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comment by birchbarkcanoe
birchbarkcanoe  ·  2734 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 'It Doesn't Matter Where You Go to College': Inspirational, but Wrong

As someone at the beginning of the college process, I've been getting so many mixed messages about this. Is it what you do with your education over where you get that education? Will you do better if you graduate at the top of your class at a state school or in the bottom of your class at an Ivy? Is your alma mater an omnipresent tag to your identity (and résumé) or is it just four years of your life? I have no idea what to think about this anymore.

    After all, elite schools aren't taking a random sample of high-school students and churning out success stories. They're accepting people who are already on the road to success,
I must say I find that slightly terrifying.

    the truer thing is that their lives have already been shaped decisively by the sum of their own past decisions—the habits developed, the friends made, and the challenges overcome. Where you go to college does matter, because it's often an accurate measure of the person you're becoming.
So it does matter....but it also doesn't really matter? I agree with this from a "finding the right fit" standpoint, but what happened to the theory that the admissions officers aren't determining your fate? If it's a measure of the person you're becoming, aren't the admissions officers the ones holding the measuring tape?

b_b  ·  2733 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The Economist published an article recently that draws a different conclusion.

In their analysis, the subject you choose to study has a greater bearing on future income than on where you receive your degree.

Let me say this. I'm at a point where I sometimes get to hire people. I personally don't care even 1% where a potential candidate went to school. (I think mainly consulting and financial firms care the most; most jobs aren't in finance and consulting; finance and consulting are mainly run by thieves and charlatans anyhow.) If their resume looks good enough based on school and experience, I want to talk to them, and I want them to talk to me. Personality matters in the real world, and it can get you really far, provided you're also competent and committed to your craft.

Below, kleinbl00 offers good advice when he says, "...expand your learning and grow as a person." I would argue that all learning is good learning, even if the topic seems to be unrelated to the topic at hand in the immediate sense. The world is rife with convergences, analogies, crossroads. Having the most expansive knowledge lets you see the problem from angles that you might not otherwise consider. This is a skill, and it's one that college can help you develop, but that you need to own personally if you wan to develop it.

Get skills. Get to know people. Do a good job. If you do these things, it won't matter if you have a Harvard logo on your degree.

ButterflyEffect  ·  2734 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Is your alma mater an omnipresent tag to your identity (and résumé) or is it just four years of your life?

I'd put it somewhere in between. I'm just leaving the college process and what I'm finding is that in everyday situations it doesn't matter where you went to college. However, the part that they don't tell you much about heading in is that where you go affects what doors are open to you. Certain companies (in engineering at least) are much more keen to hiring from certain colleges, and that can affect a persons ability to get into an entire industry or geographic location of the company. It's an omnipresent tag if you keep finding yourself in situations where the person holding the keys either went to your college or holds it in high esteem.

kleinbl00  ·  2734 days ago  ·  link  ·  

1) Work as hard as you can.

2) Get the best education you can afford.

3) Bust your ass to distinguish yourself, expand your learning and grow as a person.

Oh, wait. You were talking about college. Yes, Steps 1-3 also apply to college.