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# Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?16

## Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

(OP)
I have a daughter that is a senior in high school. She has done very well academically and with standardized testing. She has applied to a wide range of universities, from small, prestigious schools to large state schools. She plans to major in engineering (of some sort) and has a desire to pursue advanced degrees in the future. Does a degree from a more prestigious school help? Is it an advantage to acceptance to graduate school? Does it open doors when looking for your first job? The real trade off is the upfront cost. I am willing to make this investment if it provides a true advantage. I know that once you get into your career, that performance is what matters. I have done quite a bit of research on the topic, but the conclusions seem highly subjective. I know there is a wide range of professionals on this site, and am interested in your opinions.

Thanks!

For the record, I graduated from a state university and have never seen it as a hinderance to my engineering career, but I may be oblivious to opportunities that others had.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

I graduated from Marquette (ME plus minor in naval science).

I worked at Apple computer 1998-1999 (iMac debut era). I was surrounded by MEs from MIT and Stanford. I believe I was competitive in the raw IQ department, but it was clear that my cohorts really did get a better, more thorough education at their schools.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

The rule of thumb I saw is that if your school is in the top 20% then ranking matters, but outside of that nobody cares. And of course, by your third job your degree is pretty much of academic interest only (sorry).

Cheers

Greg Locock

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### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

The question is probably more if the school provides a better education. This likely is hard to answer. But I would trust a school that has hard academic requirements more than one that admits based on ability to pay, or based on some sort of social-engineering scheme.

Unfortunately the prestigious degrees get diluted by students who gain entrance not through academics, but because rich parents "find a way" to get their children in.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

OK, I'll fess up I went to one of the top one engineering universities globally, according to some surveys. Usually in the top 3.

While other kids were messing about with bits and bobs in their labs, we had full sized engines, and a steam turbine/generator set, in the basement. We didn't do experiments on video.

Cheers

Greg Locock

New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

I graduated from a highly rated school, and the surveys all claim that there is a lifetime advantage in earnings for going to that school; I, however, went when tuition was 1/5th of the expected starting salary, it's currently more like 1/2 of the starting salary.

The other advantage of going to such a school is some cachet of credibility/reputation that comes with it; I don't get called out as often as someone from a lower-rated school might.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

I think your job offers improve with a BA from a prestigious school regardless of how well you actually did. I think your BA education may be a little better at a prestigious school for some degrees but not all. The more specialized degrees such as electrical, mechanical, aerospace are probably better but civil may not be. Civil is so diverse, I doubt a BA can be that much better. Just too much unrelated ground to cover in 4 years. I do not know if the cost/benefit is there for a BA in any curriculum. It took 10 years to pay off my student loan. I know some schools were 2-4 times the cost of mine and I know I would have never been able to pay those loans off.

Masters and above is probably really worth more. I would imagine between the more advanced facilities and more interesting research projects, it would almost have to be a plus provided the student applies themselves.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

The biggest difference, education-wise, across all schools, is really how the curriculum doles out theory and practice, and how much. There are definitely highly ranked state schools that produce degrees that will get great jobs at a fraction of cost of a private school.

On the other hand, going to a top high-school didn't seem to do much for my kids, although they did get into a fairly highly rated school. Oddly, they got rejected by their "safety schools," possibly because those schools considered it unlikely that they would actually matriculate there.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

(OP)
Thanks for all of the replies! I really appreciate you all sharing your perspectives and experience. A few comments to responses:

Ron247: I could not agree more about a degree in Civil Engineering. Both my wife and I have civil degrees. We have had that discussion already. My daughter does not plan to major in civil. She wants to get a degree in something more "high tech". It stings a little, but I will not hold it against her.

IRstuff: My daughter goes to a public high school. From what I have read, admittance to a university does not take into account the quality off the high school. It seems that the folks that run higher education want to level the playing field. I am sure that top tier private high schools do a better job of preparing kids for a more rigorous curriculum.

EnergyProfessional: I agree for the most part. In our tours of schools, the exposure to cutting edge research and the general facilities seem better. In addition, some of the most impressive professors that we have met with were at the top tier schools. My thought process is more along the lines of helping her build a resume coming out of under grad for applications for her first job or grad school. I am sure that you are familiar with the phrase "perception is reality". So, when a firm is looking through a couple dozen resumes and they see one from StateU vs TopEngineeringU, does TopEngineeingU get you the interview? Obviously once the job or graduate position is landed, performance is what counts.

