Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ What's the Brand Value of a College Degree?

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

One of the key things to remember about the linkage between a university degree and employment as described in this article is that one's employment prospects depend a lot on marketing. How well you are able to position yourself in the marketplace will determine what sort of job you can get. This may have something to do with your skills, but a lot of it depends on the brand, because people need abstractions - short-cuts - to help determine whom to hire. And clearly, though the education (and hence, skill) may be exactly the same, there's a lot more value to, say, the Harvard brand than, say, the University of Arkansas–Fort Smith. How, then, does this change? One one hand, it can't. Harvard grads aren't going to suddenly start hiring non-Harvard grads. It's a network. The only way around it is from outside - building alternative and more inclusive networks with an equally powerful brand value. But that's really hard to do. Beyond that, what? Reduce the need and value of brand-based hiring? But that would undercut the very idea of a linkage between a university degree and hiring. And universities, especially, aren't ready for that.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: May 22, 2024 5:46 p.m.

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