Employers Don’t Care About Ivy League Degrees

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Business leaders say knowledge trumps your alma mater, according to a new Gallup survey.

Sorry, Harvard grads. Your Ivy League degree isn’t that important when it comes to getting a job.

A new Gallup survey finds that business leaders who make hiring decisions are far less concerned about where job candidates earned their degree, or even what degree they have, than they are about the skills and knowledge a potential employee could bring to their business.

In fact, just 9 percent of business leaders view a candidate’s college as “very important” when it comes to hiring. The overwhelming majority of employers said assessing knowledge in the field (84 percent) and applied skills (79 percent) are more important than where a potential employee went to school.

This corresponds with recent insights into how large, high-tech corporations like Google conduct their hiring. At Google, hiring managers say certain types of skills and talents are what matter most, more than a particular type of college degree or even having a college degree at all.

Maybe this will serve as a wake-up call to the 8 in 10 Americans who still believe that it’s important where they attended college. According to Quartz:

“For business leaders, what your major was, where you went, none of that matters as much — it’s the skills,” said Brandon Busteed, the executive director of Gallup Education. “They think that if you go to Princeton and you major in engineering and have the skills I’m hiring for great, but if you majored in engineering in Princeton and can’t do the job, what does it matter?”

This sentiment echoes that of Laszlo Beck, senior vice president of people operations at Google. Beck told The New York Times that it’s common for top graduates to lack “intellectual humility,” and also, colleges “don’t deliver on what they promise” in student quality and preparedness.

In fact, the Gallup survey revealed another shocking result: While 96 percent of college provosts say their students are prepared for the job market, just 14 percent of the public and 11 percent of business leaders agree.

Did the results of the survey surprise you? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

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