How Attending a Top-Ranked University Can Help You Gain Traction in the Job Market

As you contemplate applying for college, graduate students in-the-making should work to understand how employers screen their applicants, i.e., what credentials they look for and what automatically disqualifies a prospective employee. If you’re in the midst of the application process and looking to quit your current job, you should also pay special attention to how the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way companies currently do business.

In the wake of budget cuts, cost reductions, and increased terminations, employers have dramatically reformed their hiring protocols and procedures. For example, with limited resources, management has started to prioritize the quality of employees over the number of employees.

As a means of looking out for your future, you should be looking for the best educational opportunities available to you. In your search for the right university, logistical and financial concerns will likely arise. Despite these challenges, you’ll still need to be able to compete for jobs in a potentially shrinking job market. How do you do that?

First, you might want to take a look at current college stats and trends. This step will allow you to identify esteemed universities that can make you more marketable as an employee in an employer’s market.

Second, you need to decide if getting an education or a Marketing MBA from a top-ranked university will offer you any advantages. For answers to these high-stakes questions, you’ll need to perform a quick risk-reward analysis. If you take the leap and agree to go into hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt for a more prestigious education, will it pay off with higher-paying job opportunities?

As you go about predicting the future of the business environment, keep your future in mind. To ensure success and financial stability, here are a few ways that attending a top university might help you.

Four benefits of attending a top-ranked university

Every decision you make in life should be geared towards improving the quality of your life now and in the future. Not surprisingly, an Ivy League education could help somewhat, at least in the financial realm. However, you might not realize that some career paths don’t depend on the quality of education as much as others.

For instance, aspiring architects benefit little by shelling out extra money to attend an elite school. Plenty of well-respected, high-paying jobs in the architecture sector are attainable with an online degree.

Conversely, a business or law degree from a school like Harvard or Princeton could provide tremendous future benefits. What kind of advantages? Read on.

Resume Boost

As economic fallout ensues in the COVID-19 era, the competition for higher-paying jobs is going to increase. Some people will attempt to compete with extensive job experience and less advanced college degrees. This strategy works well when dealing with employers looking for applicants with ample experience and industry knowledge, as both will, ultimately, benefit the company.

If a manager’s focus is on hiring candidates who have great potential, education would likely be a determining factor. In such cases, the depth of education and the university of origin comes into play. If a law firm is looking for a potential future partner, the name of an elite school attached to a candidate’s name will always capture their attention, only if their other credentials are comparable to competing applicants.

Improves your chances of being accepted into a graduate program

Advanced degrees often translate to better jobs and more pay. Unfortunately, it’s infinitely more difficult to get into a graduate program than an undergraduate program. Because the number of applicants outweighs the number of openings, a whopping percentage of prospective graduate students will receive a rejection letter.

With a limited number of places in a program, graduate schools will favor candidates with the most potential. Whether fair or not, degrees from elite schools can help boost your chances of being accepted into the graduate program of your choosing.

Better pay and benefits

As you review school and employment statistics, you’ll likely realize there’s a direct correlation between education quality and first-year salary. That’s not even taking extra benefits like tuition reimbursement into consideration.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that graduates from elite schools have greater access to big-name companies with generous starting salaries. With increased sales volume, top-ranked companies can usually pay more and offer better perks/benefits, giving Ivy League graduates a head start in the race for a six-figure salary.

Alumni connections

The collective graduates from a top-ranked school put a lot of value in their alumni programs and associations. In life, it’s not always what you know but who you know that can open doors. With friends in high places, you may be able to score positions otherwise out of reach.

It’s near impossible to quantify the value you derive as an alumni from MIT or an Ivy League school, as these benefits vary from graduate to graduate. That said, at some point in your life, the benefits of such associations will become apparent. Should you apply for a position with hundreds of applicants, recommendations from fellow alumni can bolster your application.

In conclusion

Before getting caught up in the Ivy League craze, consider your desired field and the value they place on an undergraduate/graduate degree from an elite university. Don’t bury yourself in student debt for no reason at all. Do your due diligence and investigate how an Ivy League education might benefit you as a working professional.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.