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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Harvard Vs Wharton A comparative Study



Wharton vs. Harvard Business School

At the most simplistic level, you can think of Wharton as the school of facts and Harvard as the school of stories. Wharton is a numbers-driven, fact-craved MBA institution. Harvard is a story-driven place, as evidenced by its near total reliance on the case study method of teaching. As J.J. Cutler, deputy dean of Wharton’s MBA Admissions and Career Services, puts it, “We are a fact-based and data-driven school. We do not have a charisma-style approach. We let the data drive us and help lead us to the solutions.”
That sounds like a disguised knock on Harvard, and it might very well be. Yet, it gives you a clue as the basic difference between these two great MBA schools. Though Wharton and Harvard live in very different places, Philadelphia vs. Boston, finance vs. general management, facts vs. stories, they attract many of the same aspiring candidates who make up the very best of the world’s MBA applicant pool. These are world-class educational enterprises with best practice admissions offices, MBA programming, career services staffs, and alumni offices.  Obviously, the faculty at both these schools is second to none, with Wharton leaning more toward the conventional B-school research side and Harvard learning closer to professional practice and pragmatic relevance.
One rather startling fact to keep in mind: When Thomas Robertson became dean of Wharton in 2007, he said his goal was to double the school’s $690 million endowment over five years. At the time, Harvard Business School’s endowment was a whopping $2.8 billion. That’s right: Harvard’s endowment was four times the size of Wharton’s. That treasure chest buys a lot of faculty, great staff, and world-class buildings. The financial crisis hasn’t helped Robertson with his goal, and it has also led to a setback in the HBS endowment which shrunk to $2.1 billion at the end of 2009. But the numbers give you a sense of Harvard’s strength and dominance in the world of business school education.
How else do these two exceptional schools differ from each other? Let’s start with the major business school rankings.
Rankings:
Over the years, Wharton has done better than Harvard in many of the rankings, from BusinessWeek to the Financial Times. More lately, however, Wharton has lagged a bit–not much, just a spot or two. Currently, Wharton is slightly favored by both The Financial Times, which ranks it number two, and The Economist, which ranks it number three. Otherwise, BusinessWeek, Forbes, and U.S. News & World Report give Harvard a higher rank. The P&Q rank–which factors into consideration all the major rankings weighted by their individual authority–puts Harvard at the very top at number one and Wharton in fourth place, behind only HBS, Stanford, and Chicago. These are the up-to-date rankings from each ranking organization.
MBA Rankings
Harvard
Wharton
Poets & Quants
1
4
BusinessWeek
2
4
Forbes
3
5
U.S. News & World Report
1
5
Financial Times
3
2
The Economist
7
3

Historical Rankings  by BusinessWeek:
The biggest question is how come Harvard has never placed number one in the most influential MBA rankings published? Over a 22-year period and 11 biennial rankings, BusinessWeek has never put Harvard at the top of its carefully watched lists of the best MBA schools. Wharton, on the other hand, has been a very big winner in the BW sweepstakes. Wharton has beaten Harvard in seven of the 11 lists, being named the number one school on four separate and consecutive occasions from 1994 to 2002. Over the years, HBS has generally landed in the number three spot, going as high as two twice and as low as number five on three different occasions. It’s important to remember that  BusinessWeek measures customer satisfaction. While students rate these schools very highly, recruiters often have other issues. At Harvard, some corporate recruiters balk at the price tag they have to pay to get an HBS grad. That’s good news for those with the degree.


Historical Rankings by The Financial Times:
The single biggest historical winner in this ranking has been Wharton, by far. The University of Pennsylvania business school has topped this ranking nine times in the past 11 years, coming in second twice. Unlike BusinessWeek’s rankings, The Financial Times includes business schools from all over the world. So the FT is ranking both Wharton and Harvard against such places as London Business School, which ranked number one in this survey in 2010 and 2009, and INSEAD, which ranked fifth these last two years. In fact, Harvard has only bested Wharton in this survey once–in 2000 when HBS was number one and Wharton was on its heels in the number two spot. Despite the apparent rout of Harvard, however, Wharton’s lead has been so slim through the years that any qualified statistician would likely call this a draw.

