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Do employers look at which college you get a degree from?

Does #college choice matter? #college-selection

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Ahmed’s Answer

Hi Thomas,

Some employers do and some don’t. It all depends on the field you’re pursuing. Usually employers in competitive fields like Investment Banking /Big Law focus on a short-list of target schools to acquire their talent. These target schools tend to be some of the best colleges in the nation. However, there are many employers in other fields that as long as you’re qualified, they don’t look at where you obtained you college degree from. My advice to you is similar to Jacob’s advice. Research the field you’re interested in and the colleges you’re considering to see which school aligns best with your careers aspirations. This is exactly what I did back when I was in high school. I knew I wanted to major in accounting, so I researched the types of employers/jobs that were out there in the field and identified the ones I was interested in. After doing so, I researched the colleges that I was considering at that time and selected the one that offered the best job placements within the areas of accounting that I was interested in.

Good luck!

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Jacob’s Answer

Hello, Thomas,

While a degree from a prestigious college or university certainly helps, the incremental advantage it provides is probably not as significant as you would think. In my experience applying for jobs, employers are far more concerned with who you are as a person and the experiences you have had than the title of the school on your diploma. With that said, doing well in whatever program and whatever school you choose is extremely important. A significant portion of employers have minimum GPA requirements when considering applicants for a position.

My advice to you is to thoroughly research the schools you are interested in and pick whichever one is the best fit for your career aspirations and personality. Putting yourself in the best place where you will grow academically and as a person will make you a far more attractive employee than if you were to choose a school simply for its prestige. I thought I knew what my dream school was and couldn't wait to start there until my plans came grinding to a halt when I wasn't accepted. In fact, I didn't get in to my top three choices. As it turns out, that was the best thing that could have happened to me. The university I attended was the perfect fit for me and I had an incredible experience there. Don't get lost in how other people view the schools you're considering. Do what you think is right. After all, how much you enjoy your college experience and how much you get out of it are entirely up to you.

I hope this helps - good luck!

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Michael’s Answer

Hi Thomas,

Very good question. In my experience, when applying for a job, the name of the school on your resume would rarely have a significant influence on whether an employer would hire you. If it is a very prestigious school, it may have a slight influence on their decision. Or if it happens to be the same school that the employer went to, which is completely random and up to chance, that may have a slightly positive influence as well. But I don't think I've ever encountered a situation where someone wasn't offered a job just because they didn't go to a prestigious school.

But that doesn't mean that it doesn't matter where you go to college. You may have very different experiences at different colleges, and that could have a very significant influence on your overall development and learning experience, which will have a very big impact on whether you are hired. For example, I went to a very prestigious university for my undergraduate degree. And although I had an overall positive undergraduate experience and learned a lot, I struggled at times and did not accumulate many professional skills. Afterwards, even though I had a very good name on my resume, I struggled to find a job. It was not until years later that I went back to school for a graduate degree at a different university that I really came into my own and excelled. After this experience, I had a much easier time finding a job.

So my advice to you would be rather than choosing a college that had a good name, choose a college that is a good fit for you. Whatever that may mean for you, being in an environment where you can excel and grow professionally will be much more valuable in the long run.