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University Rankings: Wall Street Journal, ACTA, QS ^ | William M. Briggs

Posted on 09/13/2010 4:10:23 AM PDT by mattstat

I, working with Cambria Consulting (see below), was involved heavily creating the WSJ's rankings which are in today's papers. All questions on the methods, I defer to them.

College, or university, rankings are not and cannot be all-encompassing. This is because colleges are not singular entities, but serve at least three distinct purposes. The first, and probably foremost in most students' minds, is job training. This is rational: most employers now want a candidates to have a "degree" (a certificate only weakly correlated with education). To which school should a student go to get the best job?

Second is in fact education, the traditional---now historical?---reason for a college to exist: who teaches what, who is the most rigorous, the least demanding, and so forth. Last is research: from which institutions do the most new thoughts emerge, who pumps out the most papers, where do professors most want to work, etc.

Being a top school in one dimension does not guarantee top rankings in another dimension. This much is obvious.

Jobs: Wall Street Journal

To find the best schools, in the sense of students finding work in their preferred majors, the WSJ asked recruiters, "From which schools do you prefer to recruit Accountants? Aerospace Engineers?" And so on.

(As I mentioned above, I am an interested party in this, so I will keep my discussion brief, and simply point people to the WSJ for clarification.)

Penn State University won first place, followed Texas A&M and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. View the complete list here.

The first-place ranking for Penn State is across all majors, which means Penn State might not be the school of choice for recruiters looking to hire, say, MIS...

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Education
KEYWORDS: collegeranking; rankings; wallstreetjournal

1 posted on 09/13/2010 4:10:28 AM PDT by mattstat
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To: mattstat

That’s a pretty stupid methodology. Ask where the most students are recruited from—and you’re going to end up with pretty much those schools with the most students, peppered with a couple of more rigorous schools located in regions where there isn’t other top-school competition. And that’s pretty much what this list is. Does anyone really doubt but that Harvard or Stanford grads have greater career opportunities? Are the largest schools really necessarily the best ones for job-minded students? (Yes, they may have a large quantity of recruiters, but do they have the quality of job opportunities?)

2 posted on 09/13/2010 4:39:23 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: mattstat

Since I have a child in the process of looking for a school I was tempted to read the article. But I didn’t. Simply because I do not trust any MSM source to be impartial. Particularly not when it comes to fellow liberal institutions such as most Colleges.

3 posted on 09/13/2010 5:07:02 AM PDT by ThunderSleeps (obama out now! I'll keep my money, my guns, and my freedom - you can keep the change.)
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To: mattstat

very nice to see my alma mater up there.

4 posted on 09/13/2010 5:10:28 AM PDT by aft_lizard (Barack Obama is Hugo Chavez's poodle.)
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To: ThunderSleeps

Check out the small colleges in Michigan...

5 posted on 09/13/2010 5:24:04 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Impeachment !)
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To: mattstat

The real question is about the least successful schools and programs.

What type of work will a graduate in Albanian studies seek? How many openings are there?How many others have a similar degree? What is the starting salary?

What about the likes of Chicago State University, whose abysmal graduation rates are lower than those at many for-profits? Where’s the accountability in a public nonprofit sector whose receipt of federal, state and county tax dollars far exceeds the federal dollars going to for-profits?

And why insist that only the for-profits show — as is tentatively proposed — that they have prepared graduates for “gainful employment” and that their graduates have a certain debt-to-earnings ratio?

but apparently not other higher-education nonprofits — should be held to a “gainful employment” standard.

Given community colleges’ lobbying clout, the Cubs will win the World Series before that happens.

6 posted on 09/13/2010 6:04:06 AM PDT by DUMBGRUNT (The best is the enemy of the good!)
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To: 9YearLurker

9YearLurker, you make a valid point. Obviously, there are an order of magnitude more U of M grads than Harvard grads, and so recruiters will naturally tend to focus more attention on U of M.

On the other hand, they are focusing more attention on U of M, which means that it would be a good school to go to to gain the attention of recruiters.

In any case, there is more to come to the WSJ story over subsequent days that will address more of these kinds of difficulties.

7 posted on 09/13/2010 12:35:02 PM PDT by mattstat
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