Sorry, Harvard Grad. Employers Prefer Penn State by a Mile

If you’re a graduate of an Ivy League university, your highly leveraged parents are not going to be happy today.  The stunning, and somewhat counter-intuitive, results of a major survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal and published in this morning’s edition found that employers prefer graduates of big state universities over their upscale counterparts by a wide margin.

In fact, only one Ivy League school (Cornell) ranked in the top 25 selected in the study–which surveyed recruiters and hiring managers from 479 of the largest public and private companies, nonprofits and government agencies–on the question of whose students are best prepared and most able to succeed.  Penn State, Texas A&M, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign were one, two and three. Public schools accounted for 19 of the 25, Cornell was the only Ivy League school, and the rest were private, including Notre Dame and Carnegie-Mellon.

“The research highlighted a split in perception about state and private schools. Recruiters who named an Ivy League or elite liberal-arts school as a top pick say they prize their graduates’ intellect and cachet among clients, as well as “soft skills” like critical thinking and communication. But many companies said they need people with practical skills to serve as operations managers, product developers, business analysts and engineers. For those employees—the bulk of their work force—they turn to state institutions or other private schools offering that,” according to the Journal.

See the WSJ article and the rankings here.

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