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Choosing the right business school for you

business school
  • Nov 21 2018
9 minutes to read

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6 factors to consider

As a graduate looking to expand your career potential in the world of business, you’re undoubtedly considering a business school postgraduate qualification. But which school is right for you? It is vital to know the factors to keep in mind when picking a business school.

We take a look at six critical criteria to consider when choosing a business school that’s right for you and your career. We have chosen to highlight these criteria based on the level of impact they will have on your studies and career.

1. Accreditation

The accreditation of a business school is an easy way to verify the quality of the education the institution provides. In order to receive and retain accreditation, the business school must be able to demonstrate that they meet the strict quality requirements of the accreditor on a regular basis.

The three international accreditation organisations that form the “triple crown” of premiere accreditations are:

AACSB – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is an accreditation organisation that was founded in 1916. “AACSB’s mission is to foster engagement, accelerate innovation, and amplify impact in business education.”

AMBA – The Association of MBAs (AMBA) is an accreditation authority that was founded in 1967 and is “committed to raising its profile and quality standards internationally for the benefit of business schools, students and alumni and employers”.

EQUIS – The EFMD Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) is an accreditation organisation that offers an internationally recognised accreditation system for both business and management schools. It was founded in 1998.

If a business school is accredited by all three of these institutions, it is a strong indication that it offers a quality business school education.

2. Reputation of the school with its graduates

If you want to know what to expect from a business school, be sure to find out what their alumni think. Schools worth the time, money and energy will have feedback from their alumni that’s easily accessible on their website. However, if you want to do your own research on the school’s reputation, you can use LinkedIn’s Alumni tool to find Alumni to get in touch with.

3. The school’s network
A school’s network is vital in connecting you to the right people and organisations for growing your future career.

During your time at the business school, you will gain valuable work experience through the businesses, partner schools and alumni that form part of the school’s network. A number of institutions also offer partnerships with international schools so that students will gain critical experience of life and business outside of their own culture.

The alumni network will also play a critical role in growing your career after you have completed your studies. Some business schools offer detailed information on their alumni network which you can easily access through the business school’s website.

4. Focus on quantitative or qualitative research

Whether a school’s programmes specialise in quantitative or qualitative research is an important factor to keep in mind. For example, if you are interested in developing business in the social development space, a programme with an emphasis on qualitative research would be more beneficial than one that’s focused on quantitative research.

5. Programme formats

For many people, pursuing studies full time is not an option. If this is the case with you, consider whether a prospective school offers additional study formats.

A quality business school should offer blended and modular formats to meet the needs of students who are unable to pursue their studies full time. A blended format offers course content in a traditional lecture environment as well as through e-learning tools. A modular format breaks the course content up into modules. Students can complete the individual modules until they have completed all the modules necessary to receive the relevant academic qualification.

6. The quality of an MBA

The MBA remains the flagship programme for many business schools, as the quality of this programme is viewed as proxy for the quality of the school. This is the case even though many have branched out to offer other programmes such as Development Finance and Project Management – both of which are offered at USB.

By keeping these six factors in mind, you will be able to pick a business school that provides you with the qualifications and tools you need to grow your career in the right direction.

The University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) is a prestigious business school based in Cape Town, South Africa. USB opened its doors in 1964 to 14 MBA students, and now offers a world-class education to over 28 000 students across the globe. If you are interested in an education at USB but are unsure about which course to pick, our Programme Finder can assist you with finding the right path. If you need any additional information regarding our programmes, campus or staff, you can also visit our website or contact us today.

There’s a programme for every journey. Find yours today.

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