Does the college you go to REALLY matter?

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by ogruskie, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. texasdoc

    texasdoc Rookie

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    I believe (based on my experience passing through this stage) that is does matter. In fact, I think it matters which high school you go to because it makes a difference which college you can get into.

    Education is one area where you should try to go to the best place you can - it will make a difference one day.

    Now there are tiers - if you go to a high caliber school like U Berkeley versus Stanford - it probably won't make a huge impact. But if you go to U of Houston versus Berkeley or Stanford - you get the point.
     
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  2. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    You really believe that?

    Anyway, how many entry-level jobs in Charleston have starting salaries of over $200,000? And what if the job candidate is from Charleston but went to Harvard for his MBA?

    I think the bottom line is if you want a high paying job, you're more likely to get one if you went to Harvard than if you went to Univ. of South Carolina.
     
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  3. chrisplchs

    chrisplchs Professional

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    Last year, at the NCAA tournament, they made a bracket showing median salary of graduates of schools in the tournament after 10 years. The two schools at the end are Duke and Cornell with Duke having the highest median salary of all of the 65 schools that made the NCAA basketball tournament at something over 102k a year salary.

    That said, I would say a school's prestige really does not matter but rather that the school's prestige will draw the best and brightest
     
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  4. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

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    I do. Quality of interview and personality ("fit") make a huge difference in hiring decisions, ESPECIALLY any position that includes interaction with customers/fellow business associates in other companies. If you need to be the face of a company, that company will take the person that interviews best or is the best fit for the job. You can be a Harvard Grad with a 4.0 GPA, but if you can't interact well with people, you'll struggle to get that job. A job without the human interaction portion being such a huge part, that job might be more likely to get hired based off of being an alum of a certain school, but the quality of interview still matters.

    The big thing to me is picking a program that is right for you. Some schools excel in programs and lack prestige in others, and finding a school that fits your desired area of study. For instance, I graduated from the University of Oregon business school, which is a good program. Their graduate degree in sports business is one of the sports marketing programs in the world, so if that's what you want to study (assuming you get accepted to the program), it's hard to find a better place to go.

    I think a huge part of it is finding the right fit for yourself. If you do that and perform well in school, you're going to do well in your career if you play your cards right.
     
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  5. dave333

    dave333 Hall of Fame

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    ^ The thing is, you don't get into schools like Harvard without the right personality and grades either. There are so many applicants to Harvard that are qualified they can really pick and choose who they want.

    Where you go doesn't matter, but the fact is that the majority of the best go to top schools like Harvard and that is why it seems like where you go matters. Which is sort of does; when you are surrounded by so many other people who will be successful, it can only help you.
     
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  6. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

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    That's a fair point. My younger sister is a Junior in HS and is gearing up for the application process to Ivy League schools. The personal interview/personality is becoming more and more important, but a lot of it is still academically based. You take a kid that can sell water to a whale and would be a fantastic alum of any school and if he has a 3.2 GPA in high school, there's no way they even gets looked at by an Ivy League school. That same kid may go to a state school and end up managing 10 Ivy League grads later in life...You just never know.

    I agree with the second paragraph as well, I think one of the biggest parts of your education (next to making the most of it) is meeting people and making connections. It makes getting a job a TON easier when you know people in the industry that you're trying to work in.
     
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  7. TennisNinja

    TennisNinja Hall of Fame

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    Yes. Especially if it's a really good school. But if you're talking about one community college or another it really doesn't matter.
     
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  8. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    All true, but I did say "all else being equal", meaning that both candidates interview equally well, are both personable, and both fit in equally well with the company, so the ONLY difference in the two candidates is the school that they graduated from. Which one is more likely to get the job? The Harvard MBA or the Univ. South Carolina MBA? And again, I was talking about jobs that have the highest starting salaries, such as in investment banking, private equity, hedge funds, etc.
     
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  9. junbumkim

    junbumkim Professional

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    I think it's a bit situational.

    I think most state schools offer a great education. There are some 4 year universities whose curriculum, opportunities, and quaility of education are far below that of other schools, not to mention the people you compete against. A lot of companies will also come to these school to hire.w

    In other words, it really doesn't matter after a certain point.

    Now, if you want to go into research or stay in the academics, the final school you attend does have a large bearing, I believe. These schools have earned their reputation through their research and all, so you are going to meet some people with great minds.

    If you are doing neurobiology, you are probably thinking med school or grad school. Unlike a poster above, entrance score doesn't really mean much as long as they are at an average unless you score off the chart.

    My suggestion would be go to a place where they will provide you good education, a lot of other opportunities, and people you can compete with, and so the best you can. In other words, I think UC-Berkely is more respected than UC-Davis, but UC-Davis doesn't sound like a bad option to me.
     
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  10. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    There are some schools that have programs only found in a few places in the country and these programs may be better bets than big name schools if you want to go for jobs in that particular specialty area. We recruit Phds from three particular public research universities for a very narrow specialty area.
     
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  11. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

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    I guess if the only thing that separated two candidates was their MBA program, it might make the difference (unless the interviewer was a S. Carolina grad ;) ). I also think that there are times when the Ivy League degree doesn't matter, like if you're interviewing for a Marketing job with the NFL, a Sports Marketing MBA from Oregon goes a lot farther than an Ivy League MBA in the same subject.

    I do think it's largely situational, but in your above scenario, the Ivy league degree would probably be the deal breaker.
     
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  12. Kevin T

    Kevin T Professional

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    I absolutely believe that and know it from experience. And the 200k starting salary is relative. 120k is equivalent in many cities. Managers/leaders like to be around people they are familiar and comfortable with. I"m not arguing the merits of an Ivy education, that goes without saying and it WILL open a lot of doors for you that other degress might not. But hiring managers aren't saying "Look here guys, this dude went to Harvard. Call off the interview process. We have our guy". Just like all politics is local, a lot of hiring is local (and situational, as BigServe mentioned above). I deal with this looking at prospective grad student applicants. The students from top schools impress me on paper but the letters of rec, interview and personal experience count most to me and IMHO, are the greatest gauge for future success (vs. test scores, 4.0 GPA vs. 3.4 GPA). If the OP wants to go into investment banking, maybe he would be better served with a name school. If he's in a specialized science field, others in the field know the good schools and the program will matter more than the school.
     
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  13. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    If you can afford it, and are sure you can endure the academics, go to a top school. The way it works is that top companies recruit from such campuses as their first choice, and offer them the interesting jobs. There will always be the exceptional CEO with a University of Phoenix degree, just like there will be a tennis pro who never had a coach. Once inside, graduates from top schools form a clique and recruit more from their schools, and get each other promoted. It is no secret. That is how the world works.
     
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  14. Kevin T

    Kevin T Professional

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    True but so do frat brothers, etc.
     
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