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How Much Is a College Name Worth?

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Summary: Are you thinking about earning a master’s degree in accounting? Learn how important the school you go to is.


Question: I am currently a sophomore in college, and I plan on getting my master’s degree in accounting. I’m thinking of transferring to a really strong business school. Is it worth it to transfer halfway through my college career when I am planning on getting my master’s degree at the stronger school anyway? How much weight does an employer place on an applicant’s undergraduate school?

Answer: No doubt, a big name college can help get your foot in the door. Prestigious firms often favor candidates from well-known institutions and selectively recruit from their favorites. If you are accepted into the more prestigious school immediately after you have earned your bachelor’s degree, your first job search will benefit anyway from the status and connections of the more prestigious institution. So, is it worth it to transfer now?

Consider the whole mix of variables before you make a decision. Beyond the foot in the door, many graduates from less prestigious colleges tend to fare just as well over the course of a career. A recent study of CEOs documented the success of graduates of lesser-known schools. Move beyond “what’s in a name?” to consider the following questions: How is the quality of your educational experience, and how about the faculty? Does the school offer opportunities to gain work experience and contacts through experiential learning programs? How are you finding your current college experience, not just the classes, but the whole experience? How do you think it would compare to the new college?

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Authored by: Granted Contributor