3 Ways Public Colleges Trounce Ivy League Schools

Attending an expensive private school isn’t necessarily the path to riches and happiness

May 18, 2014 at 1:27PM

StudyingSource: Flickr / scui3asteveo.

As a new crop of college graduates join the ranks of job seekers, things are looking a bit brighter on the employment front. The economy has begun creating many more new jobs, and a recent poll indicated that companies plan to increase their hiring of new college graduates by 8.6% this year.

But competition is still tough in the post-crisis job market, and many graduates of public colleges and universities may feel at a disadvantage to those whose newly minted degrees hail from more illustrious private schools.

If you are wondering whether Ivy League graduates have an edge over public college attendees, take heart. When it comes to achieving success – both at the career and personal level – graduates of the nation's public college system may actually have a leg up on those from those pricier schools. Let's count the ways.


Source: Flickr / gadgetdude.

Employers don't care which college you attended
While the general public may put a lot of emphasis on a graduate's alma mater, hiring managers do not. When a recent Gallup poll asked over 600 business leaders if they considered where an applicant received his or her college degree a very important factor in the hiring process, only 9% said yes.

When members of the public were asked the same question, 30% replied that they thought companies considered this issue very important.

What did managers consider the most important factor when deciding whether or not to hire a college graduate? A whopping 84% said that the amount of knowledge a candidate exhibited about their chosen field is very important, while 79% noted that applied skills were also a major consideration.

Overall well-being is just as high in public college grads as their private-school peers
Gallup and Purdue University interviewed over 30,000 college graduates on their feelings of employee engagement and well-being, and found no differences between graduates of public colleges and private schools. What did matter to post-college feelings of success and happiness were the positive experiences graduates encountered during their college days.

The most highly rated experience, regardless of the type of college attended, was having at least one instructor that made learning fun and exciting.

Costs at public colleges are usually much lower
This fact is widely known, but takes on new urgency in light of the two Gallup surveys.

For example, the level of student debt in the Gallup-Purdue study had a direct effect on the feelings of well-being experienced by college graduates, with a mere 2% of those shouldering between $20,000 and $40,000 in college loan debt describing themselves as "thriving".

This is huge – particularly since employers don't put much emphasis on whether job applicants attend public or private schools. As one of Gallup's researchers commented, "If you can go to Podunk U debt free vs. Harvard for $100,000, go to Podunk. And concentrate on what you do when you get there." With college debt levels at crisis proportions, those are definitely words to live by.

A public college education isn't the only investment that pays great dividends
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4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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