it as highly as possible.
In this survey, that would be a 5 out of a possible 5. The students at Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business seemed to understand this: they ranked their network 4.98 out of 5.
It's surprising that the ratings of the top 10 schools dip as low as 4.71. Maybe the schools should offer more marketing courses to their MBA candidates?
Thank you to John Arboleda for sharing the Economist article with his network on LinkedIn, where I first saw it.