"Super-elite credentials matter much more than your academic record"

Super-elite credentials matter much more than your academic record</p>

<p>Super-elite schools matter because they're strong signals, not because they're better at building human capital:</p>

<p>It was not the content of an elite education that employers valued but rather the perceived rigor of these institutions' admissions processes. According to this logic, the more prestigious a school, the higher its "bar" for admission, and thus the "smarter" its student body.


<p>Elite</a> Firms Fishing in a Very Small Hiring Pool - Megan McArdle - Business - The Atlantic</p>

<p>Interesting–it’s kind of small sample, but it has the ring of truth.</p>

<p>If it is true, doesn’t it show that the top schools are doing exactly the right thing in their admissions approach–looking for high-stats kids who also have “interesting” extracurriculars? That is, assuming they want their grads to get these kinds of jobs.</p>

<p>Some points that caught my eye…</p>

<p>Michigan and Berkeley not considered elite or even prestigious.</p>

<p>Those with strong extracurricular passions were seen as more attractive candidates.</p>

<p>BTW, what is an elite firm exactly?</p>



<p>According to the study, high-end finance, consulting, and law firms.</p>

<p>This is consistent with Lauren A. Rivera’s study:</p>

<p>[ScienceDirect</a> - Research in Social Stratification and Mobility : Ivies, extracurriculars, and exclusion: Elite employers? use of educational credentials](<a href=“http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S027656241000065X]ScienceDirect”>Ivies, extracurriculars, and exclusion: Elite employers’ use of educational credentials - ScienceDirect)</p>

<p>The assumption seems to be that the super elite schools operate as meritocracies which they aren’t, and not plutocracies which they are.</p>


Somewhat unsurprising since I think that’s where it comes from. Click on the links in the referenced article and you end up there.</p>

<p>Certainly true in the legal industry. Law school trumps grades for most candidates.</p>

<p>This study suggests life begins at K… :-)</p>

<p>"Students who had learned much more in kindergarten were more likely to go to college than students with otherwise similar backgrounds. Students who learned more were also less likely to become single parents. As adults, they were more likely to be saving for retirement. Perhaps most striking, they were earning more.</p>

<p>All else equal, they were making about an extra $100 a year at age 27 for every percentile they had moved up the test-score distribution over the course of kindergarten. A student who went from average to the 60th percentile — a typical jump for a 5-year-old with a good teacher — could expect to make about $1,000 more a year at age 27 than a student who remained at the average. Over time, the effect seems to grow, too…</p>

<p>The crucial problem the study had to solve was the old causation-correlation problem. Are children who do well on kindergarten tests destined to do better in life, based on who they are? Or are their teacher and classmates changing them?..</p>

<p>When I asked Douglas Staiger, a Dartmouth economist who studies education, what he thought of the new paper, he called it fascinating and potentially important. “The worry has been that education didn’t translate into earnings,” Mr. Staiger said. “But this is telling us that it does and that the fade-out effect is misleading in some sense.”</p>

<p>Mr. Chetty and his colleagues — one of whom, Emmanuel Saez, recently won the prize for the top research economist under the age of 40 — estimate that a standout kindergarten teacher is worth about $320,000 a year. That’s the present value of the additional money that a full class of students can expect to earn over their careers. This estimate doesn’t take into account social gains, like better health and less crime.", [Study</a> Rethinks Importance of Kindergarten Teachers - NYTimes.com](<a href=“Study Rethinks Importance of Kindergarten Teachers - The New York Times”>Study Rethinks Importance of Kindergarten Teachers - The New York Times) .</p>

<p>Please read the charts on page 10, 12, 14-19, 26-28, 31-33, 46-48, “How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence from Project STAR”, <a href=“http://obs.rc.fas.harvard.edu/chetty/STAR_slides.pdf[/url]”>http://obs.rc.fas.harvard.edu/chetty/STAR_slides.pdf</a> .</p>

