Why it Doesn't Matter Which University you Studied At

There is a widely-held belief in the UK that people who attend certain universities have a far better chance of landing a high-paid job than somebody who achieved similar feats at a less established educational institution.

On the face of it, this stands to reason, as the entry requirements to secure a place at a top red brick university are generally very strict. So, in theory, these places will be churning out the very smartest and most talented graduates.

However, this is a far too simplistic and perhaps outdated way of looking at things.

University snobbery?

Some employers have been accused of "university snobbery" in the past for their refusal to contemplate hiring somebody who graduated from the University of Wolverhampton, but this is becoming less common.

While it is common sense for students to select somewhere that is renowned for providing the best courses in their chosen career, it is not the end of the world if you cannot secure a place at your first choice university.

Are times changing?

There has been a great deal of talk surrounding supposed snobbery when it comes to educational background and the debate was further fuelled by Sarah Vine - journalist and wife of UK education secretary Michael Gove - in March 2014.

She used her Daily Mail column to attack the perceived divide between state and private schools and explained why she has decided to send her own child to a state secondary.

"Don't get me wrong: I don't for one second disapprove of the private education sector," she wrote.

"Some of the nicest people I know went to top public schools, and just because I don't believe in them, doesn't make them bad. But I do think having a two-tiered education system inevitably helps polarise our society."

Google also put paid to the notion that the world's most prestigious corporations will automatically favour job candidates who have attended the very best schools and universities.

Speaking to the New York Times, Adam Bryant - senior vice-president of people operations for Google - said that while achieving good grades certainly doesn't harm a person's chances of landing a job at the technology giant, there are other attributes - such as leadership, humility and the ability to listen to others - which the firm tends to prioritise.

There is no exact science to forging a fulfilling career

Of course, there are many talented job applicants who have the potential to add a great deal of value to businesses that have never studied at university.

Again, there are certain sectors where this is an obvious disadvantage, but then there are others where somebody who has gone straight into the world of work has an edge over rival candidates.

There is a lot to be said for learning and developing new skills while in full or part-time employment and the government is keen to see more companies - particularly those in more technical fields such as IT or engineering - introducing apprenticeship schemes.

What all of this goes to show is that there is more than one way to forge an exciting and successful career. Just because you have chosen a different path to somebody else, that doesn't necessarily mean you have put yourself at a disadvantage.

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