This has been a tough process in these times. Our plan was to make a tour of prospective universities in the spring and summer of this year. With few exceptions, these have all been cancelled or done virtually. In the next few months, she will have to put her signature on the line and commit.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

If I was to reboot my career after 25 years, I would go into biomedical engineering.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

It's not just overall quality of the school or their ME program. Some schools have specialties that attract attention from certain industries and employers.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

(OP)
TheTick - That is her first option. To me, most of this stuff seems like science fiction.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

#### Quote:

From what I have read, admittance to a university does not take into account the quality off the high school

The high school I was referring to is public; but like many such places, it's a college-prep school, entrance exams and all, with a full load of AP/IB; there typically 40-50 IB diplomates every year. Nevertheless, while what's promised is a level playing field, it's not clear that really true; the acceptance rate to one specific state university is over 90%, compared to a more typical 6% for the top-tier schools in the same system. While college entrance is supposedly a meritocracy; it's difficult to distinguish oneself based solely on grades, which is why extra-curricular activities/awards and the personal essay is such a big deal. As a example, UCLA reported receiving more than 110,000 applications for about 6,000 slots about 5 years ago., so anyone entering essentially had to distinguish themselves from 17,000 other people looking for that same slot.

I don't envy you the process; I'm glad my youngest is past that wicket. Best of luck, and don't forget that some schools will wait until the very last day of the acceptance season to announce their results.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

My experience has been that the biggest impact for the transition from graduating to landing a job is that smaller to medium size firms' hiring managers tend to hire from their own alma maters. So, it has less to do with the prestige of a specific school in the national sense and much more to do with the specific hiring manager and where they went to school. So, if interested in engineering I would pick a school that is known for turning out engineers, simply for the reason that you are more likely to have more "connections" that are past graduates in hiring positions now. The education itself may not be that different, but the built in connections can make a difference when it comes to landing a first job (I believe there are plenty of well known engineering schools out there that are much more affordable than the typical "prestigious" schools however).

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

OHIOMatt,
If your daughter is interested in a more "tech" focused career, something to look at is the commercialization activity out of the various universities, such as startups that originated in labs and incubators affiliated with the achool. I find this to be a more holistic indicator of the type of environment nurtured by the school and their overall attitude towards translating research into entrepreneurial success.
My alma mater (U Toronto) is highly ranked globally, but from my experiences it was not as supportive to startups as other Canadian schools like Waterloo when it came to commercialization support and IP ownership. That has changed recently, but it takes time to change the culture at an old institution like UofT, whereas newer schools like Waterloo had an entrepreneurial environment baked in from the start.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

If you aren't plastering your Alma Mater on your office walls, how would anyone really know/care where you came from, beyond such conversations during interviews or the hiring process?

Do people sit around in their 30s and 40s and still banter about what school they went to?

Anyway, I think school reputation is most important, in my experience in/with hiring teams. History of recent-grads that have been hired before, or interns/co-ops from that school also affects the reputation of that school. Hiring from "known quantity" schools seems safer than hiring from schools no one has first-hand experience with. I expect that bias is more influential than people expect.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

After a decade or two of looking at resumes, you'll will tend to see a (relatively) strong correlation between a quality school and the quality of the applicant sitting in front of you... not perfect, but a strong one. There will always be the student who rocks it no matter how poor the educational system, and always the moron who can't be spoon fed info to save their lives.

My BSEE was from UF, a school that is a good mix of theory and practicality. My MS was from Purdue, which leans very heavily on the theory side. I feel like the better education came from UF, but hiring managers zero in on the Purdue thing. This has been a relatively consistent pattern across my interviewing years. that said, after the first decade or so of experience, the schooling became less and less of an overall interest compared to my on-the-job experience.

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

Also +1 for biomedical engineering.

I'm a mechie who found myself in the med tech world even though the last biology class I took was in the 11th grade. It was certainly a wild ride but it changed my career outlook for the better.

I'm now working in software product management building a tool to improve design reviews across all industries, but I wouldn't be here were it not for the highly multidisciplinary team experiences I gained in medtech.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

For my first job, my school didn't really matter. I had co-oped for three summers and besides half the engineers, including the chief engineer, had graduated from the same school (maybe it did matter).

