Ivy League graduates out of their league?

College recruiters are cutting back on recruiting Ivy League graduates, according to a survey of top recruiters by the Wall Street Journal:

Under pressure to cut costs and streamline their hiring efforts, recruiting managers find it’s more efficient to focus on fewer large schools and forge deeper relationships with them, according to a Wall Street Journal survey of top corporate recruiters whose companies last year hired 43,000 new graduates. Big state schools Pennsylvania State University, Texas A&M University and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign were the top three picks among recruiters surveyed.

So what happened to Harvard, Yale, Princeton and all the rest? While many companies that answered The Journal’s survey say they recruit and hire Ivy League graduates, far fewer ranked them as top picks.

Claudia Goldin, a Harvard economics professor and lead researcher on a study tracking Harvard graduates’ career paths, said, “We have none of the basic bread-and-butter courses that serve you well in much of industry.” What’s more, Ms. Goldin said, at Harvard, more than 55% of graduates went on to a doctorate degree, according to a recent survey, so they tend to stay in a first job for a short period of time—often a year or less. It’s an observation recruiters in the Journal’s study also made.

If Harvard’s not providing those “bread-and-butter courses,” however, people may be leaving the workforce unwillingly and heading to graduate school in hopes of better eligibility for employment. Further, a year at Harvard costs $56,000. If they’re not providing education that serves students well in industry, what exactly do they mean when they say:

Harvard students are very well prepared for service to society and enjoy extraordinarily high rates of admission to Harvard’s and other universities’ graduate schools.

In other words, go Ivy and you get to go to grad school or to a sweet gig in government. And we all know how well those options pay.

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