Skip to comments.Sorry, Your Ivy League Degree Is Completely Overrated
Posted on 02/10/2011 1:13:14 PM PST by SeekAndFind
Is it a crime to be self-taught? Apparently, in North Carolina, where David N. Cox and friends thought they needed new traffic signals so they undertook a sophisticated analysis of their own, and then found themselves under investigation for being too smart.
I would have ignored this case if it were just a North Carolina political thing, but the reality is, the same thing happens in the business world all the time. Credentialsespecially Ivy League kindsare way over-rated, often at the expense of true knowledge.
Ive benefited from having credentials, so this isnt just sour grapes on my part. In fact, in my first exempt level Human Resources job, my salary was higher than my more experienced coworkers largely due to the fact that I had a masters degree (in political science) and they all had bachelors degrees. That worked well for me, but was unfair to them. They had to teach me how to be an HR person. I could do statistics (which was a needed skill), but hardly (in my opinion) outweighed the 3-5 years of experience they had. This hardly seems fair. (Although, I admit I did not object to my salary, and no it wasnt a case of me being a better negotiator.)
Thats not the only place where having the right degree means more money, and in many cases, your only chance at the job. Do you want a raise as a teacher? Many school districts base raises on years of service and education level. Masters degree holders get more money than others, regardless of actual teaching ability.
Marketplace recently did an investigation into teacher pay practices.
Billions go towards teachers raises, raises because the teacher earned a masters degrees. Many are questioning the practice, especially because theres not a lot of evidence that ...
(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...
These days, celebrities get easily accepted into Ivly League universities. It tells you everything you need to know about the institutions these days.
Shoot - the story this article refers to is far scarier:
I’ll take an engineer who spent 5-10 years as a welder or electrician and THEN went to college over an ivy league degree any day.
Celebrities may get accepted, but some of them make the grade and graduate, too.
Mayim Bialik, of note, earned her Ph.D. in neuroscience.
If your child was planning on going straight in to graduate school to pursue a course of study, then consider attending a local college (CUNY or SUNY even) for four years and save your money for grad school. College is 128 credits. Grad school is considerably less. A college diploma is a college diploma.
Ivy League schools (and those like them) will just suck you dry in your finances, just so you can have a name on a piece of paper, which may or may not mean anything to you in the future.
It comes down always to what you offer the company. The diploma is close to nothing but a piece of paper. case in point (and I;ve told this story here a couple of time..)
My business partner has a tech co. here in West Hollywood, CA and previously fired an IT guy from an “well-known” tech university located in the East Coast.
The new 23-year old guy he hired demonstrated web techniques which were superior than the last one. One day he was in a burger joint with the dude and he asked him where did he learn XML, ASP, .NET and all that tech stuff.
His answer: “University of Youtube”.Apparently, all this techie stuff were being taught on educational videos on YT. He would also download via bitorrent the apps, borrow the book from the public library and learn it on his own.
An Ivy League degree should mean immediate disqualification from holding public office, IMHO......
There is a very simple explanation for the credentialism all around us.
A much more effective way to determine whether a potential employee will be any good is to administer an IQ or aptitude test.
But the courts have declared these illegal because of their disparate impact on minorities. So employers go with a “college degree” as a requirement even where it isn’t really. They figure they’ll get some minimal level of competence, at least.
Personally, I never got the chance to go to college, and I work in a professional field where most of my colleagues have PhDs or at minimum masters. Very seldom am I questioned about my credentials, since as I am obviously competent they just assume I have them.
Say what you will about the Ivies. I notice they produce Ted Kennedys and W. F. Buckleys alike.
I’ve also noticed that otherwise pleasant folks who didn’t get into their top-choice school can harbor a sort of irrational bitterness for decades.
I got my MSEE from Georgia Tech. I’ll put my skills up against any Ivy Leaguer anytime, anywhere.
Thomas Sowell has written extensively on this topic, that the generally-accepted “prestigious” colleges and universities actually short-change their students in the practical quality of the education they get compared to lesser-known schools.
I can’t distill Dr. Sowell’s words as well as he could, but the gist of it is that the “prestigious” schools are anymore trading almost entirely on a by-gone reputation. They may have famous and world-class talent in the faculty, but those professors rarely if ever actually teach or interact with students. Students spend most of their time interacting only with junior staff and teacher’s aids instead of the high-caliber professors that supposedly drew them to the school. He even pokes a few sticks at his own beloved Stanford as guilty of the same stuff.
He argues that at many smaller colleges or even on-line colleges (he specifically calls out the U. of Phoenix as an example) the student actually gets a far higher quality education. Prestige alone doesn’t confer any more information and knowledge to students. In fact it is often less.
Hah, your ability to develope new metal alloys won’t stand a chance against that Harvard grad’s ability to tell an employer how he subjugates women and minorities with his patriarchy.
(the sad part is that it is true if the employer is the government)
Oops, i mean your ability to develope circuits. (saw MS and thought material science)
I’ve probably been part of >100 interviews hiring PhDs for industrial research positions. It struck me early on that the work of Ivy league candidates was much less impressive than that from the person graduating from the average university. Probably because they expect to get a job based on the school name rather than their accomplishments. Candidates from a typical university have no such illusion. I did find that candidates from the “top school” did have a much easier time getting interviews.
Very sound advice provided that you achieve a high GPA and can get a good score on the GRE. When you are ready for grad school, find the schools that have the best reputation in your field, apply and seek a TA position or other financial benefits and charge on. Networking with some of the grad school's graduates and professors doesn't hurt either.
Let me guess, you're an Ivy Leguer?
