How Rankings Help You Find the Right School
As you research graduate degrees, rankings stand out being they’re easy to digest and put in context, and usually easy to find. While it isn’t the most important part of your research, a good ranking (or a bad ranking or no ranking at all) can reflect those things that are most important: What will you get out of the degree and where can it take you?
Over the past year, both the undergraduate program in computer information systems and the W. P. Carey MSIM degree have seen tremendous growth in the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings of the nation’s top universities and programs. In 2011, both the undergraduate and master’s degrees were ranked 18th in the nation. Now, just a year later, both programs have vaulted into the top 15.
What does a number 13 ranking mean to you as a future MSIM student that a number 18 ranking doesn’t? Obviously, even being ranked among the top 20 master’s programs is a huge accomplishment, but with these programs - and the IT environment overall - becoming more competitive every year, this kind of rapid ascension speaks to the quality of our program, our instruction, our faculty, our students, and our reputation. And those are all extremely important things to look at more closely as you research programs.
The methodology behind the U.S. News ranking is pretty simple: Business school deans nominate up to ten schools they feel represent excellence, and the rankings are ordered by the number of total nominations received. So that means that among every business school in the country that offers a master’s in information management, W. P. Carey is among the most well-regarded and our reputation is growing quickly.
Again, rankings are just a starting point, but they can help you eliminate a lot of guesswork by showing you how one program stacks up against the rest. And the sooner you focus on a few schools you think are a good fit, the sooner you can begin working on your applications and other materials to make sure the schools you’ve gotten to know get to know the real you.