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Top Schools for E-Business

As part of the 2012 Best B-Schools ranking, Bloomberg Businessweek asked MBAs from the Class of 2012 to tell us, via an online survey, about the full range of their business school experience, from getting in to getting a job. One section of the survey singled out specific aspects of the business program and asked the students to rate them on a scale from “poor” to “outstanding.” Over the past two months, we have published the top 10 B-schools in each of nine specialty areas, from entrepreneurship to diversity. Today we look at e-business, or Internet commerce, an academic specialty that borrows heavily from a number of academic disciplines from entrepreneurship and marketing to data mining and analysis. Next week we will publish the entire specialty ranking, including each of the 82 ranked schools in each of the areas.

Google’s Eric Schmidt

The ranking is based on student responses to the question asking them to rank their program’s coverage of e-business. Points are awarded for each response—one point for “poor” through six points for “outstanding”—and then averaged for each school. The average e-business score for all 82 U.S. and international schools in the ranking was 3.81. At the top of the list is Stanford’sGraduate School of Business, with an average score of 5.48.

Stanford MBAs interested in a tech-related career benefit greatly from the school’s proximity to, and relationship with, Silicon Valley. Students can take courses like “Electronic Business” offered at the business school, which includes case studies involving (CRM), Apple (AAPL), and Netflix (NFLX), among others. Additionally, MBAs can take the popular “iPhone Application Development” course offered at the School of Engineering.

Stanford business grads mention the value of frequent classroom visits from tech executives—Scott Cook fromIntuit (INTU) was a guest in a recent class that happens to be taught by Google’s (GOOG) Eric Schmidt and Peter Wendell, founder of Sierra Ventures, for example—and a large, helpful, and active network of alumni working in the area. While peers at other B-schools have to rely on special trips to visit companies in the Bay Area, Stanford MBAs can get in their cars and be at a meeting with a key executive in a matter of minutes. Considering this, it’s not a surprise that 60 percent of grads stay in the region, and nearly a quarter wind up accepting jobs in the tech industry at companies like LinkedIn (LNKD), Facebook (FB), and Hulu.

Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business, which took top spot in the information technology ranking released last week, closely follows Stanford in the e-business ranks.

At Tepper, in addition to available electives like “Web Commerce,” students interested in pursuing e-business can join the Business and Technology Club, where they have access to business networking treks to Seattle, New York, and Silicon Valley for company visits. Members also host cross-campus case competitions with partner companies like Bank of America (BAC), Microsoft (MSFT), and Yahoo! (YHOO), and executive speakers from top tech firms.

MIT’s Sloan School of Management, IE Business School in Spain, and UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business round out the top five.

Top MBA Programs by Specialty: E-Business

1. Stanford 5.48
2. Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) 5.47
3. MIT (Sloan) 5.10
4. IE Business School 5.07
5. UC Berkeley (Haas) 5.03
6. Cornell (Johnson) 4.96
7. NYU (Stern) 4.95
8. Pennsylvania (Wharton) 4.60
9. Dartmouth (Tuck) 4.50
10. Harvard 4.41
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