University of Delosa graduates have a well-earned reputation for arrogance. They often seem to believe that anybody that didn’t go there was automatically too stupid to get in or otherwise demonstrating their stupidity by choosing to go somewhere else even if they could get in. Of course, it’s not all DU graduates that thing this way, but it doesn’t take too many to give an entire alumni a reputation. The pride they feel is not completely unearned, however, as U of Delosa is the most difficult school to get into as well as the state’s flagship university.

Since graduating and having read blogs from across the country, there are apparently worse schools than DU in this regard. And worse regions. The notion that somebody went to a state university that isn’t considered an automatic exception (U of Michigan, Berkeley, etc) is a sign of diminished intelligence. Knowing nothing about it, Half Sigma said that the University of Idaho (Sarah Palin’s alma mater) sounded like a “bogus school”. The thing about a lot of people (though certainly not all) that feel this way is that they went to competitive private schools. A lot of them don’t realize that there school does not carry special weight in large swaths of the country, but they are the people that define success by the ability to make it in New York City and their degrees will carry more weight there so they don’t need to care what Idahoans think.

The most dumbfounding case of collegiate arrogance I have ever discovered, however, is DeVry University. Many of you may not have heard of it, but for those who have, yes I mean that DeVry. Formerly the DeVry Institute. Buyer of daytime TV ads across the country with those lists of areas of study scrolling across the screen.

I had never thought a whole lot of DeVry one way or the other. I had thought about going to a technical school upon graduation, but my mother talked me out of it. DeVry had the notability of being one of the first for-profit vocational schools to offer bonafide bachelor’s degrees. So credit to them for that, but beyond that, I figured that they were much like the others. I don’t mean that as an insult. I think that places like ITT Tech are unfairly scoffed at when in many cases they provide the education that the future-worker needs. I do not look down on people that have graduated from such places.

That being said, I was stunned by the number of people I knew in Deseret who believed that a degree from DeVry University was a bragging point. An argument settler, even. “You may think that you know a lot about OpenOffice because you use it extensively, but I went to DeVry University!” Okay, it wasn’t quite that bad, but not far from it. Any time Teddy Forbes and I would come to verbal blows, he considered his trump card that he had a college degree. “When you’ve been to college, you realize that you being screwed and my having it easy is the way that the business world works. I made a point never to brag about my college degree when I was out there because it’s tasteless and also because it leads to the retort “If your degree is so awesome, what are you doing working here?” I wanted to ask Teddy that question. He had no such compunction about flashing his two-year DeVry degree around to prove that he was right about all things business-related.

One former coworker at Falstaff, Sal, was talking shiznit about having gone to DeVry, saying that he had a full-ride scholarship offer to the University of Deseret but had determined DeVry to be the better school and had gone there instead. Now it’s possible that DeVry has a better (or more applicable) computer science program than UDes on the merits, but I suspect that the vast majority of employers won’t see it that way. Not to mention that, for Sal in particular, he’s more likely to get a better college experience and save tens of thousands of dollars going to UDes.

One day I was complaining that the College of Industrial Technology had me taking math courses that made it difficult to change majors. “That’s why I went to DeVry”, coworker Edgar said, “because they don’t have that problem.” He may be right, though there is the issue of almost none of your very basic credits being transferable to just about any other university that is not a DeVry campus. Edgar of all people should have known this because he failed out of DeVry and could not pick up where he left off at local Beck State University. Sal might say that’s because DeVry’s classes are so far above-and-beyond anything Beck State had to offer that BSU just had nothing that could compare, but saying that you have the best degree program in the entire nation but that almost nobody knows about it is comparable to the philosophical question about a tree falling in the forest. If nobody thinks that your degree is superior, is it in fact superior?

I wish I knew who the salesperson for DeVry was in the Mocum area. Whoever they were deserved a raise. They convinced Sal, Teddy Forbes, and Edgar not only to pack up their things and go to college 1,000 miles away from home, but that a degree from DeVry would make it worthwhile. I want to know whoever that sales person is because I have this idea about selling ice to Eskimos that I think that they might be ideal for…


Category: School

About the Author

Will Truman (trumwill) is a southern transplant in the mountain east with an IT background who bides his time taking care of their daughter while his wife brings home the bacon. You will probably be relieved to know that he does not generally refer to himself in the third-person except when he's writing short bios on his web page.

22 Responses to A Degree In Snobbery From DeVry

  1. Peter says:

    TV ads for ITT Tech have a “credits are unlikely to transfer” disclaimer. Do the DeVry ads have this as well? I can’t recall noticing, but wasn’t really looking for the disclaimers, so that might not mean anything.

