Undergrad education and "prestige"

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Connemara, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. Asch

    Asch Senior member

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    As others have noted, a brand-name bachelor's degree helps in getting interviews for finance and consulting. In most other lines of work, I doubt that undergrad pedigree matters much even at the entry level.
     


  2. Augusto86

    Augusto86 Sean Penn's Mexican love child

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    By mid-career, where you went to school means squat in your life and earnings. The richest physician I know went to Brooklyn Medical College. The richest businessman I know never went to grad school and graduated from the University of Hartford.

    Fortunately, earning potential is the best and most reliable mesaure of a man's worth...[​IMG]

    I don't mean to pick on you, Piobaire, it was just the first example in this thread. But are "networking," "future earnings," and "Job prospects" all that college is supposed to grant these days? What about knowledge and learning for its own sake, life experiences, intellectual stimulation and the chance to explore all of those things for four years?

    When did colleges and universities, even the Ivies, become little more than trade schools??

    Sure you get some athletes, legacies, and persons of color at top Ivys, but the rest of the class is made up of the winners of the world-wide genetic lottery. Would you rather spend 4 years of your life surrounded by extremely bright people or average people? There is a reason kids don't turn down a Princeton acceptance to attend Boston College...

    One of these things is not like the other...
     


  3. Violinist

    Violinist Senior member

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    What about knowledge and learning for its own sake, life experiences, intellectual stimulation and the chance to explore all of those things for four years?





    That's what books, friends, and travelling are for.
     


  4. mbc

    mbc Senior member

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    The prestige at these schools exists for a reason. Even at a shitty Ivy like Cornell, the education is an order of magnitude better than a top public like Berkeley.
    With a statement like that, one has to assume you have attended all of these schools and made an objective comparison of the academics. Please post your research, I'm sure it's a fascinating read.
     


  5. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    Fortunately, earning potential is the best and most reliable mesaure of a man's worth...[​IMG]

    I don't mean to pick on you, Piobaire, it was just the first example in this thread. But are "networking," "future earnings," and "Job prospects" all that college is supposed to grant these days? What about knowledge and learning for its own sake, life experiences, intellectual stimulation and the chance to explore all of those things for four years?

    When did colleges and universities, even the Ivies, become little more than trade schools??


    A long time ago Augusto.

    Hey, I was once like you. I wanted to pursue a Ph.D. in Philosophy, live the life of the mind, the life of an academic. I was fortunate enough to have that knocked out of me before I could damage myself. I agree it is somewhat of a shame that education is mostly about future earnings these days. However, the days of the leisure class are now long gone and for us people born to prolies, university is our chance to join the upper income earners.
     


  6. Asch

    Asch Senior member

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    But are "networking," "future earnings," and "Job prospects" all that college is supposed to grant these days? What about knowledge and learning for its own sake, life experiences, intellectual stimulation and the chance to explore all of those things for four years?
    The OP's question was specifically about how the prestige of your university's name has benefited you -- not about how your experiences in general at college (prestigious name or no) have benefited you:
     


  7. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Sure you get some athletes, legacies, and persons of color at top Ivys, but the rest of the class is made up of the winners of the world-wide genetic lottery. Would you rather spend 4 years of your life surrounded by extremely bright people or average people? There is a reason kids don't turn down a Princeton acceptance to attend Boston College...
    One of these things is not like the other...
    Not all legacies are white, you know. [​IMG]
     


  8. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Senior member

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    Whether people like to admit it or not, its true that, on average, grads of prestigious schools are more successfull than grads of XYZ college. I'm sure we can all cite people we know who are rich and respected and went to same random no-name school, but they are the exception.
     


  9. oscarthewild

    oscarthewild Senior member

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    Ejukashun is like so overrated. That minisoft dude, bill gate, was a drop out. he got alll the prestige in the world without even an undergrad.

    And I dont buy "being surrounded by smart people", If U iz doing kollej right, U iz so wasted that it dont matter who iz passed out near ya (except nekkid hunnies).

    WORD!

