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Does it matter what university you got your CS degree from for a job?

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I''m in high school right now and I''m sort of in a screwed up grade where it''s going to be really hard to get into university next year. I would have to get over 90% average to get into most Computer science programs at the good universities in Canada. But there''s other places that also offer CS degrees and they''re respectable, but obviously not as good as the University of Toronto or U of Waterloo. But I''m wondering if that even makes a difference, do employers look at where you got your degree from and actually care, or do they only care that you have a degree and perform their own tests to see what you actually know. By the way, if employers do care what university you came from, what universities have good reputations (especially in Canada) if anybody knows.

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They care. Just think about it. What''s more impressive to you, a degree from some state uni for one from MIT or Stanford?

You can get a listing of academic reputations of US schools at www.usnews.com. Don''t know any canadian schools, sorry.

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Yah, but remember, the school will get you in the door, but the interview will get you the job =)

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For undergrad, for most positions I doubt it makes much a difference - it depends on the universities you're comparing. I highly doubt that there's a full-time job available that would filter out candidates from Toronto and only take ones from Waterloo. Univeristy of Waterloo is reknown for their CS program, perhaps even world reknown, so given that choice I think I'd go for Waterloo over Toronto. Howver, if somewhere else was willing to pay me to go school there, I'd change my mind

[edited by - Magmai Kai Holmlor on May 29, 2002 8:58:07 PM]

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I am so glad that there are no preconceptions like that in Australia. very rarely do students go inter-state to attend uni. You go to the uni closest to where you live. Why? Because it''s sensible. Who cares what uni you went to? You have the piece of paper and that is all that should matter.

In my case, I failed uni and still got programming jobs over uni graduates because I taught myself. The graduates knew the theory but couldn''t apply it. I had taught myself everything, so I knew how to apply it to real world applications.

Steve ''Sly'' Williams  Monkey Wrangler  Krome Studios
turbo game development with Borland compilers

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In the context of game-development? They don''t usually even care IF you go to school. Most potential employers in the game industry want to see what you''ve ACTUALLY DONE, not a sheet of paper from some school or another.

If you went to MIT, on the other hand, you can probably get any job you want.

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Until recently it did not really matter whether or not you had a CS degree to get into game programming. In many cases it still doesn''t matter (so work on your portfolio), but I know that 3DRealms (for example) doesn''t like to consider applicants for programmers unless they have at least a bachelors in CS. Other companies want at least a degree in something, to show that you can commit to something for 4 years. Still, a great portfolio and interview will make you the exception to the rule.

--TheMuuj

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Being from Ontario Canada, I going to speak from some research I''ve done. (I''m going to university in 2003)

Forget about reputation. Unless you''re going to MIT, chances are, the people who are hiring you would not know the university you went to.

Waterloo might have a reputation in ontario (maybe even spanning Canada, but that''s not saying much.) Trent university (my choice) has a very good CS department, and actually has the highest rating of small universites in Ontario, according to Macleans magazine.

Most people have never heard of Trent, (it''s in Peterborough ONT) yet it has one of the largest shares of grant money in terms of ontario universities for science research projects.

What I''m saying is, unless you want to go to MIT, odds are, it really won''t matter, so be sure you pick a university based on it''s merits, rather then it''s reputation.



If all that matters is what you get in the end, why go through life?
~Michael Sikora

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Do you not care about the quality of your education aside from what impact it has on your future employment? Part of going to a university is to expose yourself to new ideas and build a foundation for your understanding of the world. I can assure you that going to a respected school with other bright and motivated students and faculty is a much different experience from going to a junior college. Try sitting in on a class at both, and you''ll see what I mean.

Anyways, the importance of any school you have diminishes over time, as employers will increasingly look at your job experience, since most acedemic work is really only foundational.

In anycase, I don''t know how it works in Canada, but I know in the United States you can go to a junior college for 2 years and transfer to a university after that. The transfer rate is typically very low, so you really have to work at it, if you want to transfer. I suggest you apply to university anyways, and consider a junior college transfer if you can''t make it in right now.

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