How much does college education matter in making hiring decisions?

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How much does college education matter in making hiring decisions?
How much does college education matter in making hiring decisions?

Good experience and the right skills for the job should trump even the most ivy-covered resume. When we are looking to hire marketing analysts, we're looking for people that know data — how to store it, retrieve it and analyze it. And, we're looking for people who can communicate that insight to our clients without confusing them or putting them to sleep. Everybody gets tested, no matter where they went to school.

That said, we definitely like our more junior candidates coming from the schools we know have strong marketing, math and statistics programs. With all things being equal, give me a smart Carnegie Mellon or Georgia Tech MBA recipient over a Wharton or Columbia business school grad. The tech­nology-oriented schools have kept the rigor in their statistics programs.

And speaking of hot employment pools in the marketing analytics field, candidates with degrees from India's and China's top undergraduate colleges coupled with degrees from America's top graduate schools can make for an exceptional pedigree. Candidates get excellent math training from their native countries and outstanding creative marketing and communications instruc­tion from the American schools. The biggest challenge for these candidates is the language barrier. Have they mastered English well enough that they can effectively communicate their brilliant work to co-workers and, more impor­tantly, to clients? If the answer is yes, then welcome to the team. It's not that American schools do not put up good candidates, but the math and statistics fields have withered in so many undergraduate programs that talent officers can feel like they are panning for gold. But you can pick up a nugget or two.

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