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Report: 90% of Employers Don't Focus on College Rankings When Hiring

Are you pursuing "prestige" in your college hunt? Dave Berry investigates the most common reasons, which even include "Vicarious Parent Syndrome." But his article also dispels a common myth: That going to an elite school guarantees promising job opportunities. New research shows that 90% of employers don't focus on college ranking in their hiring decisions.

https://www.collegeconfidential.com/articles/the-pursuit-of-prestige/
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Replies to: Report: 90% of Employers Don't Focus on College Rankings When Hiring

  • makemesmartmakemesmart Registered User Posts: 708 Member
    No amount of reporting could refute the fact that elite schools have added values in addition to good education, such as peer/alum network, esp for the first job.
    Certain law firms would only go to certain law schools, period.
  • TiggerDadTiggerDad Registered User Posts: 1,375 Senior Member
    I'm more curious about those 10% employers. My guess is they consist mostly of investment firms, high profile law firms, Silicon Valley tech firms, etc. that almost exclusively recruit students from top ranked colleges.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 71,021 Senior Member
    TiggerDad wrote:
    I'm more curious about those 10% employers. My guess is they consist mostly of investment firms, high profile law firms, Silicon Valley tech firms, etc. that almost exclusively recruit students from top ranked colleges.

    The conventional wisdom is that the types of work where college-elitism matters most in recruiting and/or hiring include:

    * Management consulting.
    * Investment banking, hedge funds, etc..
    * Law (with respect to one's law school).
    * Tenure-track college and university faculty (with respect to one's PhD school).
    * Facebook.
  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 Registered User Posts: 615 Member
    We have historically low unemployment. What happens when the economy has a downturn, and employers can be more desriminating (i.e they can pick the cream of the crop).

    In addition, the experience the student receives at top schools is also very important, regardless whether it gives applicants a bump in employment or not.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 4,304 Senior Member
    @ucbalumnus : Prestigious law firms recruit grads of elite LACS & National Universities for 2 year paralegal positions. Although the base salary is in the forties additional overtime pay occasionally yields well over double that amount--especially if involved in an active litigation matter.


    The paralegals typically are headed to law school & make great connections with other recent grads at these firms.
  • ColoradomamaColoradomama Registered User Posts: 1,773 Senior Member
    For students who want a PhD and to become academic research professors in their field, the elite schools help with THAT career path more than any other. If you look we have a LOT of college professors in the USA so its a COMMON CAREER PATH. Highly ranked colleges will pave the way for MORE career options. The alumni groups for the top ranked colleges are strong in all 50 states too. That helps with jobs down the line. Its not just about your first job at all. Also what kind of people do you want to meet? Who do you want to marry? That comes into play too.

    Finally do you want to DROP OUT? Thats the most common outcome at many public schools across the USA, not because they have worse professors or any different coursework but because the admit some students who are undecided and cannot settle down, some who are unprepared, and because they are inexpensive and students simply run out of money.

    If you attend any well ranked private college, the drop out rate will be lower, so you are more likely to graduate !
    Look at the first year drop out rate at public schools. Its astoundingly high, like more than 50% at Kansas
    and Missouri public programs. The programs are fine, but the student preparation and mentoring are lacking at these public schools. At U of Colorado its really a very high drop out rate too, and our flagship has a top 100 rank!

    Those are really good reasons to attend a RANKED COLLEGE. So you finish any degree at all.
    its just more likely at a better ranked private school, than any public school, but look at the drop out rates
    and decide the odds.

    Its not about some hiring manager, its about, do you get a good education, can you learn to solve hard problems, can you learn to get along with your peers, do you gain leadership skills and people skills?

    If you drop out, you probably do not gain anything and you lose some amount of money.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 71,021 Senior Member
    edited October 12
    Finally do you want to DROP OUT? Thats the most common outcome at many public schools across the USA, not because they have worse professors or any different coursework but because the admit some students who are undecided and cannot settle down, some who are unprepared, and because they are inexpensive and students simply run out of money.

    If you attend any well ranked private college, the drop out rate will be lower, so you are more likely to graduate !

    A top-end student attending a less selective (public or private) college has a low risk of dropping out for academic reasons, since the high drop out rate at less selective colleges is due to weaker students. Since a top-end student is not a weaker student, his/her risk of dropping out for academic reasons is unlikely to vary that much between colleges.

    Also, the most common reasons for dropping out of college are financial ones. The most selective private colleges have generally wealthier students (usually around half paying list price, which probably means from families with $200,000+ income) than less selective public and private colleges. So far fewer of the students at the most selective private colleges have to worry about money to finish college. Of course, for an individual student, s/he can compare the net price after financial and scholarships at each school to see which offers the lowest risk of dropping out for financial reasons.

    Note that the tendency of students at the most selective private colleges to come from wealthy backgrounds means that employers choosing employees by college-elitism will be selecting for such -- which may be desired or intended by employers in some cases: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-03-22/wall-streets-lacrosse-mafia
  • sgopal2sgopal2 Registered User Posts: 3,055 Senior Member
    I work for a well known Fortune 500 company, and I've hired many employees over the years. Can confirm that I pay relatively little attention to where the person received their undergrad degree. I focus more on relevant experience, job growth, and graduate degrees.
  • Rivet2000Rivet2000 Registered User Posts: 611 Member
    When it comes to hiring new grads, they may not consider rankings (btw, many do), but if they are considering coursework (and rigor), project experience, research experience, and internships, they are indirectly considering rankings.
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