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Will our choice in a college affect us in the long run?

Let's say I pick a college that isn't as popular as other or isn't as heard of. Will jobs look at me negatively due to that. Is there a chance I could lose the competition in getting a job because of my choice in college. How do jobs and the "real world" look at our choice in colleges for like jobs and etc? #career #college #career-development


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John’s Answer

Kenny where you go to school will have some impact on you obviously; the friends you make and the experiences you have unique to your school's campus will stay with you for years to come. But as far as bolstering your resume later in life goes, there are so many other things that are going to matter more than the name of the university you attended. Sure, there is a certain level of prestige associated with attending big name schools, but more often than not, that's not what's going to set you apart from other people applying to the same job as you. For those of you who are thinking about colleges or are already applying to schools, my advice is to relax. When it comes to your job search, here are all the things that are more important than what college you went to.

When looking for colleges, picking out a big-name school is less important than finding a program that is best suited toward your needs and interests, and will provide you with the most thorough, in-depth education you can get in your particular field of study. After all, that's why you're at college in the first place, right? Ultimately, having the name of the university you attended plastered on your resume isn't going to matter to employers as much as the skills you've mastered. There is a lot to keep in mind while you're looking for schools, but this is a big one. Students spend time in a classroom with a professor for multiple hours a week — and this professor can turn into a huge job connection in the future. Smaller, lesser-known schools can often bring in huge talent, and professors at these schools often have more time to spend with students one-on-one than professors who are lecturing at larger, well-known schools. Make sure to pay close attention to faculty as you're figuring out a college for you. Where have they worked? Who do they know? If someone's career trajectory lines up with what you're trying to accomplish, that could be more helpful to you in the long-run than going to a different school with more prestige.

EMPLOYERS LOOK FOR EXPERIENCE

At the end of the day, experience is what employers want to see most. They want to see dedication (did you actually graduate?), skill (did you get internships?), and proof of your work (do you have a portfolio?). As I was job hunting out of college, employers never asked me about my school, or why I didn’t go to a prestigious university. Instead, they asked me about my work, and why do I think I'm a good fit for this job. Go somewhere that will allow you to get experience in the field you are studying. Professors are certainly people to network with, but you’re going to want to expand past your university. With internships and other opportunities, you will get the chance to know people within your field that you can connect with and meet others through. I promise, once you graduate, those connections are going to be a key part of your job search — even more so than where you graduated from college. Where you went to school will not save you from the fact that you still have to job hunt like everyone else — and I promise, it’s going to be hard. You know what they are going to look for when you start interviewing? Experience. I keep saying it, but it’s true. Get the experience, be good at what you do, and forget the title.

Obviously Kenny, where you go to school is important — but it's not the most important thing employers are looking for at the end of the day. Go ahead and include it on your resume, but make sure to play up your other accomplishments, too. The bottom line is that it doesn’t necessarily matter where you go to college because that alone doesn’t make you a successful graduate. However, if you attend a college that is a good fit for you, you will have a much better chance at graduating not only with a degree, but with a passion for your chosen career. Your passion for the work is exactly what an employer wants to feel from you during an interview and is what will set you apart from the rest.

Hope this was Helpful Kenny

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KAPIL’s Answer

I would say focus on the subject or the field of study that you wish to take up as a "calling" in your life. Or if you're unclear at the undergraduate stage, it is okay as well. Your choice of your first college matters only as long as you can answer "why did I choose to go here?" But as you progress further in your education - say you do a liberal arts course first and then you get into a Law School. In this case, the liberal arts is a "stepping stone" for the Law School. So, as long as you have a picture in mind that says- so I will spend my time in this college to learn and then eventually I want to be a Lawyer, that is totally cool as well!

And remember, a lot of learning for a career happens when we actually start working. College is a means to equip you and prepare you for the "education that is life" and that is where all the learning happens.

Eventually, I would say, follow your instincts, get into a college that works well for you (and may be you have friends there, too or Teachers you happen to know!). It will all work out well for your career- just trust your instincts and follow your passion!

I hope that helps.

Good luck for a great college life and a great career!

best always,

Kapil

KAPIL recommends the following next steps:

Read up on your chosen field of study.
Look at the Faculty at that college.
Speak to a few students who are studying there as well as to ex-students.
See what those experiences tell you.

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Kelly’s Answer

It will impact you in many ways! In addition to helping provide you with an educational foundation, the college you choose will also influence your social circle over the years you’re attending and beyond. School is a great way to expand your network of professional relationships and establish lifelong friendships. Moreover, it will always be on your resume. The more well-known your school, or the more students and hence alma mater, the more it will be surfaced in conversation and during interviews for years to come.

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Ken’s Answer

Hi Kenny. In regards to your career, I believe your choice in a college will have some affect early on and less over time. In trying to get your first job after college, the better the reputation of the college that you attend may get you more interviews. Getting more interviews can be because of either a tougher school to get into or a specialized school. Once you get an interview, the person who can sell themselves the best usually gets the job. After you are hired for your first job after college, the rest is up to you. I believe this because I am forty-six years old and I went to an average school. After about a year into my first job after college, I started getting recruited for other jobs. Except for one job after my first job, every job that I have had since graduating from college was one that I was recruited for. I have worked for four companies over my career (two Fortune 20 and two much smaller companies).

I agree with some of the others that the friendships that you make in college can last a lifetime. You can find different types of people anywhere you go to college and in life.


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Caz’s Answer

Definitely not. Now, more than ever, soft skills are king. I went to school for fashion merchandising and now, work as a product manager on an enterprise software after only a few years of graduating. Just always have goals, and an idea as to where you want your immediate next step. In a few years, you've be shocked to see how one step after another gets you to the "long-term" goal.

