Big Data Tools- Choosing a College: (If Only a Career Were as Easy)

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Hopefully we are all blessed by doing what we love…but if you can’t, then hopefully we’ve learned to love what we do. That said, our choice of a college years ago, much like choosing our first job involved a host of factors to analyze. We had to be selected. We may or may not have had the money to pay for it (or could afford to take it). And, what we wanted to study, the people we wanted to hang out with, the location and much more all played a critical role in our decision.

One factor always escaped our choice of a school- financial return- at least beyond the few elite schools. Until now. Future income is not the biggest factor in a decision…and shouldn’t be- too many of life’s twists and turns are likely to insert themselves but, it is a serious consideration of every parent as they wonder whether forking over their life savings to an educational institution known for having the best parties and sports teams may or, may not, be the best choice for starting a reasonably secure future.

Now, big data has combined with what we can discern from the alumni body of US schools to know (with a smidgen more confidence) how much a school and a degree will pay 10 years down the line- at least statistically. Let’s call it a college ROI calculator. This College Scorecard  does just that. Tell your friends with kids in high school.

Now imagine that when they graduate they could put the offer and the company making it into  a similar calculator and get some indication of how valuable their choice might be, and/or the difference it might make. Do you know how long the graduates you hire last? Where they go next? How successful, financially they are over time? Is your firm really a launch pad, lunch pad or major obstacle to doing what you love or, loving what you do. All other alternatives pale by comparison.