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Does your under-graduate school matter?

#graduate #school #college

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Stephen’s Answer

Hi Ivanna,

I asked the same question years ago when I was selecting a college. My choices were to attend a Big 10 school and take student loans, or accept a full scholarship to a well-respected, but not very known public university in the Midwest.

I chose the smaller Midwestern university. I have observed that most curriculum are pretty much the same within the same program at most universities. I believe it really comes down to how you apply yourself within your program, and make connections through associations and related social activities that open career doors. Over the past 20 years of my career, I have worked in 3 different industries and in my most recent job I work for a well-known company located in Washington, DC and have been promoted several times. Nobody on the East Coast has even heard of my undergrad university. And when I compare notes with peers who attended well known universities, our academic experiences were all very similar.

Something else to consider is the amount of debt you might face, depending on your financial situation. I came out of college debt-free, which gave me a huge advantage in having a nice lifestyle where I chose to purchase a house and travel internationally. My wife is still paying student loans 15 years after graduating, and she claims that I got a lot further in life much faster by not having the debt burden.

So, in conclusion, I don't feel that it really makes a different in which undergraduate school you attend provided you apply yourself and network.

Best wishes for success!
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Roger’s Answer

Does your under-graduate school matter?


YES it does. If it didn’t matter, you could simply go to any college, graduate, and have the same post graduate success in the job market as anyone else.  That is not the case. 


I have personally visited well over 100 college campuses across the United States. There are BIG differences between colleges that you should take into consideration. 


Typically students who go to top tier and highly competitive elite colleges do far superior in the job market when graduating from college. 


And, some colleges do an outstanding of graduating their students in 4 years or less... where other colleges are so crowded that it might take 5 1/2 years to get the required classes to graduate.  


Some colleges offer generous financial aid packages or scholarships whereas other colleges offer little or no financial incentives. 


Some colleges offer superior programs in engineering, business, and sciences with outstanding state-of-the art facilities and incredible professors. Other colleges have old technology and outdated facilities / outdated professors that do not prepare you for today’s competitive business environment. 


Some colleges have classes with over 1000 students. Other colleges have classes with 12 students. Some college have 60,000 students. Other colleges have 2000 students. 


Some colleges have tremendous pride and alumni support where you will be proud to wear the school’s colors and cheer on the mascot. Other colleges have little gravitas and indifferent alumni. 


Some colleges have football where 80,000 people convene to the campus on Fall Saturdays. Other colleges have rowing. 


Some colleges have gorgeous campus grounds and a college town vibe that is so fun and appealing. Other colleges are surrounded by parking lots and weeds.


I could go on and on. But, your choice of college does matter. 


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Benjamin’s Answer

Yes, it matters. On the practical side, the amount of debt you have to (or don't have to!) incur is an important consideration, and this often varies by school choice. Attending a school with a strong reputation will help you a lot with networking and get you to the first round of an interview process more easily. Perhaps most importantly, however, is the question of fit - university cultures and academic programs vary widely, and you should look for a place that will offer you an experience that you will really enjoy and that will best help you achieve your academic and career goals.
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Ken’s Answer

It really does not matter what school you attend, as the most important factors are how well you do with the school work, which is an indication to an employer about what kind of employee you will be, and the effort that you put forth in your networking to set up networking connections that will help you throughout your education/career journey. Here is an important video for you to watch: ## http://www.ted.com/talks/julie_lythcott_haims_how_to_raise_successful_kids_without_over_parenting?utm_campaign=social&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_content=talk&utm_term=education ##

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