Go back to previous topic
Forum nameOkay Activist Archives
Topic subjectRE: Any other College Grads
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=25270&mesg_id=25327
25327, RE: Any other College Grads
Posted by guest, Tue Apr-10-01 11:29 AM
>......working in Engineering, Finance, Accounting or
>Comp Sci who can help
>me shed some light on
>what Graduates in those fields
>are making?

Yes, I can, but not without a little commentary ...

I graduated college three years ago, in that whole new-economy-business-is-booming craze. I got a job as a business strategy consultant that paid me $49,000 plus a year-end bonus (which, if I had stayed at the company for a year, would have been around $10,000).

But the important thing, in the context of this post, is how did I get that job? I got that job because I went to an "elite" college (that my parents paid full tuition for me to attend). Companies which pay that much -- your investment banks, your high-end consulting firms and ad agencies -- will ONLY interview people from so-called "acceptable" colleges. My company only interviewed at the Ivy Leagues and four other schools.

How do people get into those schools? Mostly, the sad fact is, because they're pretty good students ... whose parents can afford to pay for them to go there. That's not to say that there aren't kids from low-income families who go to these schools -- there certainly are -- but they're the rare exception. They don't get in, often, because the high schools in low-income areas tend not to be as good; they tend not to have SAT counselors and college counselors and paid trips to interview at every elite school in the nation. And above all, because they can't pay for a full ride.

(At a lot of admission offices, the first thing they do when they receive applications is sort them by people's answers to the question: "Did you apply for financial aid?" If yes, you're automatically at a disadvantage. There are only about 5 colleges in the country where that's not true, where there are "need-blind" admissions.)

And even if they do get into one of these "elite" places, kids who are from low-income backgrounds tend to have a lot more trouble doing well in interviews for places like Wall Street, since so much of those interviews there have to do with whether you "fit into the culture" of a firm, the firm being composed mostly of rich white guys who'll think nothing of blowing $1500 on strippers in a night. If you can't play that game from the get-go, you're in trouble.

If you grow up in a low-income house and you're a fairly smart kid, there are about a million things standing in between you and a $50,000 a year corporate job. And you can't ever mess up. But if you grow up in a wealthy, or even upper-middle-class house, and you're a fairly smart kid, there are no obstacles. And you can mess up a lot along the way.

Of course, if you're born in a low-income house, you are "less fortunate." Because even if you've got the highest I.Q. around, you're still less likely to succeed. You're still less likely to go to college. You're still less likely to have an upwardly mobile job. Even though you're an "equal" citizen.

Remember that in the last eight years alone, the wealth of the richest 1% of Americans has increased 40%. The wealth of people in the bottom 60% -- which, obviously, is more than half of the country -- has dropped in the same amount of time.

You tell me who's fortunate now.