How are career prospects at Oxbridge 'better'? Watch

lili2000
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#1
Hi! I've heard a lot about how if you attend Oxbridge that you're likely to get a better job. But my question is HOW?

If all of the 'best' jobs are going to Oxbridge graduates and then the slightly lower ranked jobs are going to the other top UK universities and below that going to the other Russell Group universities, then where does that leave the non-Russell Group Universities? Where does that leave the polytechnics and the metropolitans? With 500,000 students graduating each year I'm really struggling to understand what jobs all of these are going to be going into if all the good jobs are going to Oxbridge graduates.

So, if anyone attends Oxford/Cambridge, could you please suggest what it is that makes your University alumni more employable?

I'm really just confused about how the choices and your work ethic at around 18 is supposedly going to have such a great impact upon your career in the future, and how is that fair for the people who were smart enough to attend Oxford but just never had the drive to apply? Or people at worse schools who don't get in simply because they don't have the same teaching or resources, and hence lower grades?

Please can someone explain to me how a degree from a particular University makes you any different to the next person if you're both qualified with the same degree just from separate institutions?
0
reply
Professional G
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#2
Report 4 weeks ago
#2
Oxbridge are the most prestigious unis in Britain. They are well known around the world and have a rich history behind them.
Everyone no matter where they are, have heard of them.
They are know for having high standards with rigorous exams, an highly competitive environment, societies which only attract the best, students who go on to be future world leading lawyers, doctors, politicians, scientists and an admission process which only selects the best of applicants.
A degree from there is seen as a holy grail and you’ll get offers from just about anywhere just by having one of them.
Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
0
reply
CollectiveSoul
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#3
Report 4 weeks ago
#3
(Original post by lili2000)
Hi! I've heard a lot about how if you attend Oxbridge that you're likely to get a better job. But my question is HOW?

If all of the 'best' jobs are going to Oxbridge graduates and then the slightly lower ranked jobs are going to the other top UK universities and below that going to the other Russell Group universities, then where does that leave the non-Russell Group Universities? Where does that leave the polytechnics and the metropolitans? With 500,000 students graduating each year I'm really struggling to understand what jobs all of these are going to be going into if all the good jobs are going to Oxbridge graduates.

So, if anyone attends Oxford/Cambridge, could you please suggest what it is that makes your University alumni more employable?

I'm really just confused about how the choices and your work ethic at around 18 is supposedly going to have such a great impact upon your career in the future, and how is that fair for the people who were smart enough to attend Oxford but just never had the drive to apply? Or people at worse schools who don't get in simply because they don't have the same teaching or resources, and hence lower grades?

Please can someone explain to me how a degree from a particular University makes you any different to the next person if you're both qualified with the same degree just from separate institutions?
most employers don't care if you went to Leicester or Greenwich. although your CV will stand out a bit better by having a better uni on it, it won't be a dealbreaker.

The difference is Oxbridge have the best employer links: top companies specifically target these students and many even get headhunted.
0
reply
Palmyra
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#4
Report 4 weeks ago
#4
Oxbridge grads don’t take “all” the best jobs. That would be almost impossible considering the proportion of grads they produce. Oxbridge grads are overrepresented in the top jobs, but that’s to be expected.

Standards at Oxbridge are higher than most other universities.

Interviews to get in then supervisions/tutorials are unique to Oxbridge, combined with the fact the smartest students already end up at Oxbridge, produce better grads than most competing unis (on average) - Oxbridge grads being interviewed for jobs will have experience with interviews/one-on-one discussions with academics/partners.
1
reply
kkboyk
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#5
Report 4 weeks ago
#5
Most oxbridge students tend to have had developed the skills to succeed in the work force. These includes
-Critical thinking skills
-Ability to work on deadlines
-An exceptionally broad knowledge and an exceptionally in depth knowledge
-Ability to learn quickly.
-Confidence and self motivation to succeed.

Many students at other unis also possess these skills, and nothing stops them from securing a graduate role, provided that they have experience, and have done their research. It's just that oxbridge is more attractive to employers as all graduates are guaranteed to have these skills, so its almost a safe choice for employers.

The other reasons include history: oxbridge have a long history of success, and is known globally for producing very successful people such as world leaders, and famous scientists, and are heavily recruited by all firms which conduct career events at the university campus. Many students take advantage of the huge links with previous alumnis, and the relationship the uni has with big firms - successful graduates are always keen to wangle an interview for someone at their old college.

