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Choosing a business school: 7 key factors to consider

By Chloe Lane

Updated May 12, 2022 Updated May 12, 2022

Sponsored by EHL Hospitality Business School 

Each business school has its own unique qualities and benefits, making choosing a business school no easy feat. 

Although it can be tempting to focus primarily on the institution’s prestige, there are many other factors to consider to ensure you’re getting an education that fits your long-term goals and career aspirations. 

These are the seven key factors to consider when choosing a business school: 

How does the business school place in global rankings? 

If the prestige of a business school is important to you, an easy way to compare business schools is using university rankings.   

The QS World University Rankings 2022 compares 1,300 universities from around the world, taking into account academic excellence, industry and employer reputation.  

You can also use the QS World University Rankings by Subject to see how an institution ranks for a specific subject. Using these rankings, you can directly compare universities in terms of reputation. 

For example, if you’re considering studying a hospitality-based degree, EHL Hospitality Business School in Switzerland has been named the best school in the world for hospitality and leisure management for the past four years.  

Another way to decide between similar degree programmes at different business schools is to check if the degree is accredited. Accredited programmes will clearly indicate to employers that the degree is of a certain academic quality. For some roles, this accreditation may be a requirement.  

EHL is the only hospitality management school to have both US and Swiss accreditation. This accreditation means that students can transfer credits and graduates can continue studies with other universities around the world. It also shows to employers that this programme meets recognised industry standards. 

What facilities does the business school offer?  

For many potential applicants, the facilities offered by a business school may play a deciding factor in which institution to attend.  

While most students will use facilities such as the library, lecture theatres, computer suites and cafes, the importance of other facilities may depend on the programme you’re studying.  

EHL Hospitality Business School has a student training restaurant, Le Berceau des Sens - the first educational restaurant in Switzerland to receive a Michelin star. The restaurant immerses students in a five-star hospitality environment where they can learn from industry awarded professionals. 

You should also consider the university’s career facilities. EHL offers a range of career services to help students launch and progress their careers. The school’s industry relations department offers career mentoring, international networking events, on-side career fairs and an exclusive job platform.  

Can you easily acquire transferable soft skills? 

Soft skills, such as communication, teamwork and problem-solving will make you attractive candidate for graduate employers. Although not tied to any one specific job, these transferable skills can put you ahead of other candidates in job applications. 

Some universities enable students to easily build these soft skills through a variety of curricular and extra-curricular activities.  

EHL combines advanced knowledge with soft skills to build great leaders. To develop these skills, the school offers simulation games and workshops, which enable students to practice management techniques and develop a strategic mindset in junior consulting roles. Additionally, EHL boasts more than 30 student sport and social committees, which encourage students to build soft skills.  

This combination of a premium professional education with the acquisition of soft skills means that EHL’s graduates are highly attractive to graduate employers. In fact, more than 200 companies directly recruit from EHL’s campuses every term. EHL’s strong reputation of producing great leaders means that 96 percent of EHL graduates start a job within six months after graduation.  

How extensive is the school’s international student community? 

If you’re going to study abroad, take into account the breadth and depth of the institution’s international community. If the school has a high number of international students, this is an indication that you will be studying in a diverse, interesting environment.  

EHL prides itself on being the most international hospitality school in the world, welcoming more than 3,600 students of 120 nationalities.  

The business school’s values of building awareness, connections and personal interests are reflected in its student population. EHL is incredibly diverse, attracting students from many different backgrounds and cultures, with 84 percent of students speaking more than three languages. 

Where will you be studying? 

Another factor to consider when choosing a business school is its location. Location can have a huge impact on both your student experience and your career prospects after graduation. Consider the surrounding industries, which may provide a valuable connection to work experience.  

Sometimes, business schools will have multiple campuses and you may get the opportunity to study in multiple locations. EHL has two campuses in Switzerland, in Lausanne and Chur-Passugg, plus a new campus in Singapore. Students of the Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management can choose to spend a semester on a different campus. 

All three of EHL’s campuses bring the strengths and trends of their surrounding industry regions to improve the quality of the student experience. 

How active is the business school’s alumni network?  

Choosing a business school with an especially active alumni network will provide access to valuable business and personal connections which could help you in the next step of your career. 

Over its 125-year history, EHL has helped educate countless leaders and today it has created the hospitality industry’s largest and most active university alumni group. This 25,000-strong community will stay with graduates for life, providing connections to resources and opportunities. 

Among this group, which spans over 150 countries, 20 percent of EHL alumni have started their own business, providing a great support network to any budding entrepreneurs. 

Are the business school’s degree programmes right for you?  

Of course, the most important aspect of choosing a business school is deciding which school has the perfect degree programme for you.  

Taught by professional teachers and academic faculty members who are all recognised experts in their fields, EHL Hospitality Business School offers a wide range of programmes that’ll help you learn to think like a business leader and act like a hospitality specialist.   

Alongside EHL’s bachelor's degree in international hospitality management, the business school offers five postgraduate options which will enable you to shape your career, while gaining a globally recognised business qualification.  

This article was originally published in January 2022 . It was last updated in May 2022

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Written by

As Content Editor for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com, Chloe creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. Chloe has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 

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