Sunday, September 13, 2015

The U of I makes the grade

The Department of Education released a new Web site giving various pieces of information about college performance.  Illinois does pretty well there.  See below.


  1. I stumbled across this interesting article.

    All this while, a degree has been a good "signalling" factor. Are they becoming less and less of an indicator of quality and proficiency from potential candidate, in your opinion?

  2. Last year Tom Friedman had a couple of columns that got a lot of attention on what it takes to get a job at Google. This one, I believe is the first of these. It makes for an interesting and provocative read. And here is a different piece that says in general students are more optimistic than employers about student qualifications.

    There are a few different things going on, in my view. One of these is that the labor market, while not as bad as in the last couple of years of the previous decade, is still pretty soft. So employers can be pretty picky. Jobs are scarce. Candidates for those jobs are abundant. Then there is the moral hazard within school, where students can get through with reasonably good GPAs but without a lot of human capital accumulation. Is that worse than it was 20 years ago? Hard to say with numerical data. My impression as an instructor is that yes, it is worse. Then a third thing is whether there ever was a tight relationship between doing well in school and doing well at work after graduation. I'm not sure that relationship ever was very strong, but some people may have assumed otherwise.

    There are certain schools that still signal quite well. Get a degree from an Ivy League place or MIT or some elite liberal arts colleges and that matters. And it might matter for the U of I which college you get your degree from. The data I linked to above doesn't disaggregate by college, but it might matter quite a bit.