The decision to attend graduate school is a highly personal one. It’s also mildly intimidating, considering that many attendees leave their home towns, or even home countries, in order to attend their desired program. For some students, the name of the college they are attending means higher praise from parents and friends, and greater recognition amongst peers. Indeed, schools like Harvard and Yale are well recognized in public discourse as some of the top schools, but does attending an Ivy League school automatically guarantees a comfortable life with a lucrative job? Here to help answer this question is a list of considerations as to whether attending an Ivy League school really matters.

Location, Location, Location

Typically, employers prefer to hire graduates close to their headquarters or primary operations. For this reason, it is important to consider the location of the school you want to attend. Is it in proximity to an employer you want to work for? If so, then enrolling might be a good idea. However, the school certainly does not need to be Ivy League for this to happen. Sometimes rural locations can be superior to urban ones simply based on who is hiring in that particular area and how that relates to your field of study.

General Degrees vs. Specialized Degrees

Before settling on where you want to attend, do some research on how the available job opportunities related to your field of study. If you are looking at something more specialized and technical, such as colleges for business, then obtaining a general degree from an Ivy League school would likely be a bad idea. As far as employers are concerned, it is more important that you actually understand how to do the job well than whether or not you hold a degree from an Ivy League institution.

Universities vs. Liberal Arts Colleges

Many schools are renowned for innovations in particular fields. Despite the allure of name recognition, it is important to ask yourself whether or not this applies to your degree. This applies to institutions like Emerson College as much as it does Princeton University. Attending big name universities is great for some students, but others may prefer the smaller class sizes found at most liberal arts colleges. Where the former affords a larger environment with more room for socialization, it is often difficult to meet with professors to gain deeper insight into the course materials. Liberal arts colleges, on the other hand, benefit from smaller class sizes and greater access to professors. Consequently, it is harder to get lost in the crowd, which also results in more scrutiny from professors. For some, this may be exactly what they wanted from their college experience, while others shudder at the very thought.

Online Programs

Additionally, students may want to consider online options, as there are many accredited institutions that offer comprehensive online undergraduate and graduate programs. For example, those looking for a career in public administration will be delighted to learn that there are a wealth of specialized online programs that will help them in their quest for a degree. Simply visit the website of the program you are interested in to learn how you can obtain a masters in public administration online.