Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Crunching the numbers

     As someone who intends to pursue a career in finance, I am very numbers oriented. One of the things I like about looking into MBA programs is the ability to quantify almost everything about a program. Everything has been ranked multiple times by multiple sources. In deciding where to apply, it is then necessary to take a look at where a person feels competitive with the applicant pool & where there is good overall value (at least for me). In compiling a list of schools, I had a few criteria: Overall ranking, Geographic location, Finance concentration (I require one), Top 50 in Poets & Quants' overall rankings (one school I'm considering dropped out), and low relative cost. The data is as follows:

School P&Q Salary Tuition + CoL Avg GMAT
Wisconsin 26 53 98,662 675
Ohio State 28 46 92890 673
Penn State 34 48 114536 643
Purdue 39 29 115316 635
Iowa 42 NR 108176 660
Illinois 43 39 103542 657
Georgia 49 38 96664 637
Tulane 61 51 145386 630

I got the overall ranking from Poets & Quants', the salary rankings here, and financial data & GMAT scores mostly from the schools' own web sites. This data is based on out of state tuition for every school except OSU as I'm an Ohio resident. It doesnt take into account any sort of scholarship or award as I wanted to look at just raw numbers.

I have visited or will visit most of the schools on the list, and I will post reviews similar to the Iowa post on all of them, but I want to make this just about the data. . .

Looking at the numbers, a few things pop out. UGA is an excellent value for the low tuition & cost of living. Their ranking in salary surprised me since they were higher than all but Purdue. Wisconsin also surprised me as their publicized average salary is the highest of all the schools I have visited so far. I don't know how the payscale data works, it obviously isnt in a vacuum and every case is unique. Another thing that pops out is Tulane. I recently visited there and had a great visit. Given their relatively lower GMAT, I feel competitive for the program and they did make the top 57 in salary. They were in Poets & Quants' top 50, I believe this had something to do with them slipping to 61. However, 145k is 30k more than the next highest school (Purdue). Another note, Iowa didnt make the list of top 57 schools by salary. I know they are ranked relatively highly on the Poets & Quants rankings due to their high return on investment. I know this is due to the large percentage of scholarships they give out, which could make them the least expensive school in the group. However, I wanted to look at things "all things equal". Of course, the 680 GMAT required to get into OSU or Wisconsin would probably get you a scholarship on every other school on the list.

Another thing to note, I am fully considering all 8 schools. I think all of them could get me where I want to be career wise. I just think an MBA is the biggest decision I have made in my life, I should do all the examining I can. I wanted to put this out there in the hopes that it might help someone else as well. . .

1 comment: