Unable to accept the truth about competitiveness in job market

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by sanantone, Jul 29, 2022.

  1. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I've noticed that some people see factual statements about their schools as personal attacks even though their personal situations reflect those factual statements. I think this comes from a place of insecurity. If you're truly proud of your software developer job at a start-up, then why get upset when someone says that Google ranks computer science and engineering programs? If you're happy with your professorship at a podunk state university, then why get upset when someone points out the fact that top programs mostly hire professors from other top programs? If you're satisfied with your job as a public defender, then why get upset when someone mentions the fact that major law firms recruit from top law schools? Information is put out there for prospective students to make informed decisions; you've already made your decision.


    I remember that, in the first semester of my doctoral program, the doctoral coordinator made it clear to a student that he would not have a chance of getting hired at one of the top criminology programs because it was true. He even showed us a peer-reviewed article to support his claim, but all one has to do is look at faculty CVs. If that student's goal was to teach at University of Maryland, then he had the opportunity to drop out of his current program and try to get into ASU, Penn State, or some other top-ranking criminology program. Otherwise, he could learn to be happy with working at a podunk state university, which is where most of the graduates ended up teaching. Most people are perfectly fine with not working at some prestigious organization. I like working for the government, and I make more than the median income for an accountant or tax preparer, but if working for a major accounting firm had been my goal, I would have appreciated someone showing me an article listing the universities the major accounting firms recruit from.

    This is not to excuse employers' elitism and classism, but it's not illegal for them to discriminate against low-ranking schools. Some might even argue that these are good business practices if, for example, Google knows that the vast majority of recent graduates from low-ranking CS programs will fail their technical interviews or that a law firm knows that certain law schools in the area have low bar passage rates, and they would have to terminate new-hires who can't pass the bar.
  2. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    It hurts to have anyone tell you that certain paths are closed to you. I think our knee-jerk reaction is to say "no it isn't." I don't fault people for that. Where I get concerned is when people have no backup plans.

    I knew a woman who was training for a career that paid an average of $15/hour. She was under the impression that it paid closer to $25/hour, and was making financial choices based on her ability to pay back loans with that larger salary. My attempts to convince her otherwise went unheeded. I hope she's doing alright.
  3. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Some consultancies sell the skills of the consultant or an attorney, CPA etc, so candidates from top school or top program graduates is important part of their hiring requirements.
    Education is an investment and like with any investments so there are multiple factors in making decisions such as quality education, return on investment, employment opportunities, networking, legacy etc,
    One of my friends working for major defence contractor among many responsibilities is responsible for hiring interns. In his words -
    Unlike in the past when they gave chance to state university candidates, now they are flooded with candidates from top tier schools.
    Chances for good state university candidates are significantly lower in comparison to candidates from Stanfords, MITs, Berkeleys, UC, Columbias, etc.
    Last year none of the applicants from less prestigious schoos were accepted.
    This summer they accepted 1 ASU student the rest ones all from top prestigious programs.
    Their interns usually upon graduation offered FTE.
  4. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    That's another thing to consider - expected income. The $100k online MSW from USC has become quite popular. There are some social workers who earn six figures, but it isn't the norm. You also have to factor in regional variances in pay vs. cost of living. There might be social worker jobs in California that pay in the high five figures, but your rent will be a few times higher than the national average.
  5. Asymptote

    Asymptote Active Member

    It is helpful for one to internalize exactly what the Pareto Principle can entail in all its manifestations.
  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Helpful - but not a quick-and-easy.
  7. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    There was a pretty prominent VC who recently mentioned a comment about graduates of state schools versus prestigious schools… that even if you hit a home run in opportunity and luck, you’ll likely still be 4 years behind the graduate of a prestigious school program who did reasonably well.

    While it’s great to knock out credits and degrees as creatively and economically as we can… certain career paths and opportunity just align themselves better with the expensive prestigious programs. Really, just depends on one’s goals. As an advocate of the notion that luck is more positioning one’s self for for opportunity and acting upon it then pure randomness… I’m inclined to advocate hesitation with some schools and programs, depending on one’s goals… Although some goals are perfectly fulfilled by just checking off a box…
  8. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    My experience is based on 40 years working at three different companies but they were all the same experience. About 25 years of that 40 years was in management.

    Basically when hiring new college graduates we would hire from the most prestigious schools that the company could afford. That meant hiring mostly from the local University of California campus. Places like Stanford, UC Berkeley, and UCLA were out of our price range so we'd hire from UC San Diego primarily.

    Once a software engineer was hired his/her academic history became almost irrelevant. Raises and promotions were instead based on work performance.
  9. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    I think people fail to realize that organizations that hire from top programs in their respective fields also build up a growing number of alumni from those programs. A Harvard B-School MBA graduate is more apt to hire a soon to be graduate of HBS than they would UT Permian Basin.

    People need to do their research and if their career choice requires a top tier institution to get their foot in the door, they need to work towards that then.
    Rich Douglas likes this.
  10. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    This is a thought provoking thread. In law, I don't regret taking my JD from the school I did. My interests, location, age, and background made receiving a Big Law job offer pretty unlikely. My degree cost almost nothing outside of the opportunity cost and in the cloistered world of the New Mexico bar, my degree was about the best thing to have.

    Nevertheless I DO object to the stranglehold the so called Top Law Schools have on the higher levels of federal government, federal courts, and legal education. It's an incestuous lot that controls access to itself in a way that I think is unhealthy for the profession.
    Vonnegut, Rich Douglas and Dustin like this.
  11. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    I am in a subreddits related to law school admissions. It is all Top 14 or nothing for many folks because of how difficult it is to land Big Law or a Federal Clerkship. I do not have first hand experience with law school stuff but it seems worse than the Top 15 or bust business school folks. Lol
  12. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    I have to agree that when applied to the governments, courts, and education it is a problem. Legal but still a problem. Even in my field of Computer Engineering, it used to bug me that HR almost never sent me any resumes from San Diego State University, for example.

    I think I only ever got one resume from SDSU. It was a fellow with straight A's. I hired him. He was a great engineer. Too smart for his own good though. What I mean by that is that he got another job at a competing company. So he had two jobs and got two salaries. This started the last year he worked for me. I gave him a bad review that year because he didn't complete his assignments. I then transferred to a different position. A few years later the company found out about his "double dipping" and fired him. He got a double salary for like 4 or 5 years!

Share This Page