BGSU, BU – study says they’re all just letters

By Mary Vitale U-WIRE

Last week, the University of Michigan published the results of a study that reported that graduates from “elite” and “high prestige” universities, including universities typically categorized with Boston University, do not fair any better in the job market than graduates from public or low-tier colleges.

The study followed the college and career paths of high school graduates from the last 35 years. According to the results, elite college students showed no significant gains in their early, mid or late careers when compared to college graduates from other less-prestigious schools.

Career Services Director Richard Leger said it is difficult to say how BU graduates compare against the study because the office does not track graduates’ career growth in the long run, but he said employers always appreciate BU graduates.

“I can’t answer [if BU graduates fair better], but employers always think very highly of our graduates,” he said. “I cannot necessarily prove that we do better, but employers have told me that they really like what they see in graduates from BU.”

Leger said BU has become more prominent in recent years because of the good press the university receives.

“BU is very well known,” College of Arts and Sciences freshman Megan Riley said, “so I think it will [help in the job market].”

Many students said in addition to the prestigious name that goes along with a university, preparation aids students even more throughout their career upon graduation. Students said alumni status did not draw them to BU, and many said they had never even looked into that factor.

“I didn’t look at the alumni status,” Riley said. “I think your choice of college should be more about what you do for yourself and not what the college has done for other people.”

College of Communication sophomore Andrew Lugren said it is up to students to apply themselves to be motivated and successful in the job market.

“It is just as likely for a graduate from a low prestige community college to land a great job than it is for a student from an elite school like BU,” he said, “if the graduate from the lower prestigious school applied himself more and took more away from what his school had to offer than the BU graduate did.”

Some students said they felt the study was flawed because it is impossible to determine what kind of graduates do better in their careers when each school is different.

“All those studies about these things never make any sense to me,” CAS sophomore Stephen Corgan said. “I think it is impossible for researchers to even determine what schools should be considered elite and how much success graduates have, because students from one particular elite school could have a great job placement statistic and another equally elite school could have a terrible one.”

Leger said job placement for BU graduates still remains positive.

“The job prospects for our graduates are decent,” he said. “As long as students have a good job strategy and work hard, they should be okay.”