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It’s Not All About the Brand




Does it truly matter where you go to college? For some, the obvious answer is “yes.” But recently, the name brand recognition of colleges has been examined and addressed as solely a social construct. With student loans increasing and colleges getting even more exclusive, students now more than ever are choosing institutions with lower name status. Therefore, factors such as success rates and education quality should not deter people from choosing a college that is less well-known. Schools like Harvard and Stanford are commonly associated with producing extremely successful graduates; however, research actually suggests the opposite.

According to The Washington Post, among the chief executives in the Fortune 500, only 30 attended an Ivy League school or an equally selective college. It should also be noted that many job recruiters actually focus more on the experience of candidates rather than where they went to school. It is obvious that having a well-known alma mater certainly helps a person find opportunities and make connections after graduation; however, success ultimately comes from what you choose to do at college and beyond. Another common misconception about top schools is that they give students a better education, but this greatly depends on what a student wants to study. For students looking to study engineering or computer science, some top tier schools tend to be weaker in this field. De Anza Community College has become increasingly popular for students looking to get a job in STEM straight after graduation because these programs contain two or three year courses for people interested in learning quickly but still in depth.

Google has actually been known to hire straight out of schools like De Anza because the content covered is very similar to what they want their workers to master. If someone wants to pursue a position in journalism or finance, some small liberal arts colleges are a better option because of their English focus. The name recognition of colleges has become less of a pull factor in making the dreaded college decision. Students should have control over their education and should choose where they want to go based on the fit rather than the prestige alone. So really, college is your home for four years and what really matters is what happens after you get your diploma.