However, when I changed jobs 11 years alter, and I had my interview at McDonnell Douglas in 1980, they used a very formal procedure where they had a sort of point system. Not really a total point scheme but rather a plus/minus system. During the review of my application and resume, the person whom I was talking to noted that my university warranted a 'plus' and my field of study, another 'plus'. I know this was real as a few years later I was responsible for moving an application, for a guy we really wanted to hire, through the same process and I had to work with the corporate personnel people. Now this guy had over 20 years of experience in exactly the area we were looking for and he had great references and he was even known by one of our employees so we thought it would be a breeze to get him through the system and hired, but when I was was running the 'numbers' he got two 'minuses' one for his university and one for his field of study, which in all honestly had nothing to do with the job we were hiring him for, he had only worked in that field a couple of years and then changed jobs and learned his new one 'on-the-job'. Anyway, we finally managed to convince personnel that this was the guy we wanted and got him approved. Later, talking to my boss, we basically decided that it would been easier to hire him if he had just not listed his school and degree since it became a distraction for our corporate personnel people who were taught to 'go by the book'.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

I think one needs to look more closely than "the school." Some state universities have reputations for great individual programs. If you're in one of those programs, I think there's no disadvantage compared to going to a school with huge overall name.

The quality of the student is much more influential than where he or she goes to school. I went to a high ranking school (taught there shortly also) and I teach at an average state school. The best and worst students are about the same in each. The difference is in the quantity. At my alma mater, we would have 4-5 superstars in a class of 40 students. At my current school, we'll have about two or three superstars in a class of 15-20. Our good students don't seem to have any trouble landing excellent positions, even at top firms.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

I went to a reputable state school. it is ranked highly in my field and produces a lot of solid research in that field over the years. the tuition was low. but it didnt help with the job search, i got my first job because I was computer literate, which not many were back then. i actually produced my resume on my own computer in 1985 which was fairly unusual...

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

Highly rated schools are highly rated for valid reasons. They have higher admission standards, better faculty, more educational resources. So it is perfectly logical that anyone searching for above average people would recruit graduates from good schools. The other major benefit of going to a good school is that you will develop an above average social circle, which is the key to success in life. This is just a matter of statistics, but there are no guarantees.

Students who are not competitive self-starters may not do well in in these "top" schools and will not benefit from the experience.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

When assisting your child in college selection, do not focus on the school ranking or reputation. Its a trap that can be a very costly mistake.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

The Gladwell book is David and Goliath. I graduated in 2014 and I went to a school that boasted a top 10 ranking in ChemE and (more importantly) gave me the most financial aid and academic scholarship money. My advice on the non-academic side is to select a school that your daughter will feel comfortable at from a living situation perspective and offers more than a few extra-curricular activities (helped me manage my stress tremendously to have a reliable source of fun to recharge that didn't involve hauling drunken friends from parties). From a money perspective, you have to really dig to get all the money you can out of schools. I got an extra 5k added to my fin-aid package from my chosen school after a couple weeks of being a pain in the rear end.

From an academics standpoint, I do agree somewhat with the advice in David and Goliath but don't take that to mean go to the school that seems the easiest. Find a school that balances the stretch she has to make to graduate well along with how good the instruction staff seem to be. If I had known about the ratemyprofessors website before Sophomore year, my Freshman year would have been a lot different.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

#### Quote:

Do people sit around in their 30s and 40s and still banter about what school they went to?

No, but, some companies go through a skills-mix exercise, or something, every so often, and you have to submit a resume, or tell your team what school you went to, etc., and then word gets around that you went to blah-blah U. THAT happened when I was already 30 yrs into my career. "THAT explains why he's so weird."

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

If you want a shock, read how the various magazine "rankings" are completed with a truly open mind then ask yourself if higher GPAs, degree completion rates, reputation among other academics, or the other "standards" used indicate a high quality education or a waste of money. I would argue the "better" rankings mostly indicate a lower standards and a lousy education. To be fair, I have worked with some really good graduates from "top" schools but many more who weren't so no, I wouldn't give you an extra nickel for a MIT, CalTech, Purdue, or otherwise grad, and I have had them all for junior engineers and colleagues.

#### Quote:

My daughter does not plan to major in civil. She wants to get a degree in something more "high tech".

I usually counsel younger folks that "tech" and manufacturing tend to be very urban-centric and that they should base their lives around where and the type of lifestyle they want to live, not a job. I thoroughly enjoy product development but as someone happiest in the mountains, I do occasionally consider pivoting to civil or other fields due to location and ease of working for oneself.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

Every response here was very good. A couple of points I have not seen.

Many companies only recruit at a few colleges. Look at where the industry she wants to be in recruits.

Personally I think participation in collegiate design competitions is overlooked. Some prestigious schools don't participate or aren't competitive.

I went to the highly ranked engineering school in my state. It has the nam e recognition nesicary to get through HR to get an interview. However, 5 times my boss has been from the not so well known Engineering Technology school. In discussions with them my degree is worth more outside the state than theirs. If HR has to google the school it hurts.

I can not believe a private school is 10X more valuable than a public college unless you want to be a lawyer or dr that gets paid more for the diploma.

Co-Op programs can be a game changer for preparation a career. Also many Co-Ops discover what they really want is not where they started. So look at who has the best Co-Op or at least internships available from on campus recruiting.

Don't let her get scared if the engineering schools don't have enough girls.

Congratulate her on the hardwork that gave her the chance to consider this.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

In some engineering disciplines, internships are a MUST; both my sons had computer science internships every summer, during college. Both sons got, and accepted, offers from their final summer internships.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

6
So as a female engineer - let me say that having graduated from a REALLY good engineering school made people take me more seriously, when they were tempted to pass over me as a "cute little girl who thinks she can do engineering"... (at their own peril!)

I'd get the "well, honey, where'd you go to school?" and I'd answer and they would suddenly be willing to listen to me.

I hate that it matters, but yes, for women, it does.

Best of luck to your daughter and I'm cheering for her!

Please remember: we're not all guys!

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

(OP)
SLTA, thanks for your perspective. While I do not face the issues that you do, I am very aware of them. My wife is an engineer as well. She has had to battle for respect her entire career. We met in school, so she has a degree from state u as well. I had not thought of this being a way to gain more credibility in the field, but I can see were it could be a benefit.

For some additional information, it is our plan/goal for our daughter to graduate from school with little to no debt. My wife and I have been working and planning for this, since before she was born. Some may disagree with our approach, but we have approached parenting with the idea that we provide tools, resources, and guidance to provide our children with the highest chance of success (it is up to them to utilize the resources provided). In return, we have asked and in some cases demanded that they dedicate themselves to schooling, community service and extracurricular activities. My wife and I have tried to live our lives as examples of what delayed gratification looks like. My oldest daughter has embraced these principles. She works harder than any kid I know. She has tremendous intellectual curiosity, and she has a desire to succeed. She plays sports and is a great team mate and friend, but she refuses to engage in activities that would jeopardize her academic standing.

You all have provided valuable insight. I truly appreciate this community.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

Given that applications are due within the coming month, I won't bother to harp too much on RANKING for extra-curricular activities; being recognized at state or national level puts your student in a much better position, but stay away from violin or piano, simply because there are just way too many of those.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

#### Quote:

In some engineering disciplines, internships are a MUST

I would be surprised if anybody said that internships were not. Most hiring managers list a 2-3 year minimum experience requirement in entry level job ads today specifically to weed out lazy grads. Most students not hired prior to graduation and those struggling to be hired afterward also usually had little/no working experience during college.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

I love SLTA's perspective. And I agree. Women most likely need everything they can get in this field to highlight their accomplishments. Prejudice will exist until until Webster's defines Prejudice as "An archaic term that applies to people who were not as smart and fair as they thought they were".

But here is my question. Being from the deep south, who is viewed as less competent, a female with no southern accent or a male with a really heavy Jethro Bodine accent? I ask the question to spur debate, because I know from past experience, I have been judged after saying about 2 words, and they were not "Uncle Jed". With that I state, I really feel sorry for females with a heavy southern accent.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

I once had a supervisor working for me, she was from Atlanta, GA, and a graduate of Georgia Tech, and yes, she had the accent to go with it. We were working in the Detroit office at the time, and trust me, the people who got to know her learned very quickly that she could more then hold-up her end of the log. In fact, after about a year, I lost her to a hot project at corporate headquarters in Saint Louis.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

#### Quote:

Most hiring managers list a 2-3 year minimum experience requirement in entry level job ads

Not sure how THAT works; 2 yrs = 8 summers

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

My sons did internships every summer, but only the last two summers were meaningfully related to their majors; often, at the post-freshman year summer, you've really not yet learned enough to be productive in your major. So, if you're normal, you've only got barely 6 months of meaningful experience by graduation; both sons were lucky enough to get offers from the companies they interned at.

