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The whole point of college?

  1. Feb 5, 2007 #1
    So, I currently attend Texas A&M in college station and im a sophomore majoring in computer science in pretty good standing i suppose with a 3.659 gpa. My question is, is it really even necessary for me to attend this school when i could be going to a cheaper school back in my hometown of dallas tx? I mean i am learning pretty much everything on my own out of the books anyways and im just using the professors help when i have a few questions. Class is great but it seems like we are not doing enough. I have barely had any projects to turn in and so i mostly do a lot of outside projects to hone my skills. I am going to school not to make some ground breaking discoveries or anything, i just want to graduate and get a good job. I know A&M isnt the top school for anything however it does have a very good reputation for engineering. People tell me that if i stay here i will get a great job upon graduation however if i transfer back home that i will only get an ok job. For example, i was thinking about transfering to UTD. I thought it will be what i can do and show in the interview that matters but i am not even totally sure. So would it be wise to come back home and go to school for a lot cheaper? Plus i hear UTD is pretty good school for computer science.

    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 5, 2007 #2


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    Get the piece of paper. That gets you to the interview. Once you're in the interview, it doesn't matter anymore.
  4. Feb 5, 2007 #3
    What he said. Don't get me wrong, having a degree from a certain college will make you look better. But the benefit isn't enough to justify spending more money than you should. Your good grades will be far more important than the name of the college that's on your degree.
  5. Feb 6, 2007 #4
    Thanks, i think that i will make the transfer now since i can save a ton of money in loans that i will have to pay back. Thanks!
  6. Feb 6, 2007 #5


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    College/university's about more than a piece of paper.

    It's about getting away, a long way away, from your hometown.

    It's about meeting new people and making new friends.

    It's about learning to live on your own.

    imo, these things are just as important as getting the piece of paper at the end of it all.
  7. Feb 6, 2007 #6


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    Actually, I meant that the qualification gets you to the interview, so you need a good qualification for that. A qualification from a better school is of course better. Once you are at the interview, I don't think it matters much what school you went to. Making that shortlist is tough so going to a good school is good.
  8. Feb 6, 2007 #7
    Well, since i will complete 2 years here and if i transfer then 2 years at another college, will companies look at that as well? And will it look any different to them or will they be neutral to it?
  9. Feb 6, 2007 #8
    What school in dallas? If you are talking UT Dallas... I can give you some idea.
  10. Feb 6, 2007 #9
    A school with a popular name supply alot of resources for helping you get that job, but I agree I don't think it really matters what school you go to as long as your learning somthing and can impress the company. I'm not saying go to a CC that doesn't challenge your either though.
  11. Feb 6, 2007 #10
    I've talked to a lot of people about this, they almost all agree that 1 or 2 years after you get your first job, no one will really care about where you went to school. Going to a prestigious school may make it easier to find that first job though. Is it worth it? Only you can make that call.

    When I decided to go back to school to get an EE degree, I had to decide where to attend. Being in Michigan, I applied to UofM, Lawrence Tech, and Oakland University. I got accepted to all 3. When I sat down and looked at the numbers, finishing my degree was going to cost me in tuition (not including room and board or books):

    U of M ------------------- around $26,000
    Lawrence Tech ----------- around $40,000 (private)
    Oakland University ------ around $12,000

    Even if I had assumed that going to UofM would have guaranteed me a great job right out of school, it would have to pay $5000 to $10,000 a year more then a similar job I might get after attending Oakland to really make it worth it.

