Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Does WHERE a Student Get Their Bachelor's Matter in Hiring?

An Accountemps survey of 1,400 chief financial officers looked at the importance or lack of importance that the prestige of a student's university makes in hiring decisions. One out of eight surveyed said that the school of graduation is very important, 38% said of some significance and virtually half said that the name of the university on the diploma made no difference.

I am generally inclined to agree that the source of degree is not that important; I had some auditing students this past spring that could hold their own against almost any SEC or Big Ten accounting school's graduates. Three caveats, however: [1] if your university is not regionally-accredited (AACSB is nice but less critical) you could have problems, [2] if you are moving to a different part of the country, getting the degree from a "big-name" school probably makes more of a difference--Austin Peay students can probably compete effectively with UK (Kentucky) students for jobs in Hopkinsville, KY but would be at a disadvantage vs. UK (and even greater disadvantage vs. more local universities) in getting a job in Chicago, [3] good work experience, an enjoyable personality, a high GMAT or some combo of the three can level the playing field in a hurry for those from smaller, less well-known universities.


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