    A local counterpart to DeVry and ITT Tech in the New York area is Monroe College. I’m not 100% sure if they’re the same type of school, but it does seem that way. They advertise heavily on the subway, which is often popular among “downscale” advertisers.

    Siggy’s conclusion that Sarah Palin was unintelligent was based not so much on the fact that she graduated from the University of Idaho, as because she majored in an easy field (journalism) and attended two or three other colleges before finally settling down at Idaho.

  2. Peter says:

    Just to add to my prior comment, I was looking more at the Monroe College site and came across this peculiar item:

    Interviews are generally required of all applicants except international students. These meetings provide an excellent opportunity for you to learn about the many benefits of a Monroe College education, and for Monroe to learn about you and your goals.

    Medical schools require interviews, or at least they used to, but unless I’m sorely mistaken undergraduate colleges never do. There must be some reason for Monroe to require them.

  3. Transplanted Lawyer says:

    Will, are all the “DeVry snobs” you’re talking about employed in the tech industry in some sort of a hands-on kind of job? If so, the education they get at DeVry may well provide substantially more useful and practical information. That, of course, is because it is essentially a trade school for techies. Such types may simply not appreciate the importance of breadth requirements and being exposed to liberal arts classes at a “traditional” sort of college. I know I encounter great resistance to business law teaching at a career college catering to aerospace engineers; while they concede the practical value of law, my students do not understand at all why they should care about the policies underlying the law.

  4. trumwill says:

    Peter,

    Next time I see a DeVry add, I’ll take a look at the small print. I suspect that the disclaimer is there. It’s definitely not meant to be compatible with other universities.

    What Monroe College does is not that unusual with small private colleges either of the liberal arts or religious (or both) variety, but I’ve never heard of it with a technical school.

  5. trumwill says:

    TL,

    They were doing the same sort of thing that I was, which was a programming job. It it was something like airplane mechanics or something like that, a degree from DeVry could be a lot more applicable than any college degree. For programming… it’s a mixed bag. I would probably not discriminate against DeVry grads, but neither would I discriminate in their favor.

    On a side note, Business Law was one of my favorite undergrad classes. Probably the favorite that applied directly to my major.

  6. Michele says:

    Everyone-
    DeVry University is very different than ITT and other career colleges because of their level of accreditation. DeVry is a regionally accredited University, not an institute, therefore their credits are transferable just like any other University. ITT’s credits are not transferable, mainly because they are nationally accredited (a trade school level of accreditation).
    So- you will not see that disclaimer anywhere- because they do not need it. DeVry is hands- on, career focused school with University accreditation. Other “insititutes” offer the hands on learning, but not the accreditation.

  7. SFG says:

    It’s entirely possible this is just a matter of unlikely assertion. They believe it because they want to believe it. Self-delusion is a common human trait, and important for maintaining self-esteem, which has a funny way of being more important than the ability it’s theoretically supposed to reflect. An alpha technologist will get more girls than a beta MD.

  8. trumwill says:

    Michele,

    Have you ever tried transferring a credit from DeVry to another school? Despite a couple claims to the contrary, none of them ever did. If they went back to school, they went back from square one.

    Now, DeVry definitely does have accreditation when it comes to a degree. So theoretically someone that gets a BS from DeVry can go forward and get a Master’s Degree somewhere else. But I’m not sure about transferring specific classes because that’s not about acreditation as much as it is curriculum overlap. Not all of the classes I took at my (fully accredited) alma mater would transfer to another university, for instance. From what I understand (and you’re welcome to correct me here if you have first-hand experience), comparatively few DeVry classes do if for no other reason than that their set-up is different.

  9. Brandon Berg says:

    Peter:
    For what it’s worth, Harvard and MIT interviewed me; Caltech, Georgia Tech, and the University of Washington did not. This was about ten years ago (six for UW), for an undergraduate slot.

    TL:
    Fair enough, especially if you’re not applying to one of the more elite companies. The top-tier four-year computer science programs generally don’t put much emphasis on teaching you industry standard technologies—their philosophy is that if you’re smart enough to get in, you’re smart enough to pick them up as needed.

    Will:
    It’s my understanding that the better employers don’t care much where you went to school anyway. A good school might get you a higher priority in the interview queue, but once you get to that point interview performance is the biggest factor. There are enough grossly incompetent people out there with advanced degrees from prestigious universities that employers can’t afford to put much stock in educational credentials.

  10. trumwill says:

    Peter,

    Forgot to comment on this:
    Siggy’s conclusion that Sarah Palin was unintelligent was based not so much on the fact that she graduated from the University of Idaho, as because she majored in an easy field (journalism) and attended two or three other colleges before finally settling down at Idaho.

