This month, high school seniors across America are receiving college decision letters of acceptance and rejection. Many of these students, and their parents, will think that where they go to college will significantly affect their employment future.
They think wrong. Today, whether you go to college retains some importance in your employment options. But where you go to college is of almost no importance. Whether your degree, for example, is from UCLA or from less prestigious Sonoma State matters far less than your academic performance and the skills you can show employers.
Research on the impact of college selection has focused on comparing the earnings of graduates of different colleges. In 1999, economists Alan Krueger and Stacy Berg Dale published a widely-read study that compared the earnings of graduates of elite colleges with those of “moderately selective” schools. The latter group was composed of persons who had been admitted to an elite college but chose to attend another school.
The economists found that the earnings of the two groups 20 years after graduation differed little or not at all. In a larger follow up study, released in 2011 and covering 19,000 college graduates, the economists reached a similar conclusion: Whether you went to University of Penn or Penn State, Williams College or Miami University of Ohio, job outcomes were unaffected in terms of earnings.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
I Tell My Students This All The Time
Unless they go to Stanford, it doesn't matter as much where they go to college as how well they do in college and what they can do with what they've learned. Some, though, just can't "risk" falling behind in the university arms race: