The Best School for Entrepreneurs

College and StuffFor decades, the best and the brightest among the students who were interested in pursuing a career in business aspired to work in large corporations that paid a lot of money.

For decades, those overachievers sought to be prepared to work in large corporations by the nation’s best graduate business schools—Chicago, Harvard, Northwestern, Stanford and Wharton. In 2012, those five schools were still the best in the USA, according to Bloomberg Businessweek’s rankings with Chicago No. 1 followed by Harvard, Wharton, Stanford and Northwestern.

But times have changed. In the past decade or so, the uncertain and struggling economy has made working for large corporations that no longer regard jobs as permanent far less attractive than it used to be. Just as today’s best writers are often blog writers for hire, content writers, and freelance writers who are interested in content writing prices rather than corporate writers who are interested in salaries, today’s best and the brightest prospective business executives often don’t aspire to work for General Electric, General Motors and IBM.

Instead, today’s best and brightest graduate business school students often value independence more than long-term security and would rather reap more of the monetary benefits of their ideas and hard work than share a lot of money with executives and shareholders. In short, many of these students want to be entrepreneurs who start and grow their own companies.

The trend toward entrepreneurialism is known by the best graduate business schools so you’d think that they would have expanded their curriculum so they would also be the best entrepreneurial schools. If you thought that, as I did, you’d be wrong. Instead, Harvard, Northwestern, Stanford and Wharton aren’t ranked among the top 20 graduate business schools for entrepreneurship, according to Entrepreneur magazine’s annual Princeton Review report in 2012, and Chicago is ranked seventh.

Instead, the USA’s top graduate program for entrepreneurship is Babson College’s Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship in Babson Park, Mass. The rankings were partly based on academic requirements, but they also factored in the percentage of recent graduates who launched a business and the percentage of teachers who had started, bought or run a successful business.

Getting schooled in entrepreneurship is the first step on the path to going it alone,” according to the Sept. 24, 2012, Entrepreneur magazine article.

The University of Michigan has the second-best graduate school for entrepreneurs according to the rankings while Brigham Young University, Rice University and the University of Texas rank third, fourth and fifth. Washington University in St. Louis, Chicago, the University of Virginia, the University of Arizona and the University of Washington in Seattle round out the top 10.

The top 20 is rounded out by the University of South Florida, the University of North Carolina, Temple University, Oklahoma State University, the University of Utah, Cornell University, De Paul University, the Acton MBA in Entrepreneurship in Austin, Texas; the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the University of Louisville.

Martin Z is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.


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