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Got a Harvard degree? Bosses don’t care

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The traditional method of judging a recruit by his or her college institution is slowly giving way to how much expertise one has in their applied field.

The Gallup-Lumina Business Leaders Poll on Higher Education found top business leaders in the US perceive candidates’ range of skills to be more important than the rankings of their university.

Out of 623 American leaders polled, 84% said the amount of knowledge a candidate has in a particular field was “very important”. This was followed by candidates’ applied skills (79%).

“These two reasons far outweighed the importance of a candidate’s college major (28%) or where the candidate received his or her college degree (9%),” the report stated.

However, another survey by Gallup found the average American rates the candidate’s college major and where the candidate received his or her degree as higher in importance than business leaders.

Nearly half of US adults (47%) said the candidate’s college or university major is a very important factor to hiring managers, according to the Gallup-Lumina Foundation Poll on Higher Education.

In addition, the report found 30% of Americans believe college pedigree is very important.

“There may be more emphasis on what potential employees know and their style of working, rather than on the candidate’s degree per se,” the report stated.

“Thus, while college is still important to business leaders, Americans – who tend to rate the importance of where and what type of degree was attained higher than do business leaders – need to recognise that college alone is not enough.”

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