The holidays are over and for those of us still in class or continuing education, the semester is about to begin. Heading into the last classroom lecture of my PhD, I began to assess the impact it will have on my professional consulting career. I began to ask what would have more bearing, the fact that I will have a doctorate or the school from which I obtained it.

It is widely known that a majority of the larger consulting firms recruit from the top tier universities. Following is the list of schools at which Booz Allen conducts on-campus career recruiting. They do list Other as an option, but their preferences are clear.

I do not mean to pick specifically on Booz Allen, a majority of the top firms gravitate toward these schools. I have had the pleasure to work for, with and manage people from Harvard, SMU and The University of Texas. The one thing that seems to be consistent with the education, at least in terms of an MBA obtained at these institutions including my own, is the knowledge obtained. Are there differences, of course, the strength of network is obvious.

This made me wonder about the proliferation of new ideas in not only education, but in business. The latest post from Dr. George Reisman, at least from a media perspective, would indicate this phenomenon.

Perhaps it’s the result simply of the fact that The Times’ editorial writers and its reporters were all educated in the same kind of universities, all promoting the same leftist ideas in economics, politics, history, and the various branches of philosophy.

If the top consulting companies are hiring mainly from select universities, will ideas specific to the faculty at those universities persist longer in the business world. I have a great deal of respect for the professors at those universities, most universities in fact, but I am also aware professors will defend their theories as vehemently as others defend the American flag.

Also to consider is the Graying of American Faculty.

This year, 9.2 percent of tenured professors in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences are 70 or older, compared with none in 1992. Other universities have seen jumps in the percentage of older professors, although the actual number remains small on many campuses.Lawrence H. Summers , who as Harvard president pushed for the hiring and tenure of more younger scholars. “It defies belief that the best way to advance creative thought, to educate the young, or to choose the next generation of faculty members is to have a tenured faculty with more people over 70 than under 40, and over 60 than under 50.”

So the question is, are we creating a self-fulfilling prophecy? Will ideas that are past their time be perpetuated longer due to hiring selection and aging faculty?

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