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QS rankings (Ivy?) vs. PGR


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Maybe this is a blatantly stupid question, but I was wondering how much I should care about QS or undergraduate rankings that are generally known to the public.

I know that if you proceed into academia after graduation, recommendation letters and your academic work are the only factors that affect your job opportunities, but I was worried about a situation where I end up leaving academia and finding a new job in a general field. 

If that's the case, should I also care about the QS rankings? For example, if I should compare between schools, should I choose so-called lower-ivy over public/state universities that rank higher in PGR?

In addition, I was also wondering if "prestigious" schools also have impact even on the philosophy job market. I heard anecdotally that prestige also matters, like, Harvard-MIT can sometimes have merits over NYU when you apply to international universities after graduation.

I feel uncomfortable with direct comparison, and I feel sorry if this comparison makes someone feel bad, but I have no one around me to give realistic advice on such matter. I'd appreciate any thoughts on this. 

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When things come to international job market, rankings other than PGR would matter more than it, at least the case of China.

That is because:

1) Departments of Philosophy are not analytic-oriented enough to make PGR an authority to measure your graduate background;

2) Policies of employment in universities influence much on how departments give offers, and you shall not expect those policies would include a 'small rankings' like PGR when they set criteria for applicants' graduation school.


Hope it helps. For I think those two reasons are not only applied to departments in China.

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  • 1 month later...

There are occasionally situations where the prestige of the university itself is helpful, but I wouldn't make any decisions based on that. Similarly, QS rankings might represent something that's potentially useful, but it really shouldn't have much of an effect on your decision.

In truth, for similarly-ranked programs (e.g. comparing "top-tier" programs; comparing programs that are top 25 but not "top-tier"; etc.) what matters the most is your fit with the program (so in other words, whether there are people you'd really want to work with there and whether the program's strengths map onto your interests). All else being equal, strength in a broad range of subfields is also a huge plus, since your interests may change dramatically over the course of getting a PhD.

For what it's worth, I would say that someone would need to be an excellent fit for Harvard or MIT and would need to have very specific faculty in mind in order to justify choosing either over NYU, and this is an example where I think that making the decision based on the enormous prestige of the former would be a big mistake for most applicants. I'm sure there are plenty of people who would disagree with me on this though.

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