Slate reports that fewer corporations are recruiting Ivy League graduates. Are they losing faith in the superiority of the formerly preferred schools? Have the barbarians inside the gates, with their feminist and gay studies majors, their adulation of transgressive analytical stances, and the descent into irrelevance of so much of the humanities and social sciences research finally taken a toll? Ot is it just that the professions, Hollywood, and other non—corporate careers beckon the Ivy League grads?
A coveted undergraduate admission to an Ivy League college is a ticket to success, right? But a recent paper by Peter Cappelli and Monika Hamori, both of the University of Pennsylvania, suggests that the prestigious degrees aren't as valuable at America's largest corporations as they were a generation ago. If you want to run GE, you might be better off attending the University of Connecticut than Yale.
Cappelli and Hamori compared the r�sum�s of the top 10 executives at Fortune 100 companies—the 100 largest companies by revenue in the United States—in both 1980 and 2001. These were so—called "c—level posts"—CEO, chief operating officer, chief financial officer, chief technology officer—plus division heads and senior vice presidents.
The figures tell a story of American business dynamism. In Joseph Schumpeter's great formulation, the top ranks of American business are like a hotel where the guests are always changing. Only 26 of the 1980 Fortune 100 companies retained their status in 2001. By 2001, the executives had also grown younger (the average of the sample fell by about four years). The executives were also much less likely to have been educated at an old Eastern university where pride in high SAT scores compensates for pathetic athletic teams and lame parties.
Ed Lasky 10 06 05