Does It Really Matter Where You Go to College?

Nowadays, the major concern for parents and students is availability in the job market, given so many graduates come out of college without a job. It’s a common issue, and one that drives many students to seek out cheaper alternatives so that they’re not sinking in debt by the time they finish their degree. It’s an issue that many colleges have picked up on and have been seeking out ways to calm people’s fears and draw back in the revenue.

Admissions officers (you know, the ones that look over your applications) are tasked with the job of drawing in applicants, advertising information that might help keep students from turning away. Though since we all like data, statistical evidence, and visually-appealing bar graphs, admissions officers have taken to using this to show people how easy it is for students to land a job after graduating from their campus.

For instance Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y. advertised on their website that 93 percent of alumni were able to find a job six months after graduating. Sounds great, but they don’t tell you that that number came from the responses of only  17 percent of their 743 graduates in 2011. Many colleges a slightly less dishonest, saying that that the simply don’t have the data to support the claim of success of finding a job among graduates.

The fact of the matter is though, where you go to college doesn’t matter — well, it does, kinda, but not as much as you think. Now if you’re planning to go to a for-profit college or if you’re not sure if the institution you’re applying for is accredited, then it does matter; but otherwise, where you go to college doesn’t affect job availability. What does affect it is experience.

In today’s job market, employers are far less concerned about where you went to college, or even if you went to college. They don’t care what you know, but how well you know what you know. You may have graduated at MIT with a degree in engineering, but that fancy piece of paper isn’t going to buy you a job if you’ve never put what you learned to practice. College is supposed to act as a bridge to your career, and if you haven’t utilized anything on your side of the divide, then employers will see no reason to allow you on theirs.