Business degrees are among the most popular studies offered by colleges and universities, and with growth projected in the job market of many business sectors, many would argue that studying business would be an investment in your future.
Whether you are ready to pursue an undergraduate degree or looking to acquire an MBA, choosing the right business school will play an important role in making the most out of your business education. There are many things to consider in choosing a good business school, but here are what we think are the top eight things to look for:
#1 – Inspiring faculty
A good business school will attract the most qualified and talented teachers and researchers from around the globe, as proven by the high percentage of international teaching staff in top business schools. This top talent will have the knowledge and experience to effectively teach aspiring business leaders.
Aside from teaching from a theoretical standpoint, an inspiring faculty will give emphasis on the application of theory to real issues in the business world today. The experience and connections in the industry possessed by faculty members will help them in advising students and even connecting them to internships or other career opportunities.
If you are interested in working in a specific field, sector or industry, you should consider the connections of the faculty and the school to that particular area, as this could give you a head start after graduation.
#2 – Great students
Most business degree programs have heavy loads when it comes to group projects, and you will be spending a significant amount of time interacting with your fellow students.
Aside from learning how to work as part of a team and developing team leadership skills, your experience in business school should also allow you to learn from your fellow students, as there is a chance that they will be your colleagues, partners or even competitors in the future.
In a way, a big part of your studies and career can depend on networking with your fellow students and those who have already graduated. Business graduates often seek employment with or mentorship by the alumni of their school.
A good question to ask is, “What type of students does this school attract?” From there, you will be able to think about the profile of the student and alumni community you will be interacting with and whether or not you want to be a part of it.
#3 – Choice of subjects and majors
Business has many areas of concentration, and those studying it can choose to pursue business degrees with specialization on specific areas or more general degrees that tackle majority of them at the fundamental level.
It is important for you to choose a school that has the subjects and majors that will address your goal in going through a business degree program. For example, if you are looking to start a business of your own, you can look for a school that offers a solid foundation of business courses and at the same time allows you to specialize in entrepreneurship.
#4 – Flexibility
Flexibility is important for students who are already working or have other commitments and responsibilities. If you are one of those people, then you should consider business schools that offer programs that require less on-campus time, part-time studies, or distance learning programs.
SEE ALSO: Part-Time MBA Programs
For employed prospective students, you can look into whether or not your employer will be willing to sponsor your studies. There are companies who sponsor their employees’ distance learning, because a flexible program will allow the latter to stay with the employer and directly apply what they learn.
A good business school in this case will allow you to address your need for flexibility while keeping you engaged in your studies and connected to fellow students and teachers.
#5 – Freedom
The top business schools in the world mimic the business environment by supporting healthy competition, scientific inquiry, critical thinking, innovation and creativity. This is not the case for all business schools, as some have restrictions in place due to government involvement and regulations or bureaucracy. These restrictions impede the schools’ freedom to adapt to the fast-changing business environment and the community and field that it is a part of, affecting what and how the students learn and what they experience.
#6 – Leadership
Another critical thing to look for in a business school is its leadership or administration. Most leaders of the top business schools in the world are well experienced in both business and academia. This helps them to run and set a vision for their school as part of the business community.
A good business school’s leaders (such as the dean and other administrators) will have a collective vision that supports and balances the interests of students, faculty and alumni.
#7 – Student support
A good business school will give you assistance from when you first consider applying for a program right through to after you graduate. It can be support in the form of something as simple as getting the right information to something a bit more complex such as looking for a job. It’s not about being spoon-fed but having the right resources to help you along the way of becoming a business professional. Some solid indicators of student support are a strong alumni network and a well-connected career service or center.
#8 – Reputation
An indicator of a school’s reputation is its overall ranking among business schools. Most ranking lists take into consideration quality of programs, faculty, research, student services and career support. However, you should think about what matters most to you when it comes to a school’s reputation. Well-known business schools such as those in the ivy-league may be the first to come to mind when thinking about good reputation, but if you’re looking for personal development while taking your business studies, you will find that in the Economist’s analysis of the top 100 MBA schools, Monash University in Australia is ranked #1 for personal development.
Take these eight things into consideration when you look for the best business school for you among the thousands that you can choose from. Remember that the school should be able to address your academic and professional needs and goals and that in the end, it’ll only be you who can say which one is the right fit for you.
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