    HS’s comment about U of I being a “bogus college” came before the details of her collegiate career came out. The constant transfers are fair game and had he waited for that I wouldn’t have singled him out. By and large, I don’t totally disagree with his estimation of her intelligence.

  11. trumwill says:

    Self-delusion is a common human trait, and important for maintaining self-esteem, which has a funny way of being more important than the ability it’s theoretically supposed to reflect.

    There are a lot of very arrogant computer guys out there without the ability to get women. Self-deception has its limits when it’s not aided by charisma.

  12. trumwill says:

    MIT interviewed me;

    That doesn’t surprise me. A friend from high school with a relatively good but not stellar academic profile but with a strong and commanding personal presence went to MIT. I figured that it was probably an interview that sealed that deal.

    A good school might get you a higher priority in the interview queue, but once you get to that point interview performance is the biggest factor.

    The interview queue is pretty important. Despite being a mediocre interview, I’ve been hired over half the time I’ve been interviewed. It’s getting that interview that seems the important part. It’s quite possible, though, that DeVry is good enough to get the interview at places where my alma mater is.

  13. Michele says:

    Will-
    I actually work in the education industry- and DeVry’s credits transfer all the time. Of course- if you are coming from an electronics program and transferring to a business program at your new school- your electronics classes will not transfer (maybe as an elective) but if the course descriptions are the same from transferring school to new school- all credits should transfer.
    For example, DeVry’s English Composition class should transfer to any other school as English Composition. Transferring comes into a gray area when classes are more detailed, like a technical class. That is when course descriptions at different schools can differ so much that it makes it hard to transfer to or from any school. Some go deeper or faster than others, when an English Comp class is always “how to write an essay”.

  14. Brandon Berg says:

    Will:
    It’s interesting that you should mention that; My interviewer said after the fact that of the five people she interviewed I was the one she was most sure would get in. I didn’t; I think two others did.

    The interview queue is pretty important.

    It depends on the position, I guess. My manager mentioned to me that they’d been trying to fill my position for five months and had interviewed over 30 people.

  15. Abel says:

    I find it funny that people brag about where they went to school whether it be a state-sponsored flagship university or a for profit college. In reality, where one went to school matters little as to what they achieve in life. Things like work ethic, desire to keep learning, etc. play a much bigger role in what one accomplishes.

  16. Allen says:

    DeVry credits transfer to any ABET certified univerersity. Which is most brick and mortar universities. A side note: any college reserves the right to accept or reject credits from ANY institution. A Devry B.S. in engineering allows a graduate to take the FE exam, and you can attend a brick and mortar for a graduate degree if you like. So, there is a difference.

  17. BigBoy says:

    DeVry is truly the best university in the country. My friends who graduated from the top state university didn’t find a job, while I graduated from DeVry making 60,000+ out of school.

    I guess, people just need to learn the hard way.

  18. EngineerIntern says:

    I just want to add to the DeVry Comments.

    If anyone think DeVry is not a good school, then think about this: DeVry offers Electronics Engineering Technology degree before other universities did.

    Just search how many other school or prestigious universities that actually follow DeVry’s footstep in getting that major.

    Check out RIT, rank number 9 in best college, offers the same degree that DeVry does, BSEET.

  19. ResearchingSchools says:

    I have been researching colleges for quite some time now and the only thing that matters is regional accreditation when it comes to transferring credits. That being said DeVry is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. So they are a regionally accredited college, however, they are not taken as serious as say Georgia Tech when it comes to Computer Information Systems degree’s. ITT is nationally accredited aka almost none of their credits transfer so your probably just wasting time and money. A Degree is still what you make of it and hopefully that’s just a stepping stone to your next higher learning venture.

  20. Angela says:

    I guess my question would be: If “core” classes are transferable to other colleges of the same type, are classes taken at a Junior College transferable to DeVry?
    my son is wanting to apply to take their Graphics and Multi-media Design courses. It would make sense to take the undergrad at a JC, as one of my other kids did prior to attending a University.

  21. Kelly says:

    It angers me so much to hear these types of negative remarks. I graduated from Devry and ended up making over 200K by 28 as a defense contractor advising ministries in conflict countries. As a woman. Several years later, I managed MBAs while consulting for the major film studios. Does that say anything to you?

  22. Lucilla says:

    I spent a couple of minutes studying and checking the facts.
    Everything is clear and understandable. I enjoy posts that fill in your knowledge gaps.
    This one is of that sort. Moreover, I enjoy how the writer organized his ideas in addition to the visual
    component.

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