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Build Your Career Get the Job

Where Did You Go to College? Employers Don't Care

Where Did You Go to College? Employers Don't Care
. / Credit: College degree Image via Shutterstock

Those Ivy League degrees might not be as valuable as graduates once thought they were, a new study finds.

Research from Gallup revealed that the majority of U.S. business leaders say the amount of knowledge a candidate has in a field, as well as applied skills, are more important factors when making a hire than where a candidate attended school or what their college major was.

Specifically, 84 percent of those leaders surveyed said the amount of knowledge a candidate has in a particular field was "very important," compared to just 9 percent who felt the same about where a candidate received his or her college degree. Additionally, 79 percent thought a job seeker's applied skills were very important, which far outweighs the 28 percent who said the same about a candidate's college major. [50 Job Interview Questions You Should Be Prepared to Answer]

"As opportunities to access postsecondary degrees, certificates and credentials continue to evolve and become more accessible through innovative learning models, Americans will be able to expand and use their knowledge in the workplace more quickly and efficiently in the future," researchers wrote in the study. "Further, 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 study found that the general public puts more importance on candidates' college majors and where they received their degrees than business leaders do. Nearly half of U.S. adults surveyed said the candidate's college or university major is a very important factor to hiring managers, while 30 percent felt that where the candidate received his or her college degree was very important.

Researchers said the study shows that college is still significant to business leaders, but that Americans need to recognize that college alone is not enough.

"Getting a job and achieving long-term success in one's career may increasingly depend on demonstrating real value to employers through experience and targeted learning — and increasingly less on degrees, even if they are from prestigious universities," the study's authors wrote.

The research was based on surveys of 623 U.S. business leaders in executive and senior roles at their companies, as well as 1,012 U.S. adults over the age of 18.

Originally published on Business News Daily.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.