Education and the power of connections

There are a lot of discussions about how education is going to be disrupted by on-line education. New interactive tools and the Internet allow to learn and drastically lower the high costs associated with the traditional schools.
Some of these online courses are at:

These are great tools that have the potential to bring higher education to the masses.

But not let’s forget the power of connections in the context of higher education. These are what it will land you a job, most of the times.

Forbes writes that  U.S. Dominates The World’s Top Colleges.

These top colleges are:

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)United States
  2. Harvard UniversityUnited States
  3. University of CambridgeUnited Kingdom
  4. UCL (University College London)United Kingdom
  5. Imperial College LondonUnited Kingdom
  6. University of Oxford United Kingdom
  7. Stanford University United States
  8. Yale University United States
  9. University of Chicago United States
  10. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)United States
  11. Princeton UniversityUnited States

An article from Reuters tells us that  In Silicon Valley start-up world, pedigree counts.

Indeed, the notion that anyone with smarts, drive and a great idea can raise money and start a company is a central tenet of the Valley’s ethos.

Yet on close inspection, the evidence suggests that the keys to success in the start-up world are not much different than those of many other elite professions. A prestigious degree, a proven track record and personal connections to power-brokers are at least as important as a great idea. Scrappy unknowns with a suitcase and a dream are the exceptions, not the rule.

And this article from NYT tells the same story, Behind Instagram’s Success, Networking the Old Way.

The extraordinary success of Instagram is a tale about the culture of the Bay Area tech scene, driven by a tightly woven web of entrepreneurs and investors who nurture one another’s projects with money, advice and introductions to the right people. By and large, it is a network of young men, many who attended Stanford and had the attention of the world’s biggest venture capitalists before they even left campus.


This is not really a surprise. That’s probably the reason some Universities can still ask a lot for the tuition. What you really pay, in addition, to world class professors are connections. Those will allow you to enter the elite of alumni that can help you out after your graduation and during your life.