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Elitist attitudes by going to prestigious universities?

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  • Thread starter kramer733
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  • #26
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If your school has a good relationship with HR, your resume goes directly from the university into the system, and bypasses the autofilter. Most resumes that get submitted to a company go into this database that no one reads, and having a person from the school talking to the company makes sure that doesn't happen.

Also having "agents" from the school to the company helps you a lot. If someone from the University of Waterloo calls me with a stack of resumes, I'll be polite, but I can't and likely won't make any extraordinary efforts to make sure that those resumes get anywhere because I don't have any particular connection with that school. It's likely to be #50 on my TODO list which means that it's not going to get done.

If someone from MIT or University of Texas at Austin calls me up, I'll make some extra efforts to make sure that those resumes get to the right person, because I owe them, and they'll make me feel guilty until I do something. It's likely to be #3 on my TODO list which means it is going to get done.

It also works the other way. If I say that the University of Waterloo is totally incompetent at placing engineers (this is a hypothetical, I really don't know), then no one there is likely to take anything I say seriously and the reaction is likely to be "mind your own business." If I make some sharp criticisms of MIT or UT Austin, it's likely to be taken a lot more seriously, and "mind your own business" is not going to be a counterargument.
Probably yes, but I'm not talking about submitting a CV/resume. I'm talking about the online application forms that ask a multitude of competency questions as well as your personal details. They will almost all ask "what degree classification do you have or are expecting?" and if your answer isn't either "an upper second class honours or a first class honours" then the software automatically filters out your application. This is true in about ~80% of graduate employers, according to a BBC survey. So it's easy to see why the universities that give the highest proportion of their graduates the magical 2i tend to have the highest graduate employment rate.

Not sure how things work in the UK, but that's *not* how schools in the US get their people hired.
It's also not usually how people get hired here.

It's important to note that Kingston University is in London, and thus his views are likely to be heavily biased based on what goes on in industries like consultancy and investment banking. Now there are one or two industries that will hire a fraction of a percent of the year's graduates will treat you like royalty if you have an elitist university name on your CV. But they are predominantly located in London and in the financial services sector, a large employer of engineers (and other numerical based degrees).

If.....
If we're not talking about one of the very few elitist careers then I don't see why not.
 
  • #27
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It's important to note that Kingston University is in London, and thus his views are likely to be heavily biased based on what goes on in industries like consultancy and investment banking. Now there are one or two industries that will hire a fraction of a percent of the year's graduates will treat you like royalty if you have an elitist university name on your CV. But they are predominantly located in London and in the financial services sector, a large employer of engineers (and other numerical based degrees).
Or my views are based on companies in North Wales, South Wales, South West England, Mid West England, North London (above M25) and Kent. Not saying they're all with the 'elitist are best' view, but I've never been involved with a company inside the M25 (that would be a big donut shaped motorway surrounding the city of London).
 
  • #28
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So Harvard is ultra competitive because it offers the same opportunities & prestige as Odds n' Ends U? yea right
 
  • #29
Ygggdrasil
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Here's an interesting study of employment outcomes from students of an elite university in Israel (Hebrew University) versus students of a less prestigious university (College of Management Academic Studies). They essentially find that a degree from an elite college will help you get a foot in the door, but skill quickly triumphs. From the abstract:
Our results support a model in which employers have good information about the quality of HU graduates and pay them according to their ability, but in which the market has relatively little information about COMAS graduates. Hence, high-skill COMAS graduates are initially treated as if they were the average COMAS graduate, who is weaker that a HU graduate, consequently earning less than UH graduates. However, over time the market differentiates among them so that after several years of experience, COMAS and HU graduates with similar entry scores have similar earnings. Our results are therefore consistent with the view that employers use education information to screen workers but that the market acquires information fairly rapidly.
Link to working paper: http://papers.nber.org/papers/w16730
Quick summary: http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/07/how-much-value-does-an-elite-college-provide/
 
  • #30
lisab
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Here's an interesting study of employment outcomes from students of an elite university in Israel (Hebrew University) versus students of a less prestigious university (College of Management Academic Studies). They essentially find that a degree from an elite college will help you get a foot in the door, but skill quickly triumphs. From the abstract:

Link to working paper: http://papers.nber.org/papers/w16730
Quick summary: http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/07/how-much-value-does-an-elite-college-provide/
This has been my experience in industry. Your track record on the job is a much better predictor of success than where you went to school. Maybe this is because for a lot of jobs, being successful requires a different skill set than what is required to graduate from a top-name school.
 
