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Schools Should I transfer to a harder/better university? (CS)

  1. Nov 2, 2016 #1
    Hi, I'm currently a part time CS student at a local university near me. It's not a bad university, but it's not the greatest either. However, i've been working 30-40 hours per week while having a part time schedule. I'm thinking about potentially quitting my job, transferring to UoFT(which si the best university in Canada) and focusing there.

    But this is my dilemma. I have around a 3.6 GPA atm(low 80s) so I don't know if I'll have troubles getting in, but I hear UoFT is very difficult school and that they quite literally expect lots of people to fail their undergrad and drop out. Apparently UoFT's program is ranked 11 around the world, where my current university is probably no where near that.

    Now a bit of backgruond on how I learn I guess: I am a somewhat self-learner. I read alot, watch videos online, ask for help on forums like these(and stackexchange is really great) rather than attend lectures. I rarely attend lectures if anything. On top of that, I have good discpline on maintaining a schedule for studying(I like to have 30 minutes- 1 hour daily of study for every subject).

    Given all this info, would you recommend transferring? I have already transferred once, and I'm unsure if it's in my interests to transfer again. I'm aware that CS is a field where you want to have your own portfolio and experience rather than program prestige but I feel that the difference between the two is so vast.
    What do you think?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 3, 2016 #2
    Given the likely financial requirements of switching, I would tend to recommend against it.

    The benefits don't seem to balance the risks and additional costs, especially if you would need to incur a significant debt load to do it.

    In general, my advice to undergrads is "Go to the best institution you can where you can graduate debt free."
  4. Nov 3, 2016 #3
    Is there something I'm missing here for financial requirements of switching? I'm assuming you studied in the States so there may be variations but I do not believe there should be too many costs associated with transferring.

    I would not be moving to a different area as both universities are in the same city. I may lose a few credits if that's what you mean?
  5. Nov 3, 2016 #4
    You're aiming for industry work, right? I got my bachelors at a lowly state school in the American South, and several of my friends from the same institute got jobs at Google by having good grades and netting an internship.

    Focus on grades and getting an internship, not the burden of transferring to a "better" university, unless you want to go the academic route and have no opportunities for undergraduate research.
  6. Nov 3, 2016 #5
    You mentioned quitting your job. In the states, the better schools tend to have higher tuition, and as you surmised, there is often some loss of credits (and need to pay for and retake courses) when switching to a better school.

    But if you have considered the math on the financial questions and can swing it would increased debt, then go for it.

    My experience in the US is that circumstances similar to yours usually require a significantly increased student debt load.
  7. Nov 3, 2016 #6
    I am not completely alienated to the idea of academia, but yes I do believe industry work is better situated for me. It's just that I feel like the content/course material of my program is subpar which is why I'm not sure. (Of course, working on my own stuff would probably be quite beneficial as well with internship experience)

    Ah, well in Canada tuition costs are honestly very similar. Prestige of school doesn't add too much(of course they will vary, but they're very similar). At this point it's the retaking of courses that would push me away from not switching(on top of it being apparently very difficult).

    I think I'll apply just to keep the door open and if I decide I want to transfer in X months I can give it a go.
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