AACSB versus IACBE - And the winner is?

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by LadyExecutive, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. LadyExecutive

    LadyExecutive Member

    Not sure if there are prior forum discussions or comments about this subject on DegreeInfo; if so, please indulge me once more. I have a question about business program/school accreditation and I am seeking your knowledge and expertise about such. Keeping in mind that I am a novice about topics of this nature, I am interested in the differences [in terms of prestige, value and usability] between IACBE and AACSB accreditation. As you know, IACBE is the acronym for International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. If business school accreditation is an important factor, which of these accreditation is better to have? Florida Technical University is relatively close to my house and in conversations with them; they have said they are willing to accept up to 12 transferable graduate degree credits into their MBA program. Florida Tech, is not AACSB accredited [although they are a MEMBER of AACSB], but they are IACBE accredited. As a caveat, I recognize that the Florida Technical University MBA program has been described as quite vigorous but a vigorous program is not enough to deter me from enrolling if all the factors [accreditation, price, start dates, nation/state-wide usability, etc.] I am looking for, falls into place.
  2. airtorn

    airtorn Moderator Staff Member

  3. LadyExecutive

    LadyExecutive Member

    Sorry, not Florida Technical University, I meant Florida Institute of Technology.
  4. LadyExecutive

    LadyExecutive Member

  5. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    AACSB (est. 1916) is a much older and more exclusive "club" than the other two US-based business accreditors, which are ACBSP (est. 1988) and IACBE (est. 1997). In general, AACSB gets the largest and best-known schools -- in Florida, for example, nationally-known schools like UF, Florida State, and Miami are all AACSB members. ACBSP and IACBE schools tend to be smaller, and they usually have more regional reputations.

    IACBE accreditation is perfectly valid, but it is not as prestigious as AACSB. In practice, I don't think that most employers care about this distinction. However, an AACSB degree would be better if you wanted to teach. For example, it wouldn't surprise me if most of the tenured faculty at Florida Institute of Technology have AACSB degrees, despite the fact that the school itself is IACBE.
  6. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    As a non-expert here is how it goes for RA schools:
    1st place AACSB
    2nd place - NOBODY
    3rd place ACBSP
    4th place IACBE
    5th place Just regional acccreditation

    10th place DETC/NA accreditation
  7. Damnation

    Damnation New Member

  8. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    This made me lol, but it does a great job of making the point.
  9. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    It does, although I think my version would be more like this:

    If you're interested in teaching in academia:
    AACSB: A
    Other RA, regardless of whether it has ACBSP/IACBE or not: C+
    NA: F

    If you're not interested in teaching in academia:
    AACSB or a school universally recognized because it's actually good or because it has a prominent football team: A
    Other RA, regardless of whether it has ACBSP/IACBE or not: B-
    NA: C
  10. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Triple accreditation refers to a school that holds simultaneous accreditation from the three leading business accreditors worldwide: AACSB (based in the US), AMBA (based in the UK), and EQUIS (based in continental Europe). There are around 58 triple-accredited business schools, mostly in Europe.

    Triple accreditation probably has little benefit, except for marketing. On the other hand, we are talking about business degrees, so maybe marketing is important.

    One interesting thing is that there are exactly zero triple-accredited schools in the USA. The closest are Babson College and Bentley University (both in Massachusetts), which have double accreditation (AACSB and EQUIS).

    Supposedly US schools are reluctant to seek AMBA accreditation, because AMBA requires all MBA students to have at least 3 years of work experience before enrolling. US business schools -- even the top ones -- have traditionally accepted fresh college graduates with no work experience.

    The US business school market seems crowded and competitive. It's a bit surprising to me that no US business school has tried to used triple accreditation as a selling point, even if this does mean rejecting recent college grads.
  11. major56

    major56 Active Member

  12. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Do not mix up Florida Tech Online and Florida Institute of Technology. Florida Tech Online is an online for-profit that uses Florida Institute of Technology material. The FTO degree is not from Florida Institute of Technology. Florida Institute of Technology offers online degrees.

    Florida Institute of Technology - Online Learning at Florida Tech
    Florida Tech Online - Online Degrees & Mini MBA Programs
  13. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    I think this is spot-on.

    IMO, ACBSP/IACBE accreditation may be helpful in the sense of ensuring quality control within a business department, but very little evidence exists that suggests a significant benefit to either variety of accreditation. There is just no comparison. If AACSB is the gold standard, the others are the stainless steel standard.
  14. carlosb

    carlosb New Member

    Agreed. This is right on.

    Years ago I jokingly asked a faculty member at an AACSB school friend of mine the same question. He seemed shock that I would ask such a question and answered by bringing up the accredited school list of the three organizations. Harvard, Stanford, etc were all AACSB.

    He then suggested we find ACBSP/IACBE schools attempting AACSB accreditation. We found a number of them including Nova Southeastern.

    We then tried finding AACSB schools attempting ACBSP/IACBE accreditation. We found 0.
  15. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    Ditto. AACSB is focused on the research performed by the staff thus is staff oriented. ACBSP and IACBE is focused on the student. If you want to become a professor, go AACSB. If you want a school that is outcomes based, go ACBSP/IACBE. Apples and oranges.
  16. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    This is true, but redundant. Practically every school that is "actually good" or that "has a prominent football team" is in AACSB.

    For example, the states with the most Division I FBS football teams are Texas (12), Ohio (8), California (7), and Florida (7). Every one of those 34 schools also has an AACSB business program. I haven't checked every school in Division I FBS nationwide, but I'll bet that the vast majority are AACSB accredited.

    And the same is true for the top 30 National Universities, as ranked by US News and World Report. They almost all have AACSB (not counting a few that don't have business schools, like Caltech or Princeton). Johns Hopkins is the only real exception, but their business school wasn't formally established until 2007, and they have been pursuing AACSB.

    It's true that AACSB also includes many less well-known schools; they aren't all famous for academics or athletics. But virtually all of the schools that are famous (for whatever reason) are already in the AACSB club.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2013
  17. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    And this makes it harder to determine the value of AACSB accreditation.

    Let's assume that graduates of AACSB business schools, in general, have better opportunities than graduates of ACBSP or IACBE business schools.

    Does this mean that the AACSB "seal of approval" is more valued by employers?

    Or do employers simply favor the best-known schools, regardless of accreditation ?

    In the latter case, AACSB would appear to be favored, because most of the best-known schools also happen to be AACSB.
    But employers would really be making their decision based on school reputation, not because of the AACSB "seal of approval".
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2013
  18. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

    You are bang on with your summary. The top universities can drop aacsb without any drop in prestige.
  19. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    In theory, maybe they could.

    But we don't know that for sure, because in practice, it doesn't seem to happen.
    I don't know of any cases where a top US university has dropped AACSB.


    In fact, this site claims that no university, of any kind, has ever voluntarily given up AACSB accreditation:

    AACSB was established in 1916, and began accrediting schools in 1919.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2013
  20. carlosb

    carlosb New Member

    The Harvards and Stanfords choose to pay the AACSB accreditation fees and give up some intuitional control over their business programs to maintain AACSB accreditation.
    They must believe there is value in it.

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