With 500,000 students graduating each year I'm really struggling to understand what jobs all of these are going to be going into if all the good jobs are going to Oxbridge graduates.
There are so many opportunities out there that not all oxbridge graduates occupy ALL vacancies (since the number of vacancies out there is more than 10x of the size of oxbridge graduates). Sure they are heavily represented at top firms in very competitive fields such as law and IB, but its a huge overstatement to say that they take all the jobs. There are many reasons other graduates fail to succeed into getting into a career (this also includes graduates frop top universities), ranging from poor lack of effort and planning (many do not know what career they want to pursue, and leave it very very late), lack of experience (many do not know about internships) and other reasons.
1
reply
nexttime
  • TSR Support Team
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#6
Report 4 weeks ago
#6
(Original post by lili2000)
Please can someone explain to me how a degree from a particular University makes you any different to the next person if you're both qualified with the same degree just from separate institutions?
I think the point is that it isn't the same degree. Selection is vastly more rigorous, and its a degree with different content, much more direct input from senior professors, and a bottom line of much more money put into educating you.

There is actually a degree where almost every graduate goes onto take national standardised exams, allowing a fair comparison - medicine. That's a subject where every university requires a minimum of AAA and plenty of people like to talk about how London/Edinburgh/whoever is actually better than Oxbridge. Well not by exam results. Not by a long margin - easiest for me to link in these graphs but better data in the progressions reports here.

Spoiler:
Show






Spoiler:
Show






Spoiler:
Show






Spoiler:
Show






Now imagine what its like if you're comparing an Oxbridge degree with one where entry requirements weren't AAA+, but BBB or lower. Or in a field where reportedly employers look at degree prestige alone in addition to any actual results, such as law or banking.

There are also objective differences in for example pay.

Having said that, if you read TSR you are very likely to get an over-inflated sense of how important this all is. As you observe, is your university going to make a difference once you've been in work for 10 years and have lots more experience? Probably not no. People from low ranked universities (or indeed, no university) can be very successful and Oxbridge graduates can struggle to find employment. You also have to consider that you can assign different degrees different 'difficulties', and actually its easier to get a good degree grade at a lower ranking uni (there's been plenty of research on this topic). There are other factors at play.
Last edited by nexttime; 4 weeks ago
0
reply
ZombieTheWolf
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#7
Report 4 weeks ago
#7
(Original post by lili2000)
Please can someone explain to me how a degree from a particular University makes you any different to the next person if you're both qualified with the same degree just from separate institutions?
Its not really the degree. Its where it came from, most employers do not care even where but how well you did (1st, 2:1/2:2 etc).

However, Oxbridge is know for selecting the best of the best of the best applicants. The people who get into Oxbridge, are the people employers want - not necessarily the fact that they have a degree at this ye ol' institution (which may also play a part, actually).

You may both have the same qualifications, but an employer may see Oxbridge graduates as better employees because they have skills the degree cannot provide.
Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
0
reply
The RAR
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#8
Report 4 weeks ago
#8
(Original post by lili2000)
Hi! I've heard a lot about how if you attend Oxbridge that you're likely to get a better job. But my question is HOW?

If all of the 'best' jobs are going to Oxbridge graduates and then the slightly lower ranked jobs are going to the other top UK universities and below that going to the other Russell Group universities, then where does that leave the non-Russell Group Universities? Where does that leave the polytechnics and the metropolitans? With 500,000 students graduating each year I'm really struggling to understand what jobs all of these are going to be going into if all the good jobs are going to Oxbridge graduates.

So, if anyone attends Oxford/Cambridge, could you please suggest what it is that makes your University alumni more employable?

I'm really just confused about how the choices and your work ethic at around 18 is supposedly going to have such a great impact upon your career in the future, and how is that fair for the people who were smart enough to attend Oxford but just never had the drive to apply? Or people at worse schools who don't get in simply because they don't have the same teaching or resources, and hence lower grades?

Please can someone explain to me how a degree from a particular University makes you any different to the next person if you're both qualified with the same degree just from separate institutions?
Oxbridge is an exception, they are literally the best unis in the whole bloody world. At the age of 15 and below, I didn't know or at least remember the names of any unis. The only uni name I knew at the time and yes you guessed it, it's Oxford (Not Cambridge) as I was always hearing about the uni in the news and the fact that the uni is linked with many of the things I studied back then. It's also portrayed in many films and movies


Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
Fullofsurprises
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#9
Report 4 weeks ago
#9
(Original post by The RAR)
Oxbridge is an exception, they are literally the best unis in the whole bloody world. At the age of 15 and below, I didn't know or at least remember the names of any unis. The only uni name I knew at the time and yes you guessed it, it's Oxford (Not Cambridge) as I was always hearing about the uni in the news and the fact that the uni is linked with many of the things I studied back then. It's also portrayed in many films and movies


Posted from TSR Mobile
It's nice to think that they are the best in the world (they are certainly amongst the best known in the world) but their positions float up and down in international ranking tables and at the moment, for example, QS puts MIT, Stanford and Caltech above Oxford and Cambridge (in that order), so it's perhaps difficult to claim definitively that they are the undoubted best in the world. They are global top-10 universities generally.

