Why Elite Universities Are Losing Their Edge on the Job Market

Universities tend to be places that get a lot of focus when it comes to efforts towards social justice. There are undeniable issues affecting minority students and women in some colleges and specialisms, and this is something that student bodies are becoming more and more vocal about.

The college environment is also one that often comes under scrutiny from social justice advocates, with the demand for more safe spaces where people can experience university life without worry about prejudice: a topic that is often discussed.

Of course, the things that may hold a person back in their educational career can have an impact on their whole lives. Not getting into a prestigious university or being unable to attend for financial reasons, could mean that a person wouldn’t get to fulfil their potential in the field of their choice. Luckily, things are changing.

Employers Recognizing Community College and Online Education

While there are plenty of people who deserve to wear their Yale class rings with pride and who got into top universities based on their abilities, with scholarships and other assistance, there is no denying that certain more privileged members of society are over represented at Ivy League schools. Of course, this actually only matters if having attended schools like these gives an advantage for the rest of a person’s adult life. It is interesting, then, to see that employers are beginning to see just as much credibility in the achievements of people who attended community colleges or who gained their degrees online.

Employers Welcoming Online Degrees

Online universities and community colleges allow people to fit their studies around their lives without relocating, and can be ideal for people with family commitments, as well as people with anxiety disorders or autism who can find having to move to new surroundings to study overwhelming. They can also be significantly cheaper options, meaning that people can study without incurring massive debt if their family don’t have the resources and they can’t gain a scholarship. 83% of CEOs in a recent study said that they see online degrees as just as valuable as ones from traditional private colleges, and this is a trend in the right direction.

For the Future

Of course, 83% isn’t 100%, and most of the CEOs surveyed were in smaller or medium-sized businesses, so there is still a way to go until people who have studied online or at community colleges will be on the equal footing they deserve in the job market with candidates from top universities with comparable degrees. However, it is still a sign that businesses are moving with the times, and accept that diversity is beneficial to their companies, and student debt is detrimental to the lives of their employees too.

Hopefully, in time there will be true parity where it doesn’t matter where someone gained a qualification when it comes to applying it in the working world – only how hard they worked for it.

Photo by Accretion Disc


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