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20 Best Colleges: Our List vs. That Other One

MULTIZ321

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20 Best Colleges: Our List vs. That Other One - by Kaitlin Mulhere/ College Planner/ Money/ time.com

"How and why our list of best colleges differs from the just-released U.S. News rankings.

A familiar name in the college rankings game, U.S. News & World Report, is out today with its annual list of best colleges.

The release wraps up the unofficial college rankings season, during which a number of publications—including MONEY Magazine and the MONEY College Planner—offer their latest lists of the national’s best schools.

“Best” can be in the eye of the beholder, of course. All of the competing rankings use some of the same data, such as graduation rates and student retention. But their final criteria vary, as does the importance, or weighting, they give to each..."

150909_ff_yourbestcollege.jpg

Rosa Irene Betancourt—Alamy
University of Southern California campus, Los Angeles, 2014


Richard
 

bogey21

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I went to 7 (maybe it was 8, too lazy to go back and count) Universities before I finally graduated. Some were top drawer, some were average, and maybe one or two were below average. Tuition was all over the board.

But for what it is worth what I found was that all had some great professors and all had some real duds. My take on it is unless one is interested in a very specific field of study, it doesn't much matter where you go. Just get your degree from a recognizable 4 year institution. For the record my last stop was Southern Illinois University followed by a year at St Louis University Law School. In addition I don't recall any prospective employer ever commenting on where I got my degree.

George
 

ace2000

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But for what it is worth what I found was that all had some great professors and all had some real duds.

And that's what it's all about. Until we find methods to accurately measure a teacher's effectiveness, it's a crapshoot. Teachers are overwhelmingly against tests that measure their student's progress, it's a steep hill to climb. Any politician that tries to tackle the issue of measuring teachers feels the full brunt of the teacher unions and their powerful lobbies.

Look at the criteria the article uses to evaluate the universities. Is that really effectively comparing one vs. the others? It probably is the best they can do otherwise, but c'mon.
 

Blues

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In addition I don't recall any prospective employer ever commenting on where I got my degree.

Wow, that must depend on what field you're in. I'm in Computer Engineering. I've interviewed hundreds of entry-level engineers over the years. I can tell you from personal experience, as well as discussing/comparing candidates with other people on the hiring committees, that where you got your degree is very important in the tech fields. It's probably given more weight than it deserves, as I agree with earlier statements that your individual professors are more important. But FWIW, it's the degree-granting institution that's given great weight.

That factor goes way down as you gain work experience. After 5 years, your experience matters more, but where you got your degree still matters somewhat. After about 10 years, where you got your degree stops mattering much at all. But of course, by that time, your work experience has been greatly influenced by where you've managed to be hired, which depends on your degree.

Bob
 
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Wow, that must depend on what field you're in. I'm in Computer Engineering. I've interviewed hundreds of entry-level engineers over the years. I can tell you from personal experience, as well as discussing/comparing candidates with other people on the hiring committees, that where you got your degree is very important in the tech fields. It's probably given more weight than it deserves, as I agree with earlier statements that your individual professors are more important. But FWIW, it's the degree-granting institution that's given great weight.

That factor goes way down as you gain work experience. After 5 years, your experience matters more, but where you got your degree still matters somewhat. After about 10 years, where you got your degree stops mattering much at all. But of course, by that time, your work experience has been greatly influenced by where you've managed to be hired, which depends on your degree.

Bob

Funny, but I also work in high tech (semiconductors, with Electrical Engineering degree, at Fortune 200ish sized company), and it doesn't matter at all where one got their degree.

So, I guess we can conclude the following:

1) The university ranking criteria is subjective and the ranking is irrelevant unless the study dives down to the department/degree/professor level (which none of them do).

2) Some companies care where you got your degree. Some don't.

3) Given (1) and (2) above, the concept of ranking universities as it pertains to anything meaningful, is idiotic.
 

x3 skier

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3) Given (1) and (2) above, the concept of ranking universities as it pertains to anything meaningful, is idiotic.

Absolutely true in my 50 years in Engineering.

If you had a degree from an accredited Engineering school, you were worth looking at as a potential hire. The real discriminator was if a college grad had ANY real world experience thru co-op, summer work, work prior to college or in the military or elsewhere.

I also note that some of the biggest tech successes are drop-outs. :D

Cheers
 

John Cummings

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I am retired now but I worked in High Tech for 54 years. I worked as a full time employee for 14 different companies and as a contractor for 14 other companies. I was a Hardware engineer, Systems engineer, and Software engineer. Some of those companies were big names like General Electric computer division, Motorola Semiconductor, Tektronix, Sandia National Labs, Kaiser Aluminum, Cisco, Memorex, etc.

