Considering the pandemic today, I’ve decided to compile a post I have had in mind for some time now. This period of time we are experiencing will change and set things in our lives for some time or at least until the next major event to happen. Today and many years prior, Ivy League Universities graduates don’t really face same challenges that everybody else face coming from non-Ivy schools and in fact their recovery is much better whenever events that shake up the world happen like this pandemic. While many struggle to find a job, top school students dont face the same problem. The top school brand recognition is so high in today’s society – that even if their degree has nothing to do with the field they got the job in, they will still be the top pick for a company (take example of political science or sociology degree and getting a job in finance) is it fair? I think it is not, but to each their own I guess right? Keep on reading why the system we have today needs fixing when it comes to Ivy League vs everything else.
Let me tell you, Ivy League have a great marketing and brand recognition today and it is not going anywhere anytime soon.
Unemployment Rate obtained from BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
In the beginning of the year, the unemployment rate for college graduates was 2% for college grads and 3.8% for high school grads. This was before the pandemic hit and if you were to ask me, that was pretty damn great! Unfortunately diving deeper we find that on average only about 1 out of 3 college graduates have a job relating to their degree. Here’s a graph below to look at and the link to the data if you want more details can be found here.
Today, just five months later the situation is different and not just for college grads, but for many more people. Today, one can argue this graph is not relatable, but it is good to have an idea as it will help you understand this blog post as we dive deeper into the reality of Ivy League vs Everything Else differences.
University endowments play a huge part in overall University structure and operation and is a very important part of revenue for many higher education institutions. Let’s define college endowment; “University endowments are comprised of money or other financial assets that are donated to academic institutions. Charitable donations are the primary source of funds for endowments. Endowment funds support the teaching, research, and public service missions of colleges and universities.”
Not surprisingly, simply ranking by endowment we can see all the familiar names right away. As of 2020, the graph below represents the largest college endowments in the world ranked.
In other words, these universities have billions of dollars in endowments. For example, Harvard incurred $1.7 billion in just one year. Also, don’t forget about the $9 million in Coronavirus Aid to Harvard University.
Funding College Start-Ups (Good Time to Stop Reading if You Went to One of the Top Schools)
This is where if you are from one of these schools should stop reading if you don’t want to hear the input or are too sensitive.
You come up with a business idea, implemented the business plan, now you need the cash to put it in action. Well, I hate to say it, but it will be much more difficult to obtain than if you are going to one of the top schools. Surely, many ventures and companies pour money into “well-rounded” business ideas, but it is not the same for students in top universities. Getting hundreds of thousands of dollars and even millions in funding for a student start-up is a lot more doable than compared to everybody else from other non-top universities. Thus, really limiting the drive and productivity of another potentially successful start-up we could have today. Not securing funding really puts you in a no-go zone.
*** Taking Jobs Not Relating to Their Major? ***
This is honestly the biggest and most problematic thing I see. If you have LinkedIn, next time you see a graduate from one of the top schools posting, try looking at what the person majored in and correlate that to the job offer they have gotten, most of the time yes – it will be related to their major, but what is becoming most common is because they are coming from a top tier university, any degree will get them almost any job. I’ve seen students graduating with Liberal Studies, History, Sociology, and other degrees getting jobs in engineering, finance, accounting, and other unrelated fields (without minors). Just because the person is coming from one of the top schools, is it really fair for them to take your position – like in my case a history major taking finance position? I don’t think so and sadly this is becoming really common as to the reputation of school is much more important to companies than a student itself.
Is it Really Overrated?
The answer is actually very simple. Yes, getting an education from one of the top schools will result in a much better situation – no matter what might happen in the world, students from top schools will not have problem being chosen as a top applicant. But is it overrated? Over the past few years getting my undergraduate degree – I have been really learning more and more about what is more important today which is networking and I will talk about it in next article. Sure, graduating from top schools benefits you in many ways and most importantly guarantees you the entry into a more prosperous job field and securing that dream position, but what about many more other students that are not coming from top schools and top of the class?
Today and it has been for decades now, top schools marketing is undoubtedly top-notch when keeping up their reputation. Do I believe this trend will eventually go away? Absolutely, there is an ending to everything and new things will arise in this everchanging world. It could take years, lifetimes, and many more other factors to play that we can see today evolving as the world is recovering from a major event that is shaking up everything everywhere.
On one side we do really need to value the hard work the students put in by getting into the top schools, but on the other side students graduating from “everywhere else” have to face the hurdle of trying to get into their field they majored in when a person from a top school can get that job by just having a top school under their belt (even if the major has nothing to do with the field they are trying to get in).For example, just today in the morning seeing “Sociology” major from Harvard getting a summer analyst position at Goldman Sachs, what does sociology has to do with finance?
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Richard Barnett is a student majoring in finance, entrepreneur, marketer, content writer, budget traveler, and financial blog “Student Money Adviser” owner. You can read more about me here.