Education & Success: Ivy League or second tier?

Should companies only hire Ivy League grads if they want the best, or look beyond to second tier schools?

This is an interesting article because it turns out Ivy Leaguers do not have much higher analytical skills when they graduate – they’re actually average or just above average. I wrote about some of these concerns in my post, The Good Ten. Sometimes it can even be better for a person to be a big fish in a small pond.


According to author Garrett Mintz, a more important factor for success is the fit between the individual and the company in terms of strengths and goals. When that fit is really good people are much more committed to the company and make a better contribution.


That makes sense, but there’s a big difference between strengths and goals. Strengths are easier to see and identify. They’re closer to skills, education and experiences. Hiring managers can still get it wrong on a candidate if they don’t also think about goals.


But goals — those can be really hard, especially for new graduates. People are used to thinking about their goals in terms of career aspirations (I want to be CEO) or money (I want to drive a nice car) or experiences (I want to launch a new product or travel a lot). All of that is helpful to know and understand both in terms of setting goals and the company helping to achieve goals, but I don’t think they go deep enough. What we really need to identify is purpose – what are you here to do, what’s your why? And if you can find a good fit between your company and your purpose, I bet you’ll have a great time working there.


Photo: William Thomas