I'm a 4th year PhD student in Education, and I'm noticing a trend that no one seems to be able to explain to me. I'm at a large state school (ranked ~30 in education, better in my discipline for whatever rankings are worth). I've started to stalk assistant professors at schools I'd be interested in applying to, and I've noticed there seems to be a stratification between "good" (i.e. state, UC schools not called Berkley or UCLA) and "elite" PhDs. Most elite students appear to publish almost exclusively in conference proceedings. In contrast, I see a lot of new graduates from "good" school who have 5+ journal publications, several of which are first-author publications. And not in crap journals or anything.
Is there something different about how students at Harvard, Stanford etc. are told to conduct their research. How does this play into hiring? If you went to a good school and have six publications, are you always going to loose out to a Harvard grad no questions asked? I know this is subjective, but I'd love opinions from those who have an idea of what might cause this, or perhaps what is wrong with my observation.
Edit: The field I'm looking in specifically is education.
Edit2: People wanted some examples. As a simple example, look at the assistant professors Utah State University Instructional Technology and Learning Science (a good program in it's field) vs. the assistant professors at Harvard school of Ed.
At Utah state, if you skim through their CVs they had between 1 - 10 (!) publications when they graduated from their PhDs. Harvard? 1-3. Maybe that isn't a full blown study, but let's call it a case study.
Additionally, you could look at the University of Utah Educational Psychology assistant professors, many of whom had no publications at graduation but tend to be from more prestigious school despite Utah State and University of Utah being a little more comparable. This may be a more applicable comparison to the Utah State group.