Admissions:
The admission stats for both schools show that they attract among the very best MBA candidates in the world. Harvard and Wharton’s average GMAT scores differ by just a single percentage point. HBS can more easily afford to make exceptions and does: at least one applicant got in with a GMAT score of 490. You can bet that a high percentage of applicants make up the pool of candidates for both schools. The yield numbers, which reflect the percentage of accepted applicants who agree to go to the school, suggest that when candidates are sent invitations to Harvard and Wharton, they tend to go to HBS and turn Wharton down. Nonetheless, these are remarkable numbers that demonstrate the vastly superior quality of the student bodies here. It’s worth noting, for example, that the best full-time MBA program outside the U.S., London Business School, has an average GMAT score that is a full 24 points behind Wharton and 25 points behind Harvard–and that gap may have widened a bit more because the average GMAT score for Harvard’s Class of 2012 hit a new record of 724, a full 29 points ahead of London’s average.
Admission Stats
Harvard
Wharton
Average GMAT
719
718
GMAT Range
490-800
540-790
Average GPA
3.67
3.50
Selectivity
12.2%
16.9%
Yield
89%
68%
.
Enrollment:
Harvard and Wharton have massive full-time MBA programs, two of the biggest in the world. Harvard’s total enrollment is 1,837 students, while Wharton comes in at 1,674. Wharton is doing better with women, who represent 40% of the latest class versus 36% at Havard. It’s also doing much better with minorities, with 29% of the class versus Harvard’s 22%.  The numbers below are for the Class of 2011.
Enrollment Stats
Harvard
Wharton
Total MBA Enrollment
1,837
1,674
Women
36%
40%
International
36%
37%
Minority
22%
29%
.
Poets & Quants:
You wouldn’t expect a school known largely for its financial prowess to openly embrace as many poets as Wharton, but the school surprisingly takes in even more applicants with undergraduate degrees in the humanities than Harvard, 42% versus HBS’ 40%. By and large, the makeup of the students is very similar. Besides the slight difference on liberal arts undergrads, Havard accepts a slightly larger number of students with engineering and math backgrounds, a difference of three percentage points over Wharton, while Wharton accepts a slightly higher percentage than Harvard of business and economics undergrads, 28% versus HBS’ 26%.
.
Undergrad Degrees
Harvard
Wharton
Humanities
40%
42%
Engineering/Math
33%
30%
Business/Economics
26%
28%
.
Jobs and Pay:
No school was immune from the severe recession of 2009, especially schools that have historically placed a lot of their students on Wall Street and in other financial jobs. Shockingly, more than a third of Wharton’s Class of 2009 failed to have a job at commencement. At Harvard, nearly one in four students was in the same boat. Grads from both schools fared much better three months after commencement, but these numbers are rare lows for two of the best business schools in the world. The estimates of median pay 10 and 20 years after graduation as well as over a full career come from a study by PayScale done for BusinessWeek and do not include stock options or equity stakes by entrepreneurs. In that study, it’s worth noting that Harvard was number one in compensation and Wharton was right behind it as number two.
Jobs & Pay Data
Harvard
Wharton
Starting salary & bonus
$131,219
$123,741
MBAs employed at commencement
76.8%
65.8%
MBAs employed 3 months after commencement
87.3%
74.6%
Median pay & bonus 10 years after commencement
$182,000
$161,000
Median pay & bonus 20 years after commencement
$230,000
$203,000
Median pay & bonus over a full career
$3,867,903
$3,491,372

