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Prestigious colleges may not offer the best job prospects

Tuesday, December 04, 2012
When researching prospective schools, you may be under the impression that earning a degree from a prestigious university is your ticket to future success. However, this may not necessarily be the case.

More than meets the eye
Many high school seniors think that attending a prestigious school will boost their employment prospects after graduation. These universities typically place high in college rankings due to their status and the income potential for recent graduates. Employment data Web site PayScale recently compiled data on the average salaries of graduates from 852 colleges across the country for Bloomburg Businessweek. While prestigious schools ranked high on the list, the table also shows that earning a degree from Ivy League schools like Harvard University or Princeton University can cost more than $200,000.

Choosing the right college for you is about more than how well a school placed in the rankings. You should thoroughly and carefully assess your financial situation and career goals before making your final decision. While you hope that your college degree will give you financial security in the future, attending a prestigious college cannot guarantee that projection. According to the PayScale report only four Ivy League colleges are among the top 10 schools on the list.

Employment prospects
While a degree from a prestigious university can be an impressive addition to a résumé, students should not overlook the value of attending a state school. According to The Wall Street Journal, a recent survey of 479 of the largest public and private companies in the U.S. revealed that a majority of employers favor candidates who graduated from state schools. The report suggests that while many companies value applicants from prestigious colleges and Ivy League schools, many entry-level positions require skills commonly taught in degree programs at state schools.

While you definitely want to have financial security in your chosen career, it’s equally important to get a job in your field upon graduating. Since many college rankings typically focus on earning potential, not employment prospects, relying solely on school rankings can be a misleading indicator of student success.

To be sure, college rankings can be a useful tool during the college preparation process. However, to conduct a successful college search you need to look further than the top 10 lists. Determine what you want from a college, visit college Web sites and campuses, talk to students, teachers and your parents. Only after you’ve done all that research should you determine which college is right for you.ADNFCR-16000756-ID-800919316-ADNFCR - helping you find colleges and universities that offer the accredited programs that most interest you.

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Prestigious colleges may not offer the best job prospects
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