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Does graduating from an ivy league matter or rather what you make from the degree?

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I'm asking this question because I always thought that graduating from a known school matters, but does it? Or does it matter when you are interviewed? #interview #education #school #college

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100% of 4 Pros

4 answers

Allison’s Answer

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Serena,

I think the most important thing to get out of college whether you attend an ivy league or another college is to maximize the experience and get involved. I would recommend living on campus in your first year and join organizations that you enjoy. This could be a club pertaining to your major, intramural sports, or a social club. I think what most prospective employers are looking for is an involved and eager college grad who is excited about their company. Additionally, most all employers are also looking for students who had internships during their college career. I would recommend looking for an internship that pertains to your major/ future career

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Patrick’s Answer

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Here's a great resource: https://seths.blog/2020/04/but-what-could-you-learn-instead/

The blog in general is always about learning, although not formal college education.

And here is an excerpt from this resource:

The other day, I was talking to a friend in college. He was complaining about a lousy class he was taking, one that was now significantly worse because it was online. I asked why he was even taking it, and he looked at me like I was nuts.

He’s in it for the education, not the learning.

A colleague, recently graduated from a famous college, told me about the regime of clickers, used to make sure that students actually come to class and don’t fall asleep while they’re there.

The degree is what’s on offer, not fundamental change.

For a semester, I taught at the esteemed Stern business school at NYU, regularly ranked in the top twenty of all business schools. In every class, students angled for a way to do less work and have less engagement. One skill they had mastered was relentlessly narrowing the scope of their responsibility.

Compare this to the courses I taught at Mercy College, a local community college where most of the students had day jobs or small businesses. In every single session, they demanded more from me. More insight, more learning and yes, more homework. They made me stay late after every class. The difference was stunning—they were there to learn something.

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Timothy’s Answer

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Ivy league, and other prestigious schools, offer two things that I would say are most important: Opportunity and resources. Opportunities are often in the form of more diverse course choices or more internship/research/project opportunities. If an Ivy league student doesn't utilize those, they are no better off than a student coming from a less recognized university. Believe me, there are plenty of those students leaving even the best schools, and plenty of incredible students coming from lower ranking schools. I think most recruiters know that and often disregard the title on the degree, at least once the first round of candidate selection has been done.


The important part of going to college, no matter what school, is to get the most out of it. Work hard to be a good student, but you don't have to be the best, that's not the only goal. Try new interesting subjects, get involved with teams or projects, challenge yourself.


Finally, I highly recommend looking into transferring schools, if you don't get into the "best" one your first year. This is really the smart way to do it. Those advantages I talked about for the "good" schools? They matter way more your 3rd or 4th year. Get your core curriculum done at a cheaper, "easier" school and be top of your class, then, transfer into that expensive or difficult school and get the same diploma as everyone else.

Timothy recommends the following next steps:

  • Choose the school that makes financial sense for you.
  • Challenge yourself no matter what school you go to.
  • Transfer into a better or more expensive school in your later years
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Nicole’s Answer

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It depends on the career you are thinking of going into - I would say for the large majority of cases, what matters most is the experience you had and work you did in whatever college you attended. Certain paths and companies, however, are connected to ivy leagues like investment banking and some consulting channels. Research the industry you are looking to go into and factor that in when making your college decision. Overall, if you are a killer student and have great internship and extra-curriculars you will be a great applicant regardless of which school you attended.
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