The charge against those people in NC is such uber-BS. NC code G.S. 89C-3(6)a says this:
“A person shall be construed to practice or offer to practice engineering, within the meaning and intent of this Chapter ... who, by verbal claim, sign, advertisement, letterhead, card, or in any other way represents himself to be a professional engineer, or through the use of some other title implies that he is a professional engineer or that he is registered under this Chapter... .”
Don’t see anything in there about countering some gov’t report with actual data and analysis.
This is just some corrupt gov’t pukes throwing their gov’t backed weight around. And the beat goes on...
Wow, I guess I should have put a sarcasm tag on that sucker. As a fellow state school engineering grad (BSEE-Purdue) I was trying to agree with you in an amusing way.
The Ivy League doesn't look too bad on this ROI Chart.
When you consider you may not pay any more to attend an Ivy than to attend a public college it's a good opportunity if you can get in.
Getting in is the hardest part.
Really? That was sarcasm? Seemed a lot more like a snide comment made by a bewildered Ivy Leaguer upset because their “degree” didn’t earn them enough to get them out of the debt generated by the exorbitant tuition they paid to get said “degree”.....
This site (Cracked) definitely has blue language, and is a touch leftist, but has some interesting “lists”. This is one of the lists I found most interesting:
My son likes Offspring, and hasn’t let me forget yet their lead singer has a Masters in Molecular Biology.
Pretty cool — I had no idea.
The same is generally true for nursing education. A 4 year degree nurse will enter the field far less prepared for the realities of work than a 2 year degree nurse. The amount of information crammed into the 2 year program, along with the clinical time (hands on nursing experience) produces a sharp, ready to work nurse.
The 4 year types have a superior level of theory and 'book learning', but need more time to adjust to the environment of work-a-day nursing.
And he got hired? Wow.
Excellent. Wish there were more employers out that like him.
How about the “set aside” spots for those the dean deems worthy of entry?
RE: The Ivy League doesn’t look too bad on this ROI Chart.
Looking at the ROI Chart you just gave...
WOW, get a load of Grove City College. A private college that does not accept any Federal money whatsoever in order to remain independent. It also is ranked as one of the most conservative colleges in America. See here : http://www.yaf.org/topconservativecolleges.aspx
You pay an average of just $75,000 for a 4 year degree, and the average ROI is 12.1% ( almost as good as any of the Ivy League Schools out there ).
And its ROI is ranked in the top 20% of that list !!
Now that’s what I call VALUE FOR MONEY.
You can pay a lot less than that at an Ivy.
I went to one of the better SUNY schools. Very well respected in terms of getting into grad school. If you plan on staying in NYS, definitely look into SUNY. Out of state, however, there is not much name recognition.
I don’t think the Ivys even try to proclaim superiority in engineering.
They’re all about business and law. Where the big money is, not wage slavery.
My sister used to be an executive assistant for a Zurich headquartered consulting firm that ONLY hired Ivy League graduates. When she wasn’t teaching them how to use a copy machine for the 50th time, she was either making service appointments for their BMW’s or reserving tee times. She said they were mostly pleasant until they wanted to make sure you didn’t forget from where and from whose loins they sprang
I’m paying $44,000 for an MBA at a private Florida school. But I have 19 years in the workforce and need a change of pace. (The MBA is Healthcare Administration). I have an AA, a BS is Crim and a BS is Poli Sci. That didn’t work to well for me so I’m rolling the dice with the aging population in Florida and the medical environment. The program is hell but we’ll see how it works.
BTW, I think anyone can make it. Even those without formal education. I know I have to work a little harder than most. I never passed an algebra test, but just aced a statistics and a managerial accounting class.
Oh, and to add, Ivey League schools are all about connections and networking- the major benefit IMHO for business grads..
RE: You can pay a lot less than that at an Ivy.
If you get aid yes. Are you saying that most of those accepted at the Ivies get aid?
You’re quite right. These days an Ivy League degree simply discounts hands on experience and many lcasses they offer are completley impractical and pointless. How on earth is a degree on anything that ends with ‘studies’ worht anything?
I do that for free on LinkedIn.
If you can get in, which is the hardest part, the well endowed Ivies may be able to offer you an education equal to or cheaper than that from state or other private schools.
My point is, if we refer to the ROI chart from earlier in which 5 of the top 10 are Ivies (even based on their official tuiton costs), if one had a child competent enough to be accepted why would you not consider a school with a better ROI?
I have dealt with students who where recruited by schools for various talents. It seemed to me that when FAFSA and finanacial statements were considered all colleges ended up costing about the same.
I'm not saying that the Ivies are the best possible world or offer the best education. Rather, I think for some students an Ivy may an offer excellent value. I also feel that Ivies take care of their students very well. The networking potential, once you graduate, is also well developed amongst Ivy grads.
I agree more with posters above who say as cheap a bachelors as possible and shoot for a good grad school for your major. I also think the importance of college in the US has more to do with employers looking for a college degrees as prerquisites on resumes than it does with any real learning for most students.
That said, I wouldn't dismiss an Ivy out of hand because of perceived costs if I had a child capable enough of being accepted.
At the absolute summit of that, should be an automatic disqualification for labeling oneself "a Rhodes scholar"...
True, but you have to have already have done something to use LinkedIn effectively...
Bah, when I started out with LinkedIn I had my wits. I ahd a small business, but I hadn’t had it really figured out fully. Being on LinkedIn actually helped me and frankly I have more than enough work credentials now to do well enough. All you need is a work history and zest and imagination and anyone will do just fine.