How Important is The Prestige of a University For a Student?

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When choosing universities, many students look at the reputation of the institutions that catch their eyes. After all, it can definitely seem impressive to others if you end up getting accepted into a university known for its academic rigour. However, does it really matter how prestigious a university is? There are many different factors which can make a university great but do these matter if the university lacks prestige?

The importance placed on the prestige of a university depends on a number of different factors. These include the subject you are studying and what job you hope to achieve after you graduate, as some employers may not care about how prestigious a university is. However, it is true that many other employers do see prestigious universities as superior to others, meaning students who go to these will most likely have better job prospects.

If you want to discover more about what makes a university prestigious and whether this is really important to you as a student, check out the rest of this article.

Are graduates who went to prestigious universities more valued by employers?

Prestigious universities have a good reputation for a reason! This is because those universities which are seen as prestigious often have higher qualities of education, meaning the graduates that they produce are often critical thinkers and highly knowledgeable.

The University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge can be seen as the most prestigious universities in the UK. This is definitely reflected in the way they teach their students.

For example, although this obviously depends on the subject, students are often expected to write one or two essays every week and are then given individual feedback with a personal tutor. In comparison, other universities may get students to write closer to two essays a term!

This is just one example of what the Oxbridge students have to do. However, from this you can probably gather that their workload is pretty high. Consequently, employers tend to value students who went to these universities, as it shows that they are able to deal with a high workload.

You can discover more about this if you check out this article from the Oxford Royale website. Therefore, going to a prestigious university may be important to you as a student, as it could lead to higher employability.

However, the downsides of hiring graduates from highly prestigious universities must also be noted.

Often, employers are also looking for skills that a degree might not show, such as interpersonal abilities. They might choose a candidate who is really good at their interview over someone who has graduated from a more prestigious university.

Consequently, it is not always the case that employers value graduates from prestigious universities more.

Are graduates from prestigious universities more likely to be employed?

The truth is that the degree subject you choose to do will probably have more of an impact on if you get employed or not, compared to which university you went to. This is because some subjects are more highly valued in the workplace.

If you do a degree in medicine, dentistry or any of the allied health care professions, you will almost certainly be guaranteed a job! This is because there is a shortage of these professionals in the UK and people doing these jobs are essential.

According to this article from Unifresher, having a degree in mechanical or chemical engineering is also very useful and valued by employers. If you get a degree in any of the subjects mentioned, you will most likely be employed straight away, regardless of which university you went to.

This is especially true for any jobs in the healthcare sector, as we need these professionals to keep society functioning. In comparison, some degree subjects may not be as useful in order to get a job – no matter which university you went to!

For example, art or social science degrees are less likely to lead to a specific job in the way science degrees, such as engineering, do. Students therefore do a whole range of jobs after these degrees, which might not be directly related.

In this case, the university you went to may not be as relevant to employers if they are looking for different skills, such as interpersonal skills, as mentioned.

You can discover which degrees are seen as the best and worst for students to have if you check out this article from Save the Student. You can also view the most popular degrees in the UK in this Think Student article.

Do individuals who go to prestigious universities have better grades?

It is widely known that graduates from prestigious universities are often seen as smarter than students who didn’t go to prestigious universities. This could be a result of the vigorous teaching methods that have already been highlighted in this article.

However, there is actually a surprising primary factor which could be the cause of this outcome. Prestigious universities receive thousands of applications from candidates who desperately want to go. However, only a select few can actually be chosen.

This allows the prestigious universities to choose the students with the highest grades and who they deem to be the cleverest. Consequently, prestigious universities often end up with cohorts of students who are already quite knowledgeable.

They are also more likely to be eager to learn to prove to themselves that they deserve to remain in the prestigious university of their choice.

As a result, graduates from prestigious universities often do get better grades, so going to a prestigious university can be seen as a good choice to make. You can discover more about this process if you check out this article from Investopedia.

Do employers prefer graduates who go to prestigious universities even with low grades?

Prestige can be seen as important when applying for jobs. However, the prestige of a university doesn’t seem to always matter when regarding grades.

This article from The Guardian discovered that employers were more likely to hire graduates who got high scores on their degrees but were from less prestigious universities, compared to graduates who got lower grades but were from highly prestigious universities.

Consequently, going to a prestigious university is not the be all and end all when you are applying for a job. Just make sure that you try the very best that you can in your degree from whatever university you go to. As long as the degree subject is useful to particular job, you are sure to be employed!

You can discover more about whether which university you go to really matters if you check out this article from Think Student.

What are the prestigious universities in the UK?

Prestigious universities are universities which have a very high reputation. They have extensive learning facilities and equipment, making sure that every student receives the best possible learning opportunities.

Prestigious universities are also known for conducting vigorous academic research. All of the prestigious universities in the UK are part of a group called the ‘Russell Group’ universities.

This group describes a selection of universities which are known for their high academic excellence. You can find out more about why Russell Group universities are seen as the best in the UK if you check out this article from Think Student.

You can discover more about what a prestigious university is if you check out this article from the Newcastle University website. The most prestigious universities in the UK most likely include the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London.

You can find out which universities are seen as the most prestigious in the UK if you check out this article from Times Higher Education. Alternatively, click this link to visit the Russell Group website to discover the full list of Russell Group universities in the UK.

Should you go to a prestigious university?

Whether you should go to a prestigious university or not is completely up to you. On one hand, you could get better job prospects, as employers do value graduates from prestigious universities.

However, as this article has already discussed, this is only the case if you get good grades and if you do a degree which is likely to get you a job. Also, there is no point going to a prestigious university just for the sake of it!

After all, you don’t really want to be at a university you hate for three or more years just because it is seen as prestigious and you think it will make you look good to employers. The best thing to do is to apply to the universities which you think you will most enjoy.

Further to this, not all degrees are the best in prestigious universities. For example, maths degrees are actually highly valued in a number of universities which are not part of the Russell Group. The University of Lancaster, the University of Loughborough and Liverpool John Moore’s university are all highly valued for their maths degrees.

None of these universities are part of the Russell group! You can learn more about the best universities for maths if you check out this article from Study in the UK. Therefore, going to a prestigious university doesn’t always matter.

The best thing to do is to research your options, to discover the best university for you.

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