From the beginning of the recruitment process, your education is likely to be a key factor. Many employers will look at where you obtained your degree from and, if it is not from what they consider is a reputable school, your resume will be put at the bottom of the pile–a harsh, but unfortunately common practice in the workplace.
For this reason, a degree from a school that does not meet rigorous quality standards is not a good investment, as it is unlikely to be much help in advancing your career–and once you make that choice, you may not have the chance to start over again and obtain your degree from a higher-quality school.
So, if you are going to invest your time and money into your education, it makes sense to find a school that provides you with the best return on your investment. To do this, accreditations are the first thing to look at when assessing the quality of a school’s education.
If you are going to invest your time and money into education, it makes sense to find a school that provides you with the best return on your investment."
Why? Accreditations show that the school consistently provides top quality education and research. They ensure that the institution has processes and quality control to maintain a certain level of education.
The processes and controls are important not only for ensuring the quality of the program today but also that the degree retains its value in the future. AACSB is one of the most recognized accreditations in the business education sector.
Each accreditation focuses on measuring different aspects of a business school’s programs. For instance, AACSB ensures an institution’s alignment with business and accounting standards for all of its programs leading to a degree in the respective field, so if a particular school has one accreditation, then it means that is of high quality in the focus area of that accreditation.
Those schools with two accreditations will have a wider scope of areas in which they excel in, and some schools have achieved accreditation from all three top accreditors, such as Aalto University School of Business, amplifying their dedication to providing the highest quality education to current and prospective learners.
For me, absence of accreditations is almost always a clear warning sign, a few elite institutions may have no real need for an external stamp of approval, but more often than not, you will see that even the most prestigious schools in the world diligently showcase their accreditations.
Accreditations show that the school consistently provides top quality education and research."
I genuinely believe that getting a degree from a school with no accreditations is like walking into a shady tattoo parlour hoping to walk out with a brilliant work of art on your skin, the chances of this happening are rather slim–so make sure you research the schools you are looking to attend; it will pay off in the long run.
It benefits you to take the time to look into accreditations, doing so will ensure that your business degree, whether a MBA, Executive MBA, or DBA is a wise investment that will pave your career path in the direction that you wish to go. A degree from a school with accreditations such as AACSB, AMBA, and EQUIS will shine on any resume.
Dr. Mikko Laukkanen is the Academic Director of Aalto EE. His blog post was originally published in the AACSB Insights in 2021.