What is a Duke degree really worth?

<p>I'm an alumnus of Duke ('91) and currently conduct alumni interviews. A prospective student mentioned this site to me, and said that much of what he had learned about Duke came from reading the threads. After taking a cursory look at the discussions, it seems like they fall into two general categories: (1) "Will I get in?" and (2) "Now that I'm in, why should I go to Duke versus all the other schools I got into?"</p>

<p>While I'm certainly not qualified to answer the first question, I do have some perspective to offer on the second. The reality is most high school seniors have an exaggerated view of what a college degree is really worth. Some believe that their acceptance into Duke, or Harvard, or Amherst will somehow initiate them into a elite society that bestows untold riches and opportunities on its members. Others agonize over whether they should "risk everything" and choose to go to a school that might not be as highly ranked as others where they have been accepted.</p>

<p>The truth is that in the long run, your college degree doesn't mean much. Sure, there's probably a benefit to go to Duke or Harvard versus State U., but among the top schools it really doesn't matter. What matters far more is how well you do during your four years there. That's right, just when you thought the pressure of high school was over forever, you'll find out that it actually never ends.</p>

<p>The pressure to get into a good college, becomes the pressure to get into a prestigious grad school or land a power job. Once in the work force, the pressure becomes the quest for next big promotion, the recognition of your peers, big bucks, or all of the above.</p>

<p>Your preceding success only means you get to stay in the race, it doesn't mean that you'll continue to be successful. Said another way, ten years from now you'll be surprised at how little anyone cares which college you went to. I graduated from Duke with high honors, got my JD and MBA from Harvard, and yet very few people at my company (including my boss) have any idea. Even if they did, they could care less. All they want to know about is how am I doing right now. And frankly, that's the way it should be in a meritocratic society.</p>

<p>So what does all this mean as it relates to your decision about where to apply and ultimately attend? It means follow your heart; go where you think you're going to be the happiest (even if it's not the highest ranked) because that's where you'll do your best work. And so long as you're doing your best work, things generally turn out for the best. Good luck.</p>

<p>thanks for that, you know, i think you're absolutely right. i'm at duke and i want to be a doctor. i went to duke because i want to go to one of the best med schools. but really, i have no idea what college or med school my own doctors have gone to, and even if they went to some public med school and not harvard or duke, i wouldn't respect them any less and it wouldn't make them any worse of a doctor.</p>

<p>Very well stated, JamesDuke. Cheers!</p>

<p>Your'e absolutely right dude. ....That was deep stuff man.</p>

<p>exactly.. if all you have to say in 10 years is where you want to college... ur pathetic</p>