Do Employers Really Care Which University You Studied At?

Akhil Sonthi
2 min readJan 4, 2021

Over the last few years, I have applied to hundreds of firms, analysed my professional network and talked to more recruiters than I can count and have noticed one thing: your university ‘ranking’ doesn’t really matter that much these days. It almost has no effect on your future lifestyle, career or salary and luck plays as much a part in the modern world.

Traditionally (i.e. until the previous generation), it was assumed that going to a universities such as Cambridge, Oxford, MIT, Harvard and Stanford guaranteed you a successful career in which you could almost choose what you want to do. Over the last few years, there has been a shift towards hunting for diversity, ‘passion’ and prior experience (e.g. internships) meaning that your university brand has a lower ‘weightage’ in your application.

On the whole, this is a positive shift because diversity in workplaces should most definitely be top of the agenda for most of the medium-to-large corporations in the near future and strong assumptions should not be made based on being lucky enough to get a coveted spot in one of these top institutions. I was fortunate enough to study at Cambridge but I know quite a few people who deserved a place just as much but I guess weren’t liked by the interviewer(s) during the shockingly-short 25-min interview(s). If an individual maintains proactiveness and hard-work post-rejection by undertaking internships and throwing themselves into university societies and personal projects, they should be equally considered.

However, I’ve also noticed an increase in randomisation of offers where I’m shocked more often than not that an individual received a job offer despite below-average academic achievements, extra-curriculars and drive.

With a combination of the current situation, randomisation in application processes and a push for diversity, it may seem like almost no one has a chance on landing a job. I would urge you guys to keep applying, focus on exploring the world around you and ensure you learn new things everyday!

Would be great to hear your thoughts! :)

#beproactive

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Akhil Sonthi

Tech Enthusiast | Entrepreneur | Music Artist | MEng @ Cambridge