    I was concerned at first that I wouldn't get as good of an education at Oakland as I would at one of the others, but I've found that concern to be invalid. As many others have posted on this forum before, you get out of your education what you put into it.
  12. Feb 6, 2007 #11
    I agree with what you put into your education is what you are going to get out of it. That is why im really thinking about making the transfer since im making things happen for myself rather than relying on teachers feeding it to me (which they wont do). And yes i am thinking about UTD to transfer too.
  13. Feb 6, 2007 #12
    I agree to a point. I took some EE classes at Kettering University before changing over to physics. These included Circuits 1 and 2, Fields, and others.
    My girlfriend is a EE graduated from Wayne State in Detroit. Its a good school, but when I helped her study for her fields class I was surprised at the speed at which they went and the material they covered. They covered in her 16 week course the same material (including depth) that I covered in my first 5 weeks at Kettering. And We only have 12 week courses. Basically in their fields class they started getting into induced currents/moving wires/magnetic fields in their last 2 weeks. I remember doing that maybe 4th week.
    So there really IS a difference sometimes in the quality of the courses at whichever school you go to. The cheaper the schools get, usually the easier the course work. Maybe its not the cost, but more that the good institutions charge more. Fortunately for my girlfriend she's really bright and learned everthing necessary and more so it didn't hinder her that much.

    Bottom line is that I feel there is definately a difference, if its only the depth and extent of material they decide to expose you to. As I learned personally, a statistics class at a community college is not the same as one at a private or ranked university.
  14. Feb 6, 2007 #13
    I'd like to point out that the fact that WSU covers kettering's 5 weeks of material in ~12 weeks does not necessarily make the education at kettering any better. In fact, it may make it worse, in a way. Also, you have to consider different professors discuss things in different orders. Some profs like to introduce the math needed as it is applied, and other profs like to lay out the mathematical framework during the first 2 weeks or so of the course.

    However, it is kinda surprising that they didn't start faraday's law and time varying fields until the second to last week.

    At LTU, this is how my fields course was structured:
    First 3 weeks was a comprehensive review of ALL of the essential vector algebra and vector calculus one should thoroughly be comfortable with to get anything out of a fields course.

    During weeks 4-5 we covered electrostatics in free space quite thoroughly, and during week 6 we covered electrostatics in material media.

    During weeks 7-8 we covered magnetostatics in free space and during week 9 we covered magnetostatics in material media.

    During week 10-12 we covered time varying fields, and the corrected maxwell's equations in integral and differential form.

    The last 2 weeks was spent on electromagnetic waves and waveguides/transmission like theory.

    IMO, the pace of the course was perfect and the depth of the treatment was quite good.

    and BTW, Kettering's curriculum is a lot different than most universities. IIRC, there's really only 1/2 the time to cover a full engineering curriculum worth of subject matter since the other time is spent doing mandatory industry internships. Whether this is a good approach really depends on your viewpoint.
  15. Feb 6, 2007 #14
    Well im also not talking about transfering to a community college, im still going to be going to a university, it is just going to be cheaper. And this university is still very good for computer science from what i hear. And also computer science is so broad and is a subject that you have to learn by doing that i dont think a universitys curriculum would be that much different from others. I ate lunch with Dr. Stroustrup and a few other kids via a program that i am in here and he said a lot of the kids will graduate not even really understanding their data structures which IMO is something that you should have down pretty well. So my point is, ill really have to get down a lot of this on my own anyways.
  16. Feb 6, 2007 #15
    all of which are optional...
  17. Feb 6, 2007 #16
    Actually, I can agree with that. On the one condition that you take out the "long way away" from your hometown. Yeah its great to get away, but the sad fact is going far away will end up costing you alot (curse out of state).

    But if the point is to get away from the atmosphere you lived in all of your life, that secure little bubble you grew up in; than yes, I can agree with that first portion.

    Oh and Ki Man, you will find when you get to college none of these things are really optional...they seem to happen naturally.

    Edit: And of course to meet very cute girls!
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2007
  18. Feb 6, 2007 #17


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    meet cute girls?
  19. Feb 6, 2007 #18
    ha, unless your school has a 80/20 guy girl ratio....

    :frown: :mad:
  20. Feb 7, 2007 #19
    That would still be an unrealistic figure for engineering.
  21. Feb 7, 2007 #20
    no, that's about the ratio for my school, but my school is pretty much half architecture and half engineering...and there's about a 50/50 ratio in architecture...but yes, engineering is quite bad.
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