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Is UC Davis a school prestigious enough to become an employable econ m

  1. Apr 27, 2014 #1
    An economics degree from a top 10 or 20 (depending on whose numbers you look at) would probably get you far in life. An economics major from a mediocre CSU, however, would struggle big time finding employment.
    1).Is UC Davis (university of california, Davis), one of those schools where an Economics major could become employable due to the prestige of the school?
    2).Is UCB?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 28, 2014 #2
    There are people who believe the education system is an academic hazing process. Surviving that hazing process is supposed to mean something akin to having belonged to a certain fraternity or sorority. If someone places significant emphasis on where your degree comes from, it is an indication that they are bereft of any better metrics to evaluate you for potential employment, so they look at the school you attended as a mark of how motivated you might be. I have never seen such employment judgments work well, except by happy accident. If you don't know what you're looking for in an employee, then your results are almost guaranteed to be random at best. Those are the places I warn people to stay away from.

    I have known some truly incompetent engineers who graduated from MIT. I have known some very sharp doctors who graduated from Caribbean medical schools. With sufficient motivation and intelligence, you can get a decent education from almost anywhere; without that motivation to improve oneself, one can still graduate from a top flight school yet remain an ignoramus.

    That said: a degree in economics by itself is just a shade more employable than a degree in, say, art history. Usually a degree in economics is intended as a stepping stone toward other studies, such as finance, business, or virtually any other field including engineering or physics. The business of predicting how economies will perform is notoriously difficult, because technology and the arts can swing predictions all over the place. Ultimately, it is a study of predicting human behavior, and we all know how well that works.

    Thus the answer to your question is 1. YES you could be more employable. 2. UCB is also good. And 3. (though you didn't ask this) chasing such employment opportunities for silly reasons like this is a really foolish idea.

    (Aside: yes, I know, the practice of law is VERY school oriented. Now you know one reason why I don't think much of the business and practice of law.)
  4. Apr 28, 2014 #3


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    UC Davis and UC Berkeley are very different environments. UC Davis is more supportive (in my experience) and the small-town atmosphere makes it much easier to focus on your studies. Both schools are excellent and either one can take you anywhere you want to go (assuming you do well).

    That said, UC Davis is world-renowned in the field of Agricultural Economics and if that interests you UC Davis could be an outstanding choice.
  5. Apr 30, 2014 #4
    Maybe, maybe not.
    Maybe...maybe not.
    I really dislike this question. It seems to presume that a person is employable simply because they managed to get a diploma from a good school. This is neither sufficient nor necessary.
    See above.

    It is as simple as this: If you want to be highly employable when you graduate from college, you have to work hard, get good grades, make sure you understand the material, do internships or undergraduate research, and network. Doing these things with a degree from UCD or UCB will make you look better than doing them at a CSU - I would say that is true. But if you limp to the finish line at a UC with a 2.0 GPA and spend your time drinking and partying, you will find yourself passed over for the guy who did all the good stuff at a CSU. Make no mistake. This has definitely been my experience.

    So, if you get into a UC, great! You still have a lot of work to do. If you only get into a CSU...you still have a lot of work to do. Happily, though, all hope is not lost in either circumstance.

    EDIT: When I say "This has...been my experience," I mean I have observed this happening. I don't mean that I spent my undergraduate career drinking and partying, though there was some of that. Everything in moderation, right? :wink:
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
  6. Apr 30, 2014 #5
    Thanks. This is a very rational and wise reply. :)
  7. May 1, 2014 #6
    Is there any truth to East Coast bias concerning schools like UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara etc......I have heard from "head hunters" that this is the case for graduates thinking of moving from the West Coast to the East Coast. Schools like Georgia Tech,UVA,UNC-chapel Hill,University of Maryland..ect.. are looked on more favorably.
  8. May 1, 2014 #7


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    Why would you think that? Typically the closer a school is to your present location the more prestigious it is (with the exception of Harvard/MIT/Stanford/etc). So, if you're in the American South, Georgia Tech or Maryland would be prestigious. If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, UC Davis is very prestigious. It all depends.
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