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Do employers care where you went to school?

  1. Mar 29, 2005 #1
    I'm really having a tough time deciding where to transfer to next fall to complete my degree in electrical engineering. My choices are, a high priced private university that has a very good local reputation. Or, a much cheaper, public university. From what I've been able to dig up through my research, the public university does have a good local rep, but the private school has a slightly better one. The private school would cost me about 30k as opposed to about 10k at the public school.

    So, my question is this:
    After I've been working for 2 to 3 years, is any employer going to care if I went to the private college as opposed to the public?

    Money is almost meaningless to me. My biggest concern is finding a job I enjoy that will pay the bills. 40k to 60k a year is all I really need to be happy.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 29, 2005 #2

    Pengwuino

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    Well if your staying local, might as well go to the private one. Public school kinda sucks because its government funded which kinda implies its own built-in stupidity and inefficiency. Ask people who go there about the environment and the profs and see whawt their opinions are. And if money is meaningless to you, why does it matter lol.
     
  4. Mar 29, 2005 #3

    ZapperZ

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    Take note that University of Illinois, UCLA, UC-Berkeley, U. of Wisconsin, U. of Michigan, SUNY Stony Brook, U. of North Carolina, Florida State University, U. of Washington, etc.. etc.. are ALL public schools. I'll be damned if these public school "sucks". These schools are as good as any of the Ivy League schools that so many people have over-glorified. Illinois, for example, has consistently been ranked #1 in the country in condensed matter. UCLA and Maryland have accelerator physics program that everyone envies.

    Do NOT have blinders on with respect to public and private education. Such shortsightedness should not happen at this stage.

    Zz.
     
  5. Mar 29, 2005 #4

    chroot

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    Does it matter? It depends entirely on the employer. Certainly, it matters much more for academia than for virtually any commercial employer. For engineering, it doesn't matter much at all -- if you have the skills, you will get a job. You might have a higher chance to get an interview with a big-name school on your resume, but your experience will be the dominant factor in that. The vast majority of engineers are educated at state schools, so you'll be in good company.

    For the record, I have the feeling that Pengwuino is a young kid, not yet college-age, who doesn't really have any idea of what he's talking about. State schools are stupid and inefficient? :rofl:

    - Warren
     
  6. Mar 30, 2005 #5

    Pengwuino

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    Well i live in California.. as do you so you should know what im talking about! I mean come on, UC Merced??? pffff and the CSU system has been getting budget cuts left and right and in some cases having 10x hte applicants as spots to fill yet still finding reasons to cut enrollment levels. Plus the always looming tuition increases.... go team democrat run state! But in retrospect, these are all rather administrative and system-wide problems in California alone.... and we're California so we're rather unique.
     
  7. Mar 30, 2005 #6

    chroot

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    Yes... And UC Berkeley is quite a hell-hole, eh?

    - Warren
     
  8. Mar 30, 2005 #7

    Pengwuino

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    Berkeley gets a crap load of external funding. The other universities (CSU system for example) dont have that luxury :)
     
  9. Mar 30, 2005 #8

    ZapperZ

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    You seem to be missing the point, and appear to be cultivating a rather bad habit of making across-the-board judgement based on your incomplete observation. You said, without hesitation, that all public schools "suck". If you go back to what I said, I stressed that all public schools do NOT suck. And I gave you SPECIFIC examples of public schools where people will cut off their right hand to get into (check how many graduate applicants UIUC gets each year to get into condensed matter, or undergraduate EE).

    Eliminating a school SIMPLY based on the fact that it is a public school is highly shortsighted. You will miss out on some terrific education (at a bargain, no less). However, I am more worried that you have no qualm in forming an overall judgement based on the flimsiest of evidence. A lot of our social problems and prejudices can be traced to such practices.

    Zz.
     
  10. Mar 30, 2005 #9
    I'm just wondering, is there co-op in the states for an engineering degree student? I live in Canada and I am currently enrolled in University of Waterloo for Mechanical Engineering. Every single Engineering program at Waterloo is co-op, same with Accounting, and some Mathematics and Architecture (this is what makes it ranked #1 in Canada overall). The co-op begins in first year, right after first term is over. This is what seperates good schools from bad ones (in my oppinion). Im just wondering if there are schools in the US like this, or is it like conventional schooling.

    Regards,

    Nenad
     
  11. Mar 30, 2005 #10

    Astronuc

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    I'll second that.

    I periodically contact people at these institutions, and they certainly are as good as any so-called 'prestigious' (e.g. Ivy league) school, and in some cases better. When I look at a prospective employee, I am simply interested in what they know, what interests they have (i.e. compatible with the work we do), and their work habits. I prefer self-directed individuals to whom I simply assign a task, and it gets done correctly and efficiently. I don't want to micro-manage.
     
  12. Mar 30, 2005 #11

    reilly

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    Nenad -- Northeastern in Boston is a co-op school, for all students. And, it's a very good school indeed.

    While all public colleges and universities are not excellent, not all private ones are excellent.

    Regards,
    Reilly Atkinson
     
  13. Mar 30, 2005 #12
    I go to a public school right now. You can probably tell by my user name. (and not in California.)

    I had a choice between CU and Georgia Tech, I chose CU based partly on cost, location, and also my major (Aerospace) is damn good at CU, and much less money.

    But employers really won't care where you went to school. They care about grades and experience.
     
  14. Mar 31, 2005 #13
    Grades, experience. Word from the wise, though: CHECK OUT THE CAMPUS BEFORE COMMITING. I went to the U of A solely because of money issues, and turned out hating the people there, but loving the campus. The only friends I made were a good 7 years older than me. So unless you want a lonely, miserable first few semesters, check out the campus and location and see if it 'clicks' with you.

    Learn from our mistakes.
     
  15. Mar 31, 2005 #14
    Yes, campus visits are important.

    Also talk to people on the phone about questions. One big reason I decided against University of Florida was that the students working the phones couldn't answer my questions or direct me to someone who could answer them.

    It was pulling teeth getting anything from them.

    The school I go to now was and is good about getting back to you.
     
  16. Mar 31, 2005 #15

    Pengwuino

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    Yes, it was pretty much a passing 'throw in my ill-thought of 2 cents' moment. Need to stop doing that when im around intelligent people (my 'home' forum is like a politic-filled warzone).
     
  17. Mar 31, 2005 #16

    Wow, you really don't know what you're talking about.

    IN any other state you may be right, but not in california, where you live.

    UCSB is a top 10 physics program, Cal Berkely and UCLA are creme of the crop in a number of fields.

    UCLA runs Los Alamos, Berkely runs Lawrence Berkely lets not forget as well.
     
  18. Mar 31, 2005 #17

    ZapperZ

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    Actually, University of California system administer Los Alamos, not UCLA.

    Zz.
     
  19. Mar 31, 2005 #18
    Indeed, my mistake.
     
  20. Mar 31, 2005 #19

    cronxeh

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    geez guys.. why are we arguing? its just 100 grand for bs in physics
     
  21. Mar 31, 2005 #20

    Pengwuino

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    Well there is only a handful of examples. No one here seems to bring up the CSU system or community colleges that dont have loads of money comen in for research and alumni and through sports :)
     
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