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Stanford vs. Columbia (MSE vs. MSOR)

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What are your long term goals? If you want a career in industry in trading or consulting, either would be great but Columbia has a great track record and all the companies very nearby for networking purposes. 

For academia, MSOR is seen by many as a cash cow for Columbia with huge class sizes. Stanford has the better PhD program so if you wanted to network and get to know profs in the OIT department for when you go PhD, Stanford may be better. 

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6 minutes ago, dreamingotter said:

I am trying to go into the industry after getting my master's. My background is not in IEOR/OR in general, so I'm trying to make sure my degree would prepare me for a consulting/data science role

In that case, both programs would be excellent. If you want to work in tech, go to Stanford. If you want to work in consulting/banking, go to Columbia!

Columbia placement: https://ieor.columbia.edu/msor-msie-career-placement-statistics

Stanford placement: https://msandecareers.stanford.edu/career/placement

If that doesn't make the decision for you, pick the city you want to live in. New York or Bay Area? 

I think in terms of general reputation, Stanford has the better rep but I think that would depend on who you're asking as they are both top tier programs. 

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I had a similar choice between Stanford MSEE/ CMU MS ECE/ Cornell MEng ECE. Personally, I find them all to be similar in terms of prestige/ quality of education. I don't think choosing either would be a detriment if you choose to go into tech/consulting. 

However, usually people work at approximately the same location they attended university (due to the ease of applying to jobs in that area), so it's worth considering where you want to work in the long term.

I chose Stanford because I love California (I've lived here all my life and I am an avid surfer). 

Lastly, I don't believe in the whole "cash cow" argument @itheproofofstupidity brought up. I've looked into this and people online have said the same thing regarding MSEE@Stanford up until 5 years ago. I believe both programs are difficult to get into and are both respectable (if you choose the PhD route).

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