As regards the ineffable quality of an Oxbridge degree, it's certainly the case that access to many leading professional jobs in the UK in the past has been easier with one of those in your pocket. Nowadays not so much - there are tough additional stages to pass to get into most big elite company or organisational high flier streams in most professional sectors and having an Oxbridge degree is no guarantee of success at those stages.

What I really notice from my own experiences of having been to Oxford and in clandestinely comparing myself with work comrades (really, I shouldn't, but you know, can't resist sometimes) is that I feel I've really been trained in sustained work and rigorous analysis and debate over the output, to the extent that I tend to prep better and work harder more or less on autopilot than many other people. I'm not sure this is always always a good thing, but it does give one advantages in the ruthless cut and thrust worlds in which I find myself.
1
reply
mishieru07
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#10
Report 3 weeks ago
#10
(Original post by lili2000)
Hi! I've heard a lot about how if you attend Oxbridge that you're likely to get a better job. But my question is HOW?

If all of the 'best' jobs are going to Oxbridge graduates and then the slightly lower ranked jobs are going to the other top UK universities and below that going to the other Russell Group universities, then where does that leave the non-Russell Group Universities? Where does that leave the polytechnics and the metropolitans? With 500,000 students graduating each year I'm really struggling to understand what jobs all of these are going to be going into if all the good jobs are going to Oxbridge graduates.

So, if anyone attends Oxford/Cambridge, could you please suggest what it is that makes your University alumni more employable?

I'm really just confused about how the choices and your work ethic at around 18 is supposedly going to have such a great impact upon your career in the future, and how is that fair for the people who were smart enough to attend Oxford but just never had the drive to apply? Or people at worse schools who don't get in simply because they don't have the same teaching or resources, and hence lower grades?

Please can someone explain to me how a degree from a particular University makes you any different to the next person if you're both qualified with the same degree just from separate institutions?
1) What do you define as "best" jobs? Most prestigious? Pays the most? Not all Oxbridge students want or go for the most prestigious/ highest paying jobs, and at any rate going to Oxbridge does NOT guarantee that you will get a job, let alone a "best" one. You still have to work hard, do extra-curriculars, take on internships, perform well at interviews and assessment centres etc. This is true of any university student.

2) Realistically, there are some industries where going to Oxbridge is (probably) an advantage - investment banking, consulting, academia, politics and law come to mind (have a look at LinkedIn or firm websites to get an idea of where they typically recruit from). University prestige can be used as a sieving mechanism - the more prestigious (i.e. the more selective), the stronger the students are likely to be as a whole. Thought experiment: As a HR recruiter looking to fill 10 spots a year, why bother going to 50 universities when they can just target the top 10-20? Will they be missing out on some strong candidates that way? Probably, but at any rate they have so many good candidates just from the top 10-20 that they can fill the spots several times over as it is.

3) There's a broader argument to be made about the problems of meritocracy and unequal resources, but the bottom line is, the world isn't fair. Has never been and will never be. Some people are just fortunate to be born into better circumstances than others. Oxbridge try to make it more fair (e.g. access initiatives), but they cannot solve the fundamental problems of inequality (or lack of personal motivation, for that matter). And one's choices and work ethic at 18 do matter in some cases - many firms in my industry have an auto-filter for A level grades (often AAB or ABB).

4) @kkboyk also raises a good point about soft skills. I did Law and so cannot speak for other subjects, but I can honestly say that I don't think any other Law course in the United Kingdom rivals Oxford's in its intensity and quality (except Cambridge). I compared notes with my peers at other institutions and the amount of work I had to do to get my degree was far greater - nowhere else will you be forced to write 3 2000+ word essays in 2 weeks (and to do the copious amounts of readings that entails). Nowhere else will you be pushed that often in a very intimate setting (when there's only 1-3 people in a class, there's absolutely no room to hide) to really think about how you think, why you think and what you think.

All this practice means students typically end up developing certain desirable soft skills - the ability to think critically, to process large amounts of information quickly, to be articulate, confident and cogent when making arguments, to work under very tight deadlines and constant pressure and so on. Is this unique to Oxbridge students? Of course not. Do I think the tutorial/supervision system and the way courses are structured encourage the development of such skills? Absolutely.
1
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • University of Oxford
    Undergraduate Open Day Undergraduate
    Wed, 3 Jul '19
  • University of Oxford
    Undergraduate Open Day Undergraduate
    Thu, 4 Jul '19
  • University of Oxford
    Undergraduate Open Day Undergraduate
    Fri, 20 Sep '19

Do you have a food intolerance or allergy?

Yes - a food intolerance (7)
11.67%
Yes - a food allergy (5)
8.33%
Yes - an autoimmune disorder (i.e coeliac, colitis) (3)
5%
Yes - I have an intolerance and allergy (4)
6.67%
No (41)
68.33%

Watched Threads

View All