In today’s competitive job market, standing out from an enormous pool of talent and impressing prospective employers is a job in of itself. But how to? Do some degrees from certain schools carry more gravitas? Specifically, how do employers view degrees from Christian colleges?
Six Degrees of Job Infiltration
The short answer is: Of course having a certain degree from a certain school matters. But it doesn’t matter in the way most people think.
Employers will undoubtedly sit up and take notice of a Harvard MBA. This doesn’t mean a Harvard MBA is the only precursor to a brilliant career in business. Individuals without business degrees can still break into business and build wonderful careers. Martha Stewart graduated from Barnard with a B.A. in Architectural History. Bill Gates is a Harvard dropout.
College grads seeking business opportunities here and abroad would do better to master a second or third language before scoring a piece of paper denoting their mastery of product development and marketing.
According to a 2012 article in the Christian Science Monitor, the profusion of individuals who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the 2000s has made both degrees fairly commonplace and not nearly as valuable as they were in the 80s-90s.
The recent explosion of online colleges and degrees has further eroded the presumed/real value of higher degrees. This scenario is ironically helpful to college grads. But how?
For the first time ever, college grads can become competitive via their ability to craft an engaging and winning value proposition; this has little to do with where they graduated from and with what degree.
An alma mater and corresponding degree merely announce to future employers where an applicant came from; they do not predict an applicant’s viability or potential.
1.7 million people will graduate this year with a bachelor’s degree. It is highly unlikely employers will sift through all these resumes with the intention of excluding any job seekers whose degrees are from Christian colleges.
Also, the term “Christian college” is at its technical foundation rather broad. It can include institutions such as Notre Dame, Loyola and Georgetown. These are all Jesuit schools by definition, Notre Dame being under the Congregation of Holy Cross.
Christian colleges, in the more specific sense of the term, are accredited and offer a humanities core as diverse as other colleges. A side by side comparison of classes and syllabi confirms this fact.
Qualitative comparisons between Christian and non-Christian colleges in an attempt to definitively state the best alternative for job applicants is akin to comparing fruit. Some employers may look up to grads of top tier colleges but all employers don’t necessarily look down on grads from other types of colleges or christian colleges.
Thus Saith the CEO
Andrew LaCivita, CEO of milewalk, a human capital consulting organization, says employers value cultural fit, capabilities and track record of achievement over all other qualities in applicants.
LaCivita urges students to align studies with what they love. Next, use this opportunity to acquire transferable skills like organization and professionalism. These are always prized by employers, degree from a Christian college notwithstanding.