When you’re looking for a new job, there are dozens of things that hiring manager’s take into consideration. From your work experience to your references, to where you went to school and whether you’ll be a cultural fit, these things affect who decision-makers want to bring onto their team.
But just how important is your alma mater when it comes to actually getting the job? A new study from Indeed says it depends. As it turns out, “29% of hiring managers prefer to only hire candidates from top institutions, while almost half (48%) of respondents believe the institution a candidate graduated from plays a somewhat important role in hiring.” This is especially true when it comes to hiring for entry-level or executive roles.
What about where the hiring manager went to school, does that affect your chances? It might. “Our research shows that unconscious bias comes into play in the hiring process, depending on where the manager went to college. Thirty-seven percent of managers who self-identified coming from a top school said they like to hire candidates from top institutions only, versus just 6% of managers who did not go to a top school. On the flipside, 41% of managers who did not self-identify as a top school grad said they look at education but find the experience more important, compared to 11% of managers who said they went to a top school.”
So in conclusion, if you can afford to go to a top school, it may be worth it. But don’t forget that your education is only one bullet point on your resume. There are so many other things that affect your work performance and your career. If Ivy Leagues aren’t for you, instead focus on developing your strategic thinking, teamwork, and communication skills. Or take some free online courses to become a subject matter expert in your field!