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Johana’s Answer

No, not in the long run. Initially you might want to go to a popular school or the college your friend goes to but you should instead focus on programs. When I was deciding between colleges I was stuck between two colleges and I ended up choosing the school that offered me the most money. The other school was a great college and had always been my dream college but it was so expensive. Instead now I go to a university that has a great business program (what I was looking for) and I get paid to go to school. I had so many opportunities to apply to scholarships and I made great friends and met so many professionals. College is really about the effort you are putting in and that can show in the long run.

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Sydney’s Answer

While the college you choose is important, it should be the best fit for you, not for the people around you. There is no point in going to NYU if they don't have what you want to study, or if they have a mediocre program. Similarly, there's no point in going to a lesser known school if they don't have what you want to study. Choosing a college is so personal, and you should consider finances, location, student life, size, greek affiliation, professional development programs and of course, majors and minors. Yes, there are colleges that have a better reputation than others, but it all comes down to how you utilize your college's resources to tailor your career goals.

In summary, I would not stress about the college you choose. Put in the work and you will come out ready to take on the world!

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Bryce’s Answer

Hi Kenny,

Your choice in college will have no impact in you getting a career after college. The only career that tend to look at your college specific school and make judgement on that school are careers in law or medicine. Other than those highly competitive careers I doubt you would lose a job opportunity due to the college you went to. Your choice in college will only effect the experiences you have and the people you meet. I hope this help and good luck with your decision!

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Tanya’s Answer

No, in the long run, it does not effect your career. It's more important your school choice has a solid program for what your wanting to learn. Do not pick a school based on it's football team. You have to feel comfortable at the campus and how your professors dialogue with you.

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Daniel’s Answer

A college degree certainly opens doors, and in some industries and fields of expertise, it can definitely play a role in the ability to obtain the role you'd like to be in. As others have mentioned, who you are, how you operate and what values you demonstrate on a day to day basis will be much more impactful to the trajectory of your career. Pair this with the commitment to push outside of your comfort zone at times by putting yourself out there and demonstrating resiliency through times of adversity. This may feel basic or lack some sort of magic, but it really is something that I've consistently seen with others in their career paths they follow or create for themselves. I hope this helps and good luck!

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Robert’s Answer

In the long run it will not matter. The first few years it may. Also explore your alumni network as it can be very powerful.

Build your network. Meet with someone every week to talk about your career path for a few minutes. It will make a difference.

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Estelle’s Answer

If you are interested in healthcare, the location of your undergraduate degree is relatively unimportant. The location that you do your post-graduate training is far more important.

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Jenni’s Answer

Hi Kenny,
The most important factor is that you go to the college or university that has the best program to meet YOUR goals and plans for your future. As a hiring manager, it's less important to me WHERE the applicant went to college, but what they did with their skills and knowledge and talents. For example, the fact that an applicant went to college tells me that their education was a priority to them, and self-improvement is something that motivates them. The type of degree tells me what area of expertise or specialization they have, but also not necessarily a disqualifier if the job they are applying for is different. GPA is an important indicator of how dedicated/focused/serious the applicant took their studies, which says a lot to me about their sense of responsibility and leadership. Additionally, I wouldn't necessarily look past an applicant WHO DIDN'T go to college. There could be more to that story, and I wouldn't want to make assumptions at first glance. They could have many years of job experience or specialization in the field for which I am hiring, and/or perhaps they have some type of certification or other training that is valuable to what I'm looking for. The last thought I'd like to leave you with is that, when I'm looking to hire a new employee, I not only look at their college and relevant job experience, but also how well-rounded they are as an individual. Do they have other experiences that demonstrate leadership, such as social or academic clubs? Do they have volunteer experience, which tells me that they have a sense of commitment to causes beyond their own? So, having a "Harvard" or "Yale" degree may be an interesting label on a resume, it's certainly (likely) not the most important thing to a hiring manager. Your college experience will impact your life, but it's not necessarily going to impact your career choices later. My brother spent many years in college and built up work experience within the Psychology field, and he has a totally unrelated career today. Additionally, I didn't go to college after high school (I have since gone back as an adult), and I have had a long and prosperous career 25+ year with a major corporation. I hope that helps! Follow your dreams.

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Kimberly’s Answer

This was always a fear for me. In addition to the comments above, focus on the program the college is offering. The fact that you took the time to study a subject you are passionate about will matter in the long run. I have known individuals who have gone to one of the best schools in the nation but ending up falling short in their career. On the reverse side, others have gone to an unknown community college, found their dream job/career, and are really happy with their life. What matters is your optimism and determination. Going to a college and dedicating years to master your knowledge in a field is impressive on its own. You got this and remember to stay positive!

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Ken’s Answer

The specific college you attended can be a hiring decision if the college you attend is known to specialize in your field of study. If you the degree you are seeking is common among colleges than the impact is not as great. Many times attending a smaller school that allows you to participate in sports or other extra curricular activities can offset any advantage of name recognition from a larger school. As a hiring manager, the only time I look at the college attended is when I am looking for interns or entry level positions. I put a greater emphasis on the extra curricular activities such as playing sports or working while attending school. This says a lot about an individuals ability to properly manage time and prioritize activities than if they only attend classes. Otherwise the focus is more on the experience that the individual has and not which school they attended.

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Azeem’s Answer

Yes initially the choice of college may have an impact on what opportunities in terms of campus interviews etc come your way, it may also help you in getting through the doors in some reputed companies.. as well as your network will also matter..

However as time passes in career its the skill sets as well your contacts you developed over a period of time will be more influential in the choices you make in your career...

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