Does your child believe that myth, “If I don’t attend a top school, I won’t get a good job when I graduate”?
(You can see the article I wrote debunking this myth here.)
The graph at the bottom of today’s post is going to make you both you and your child feel instantly better.
For every kid who fears that their college isn’t good enough, here’s great news.
Today I’m featuring excerpts from a brilliant article written by Derek Thompson in The Atlantic.
Thompson boldly tackles the question:
“Do employers really care what college you went to? What do they actually look at when deciding whether or not to hire a new college grad?”
When I was 17, if you asked me how I planned on getting a job in the future, I think I would have said: Get into the right college. When I was 18, if you asked me the same question, I would have said: Get into the right classes. When I was 19: Get good grades.
But . . .
When employers recently named the most important elements in hiring a recent graduate, college reputation, GPA, and courses finished at the bottom of the list.
At the top, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, were experiences outside of academics: Internships, jobs, volunteering, and (relevant) extracurriculars.
“When employers do hire from college, the evidence suggests that academic skills are not their primary concern,” says Peter Cappelli, a Wharton professor and the author of a renowned paper on job skills.
Work experience is the #1 thing employers look for in a new hire candidate.
“Work experience,” Cappelli says, “is the crucial attribute that employers want even for students who have yet to work full-time.”
Here’s the good news to pack up and take home:
Thompson says: “When you drill down into how a college’s reputation affects hiring, employers’ mean rating of ‘regionally known’ colleges and universities was practically indistinguishable from their rating for elite schools.”
To dive a little deeper into this subject, read my article on why paid internships are the best internships:
You can read that article here.
Then read my very popular article on “Expensive Education Leads to a Happier Life. True or False? (The Answer Might Surprise You.)”
You can find that article here.
My suggestion to parents and guidance counselors?
Let’s stop demoralizing and scaring kids by telling them the big lie: “If you don’t get into a good college, you won’t be able to get a good job when you graduate.” Instead, let’s tell them: “Be sure to plan ahead and do 2–3 paid internships during college—it’s one of the best ways to set yourself up to get a great job when you graduate!”
For clear, step-by-step help getting your kids through college debt-free and into jobs they love afterward, get your copy of my book:
It’s a reference book, so nobody reads the whole thing cover to cover. Pick out what you need to read in it using the fast-paced, 10-minute video instructions here.
You can see more than 100 reviews of this book on Amazon by going to:
(Tell your friends.)
You can see why financial advising professionals love LAUNCH, here.
You can see the top 9 questions parents are asking me about LAUNCH, here.
Read just one chapter of LAUNCH every 1–3 months while your child’s in middle school and high school, and you’ll know every viable strategy for debt-free college at exactly the right time to implement it.
And if your child’s already well past middle school? That’s OK; you can run to catch up. But the process of getting your kids through college debt-free goes more smoothly the earlier you start it—especially if you’re not planning to save up any money to pay for college.
Take a step on this right now. Get regular, inspiring help from me—every Monday morning.
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Are you an employer who hires new college grads?
What are your thoughts on the value of college internships? Comment below, or LIKE Jeannie Burlowski Author on Facebook and comment on this post there.
Who is Jeannie Burlowski?
Jeannie is a full-time academic strategist, podcast host, and sought-after speaker for students ages 12–26, their parents, and the professionals who serve them. Her writing, speaking, and podcasting help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free and move directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, Parents Magazine, and US News and World Report, and on CBS News.
This article was originally published on this blog on May 16th, 2016. It was most recently updated on April 5th, 2021.