Where MBAs Go:
Almost alone among the elite business schools, Wharton pulled off a near miracle in helping its Class of 2009 graduates find jobs in financial services. While most schools reported substantial declines in the number of MBAs going into finance, Wharton more than held its own. Some 42.5% of its Class of 2009 landed jobs in financial services. It was down from 47.7% a year earlier, but the fact that it was that high tells you something about the quality of Wharton’s recruiting machine. In comparison, Harvard sent 31% of its ‘ 09 grads into financial services, down from a peak of 45% a year earlier. That’s a 14 percentage point slide at Harvard, versus a 5.2 percentage point decline at Wharton. It still doesn’t take away the sting of having more than a third of your graduating class without jobs, but it’s also some of the best evidence we’ve ever seen of Wharton’s amazing strength in finance.
Generally, there are remarkable similarities in these recruiter profiles, with most industries separated by just a few percentage points. The exceptions: more Harvard MBAs go into manufacturing, 10% vs. Wharton’s 2%, and more Harvard MBAs go the non-profit route, 7% vs. Wharton’s 3%. There’s something else worth saying as well: Wharton is among the best examples of a school that provides exceptional transparency in career services. Current and historical numbers on hiring and employment are easily accessible on its website, giving applicants great comfort that a very good MBA job with a top-flight firm awaits them at graduation from Wharton.
Wharton, for example, reports that during the 2009-2009 recruiting season, 227 companies participated in events facilitated by its recruiting office, 1,623 jobs were posted by employers on Wharton’s jobs board, and 243 companies interviewed its students on campus. This is a world-class career services group.
.
Industry
Harvard
Wharton
Consulting
26%
27%
Technology
7%
8%
Private equity/LBO
11%
7%
Consumer Products
5%
6%
Healthcare/Biotech
7%
8%
Investment Management
5%
6%
Investment Banking
6%
18%
Hedge Funds
3%
4%
Nonprofit/government
7%
3%
Venture Capital
2%
2%
Media/Entertainment
4%
1%
Real Estate
2%
3%
Manufacturing
10%
2%
.
The list below of Wharton’s major employers in 2009 and 2008 provide just a mere glimpse of the turmoil in the MBA market as the recession took hold of the economy. Goldman Sachs went from hiring 29 Wharton MBAs in 2008 to just 9 in 2009. Lehman Brothers, which hired 15 in 2008, didn’t show up due to its bankruptcy. Even Google pulled back, recruiting only one or two Wharton MBAs in 2009, from 11 the year before. We can’t compare these numbers against Harvard because HBS does not make public these statistics. It’s just another reminder of the transparency at Wharton and the lack of openness at Harvard.
.
Hiring Company
Wharton ’09 Hires
Wharton ’08 Hires
McKinsey & Co.
50
50
Boston Consulting Group
31
43
Bain & Co.
18
36
Morgan Stanley
13
17
J.P. Morgan Chase
12
20
Citi
12
17
Deutsche Bank
10
12
Deloitte Consulting
10
3+
Goldman Sachs
9
29
Credit Suisse
8
15
Pacific Investment Management
8
3+
Microsoft
8
3+
Merrill Lynch
7
17
Amazon
7
3+
Booz & Co.
7
3+
Johnson & Johnson
6
6
Barclays Bank
6
7
Accenture
3+
14
Fidelity Investments
3+
12
UBS
3+
12
Google
1+
11
American Express
3+
6
Lehman Brothers
0
15
.

Size: Harvard and Wharton are among the largest full-time MBA programs in the world. But both schools divide up the incoming class in ways that allow for significant bonding and camaraderie. At Harvard, every incoming class of some 900 students is carved up into ten sections, from A to J, of 90 students each. Each section takes classes together the first year. Students also are assigned to learning teams consisting of six students from different sections. These learning teams are usually meet daily throughout the first year to prepare for each day’s class assignments. At Wharton, incoming students are divided into four groups of about 210 students that are known as clusters. Then, each cluster is chopped into three cohorts of about 70 students, a full 20 students less than each Harvard section. Every cohort moves through the core curriulum as a unit, sharing the first year of their academic experience. Unlike HBS, you can waive out of the core courses if you have prior experience in the subject and move onto more advanced coursework. Only three courses can’t be waived at Wharton: business ethics, leadership, and communications.