<p>I’m skeptical. I think K is much too late.</p>

<p>Could well be… :-)</p>



<p>It’s all so self-referential, though. These types of firms are elite in their own eyes, but there are entire industries and businesses out there where no one really gives a darn about the self-perceptions of high-end finance, consulting and law firms – certainly fine jobs, but just another set of jobs and nothing that is extra-special or worthy of any more admiration than any other industry. It’s rather like the tree falling in the forest – if someone is unduly impressed by themselves because they are in high-end finance, consulting or law, but no one else particularly cares, are they all that elite?</p>

<p>And this study suggests harmonious tones can optimize the firing patterns of neurons, supporting the idea of playing music to infants, earlier than K… :-)</p>

<p>"Since the time of the ancient Greeks, we have known that two tones whose frequencies were related by a simple ratio like 2:1 (an octave) or 3:2 (a perfect fifth) produce the most pleasing, or consonant, musical intervals. This effect doesn’t depend on musical training – infants and even monkeys can hear the difference…</p>

<p>The researchers took their analysis one step further, and calculated the amount of information each signal carries. In the terms of information theory, a random signal carries very little information; a signal with a discernable pattern carries more. So naturally, the consonant notes carry more information than dissonant ones. They then used this to calculate the information content of the pulse trains generated by consonant and dissonant tones.", [Why</a> harmony pleases the brain - physics-math - 19 September 2011 - New Scientist](<a href=“Why harmony pleases the brain | New Scientist”>http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20930-why-harmony-pleases-the-brain.html) , </p>

<p>[Phys</a>. Rev. Lett. 107, 108103 (2011): Regularity of Spike Trains and Harmony Perception in a Model of the Auditory System](<a href=“http://prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v107/i10/e108103]Phys”>Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 108103 (2011) - Regularity of Spike Trains and Harmony Perception in a Model of the Auditory System) .</p>

<p>Is it actually K- or an early start at the drive to get that gold star or another performance and smarts-based reward? Internalizing the benefits of performing just a bit better than peers, slogging in more effort, delaying gratification a bit longer. It continues into 1st grade where you can get a check+ versus just getting a check on your work. It’s different than pleasing family. I always thought great co-workers in my field had learned this gold star/check+ lesson early.</p>



<p>Such a small sliver of our economy.</p>

<p>And self-decreed elite. Really, who died and decreed those industries any more elite than any other set of industries / businesses? It’s a classic case of being overly impressed with oneself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure most people in those industries are smart, hard-working, industrious and innovative - but so are people in tons of other industries. Why I’m supposed to believe those particular industries are somehow superior or better is truly beyond me. And people make big-time money in all kinds of industries - those industries certainly don’t have a lock on it by any stretch of the imagination.</p>

<p>There could be another factor at play at the law and consulting firms.</p>

<p>These are client-driven businesses. The companies have to sell themselves, their services, and their staff to clients. Having staff members with degrees from elite institutions looks good. The resumes of these staff members stand out.</p>

<p>My last two jobs have been with government contractors (a less elite type of client-driven business), and I have noticed that if all else is equal, contractors prefer to hire people who look good on paper (including having lots of letters after their names, preferably derived from elite institutions) because such people help them to win contracts.</p>



<p>Yes - but it’s the *clients who are the ones with the money * to hire these consultants in the first place! (And disclaimer - I am a consultant in a specialized field!) I just think it’s funny how people seem to forget that – someone needs to actually MAKE / provide stuff in the marketplace to need financing, need business consulting help, need legal advice.</p>

<p>"Some points that caught my eye…</p>

<p>Michigan and Berkeley not considered elite or even prestigious."</p>

<p>As was pointed out in another forum, if you peruse the list you will see that MSU is ranked higher than Michigan. I’m certain that confusion in the name of the school is what caused this. Trust me, if Wharton were listen instead of UPenn, it would also shoot to the top.</p>



<p>True, but the clients know, as we all do, that the other stuff on a resume can be written in a way that makes it seem more impressive than it really is. On the other hand, all the rewriting in the world won’t change a degree from Non-Flagship State College into one from Harvard. At least the degrees and the institutions they came from are objective information.</p>


You’re talking about a completely different survey about international hiring. People here are referencing an article that talks about domestic hiring practices and the author Caplan interviewed head honchos at consulting firms, banks and law firms who came to the consensus that “Michigan and Berkeley are considered neither elite nor prestigious”.</p>


Yep, its the eye test.</p>