Let’s face it: Most of us think graduating from a prestigious college or university will make us unlock great job opportunities. But is it always the case?

In 2014, the Gallup-Purdue Index surveyed around 30,000 graduates regarding their careers and lives. The report concluded most respondents said what matters is how you go to college, not where you go to college.

Another point: New York columnist Frank Bruni looked into college admissions mania. In his book "Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be", Bruni collated evidence from several fields to prove his point coming from an Ivy League college is not a prerequisite to success or does not assure it. One example is the CEOs of the 10 largest companies in the Fortune 500 went to state schools for their bachelor’s degree. Moreover, an Inc. Magazine feature unveiled not one leader in the 10 highest-rated corporations in the United States earned their undergraduate degrees from a reputable college or university.

US News may be considered the most prominent arbiter of the best universities in the country. But then again, several magazines such as Forbes, as well as numerous institutions, have their own way of gauging schools. ranks 1,223 colleges and universities based on their 20-year net return on investment (ROI). Net ROI pertains to the difference in median earnings over 20 years between an individual who graduated from a particular institution and a person who only finished high school, less the school’s total four-year cost. Harvey Mudd College tops the list, with $985,300, and followed by California Institute of Technology and Stevens Institute of Technology, with $901,400 and $841,000, respectively. As for Ivy League schools, Stanford University is at number 6 and Princeton University at number 9.

In April 2015, Brookings Institution released a report "Beyond College Rankings", which evaluates value-added or the difference between actual income of a person and his or her expected earning according to a student’s characteristics and the institution where he or she came from. The ranking highly rated the following institutions: California Institute of Technology, Colgate University (in New York), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (in Indiana). Stanford comes at 10th place.

Looking at these figures, does it really matter if you graduated from a respected college or university? As of present, many parents are still convinced getting into a high-caliber school will help their child jumpstart their career. But studies showed the prestige of your alma mater does not guarantee a key to success and higher salary. To succeed in your chosen field, one should take advantage of internships and other opportunities, as well as getting to know the right faculty members.