    -
     


  10. FidelCashflow

    FidelCashflow Senior member

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    Getting good grades and going to a prestigious school only matters until you get your first real job. After that it becomes pretty irrelevant because people care about job experience more than what you did in college. You don't want to end up like Andy from "The Office", do you? I met a guy at work who couldn't stop talking about how good his GPA was in school... and yet he worked at one of the least desirable and lowest paying companies in the business and was hoping I could hook him up with a job at mine. I tried to figure out why this guy got stuck with such a crappy job despite having such good grades and being a friendly guy. It turns out when the big companies came around for recruiting and did open houses where all the bigwigs would talk to potential employees, he stayed for the presentation, and left without so much as saying hello to any of the staff their for recruiting because he had exams coming up, and wanted to impress employers with good grades. I just shook my head in disbelief when he told me this. He genuinely believed that good grades should automatically get him the top job. It's too bad all the job offers went out before the end of the semester, so employers never got to see his brilliant GPA. I know lots of asian kids who had 4.0 GPA's in school with me at the same time... lots of them got crappy jobs because they were too busy studying to make the right connections.
     


  11. ComboOrgan

    ComboOrgan Senior member

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    The name of your college will be on your resume for the rest of your life.

    Regardless of anyone's opinion of the real-world utility of a prestigious degree, I guarantee the name of the school on your resume will matter a heck-of-a-lot more than the color of the tie you wear to the interview (something upon which we seems to place great importance).
     


  12. TUspiv

    TUspiv Senior member

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    Don't know if this has been mentioned before, because I haven't read the first couple pages, but I've always been under the impression that a graduate degree from a good school is worth more than an undergraduate degree from a good school. Undergraduate degrees don't seem to get people as far as they used to and the people I've talked to tell me that a prestigious degree can only get you a good first job, it's what you do with that first job that your subsequent employers really look at. My father does a lot of recruiting and he seems hardly impressed with someone who simply has a prestigious degree.

    Then again, I'm neither an employer or a college graduate....
     


  13. NorCal

    NorCal Senior member

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    Whether people like to admit it or not, its true that, on average, grads of prestigious schools are more successfull than grads of XYZ college. I'm sure we can all cite people we know who are rich and respected and went to same random no-name school, but they are the exception.

    Yes but in many cases those that attend "better" schools are already from a wealthy/educated/successfull background. You can't really say it is the school that is responsible their future success.
    For example our esteemed president went to Yale, but one can hardly say it was because of this that he has been such a success.
    Having a wealthy, powerfull well connected background will pretty much guaranty that you not only get into a prestigious university but also that you will be sucesfull.
     


  14. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red "Mr. Fashionista"

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    Subject-verb agreement also counts for a lot in the real world. [​IMG]

    I find employers expect a high degree of competence because of the name on my resume. Of course, the Japanese take things like the status of educational institutions quite seriously even if they recognize that at some level it should also be taken with a grain of salt.
     


  15. TheIdler

    TheIdler Senior member

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    Well, to bring it back to the OP's question, I do think that the prestige of my undergraduate university has been a huge benefit to me. Employment right out of college, connections to grad school, and general networking have all been, as far as I can tell, easier/better simply because of the name of the school. Most of my friends who I went to college with agree.

    And to be fair, there are reasons why this makes sense, beyond the 'old boy network' concept. First of all, it is incredibly competitive to get into those top schools. For me and many people I went to college with, this meant that by a very young age--long before college--we had already begun learning how to work extremely hard, how to think critically, how to teach ourselves the things that school wasn't teaching us. It also meant that once I was at college, I was surrounded by the most stimulating, interesting, competitive people I've ever met. That makes you work all the harder, it gives you connections to an incredible network afterwards, and it creates an atmosphere that seems qualitatively different from most other American colleges (as far as I can tell). Finally, colleges like these have incredible resources. I don't know of anyone at my college who wasn't able to study/do exactly what they wanted because of limitations from the school. The administration was committed to giving us the tools to learn and did everything it could to make that possible. I just don't think that's true at a lot of other schools, because of budget/size/whatever.

    At any rate, I can't prove it by direct comparison (I've only lived one life), but I believe that working hard to get into a top college and working hard while I was there have been of enormous benefit to my life since, in part simply because of the prestige of the school. Having said all that, I don't think there's any reason why NOT going to a top college will ever be a substantial limitation in your life.
     


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