  • #31
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Or my views are based on companies in North Wales, South Wales, South West England, Mid West England, North London (above M25) and Kent. Not saying they're all with the 'elitist are best' view, but I've never been involved with a company inside the M25 (that would be a big donut shaped motorway surrounding the city of London).
Which ones?
 
  • #32
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They essentially find that a degree from an elite college will help you get a foot in the door, but skill quickly triumphs.
The New York Times wrote up another study that:
compared students at more selective colleges to others of “seemingly comparable ability,” based on their SAT scores and class rank, who had attended less selective schools, either by choice or because a top college rejected them. The earnings of graduates in the two groups were about the same — perhaps shifting the ledger in favor of the less expensive, less prestigious route. The one exception was that children from “disadvantaged family backgrounds” appeared to earn more over time if they attended more selective colleges. The authors, Stacy Berg Dale and Alan B. Krueger, do not speculate why, but conclude, “These students appear to benefit most from attending a more elite college.”
source
Original paper: http://papers.nber.org/papers/w7322
 
  • #33
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Probably yes, but I'm not talking about submitting a CV/resume. I'm talking about the online application forms that ask a multitude of competency questions as well as your personal details.
In the US, if you are filling out an online job application that means that your application is going into a database that no one is looking at.

It's important to note that Kingston University is in London, and thus his views are likely to be heavily biased based on what goes on in industries like consultancy and investment banking.
My views are also heavily biased by what goes on in industries like investment banking. It may be that US investment banking is very different from UK investment banking. One thing that I know is a big difference is that US investment banking is very heavily influenced by the culture of NYC. There were a lot of immigrants that came to NYC with no formal education that made their name in banking and finance. Goldman-Sachs was built by someone with a junior high school education.

Now there are one or two industries that will hire a fraction of a percent of the year's graduates will treat you like royalty if you have an elitist university name on your CV. But they are predominantly located in London and in the financial services sector, a large employer of engineers (and other numerical based degrees).
You have to be very careful about generalizations.

That's not what actually happens in the places I've worked at. When a lot of recruiting, you need warm bodies, and so they head over the the local university and hire people. What is interesting is that the universities HR hires from are not necessarily the big names.

Also, a lot depends on the manager. I know of some managers that are very school-brand oriented. I know of some managers that are *anti-school brand* oriented (i.e. having a big name degree means that you are less likely to be hired).
 
  • #34
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So Harvard is ultra competitive because it offers the same opportunities & prestige as Odds n' Ends U? yea right
It's ultra competitive because he has the marketing to have people think that if offers more opportunities and prestige. Part of the reason that they can do this is that most people have no direct experience taking courses at Harvard. (Anyone other than me ever taken classes at Harvard?)
 
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  • #35
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Here's an interesting study of employment outcomes from students of an elite university in Israel (Hebrew University) versus students of a less prestigious university (College of Management Academic Studies). They essentially find that a degree from an elite college will help you get a foot in the door, but skill quickly triumphs.
But what any of this means if you aren't looking for a management position is Israel is questionable.

There are some industries in which you are dead if you don't get your foot in the door. Research professorships are that way. If you don't get your foot in the door, then you are pretty much doomed unless you do something to fundamentally change the system.
 
  • #36
In the US, if you are filling out an online job application that means that your application is going into a database that no one is looking at.
Why do the companies pay to implement and maintain such an application system if they don't use it?

Most job applications in the UK are online now - the pre interview stages at least. I got my internship via an online application, so I don't think this is the case over here.
 

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