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Does a college name really matter?

I am applying to colleges right now, and everyone around me is throwing around names like Princeton and Harvard. My question is this: how important is a college name when it comes to undergraduate studies? Is it really a big difference whether I go to an Ivy League or another college that also has good programs but is not as renowned? Will the name of the school on my diploma have a big influence on my getting selected for jobs in the future? #college #job #job-search #ivy-league #specific-college

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Keith’s Answer

Generally speaking, the most important thing is the effort you put in while you're in school, not the school itself.


There are, however, some advantages and disadvantages to more or less prestigious schools. For example, if you are planning to go to graduate or professional school, a more prestigious undergraduate degree can help. Similarly, some employers may recruit at certain schools but not others. Again, this assumes you work hard, not just have the name of the school.


On the other hand, many big name schools are fairly poor in some programs. For example, some Ivy League schools have minimal engineering and science departments. Many of them compare poorly to the flagship public universities in these areas.


Finally, I will say that I attended a prestigious undergraduate institution, and a less prestigious graduate institution. The less prestigious school had fewer resources, and less prestigious companies recruited there, and the students weren't quite as well prepared. But I do think I got more out of my time there, because I put more into it. I think among students at big name schools, there is a tendency to coast, under the assumption that as long as you have the right name on your degree, nothing else matters. That would be a mistake.

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Ken’s Answer

Hi Emily!


The answer is ..... no, not really. You will be judged and measured during your career based upon the quality of work that you do towards the goal of the organization that you work for - not the school that you attended. It really does not matter where you go to school. It is best to get your education as economically as possible to avoid accumulating huge loan debt that is very difficult to repry.


Best of luck!

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Gina’s Answer

Yes, it's sad but true. A name brand university will ALWAYS put you ahead of your competition. ESPECIALLY if you are just starting out in your career. Look, you could be the best student at "Random U" all day long. However, as an employer, I don't care. Alll things being equal between your resume and your competitors resume....except that your competition has a degree from CAL, I'm going to be contacting the person who came from CAL.


There's not one recruiter, hiring manager or organization who will say differently. It's a cold hard world out there kids....bottom line is that if you're going to bust your hump going to college, make sure it will give you a strategic advantage in the real world.

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