The Impact of University Prestige

On June 17th Georgiana Mihut, currently a fellow at IHS, presented the content of her recent PhD thesis on the impact of university prestige in the employment process at an IHS event.

For her study she sent 2,400 fictitious CVs to employers in the US, the UK and Australia, applying for real job openings in the fields of information and communication technology and accounting. The analysis of the callbacks showed that coming from a prestigious university does not have a statistically significant effect on the responses of employers. Instead, skills predicted callbacks. Applicants with a high skills match were 79% more likely to receive a callback from employers than applicants with a low skills match. These findings suggest that human capital, and not university prestige, predicts recruitment outcomes for applicants with a bachelor’s degree only. These results support a call for skill building and human capital consolidation at higher education institutions. 

Georgiana Mihut is currently a fellow at IHS with a two-month Ernst-Mach Grant – Worldwide award from OeAD, the Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education & Research (OeAD).

Media follow-up: "Der Name einer Universität spielt keine Rolle" (Article by Julia Neuhauser, Die Presse, in German)