Of all the 28 companies I worked for, only 2 cared about if and where you went to school. One was Motorola and the other was Lenkurt in Canada ( that was a Canadian thing ). When I started in the business there were no degrees in computers. You were lucky if the University had a Fortran course. The companies did their own training.

When I interviewed at General Electric, I asked what their position was on degrees. They said "If you have a degree, we won't hold it against you".

Now it is a requirement for entry level jobs but where you get the degree is usually not important. It may be important to a particular interviewer for personal reasons.

Two of the best engineers I knew didn't finish high school.
 

SkyBlueWaters

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Absolutely true in my 50 years in Engineering.

If you had a degree from an accredited Engineering school, you were worth looking at as a potential hire. The real discriminator was if a college grad had ANY real world experience thru co-op, summer work, work prior to college or in the military or elsewhere.

I also note that some of the biggest tech successes are drop-outs. :D

Cheers

yeah
:hysterical:
 

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So, here we go... now we're talking. Just noticed this news this morning regarding data on how much alumni make after graduating with specific degrees, and I thought about this thread. I think this is a step forward.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...ege-earn-the-federal-government-give-answers/

That's still pretty meaningless unless the data is broken down by degree. As I stated earlier, there's no meaningful way to "rank" universities without doing a much deeper dive than any study to date has done. In agreement with my previous comments regarding degree earned and regional differences, this is a quote from the linked article:

"That single number — median earnings — is inherently limited. Some colleges focus on producing engineers, others on schoolteachers or even rabbis. Even within the same fields, salaries vary widely by geography."
 

Elan

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The data is broken down by degree. Check out the web site referenced in the article (and below). You can query on several different criteria.

https://collegescorecard.ed.gov

Kind of. Unless I missed something, there's only one classification of Engineer, for example, which is pretty meaningless. Comparing the income of a Petroleum Engineer to an Civil Engineer doesn't mean anything.
 

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Kind of. Unless I missed something, there's only one classification of Engineer, for example, which is pretty meaningless. Comparing the income of a Petroleum Engineer to an Civil Engineer doesn't mean anything.

It could be broken down further in the future, I'm sure. But, I think it's a step in the right direction on evaluating and comparing potential schools.
 

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It could be broken down further in the future, I'm sure. But, I think it's a step in the right direction on evaluating and comparing potential schools.

Better than the stupid US News rankings, for sure.
 

x3 skier

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It could be broken down further in the future, I'm sure. But, I think it's a step in the right direction on evaluating and comparing potential schools.

Agree! It's sort of odd when looking at engineering there are quite a few who are maritime related at the top of the list. Pays to be a sailor I guess:).

Cheers
 

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I am not sure about career opportunities or future earnings, but going to an Ivy sure boosts your self esteem for your whole life.
 

ace2000

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I am not sure about career opportunities or future earnings, but going to an Ivy sure boosts your self esteem for your whole life.

Dang it! That must be my problem then... :)
 

x3 skier

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I am not sure about career opportunities or future earnings, but going to an Ivy sure boosts your self esteem for your whole life.

Only if it's pitifully low to start with. :hysterical:

Cheers
 

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x3 skier:
It is probably not if you are smart enough to get into an IVY. It just keeps it up for your whole life.
 

MULTIZ321

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The 25 US Colleges Whose Graduates Earn the Most Money- by Melissa Stanger/ BusinessInsider.com

One of the biggest measurements of success after college is how much graduates earn.

New data from College Scorecard, a website created by the US Department of Education that compares colleges and universities in a number of categories, reveals the median salary earned by graduates 10 years after attending their alma maters.

It's important to note that College Scorecard analyzed earnings data of students who received federal financial aid. We narrowed the list of schools down further to only include those with graduation rates of 85% or higher to ensure we were looking at degree-earning graduates.

Perennial favorites like MIT, Harvard, and Stanford top the list. Perhaps more surprising, schools like Massachusetts-based Babson College (No. 3) and liberal-arts school Lafayette College (No. 18) also rank highly.

Meanwhile, the high-paying fields of business and engineering are among the most popular courses of study at these schools.

Scroll down to see which colleges have the highest-earning grads..."


Richard
 

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.....
Scroll down to see which colleges have the highest-earning grads..."


Richard

Thank you for this ... makes the sibling rivalry so MUCH MORE fun for ME!

My sister, her husband and I all graduated from Lehigh U - #9
My other sister graduated from Duke U - #10
My brother graduated from Princeton U - #11 ....

:banana: Go Engineers!
 

x3 skier

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If I went to two of them, should I have made twice as much?. OTOH, I had no financial aid and no debt so I guess I don't count.

Cheers
 
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