MBA CSEA Standards - For the Schools and for the Students

MBA CSEA Standards Consultant and long time Standards user Wayne France discusses the benefits to using standards for employment data collection.

by: Wayne France, Standards Consultant, MBA CSEA

The MBA CSEA Standards were created to bring a common understanding and minimum data points for the variables within employment reporting. The Standards say, “In 1994, MBA career services professionals from around the United States met and expressed their frustration and dissatisfaction with the lack of agreed upon and accepted reporting standards for MBA employment data. They expressed the perception that (a) many MBA employment reports were generated primarily as marketing devices to attract students and employers and to attain media-generated rankings, (b) employment reports did not reflect an accurate representation of graduates' performance in the job market, (c) salary statistics were inflated by inclusion and/or exclusion of certain populations, and (d) prospective students and employers had no valid way of comparing schools one to another.”
Having the Standards allows students to compare schools' data, knowing that they are making an apples to apples comparison. If this were not the case, as pre-1994, a student would be making inaccurate estimations on where they fit in the bell curve of the class, inflating their expectations and setting them up for potential disappointment.
One can imagine the challenge for a student in looking at schools if the employment data was based upon only 45% of the students in the class reporting versus the 85% requirement. That student would have no better expectations of his or her salary outcome than flipping a coin.
The Standards ensure comparability among schools' data for the prospective students, but also for other schools. 
Many schools are asked by their Deans to evaluate comparisons between schools such as, how School A can have such different results than School B in some areas.  Having the Standards and understanding that the data is calculated in the same way for each school, using the same minimum populations of students, and with the same definitions allows for true analysis on size of seeking population, employment outcomes and class demographics. Only then, with comparable data, can a school create true correllations.
I have often said that the Standards are a foundation on which schools and students can build an understanding and make decisions with accurate and comparable information.  For further review, the Standards can be viewed at: