• I'm happy to introduce the Styleforum Happy Hour, our brand new podcast featuring lively discussion about menswear and the fashion industry. In the inaugural edition, a discussion of what's going on in retail today. Please check it out on the Journal. All episodes will be also be available soon on your favorite podcast platform.

  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

School Advice-Do school rankings really matter?

EMY

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
263
Reaction score
2
Do a few rankings up or down really matter if you are not in the top 5? Would people who are hiring/matter look at the overall ranking or ranking in your specific field? How is Columbia engineering generally perceived compared to say, UCLA, USC, UCSD, UPenn? This is for their grad programs.
 

JayJay

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
24,367
Reaction score
423
Originally Posted by EMY
Do a few rankings up or down really matter if you are not in the top 5?
To many recruiters, yes.
 

ramuman

Distinguished Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2009
Messages
4,862
Reaction score
749
For grad school, I don't think any of those schools would be considered top 5 for overall engineering - actually, none of those are even remotely close.
 

Coors Light

Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
24
Reaction score
0
depends what you want to do..

Be recruited on the national level or apply locally.
 

medtech_expat

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2006
Messages
1,019
Reaction score
180
All things being equal, a top 5 or 10 grad school will typically get you easier access to the plum companies/jobs. Importantly, you'll probably start your career with a higher salary and hence steeper earnings trajectory. So early in your career, your school does have an impact. IMO, a few years post grad school your alma mater doesn't appear to matter much except to degree snobs. All about performance, potential and network.
 

indesertum

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
17,863
Reaction score
3,977
^+1 many times

a material science phd student told me how the shittiest phd students still get jobs at intel just because they're from the mat sci phd program here.

i know earnst and young, ubs, shell, johnson and johnson, etc hire almost exclusively from a select few schools including mine, but after that it's all up to you
 

Texasmade

Distinguished Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
6,428
Reaction score
2,411
Originally Posted by indesertum
^+1 many times

a material science phd student told me how the shittiest phd students still get jobs at intel just because they're from the mat sci phd program here.

i know earnst and young, ubs, shell, johnson and johnson, etc hire almost exclusively from a select few schools including mine, but after that it's all up to you


Ernst and Young hires from a bunch of schools. In an organziation of 20,000+ inthe US with like 16,000+ client service professionals, they can't be too exclusive.
 

EMY

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
263
Reaction score
2
Originally Posted by ramuman
For grad school, I don't think any of those schools would be considered top 5 for overall engineering - actually, none of those are even remotely close.

That was exactly my point. Columbia is obviously the highest ranked overall (4th) and generally has the highest impact. USC (10), UCSD(13), UCLA(15) are all higher ranked than Columbia(18) in engineering, but none of them "sound" as impressive. For my type of engineering Penn (16), UCLA(23), USC/Columbia(36), UCSD(52).

My dilemma is whether to choose the school with the biggest name, best in engineering or best in my discipline of engineering. I am not sure sure whether I want to apply on a national or local scale.
 

JayJay

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
24,367
Reaction score
423
Originally Posted by EMY
That was exactly my point. Columbia is obviously the highest ranked overall (4th) and generally has the highest impact. USC (10), UCSD(13), UCLA(15) are all higher ranked than Columbia(18) in engineering, but none of them "sound" as impressive. For my type of engineering Penn (16), UCLA(23), USC/Columbia(36), UCSD(52).

My dilemma is whether to choose the school with the biggest name, best in engineering or best in my discipline of engineering. I am not sure sure whether I want to apply on a national or local scale.

I'd select the best in your discipline of engineering on a national scale.
 

ramuman

Distinguished Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2009
Messages
4,862
Reaction score
749
Originally Posted by JayJay
I'd select the best in your discipline of engineering on a national scale.
Originally Posted by medtech_expat
+1
I second (third) this. Incidentally, I was also accepted into Columbia for engineering grad school and I seriously considered it because I had thoughts at the time of also pursuing an MBA or JD in parallel with my Ph.D. I ended up choosing Georgia Tech because it was ranked higher overall in engineering and my focus (ECE/BME). I took it seriously for 4 years and ended up with a job in line with what I could have expected with a dual Ph.D/MBA and a much better technical background because of the resources here. Tech was the highest ranked engineering school that did spring admissions at the time and it ended up being one of the best decisions I've made. Short answer: Go with the better engineering school - but in grad school make sure you also have a great fit with your advisor, especially if you're doing a Ph.D. That alone could make or break your experience. I was fortunate enough to have one of the classiest people as mine.
 

EMY

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
263
Reaction score
2
Thanks for the responses.

R- While you were getting your PhD, did you work extensively with professors from other departments or was your advisor in 2 different departments? The reason I ask is that many of chemical engineering professors at my list of schools are also chemistry or biomedical engineering professors and those programs are top 10.
 

Milpool

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Messages
921
Reaction score
0
This is always an interesting debate. Often, giant state schools have great rankings in sciences due to their size and such, yet on overall scores, they are nowhere near the top.

So if you are dealing with recruiters that don't know better, they will likely think Ivy is better than State due to overall ranking (probably at the undergrad level) rather than knowing that for discipline xyz, State is top 5 vs Ivy not in the running.

In short, I don't have a good answer for you.
 

ramuman

Distinguished Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2009
Messages
4,862
Reaction score
749
Originally Posted by EMY
Thanks for the responses. R- While you were getting your PhD, did you work extensively with professors from other departments or was your advisor in 2 different departments? The reason I ask is that many of chemical engineering professors at my list of schools are also chemistry or biomedical engineering professors and those programs are top 10.
My advisor and co-advisor are in two separate departments (ECE and Biology). Neither held a formal position in the other department when I started. I would place more stock in an advisor's primary department than what other departments they're a part of. It's easy to become adjunct faculty in a department, but that doesn't necessarily mean much by itself. On balance, I would say that you should pick an advisor who primarily works in the department you want to and does research you want to do. Personality fit is a huge (did I say huge) factor that you should consider as well. If you're a free spirit that likes to read about a million things and doesn't want to be in the lab six days a week, but when you do come in, you do some creative things and your advisor wants you to knock out incremental research and lots of publications, then you likely won't be a mutual fit - and vice versa. Everyone goes in to a Ph.D thinking they're going to change the world, but at the end of it, all you've really changed is yourself. Make sure you pick a path that allows you to change for the better. You're locking in potentially the most formative years of your life. Don't waste that time and good luck with the path you pick.
 

JayJay

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
24,367
Reaction score
423
If the OP is pursuing a Ph.D, then the quality of the doctoral program for his discipline is most important. The overall ranking of the school won't matter as much when it comes to getting a job, especially one in a university.
 

Featured Sponsor

What's your favorite pair of shoes to wear with jeans? (Choose two)

  • Boots (Chelsea, Chukkas, Balmorals, etc.)

  • Loafers

  • Work boots (Red Wing, Wolverine, etc.)

  • Monk strap shoes

  • Oxford / Derby shoes

  • Sneakers


Results are only viewable after voting.

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
427,236
Messages
9,195,067
Members
193,109
Latest member
Alexd7

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Top