I don't know that companies necessarily want "experience," per se; they possibly want people that have had meaningful work experience to weed out potential problem employees.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

I think there's a perception problem with internships. Students want them to be relevant to their amazing future career trajectory designing interstellar sub-atomic photocopiers, we just want to know that if you are plonked at a desk you'll be able to figure out where the printer is and how to make coffee without bugging everybody else.

Cheers

Greg Locock

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### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

#### Quote:

Not sure how THAT works; 2 yrs = 8 summers

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

This is why I do not understand the huge political push to reward incompetence by forgiving massive student loans. It just punishes the people who made better choices or worse worked harder.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

2
In my personal opinion, when it comes to engineering, ABET has levelled the playing field somewhat. Obviously it is in the nation's best interest to have all engineering graduates up to a certain level of knowledge when they graduate, for safety reasons.. Hence, ABET accreditation. NO matter where you go, as long as ABET has signed off, you can guarantee you will be taught some minimum standard. Look at the curricula for a BS at any state school and then look at the same degree curricula at MIT. They are virtually identical.

Now, you could argue that a "prestigious" school will have more seasoned, better professors, better labs, etc. But I'm not actually sure that is true all the time. I have seen a lot of open courseware lectures at some top schools and some of those professors are awful.

Another thing I think people ignore is that for engineering undergraduates, you will likely spend 95-100 percent of your time working. At least for me, so many credits were required just to graduate that I never had less than 18 in a semester, usually over 20. You have to look at where the supposed advantages are and if you will even be able to make use of them if your normal schedule is so jam-packed you can't do anything.

I got into a well ranked school in MA and they offered me a ~30k grant. Even after that, it was still more expensive that my in-state school, which I opted for. Never regretted it.

I have met many engineers from "prestigious" schools who weren't the brightest bulbs on the tree to be honest.

Remember, it is more about the student / engineer than the school.

For undergrad I would prioritize cost. Save your selection of prestigious schools for a graduate degree if you want that. It means more in that case because schools have more specialization.

If you can't go to a school without coming away >20k in debt, time to look elsewhere.

Keep em' Flying
//Fight Corrosion!

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

#### Quote (ProEpro)

It just punishes the people who made better choices or worse worked harder.

In what way? What, exactly, is being taken from the people who made "better" choices?

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

#### Quote:

In what way?

A loan represents some present value, and forgiving the loan erases that present value, so if the loan is a government backed loan, the government pays off the loan to the lender, and taxpayers foot that bill. If it's a purely private loan, the lender declares it as a bad loan and reports it as a loss on their taxes, assuming it doesn't bankrupt them outright. That loss represents a loss in tax revenue, which the taxpayers eventually foot the bill somewhere, and/or the shareholders of the lender get less value for their shares or gets their shares erased in the case of bankruptcy, etc., etc., etc. Furthermore, that erased PV means the lender has less money to lend for other people who could borrowed and repaid on time.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

Some things that may be true:

1. All things equal, GPA matters more than school. A 4.0 from StateU looks better than a 3.5 from PrestigiousU.

2. A quality co-op rotation or internship is much more valuable than a degree from PrestigiousU by itself.

3. Managers like hiring from schools at their level. StateU managers will find PrestigiousU grads think they know too much and want a higher salary, compared to another StateU grad, and vice versa.

4. On average smarter, harder working kids tend to get into better Universities. So, on average, those kids end up becoming smarter, harder working college students. They, in turn, become smarter harder working engineers, on average.

I have yet to meet an engineer from StateU that thought they would have had a better career if they went to PrestigiousU. Additionally, I have yet to meet an engineer from PrestigiousU that did not claim that it had a major impact on their career trajectory, though I cannot refute SLTA's point above.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

IRStuff--swing and a miss. Actually two misses with one swing. Quite an accomplishment

You're describing harm to parties other than the ones I asked about.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

Those that made "better" choices are taxpayers.

I paid off my loans, am a taxpayer, own some stock, so I'm definitely going to pay somewhere for any loan forgiveness or defaults.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

Student Loan forgiveness will cost every taxpayer more, whether in increased tax revenue or in budget cuts to other programs. This is the same as any other federal program, with the glaring exception that it does not benefit the working class at large, and selectively benefits middle-class workers who may have been capable of paying them off eventually.

