College Factual is a widely-used ranking firm in the education industry that uses data to rank colleges.  According to College Factual, Michigan State University’s undergraduate marketing program has been ranked number 1 out of 15 programs in the state of Michigan for the second consecutive year and 29th out of 402 programs nationwide.  As a market researcher, I found myself interested in what kind of data they look at to establish their rankings.  I learned from their website that College Factual focuses on:

  • Graduation and retention rates
  • Student loan default rates
  • Early and mid-career earnings of college graduates

It is important to note that to determine their rankings, College Factual does not compare salaries across all career paths, but rather compares the salaries of students entering the same type of job, in this case, marketing-related jobs.  If graduates from one college perform better than peers that attended a different college salary-wise, they receive a weighted “earnings boost.”  All four-year colleges are included in this study, which makes it even more impressive that Michigan State University’s marketing program has ranked number 1 two years in a row.

Going off of my own experience as a former marketing undergrad at Michigan State University, I can say that even beyond the criteria College Factual has used in their ranking, there are countless reasons why I believe Michigan State is the number 1 program (which, of course, at this point is biased information).  From my perspective, every marketing professor I have had at MSU has helped shape me into a better marketer, researcher, and person in general.  Any college marketing class can do a good job of explaining key terms and definitions, but what I feel sets MSU’s program apart is its ability to go beyond memorization by testing your abilities to translate terms into real-life scenarios.  It’s these skills that have helped me to succeed in my post-graduate studies and will ultimately help guide me through my future career.