It Doesn’t Matter Where You Go To College

This NY Times Op Ed piece by Thomas L Friedman – It Takes a Mentor – shares Gallup research on links between college and long-term success that will blow you away. By reading these refreshing findings, you will automatically take at least $100k off your Gen Z’s college bill.

According to Brandon Busteed, the executive director of Gallup’s education division – –

“We think it’s a big deal” where we go to college, Busteed explained to me. “But we found no difference in terms of type of institution you went to — public, private, selective or not — in long-term outcomes. How you got your college education mattered most.”

Alas, research that supports my POV on college, “WHAT and HOW you prepare yourself for your future matters more than WHERE you go.”  We have experience to support that: I know so many Gen Xers who attended private elite liberal arts colleges, myself included, and every graduate struggled to find a job, no less a career, after college.  We felt totally unprepared for “the real world” and thus, most of us went back to graduate school. And how much did that cost? We finally paid off our school loans at age 30.

So what does make college grads successful in the workplace? Busteed says MENTORS and INTERNSHIPS.

Graduates who told Gallup that they had a professor or professors “who cared about them as a person — or had a mentor who encouraged their goals and dreams and/or had an internship where they applied what they were learning — were twice as likely to be engaged with their work and thriving in their overall well-being,” Busteed said.

My Gen Z is five years away from college but the buzz has already begun. Peers are already throwing around Ivy Leagues, parents are building the college resume, yet my14 year old is focused on high school, taking one day at a time. Gen Zs are gifted in so many ways, let’s help direct and advise them so they succeed in the work place.


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