I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. The rankings business has transmogrified into a job-placement system. LinkedIn has just joined the ratings business (here’s the Inside Higher Ed article, and here’s the “University Finder,” which is one of the LinkedIn products). Using its network of 313 million people, it evaluates the best schools for specific (mostly business) career tracks. It’s complicated and I haven’t really explored it but it seems to be causing a stir because of its enormous potential to provide outcome information.
A lot of faculty will say that when you start ranking colleges on their ability to prepare graduates for jobs, the concept of job-training blots out liberal arts education. And they will say that this is the unintended result of the push for “student learning outcomes” (which has never been too popular in the Ivory Tower).
And I think I agree.