Culture: While it’s a myth that competition is cut-throat among students at Harvard, it’s also true that the HBS environment is generally more competitive and intense. Size helps to breed some of this competitiveness among students, but so does the dominance of the case study method of teaching (see below) and the grading system. On the other hand, Wharton isn’t much different. After all, both Wharton and Harvard are big-city schools with all the advantages and disadvantages that come with being in active, dynamic cities. Typically, schools in large urban settings tend to have more intense and competitive cultures. It’s easier to escape school in a big city than it is in a college town or rural setting. Wharton has one significant disadvantage for MBA students: it has one of the largest undergraduate business and executive educations programs in the world, with 2,621 undergrads and 9,000 executives attending seminars and longer programs. That means the faculty and the resources are stretched across a lot of students.

Facilities: Wharton has among the most modern and handsome facilities of any business school in the world. Yet, it’s no match against Harvard. No school is. Harvard Business School is like a university onto itself with 33 separate buildings on 40 acres of property along the Charles River. HBS has its own state-of-the-art fitness center, a massive library, a chapel, and several residence halls for students who want to stay on campus. Strategy guru Michael Porter and his Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness even has his own building on campus. There is no other business school that can even remotely match Harvard for its expansive classrooms and study halls. If Wharton were being compared to any other business school in the world, it would be hard to beat. The B-school campus is composed of seven buildings on and off Locust Walk, the brick-lined pedestrian thoroughfare at the heart of Penn. The buildings are closely clustered around the area of campus known as the “Wharton Quad,” a great meeting place and hub for students. The newest building, Jon M. Huntsman Hall, is home to both the undergraduate and graduate divisions of Wharton. It represents the single largest addition of academic space on the Penn campus in more than half a century. It’s a gorgeous world-class building of 320,000 square feet, designed around Wharton’s cohort learning model. This building alone boasts 48 clasrooms, four computer labs, 57 group study rooms, four floors of faculty offices, a 300-seat auditorium, student cafes and study lounges. If you’re keeping count, it’s essentially seven buildings at Wharton vs. 33 at Harvard.

Teaching Methods: At Harvard, the case study thoroughly dominates. Sure there are team projects, simulations and experiential learning in the mix, but the primary learning tool at Harvard is the case study: stories of executives and companies in the depths of a major challenge or problem. There are 30 cases in a course. The ten courses you’ll take at Harvard in the first year alone will require that you read 300 case studies. As a current HBS student who blogs under the non de plume “MilitarytoBusiness” explains, the average student in a 90-plus person class gains air time to comment on a case every other class. “That means that the professor determines half of your grade on an average of 15 comments over the period of three-to-five months. That’s not an incredibly deep well of information to help differentiate 94 highly talented students,” he says. That is the consequence of case studies in a 90-plus person class environment. Obviously, the system breeds a certain level of competition. At Wharton, case studies make up just 35% of the classroom instruction, vs. 80%, while lectures account for 20% and team projects take up 25% of the work.

