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Does the college you go to effect how your future employers view you?

How much does it matter in the future to your future employers whether you went a prestigious college or community college and everything in between?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Robert’s Answer

in my experiences, college gives employers a knowledge that you have a basic competency level. They may not look as much as what you were learning, but that you were disciplined and did learn. Just as importantly is doing internships or volunteering while you are in school. This lets employers know that you take the book knowledge and can apply it (which is what they will be hiring for).

Matt Butler
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Hunter’s Answer

Hi Rich,

For the most part, it doesn't matter where you complete your undergrad degree. I know several friends and colleagues who went to various schools, majored in various disciplines, and all gained employment. Personalities and skills are factors that employers consider, among many other things. Yes, going to an Ivy Leage or Top 10 will make your resume stand out in a sea of applicants but the degree alone won't get you the job. It'll present you with an opportunity to get the job.

If you have a chance, review research conducted by Gallup survey's. They've asked this same question to hundreds of business leaders and the top attributes employers really look for are:

1. Problem-solving skills
2. Ability to work on a team
3. Communication skills
4. Leadership
5. Strong work ethic
6. Attention to detail
7. Initiative
8. Adaptability
9. Technical skills
10. Interpersonal skills
11. Computer skills

Best of Luck in your future endeavors!
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Zennia’s Answer

In order to make the most out of your educational choices, consider the following steps:

1. Focus on developing essential skills during undergrad: Regardless of whether you attend a prestigious university or not, your undergrad years should be spent honing your networking, presentation, and time management skills. These abilities will be valuable throughout your career and can be developed anywhere.

2. Consider the influence of graduate school on your career goals: If you plan to pivot into a specific industry or sector, attending a reputable graduate school can provide access to a potentially valuable network of professionals. However, it's important not to rely solely on the school's reputation - you must actively engage and leverage those connections.

3. Attend networking events and join relevant clubs: Participate in industry conferences, career-focused events, and student organizations to broaden your network and meet like-minded individuals. Utilize your school's resources, such as workshops or career centers, to learn about upcoming opportunities.

4. Develop relationships with classmates and professors: Never underestimate the power of relationships. Invest time in getting to know your classmates and forming genuine connections with professors, as these contacts could prove invaluable later on.

5. Stay in touch with your network: Once you've built connections, make an effort to maintain them through regular communication, social media, and alumni events. Over time, your network will grow, and the people you know may be able to provide job leads, support, or collaboration opportunities.

Overall, while the prestige of your undergraduate institution may hold some weight early in your career, what matters more in the long run is your ability to learn, grow, network, and develop valuable professional skills. Investing time and effort in these areas will pay off regardless of where you attend school.
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T.J.’s Answer

Hello Rich!

Usually, school reputation doesn't matter.

In some cases they might find it interesting. If a student graduated from a Ivy League school, then employers might think: "Wow, this person must've been smart."

However, most of them will care about your skills and experiences. Your skills and experiences are the two most important areas, because those will show them the value you'll bring to their company.

My suggestions are to find colleges that offer quality programs that will help you with the careers you have in mind. Then, seek out career development opportunities, such as networking events, interview practice, and workshops to grow hard & soft skills. Also, internships :)

Sending you good luck as you begin college :)
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hi Rich,

Wondering if your choice of college influences future employers' perception of you?

Indeed, the college you attend can shape how prospective employers perceive you, but it's not the only factor shaping their opinion. A variety of elements influence how employers assess potential hires, including the college you graduated from, your academic achievements, work history, skills, and involvement in extracurricular activities.

1. Elite colleges: Graduates from high-ranking colleges often carry a perception of possessing superior knowledge, skills, and networking opportunities. These schools usually have solid reputations, which can sway potential employers. However, attending a top-tier college doesn't assure success, as employers weigh in other factors too.

2. Community colleges: Community colleges provide affordable education and practical training, which could be attractive to certain employers. They might appreciate the practical skills and hands-on experience these institutions offer. Plus, community college graduates typically have less student loan debt, which can be a job market advantage.

3. Other colleges and universities: Employers' perception of graduates from different colleges and universities can depend on the institution's reputation, the degree course, and the individual's accomplishments. Some employers might not hold strong views about the college itself, focusing more on the candidate's skills and experience.

4. Work experience and skills: Employers usually value work experience and relevant skills over the college you attended. They tend to favor candidates with internships, part-time jobs, or volunteer work in their field. Cultivating a robust skill set and showing your ability to use those skills in real situations can be more crucial than the college you attended.

5. Extracurricular activities and networking: Involvement in clubs, organizations, and networking events can help you establish connections and display your skills and passions. Employers might prefer candidates who've shown leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving skills through extracurricular activities.

In summary, while your choice of college can influence how future employers perceive you, it's not the sole factor they consider. Concentrating on developing a robust skill set, acquiring relevant work experience, and networking can make you stand out in the job market, no matter which college you attended.

Godspeed!
James Constantine.
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