An article I recently read in Inside Higher Education talks about a study that “finds that, in political science, earning a PhD from one of a relatively small number of universities is the key to landing a job at a research-intensive university”. Apparently, the study suggests, “the number of academic superpowers is so small that good candidates from less-favored institutions are likely being overlooked”.http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/12/05/study-questions-whether-departments-are-too-focused-hiring-graduates-elite
Higher education itself is an elite category if you think about it because; if college were easy, everyone would have a degree. Getting a terminal degree is a different category all together. Access to these elite colleges has always and continues to be ‘guarded by a castle moat’. If your family has influence, you can row across, if you are smart and the right person notices you, you can swim across and hopefully not get eaten by the crocodiles in the water.
Back to the terminal degrees, what you are really getting from the elite universities is access, not necessarily a superior education, because at the doctoral level they are all superior (assuming the same accreditation).
Perhaps it is time that the schools that are not in the elite category start promoting their students themselves, and tooting the horn of their own students. Often times, these graduated students are left to fend for themselves and navigate without a guide through the world of the post doc job search, and that road can be brutal.
If you get through the process with all its trials and tribulations, that should be a huge celebration! Incidentally, it will only make the institution look better if you are letting the world know about all your great graduate, accomplished students. Remember, the students who finish are a reflection of your institutions, and the more that are working, the more that are talking about you.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III