The Atlantic has a nice summary of a study conducted by researchers from BYU and SDSU about the importance of a college’s prestige in determining future earnings. Future earnings are impacted for most majors, particularly business, where the school’s prestige makes a noticeable difference. It’s pretty well known that many top recruiters such as consulting firms, private equity firms and investment banks have a strong preference for graduates of the top colleges, all of which only reinforces the enhanced networking capabilities for these highly sought after schools.
Science majors had the least income discrepancy between the various tiers of colleges. We believe these majors are always very challenging and attract high caliber students at every school. Additionally with a very tight labor market for these graduates, employers can’t afford to be too picky about the school attended.
The Wall Street Journal just released an article that continues the conversation of school versus major and, indeed, is authored by the same two researchers: Eric R. Eide and
Michael J. Hilmer.
The authors reach the same conclusion that the prestige of the school matters for business and liberal arts majors, but makes only a small difference in income for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) majors.