Program Focus:
The most common misperception about Wharton is that it is largely a finance school, while the greatest myth about Harvard is that it is a school for the corporate elite. While it’s true that Wharton boasts a superb finance faculty and Harvard’s general management focus breeds corporate leaders, these world-class schools are far more than their reputations represent. Wharton offers a dazzling array of course options and program alternatives, with more elective courses than any other business school in the world, nearly 200 across 11 academic departments (not including courses you can take elsewhere at the University of Pennsylvania). Wharton has a staff of more than 250 faculty members. Wharton offers 18 majors to its students and also opens a door to allow its students to work with faculty and administration to develop new courses. Taking five courses in a field qualifies you for one of Wharton’s majors, including such narrow fields as health care management and environmental and risk management. In most specific areas of study, such as international business, finance, marketing, management, and entrepreneurship, Wharton is among the most highly regarded in the world for the quality of its faculty and their research
With a full-time faculty of 228, HBS offers an unusual breadth and diversity of courses as well. Harvard lists 130 electives in its course catalog, and a few real surprises. A case in point: entrepreneurship. Harvard has its own building devoted to the subject, the Arthur Rock Center, named after the HBS alum who invested in both Apple and Intel. Harvard boasts 35 faculty members who teach entrepreneurship, the second largest faculty group at the school. All first-year MBAs at Harvard have a required course in entrepreneurship and can choose from nearly two dozen second-year electives on the topic. As a percentage, only 3% to 4% of Harvard grads launch companies right out of school. At Wharton, possibly because of the collapse of finance in 2009, about 5% of its grads started entrepreneurial ventures right out of school. However, 15 years out of HBS, about half of its grads end up as entrepreneurs. Even more surprisingly, Harvard alums compose nearly 25% of the entire venture capital industry. Clearly, it’s a myth that Harvard is the breeding ground for just corporate chieftains.
In the 2010 survey of B-school deans and directors by U.S. News & World Report, Wharton bested Harvard in six of nine different specialty categories. Harvard placed better than Wharton in general management, a field in which HBS is rated first in the world, entrepreneurship, and nonprofit management. Wharton, according to the survey, beat Harvard out in finance, marketing, international business, manufacturing, information systems, and accounting. In some of these specialties, the gap between Wharton and Harvard was significant: 18 spots in accounting; eight places in information systems, as well as six spots in finance and six in manufacturing. What to make of all this? Harvard has long been the leader in management education by making itself relevant to business professionals–not other academics. Some of the differences in this survey reflect the tendency of academics to reward and to honor pure academic research, not practical relevance to managers and executives, where Harvard is exceptionally strong. Nonetheless, these specialty rankings are a data point worth consideration.
Program Specialties
Harvard Rank
Wharton Rank
Management
1
4
Finance
7
1
Entrepreneurship
4
5
Marketing
5
2
Manufacturing
9
3
Social Entrepreneurship
5
8
International
5
2
Information Systems
15
7
Accounting
20
2
Source: U.S. News & World Report 2010 specialty rankings.
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On-Campus Recruiting: Harvard and Wharton boast well-resourced and highly sophisticated recruiting machines. You’d be hardpressed to find two other schools in the world that devote as much money and effort to getting their students employed in great jobs. Every major MBA recruiter comes to these two campuses. A quick look at the firms recruiting at Wharton and Harvard is a virtual Who’s Who of prestige employers.

Alumni Network: Is it even remotely possible that there is a group of alumni in the world that is more influential and powerful than the alums of the Harvard Business School? We seriously doubt it. More chairmen, chief executives, and presidents of major corporations around the world, and more founders of highly successful entrepreneurial ventures, hail from Harvard than any other university. Harvard’s alumni network is extraordinary. To name just a few, HBS alums include the CEOs of American Airlines, Aon Corp., Anadarko Petroleum, Boeing, Boston Scientific, Corning Inc., ConAgra Foods, CSX, Cummins Engine, Danaher Corp., General Electric, Hess, JP Morgan Chase, L.L. Bean, PPG Industries, Research in Motion, Schering-Plough, Staples, Tata, Tenet Healthcare, Time Inc., Toys ’R’ Us,  Liberty Media, Mastercard, Palm, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Vodafone Group. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and former U.S. President George Bush all have Harvard MBAs. But Harvard alums are not only in positions of authority around the globe: they are also extremely helpful to each other. Over the years, BusinessWeek surveys of MBA graduates show that Harvard, Stanford and Dartmouth boast the strongest alumni networks of any business schools in the world. With 41,378 living MBA alums, Harvard’s network is large, diverse, and very global.

Wharton can’t hope to match the power and might of Harvard’s alums, but it does claims the largest alumni network of any business school in the world: 85,000 alums in 140 countries. That figure includes Wharton’s sizable undergraduate output. It’s a sure bet that wherever you are in the world, you’ll find Wharton MBAs or even a Wharton Alumni Club to use as a networking base. Wharton’s big guns include the CEOs of British-American Tobacco, Estee Lauder, Hershey, Hewitt Associates, Medtronic, Omnicom Group, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Northwest Airlines, Philips, Tiffany & Co., UPS, US Airways, and Quaker Oats Co. Not a bad lineup.


2011 Alumni Achievement Awards View Video