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How important is the "prestige" of your undergrad degree?

03/28/2012 6:35 PM

Im about to be finishing up my associates at a local CC, and trying to decide if its worth it for me to incur more debt and attend a more prestigious school (university of illinois) than a closer more affordable option (Northern Illinois University).

I figure it will cost me an extra 10-20k in debt to attend U of I. The fields im most interested in are Electronical engineering and Aerospace engineering. From what i understand Aerospace is more competitive. Does the school i attended matter enough to take on the extra debt?

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#1

Re: How important is the "prestige" of your undergrad degree?

03/28/2012 9:35 PM

I think this all comes down to why you are attending school in the first place, and what your goals are...

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#2

Re: How important is the "prestige" of your undergrad degree?

03/28/2012 10:17 PM

Also may want to consider why it is prestigious. Comments below are very general, there are always exceptions to the rule.

More $ can (in some cases) equate to higher quality education. Often better quality education gives you life long advantages, so graduates go on to achieve bigger and better.

The style of education may be more or less suited to your learning. ie thoery based vs practical based. In my experience the less prestigious scools give far greater practical based learning, so graduates will hit the ground running (so to speak).

Making contacts, that aid you in future business / carreer development. There is definately something to be said for networking. This starts during university. The higher grade schools will facilitate networking through involvment with industry, guest speakers etc. Often this is a two way conduit, industry will often target graduats from the higher grade schools.

Hope this helps.

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#3

Re: How important is the "prestige" of your undergrad degree?

03/28/2012 10:58 PM

prestigious as far as nationally ranked/recognized as good programs. a perception that a degree from school x is more favored than school y. Really my only goal is to find a job that i enjoy, that will pay well. If i could find something that really interested me (aerospace and or EE) and could live comfortably i'd be happy.

Networking is something i often struggle with, thats kind of why im hoping to get a good internship somewhere that will give me a base so to speak. I am much more intrigued by physics than math although they are obviously entwined. if i had to name my dream job it would be working on a rover or something along those lines.

I've heard aerospace is very competitive right now, but EE is in high demand. As of right now i think i am going EE as the more practical choice.

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#4

Re: How important is the "prestige" of your undergrad degree?

03/29/2012 8:50 AM

It depends. Sometimes a school's name can help you get a foot in the door. I was contacted for an interview because of the school/program I was enrolled in. At the time I wasn't even actively seeking a job.

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