#### Quote:

I'm just not going to go into crybaby tantrum mode when examining whether it is beneficial to the country to pursue student loan forgiveness.

The problem with that statement is that its difficult to take any argument for loan forgiveness seriously. Aside from the mentioned an unmentioned ways of earning loan forgiveness and/or free education stateside, the entire argument is based upon a rather ridiculous premise - that a college education is necessary and beyond the financial means of most. Last I checked ~70% of folks stateside had attended college, ~30% had graduated college, and of those who graduated only ~50% actually used their degree. That would imply that its NOT beyond the means of most and most do NOT find it necessary.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

Seems to me that depends A LOT on both the university and its research faculty. CRISPR was invented at UC Berkeley. The Moderna vaccine, and Pfizer's, has its roots in mRNA research done at Harvard.

One reason many of the companies I've worded for have given up basic research is that probability of success is 10%, if you are really, really lucky.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

so at 10% success rate, it really makes sense to let somebody else do the research and get a nice tax write-off at the same time

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

I think that's been the trend for many companies; they concentrate on medium-term payoff projects, where the success rate is more like 30% to 50%. Moreover, since grad students are "cheap" labor, they gat a better cost/hr of potentially useful work, if it comes to fruition, and if they fail, the cost invested might only be about 50% of what they might have spent internally.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

>4. On average smarter, harder working kids tend to get into better Universities. So, on average, those kids end up becoming smarter, harder working college students. They, in turn, become smarter harder working engineers, on average.

At the university I went to, they liked to show a scatter plot chart that showed that their zero correlation between high school grades and university grades - it was a scatter plot, and hard work in high school seemed to have no relevance to university success. Likewise, they shared that university GPA seemed to have little correlation to career success, and the engineers that went on to become CEO's that donated money that paid for large portions of the engineering buildings and research graduated with atrocious GPA's like 2.0.

I'm not sure it's even true on average and other than at small companies with less than ten engineers it appears that networking, social skills, and the ability to maintain the facade of working hard via chargeability metrics (regardless of whether you actually do so) is more important for success than GPA or going to Harvard.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

Not a lawyer and prefer Hampton to the Holiday Inn, but there's a ton of legal-sleaze...err...legal-eze that precludes corporate funded academic research from benefitting donating companies. IP typically becomes property of either the school or goes into the public domain, at least to get a write-off and avoid accusations of govt impropriety. IOW the old "no free lunch" from which only the academics benefit.

JMO but I couldn't imagine working for, much less investing in any OEM without a dedicated research dept. Even many contract design firms have their own nowadays to develop IP to sell. The statistics around academic research today are abysmal and any company depending on them for future growth is well-deserving of any resulting bankruptcy IMHO. Exceptions obviously apply for the occasional novel idea, but academia only accounts for ~1% of patents annually, hence the common Bayh-Dole defense that academia has little impact on industry. Also not sure how anyone defines success, but the corporate research teams I've been on have all been narrowly focused on technology development for near-term use and consistently had massive ROI. We're working engineers with corporate funds and a ton of oversight, not unsupervised academics blowing donated money chasing endless rabbit holes. Our job was to thoroughly benchmark the capability and cost of technology, and get it to ~70% maturity for future use. If the product development folks weren't likely to have it in production in 5-8 years then we quickly moved on to something they would. Several former colleagues actually went over to academia specifically to chase a rabbit hole we had given up on, be able to freely publish work which was rarely allowed, and work a relaxed schedule.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

I think that's a slightly dubious comparison. The CRISPR patent started a chain of inventions that other companies made from using CRISPR. Likewise is true of some bleeding edge quantum mechanical properties discovered by a potential Nobel Prize winner that we are exploiting; he gets the Prize, and we, using his invention, have invented 3 or 4 things of our own.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

The same thing happens in private industry with a small percentage of new patents/technologies spawning new businesses and industries. Personally I’d much rather have 1% of a large number than 1% of a small number.

### RE: Are there true advantages in degrees from prestigious universities?

What you know is the most important in the long run.
Who you know is important if you dont know as much as you should or the company expects.
What you say you know or who you say you know is important if you don't know anything or anyone.
If you dont know anything or anyone and you can't talk the talk, then going to the "best" school can't hurt.

Regards
Ashtree
"Any water can be made potable if you filter it through enough money"

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