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College Reputation: The Inheritance of Graduates

A recent promotion (see below) on the University of San Francisco’s Facebook page got me thinking about the reputation of the college in relation to career prospects, especially since many students (and their parents) seek college degrees for greater future job security.

University of San Francisco

Career preparation is an accumulation of:

  • the skills learned in the classroom,
  • taking the initiative to move away from home,
  • surviving the application process to college, as well as
  • the inherited reputation of alumni and current efforts of the university one chooses to attend and graduate from.

The reputation of the college, or the perceived reputation, in the mind’s of potential employers can add or bias an opportunity.  Having graduated from Harvard, even as a graduate student, helped open doors for interviews.  I didn’t always get the job, though.   On the other hand, clients have  said, “You went to Harvard?  You’re hired,”  without knowing more about our educational consulting services or my experience.  The reputation of Harvard was still the reputation of Harvard, yet the perception of the person I was talking with changed.

The value or perceived value of a college’s reputation should also be considered by prospective students (and their parents) when choosing colleges for both application and enrollment.  Asking more informed questions, rather than outright dismissing the reputation or unquestioned acceptance of the reputation, will help students find the career value they seek in their college degree and feel more confident in the dollars invested in the college costs.

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Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, is a University of California and Harvard trained educator and Partner at Creative Marbles Consultancy. You can contact Jill at jill@creativemarbles.com or, read her short biography.