WORK-LIFE BALANCE

That Ivy League Degree Won't Make You Any Happier

Your experiences in college affect your well-being later in life much more than your school's selectivity does, a new study finds.
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Bad news for all the students and alumni who have spent tens of thousands of dollars a year for elite colleges: People who attend those schools won't necessarily be happier in the long run, according to a new study.  

The nationwide study by research company Gallup found that the type of schools people attended hardly affected their well being and workplace engagement later in life. The results, based on the responses of more than 29,500 adults with a bachelor's degree or higher, showed that the experiences people had in college, such as extracurricular engagement or studying under inspiring professors, far outweighed factors like their school's size and selectivity. 

Only 39 percent of all college graduates interviewed said that they are engaged at work. The rest said either that they were not engaged (49 percent) or actively disengaged (12 percent) at work. Employed graduates who majored in the humanities, art, and social sciences were slightly more likely to be engaged at work than those who majored in areas such as business and science. 

 So the next time you're looking to hire recent graduates, you may want to focus less on a candidate's alma mater itself and more on the experiences he had there. 

 

Last updated: May 6, 2014

ABIGAIL TRACY

Abigail Tracy is a staff reporter for Inc. magazine. Previously, she worked for Seattle Metropolitan magazine and Chicago magazine.




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