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What about the reputation of UC Berkeley?


hiscoba

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Hi,

I am an international student, will attend UC Berkeley's Computer Science program for my PhD study. I wonder what about the reputation of Berkeley in the United States when comparing to Ivy Leagues or MIT/Stanford? I know that Berkeley has a strong Grad school, but it indeed ranks low in the USNews National University Ranking. Does Berkeley grads find job easily in U.S.?

Thanks a lot!

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You were looking at the wrong place. You should have looked at graduate school rankings - UC Berkeley's graduate program in CS is ranked #1 (along with CMU, MIT and Stanford).

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-science-schools/computer-science-rankings

Having said that, for a PhD, what you should be looking at is the research work, and compatibility with your advisor rather than rankings.

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You were looking at the wrong place. You should have looked at graduate school rankings - UC Berkeley's graduate program in CS is ranked #1 (along with CMU, MIT and Stanford).

http://grad-schools....cience-rankings

Having said that, for a PhD, what you should be looking at is the research work, and compatibility with your advisor rather than rankings.

Thanks for reply. I did have looked at the program ranking and know that Cal's CS program is among the best. But I do not expect if my future employer will also know this, or understand what I really did during the PhD program. By the way, if I choose to go to a more prestigious university, like Princeton, will it enhance my chance to get a better job?

Edited by hiscoba
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Thanks for reply. I did have looked at the program ranking and know that Cal's CS program is among the best. But I do not expect if my future employer will also know this, or understand what I really did during the PhD program.

Any employer worth a salt will understand the general ranking for a specific program. Don't worry about it.

By the way, if I choose to go to a more prestigious university, like Princeton, will it enhance my chance to get a better job?

If you're planning to stay in the CS field, then the answer is no. And also, Princeton is not more prestigious than Berkeley in CS. Having said that, your advisor and your research quality will play a big role in landing your first job placement. So in my opinion if you're deciding between top 10 schools, choose one that has the best research opportunity in your subfield.

Edited by explorer-c
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Congrats at getting in to Berkeley! Are you attending visit day?

Thanks for reply. I did have looked at the program ranking and know that Cal's CS program is among the best. But I do not expect if my future employer will also know this, or understand what I really did during the PhD program. By the way, if I choose to go to a more prestigious university, like Princeton, will it enhance my chance to get a better job?

This very much depends on with whom you want to be employed. Berkeley CS (so I've heard) has the best placement of any university for academic jobs (e.g. tenure track positions). Likewise, if you are seeking an industry research position, Berkeley's reputation will help you just as much as MIT's or Stanford's. Most CS PhD students are interested in one or the other of these positions.

For any other kind of job, Berkeley's reputation might not be quite so sparkling as that of MIT/Stanford, as you enter a realm in which people don't know/care about what's involved in a CS PhD. Even still, if the job is at all technical, I have a hard time seeing how Berkeley can hurt you. And even if you end up looking for a job entirely unrelated to CS research, Berkeley still has a very strong reputation in many, many other fields.

So I'd say Princeton has a slight edge in layman notions of prestige, but this should matter very little to you if you applied to a PhD program (where it is all about your research). And most technically-minded people who know what they are about would consider, a priori, Berkeley CS to be stronger than Princeton CS (although this does depend a bit on your subfield).

Edited by Azazel
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Congrats at getting in to Berkeley! Are you attending visit day?

This very much depends on with whom you want to be employed. Berkeley CS (so I've heard) has the best placement of any university for academic jobs (e.g. tenure track positions). Likewise, if you are seeking an industry research position, Berkeley's reputation will help you just as much as MIT's or Stanford's. Most CS PhD students are interested in one or the other of these positions.

For any other kind of job, Berkeley's reputation might not be quite so sparkling as that of MIT/Stanford, as you enter a realm in which people don't know/care about what's involved in a CS PhD. Even still, if the job is at all technical, I have a hard time seeing how Berkeley can hurt you. And even if you end up looking for a job entirely unrelated to CS research, Berkeley still has a very strong reputation in many, many other fields.

So I'd say Princeton has a slight edge in layman notions of prestige, but this should matter very little to you if you applied to a PhD program (where it is all about your research). And most technically-minded people who know what they are about would consider, a priori, Berkeley CS to be stronger than Princeton CS (although this does depend a bit on your subfield).

Also big congrats to your Berkeley, Stanford and MIT admissions! Which school would your like to join?

I will not be able to attend the visit day just because applying a visa to US is so inconvenient...

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Also big congrats to your Berkeley, Stanford and MIT admissions! Which school would your like to join?

I will not be able to attend the visit day just because applying a visa to US is so inconvenient...

Thanks! I'm going to attend the respective visit days before deciding anything.

And that's too bad about the visa -- non-U.S. applicants seem to be at a disadvantage in this respect.

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I am an international student, will attend UC Berkeley's Computer Science program for my PhD study. I wonder what about the reputation of Berkeley in the United States when comparing to Ivy Leagues or MIT/Stanford? I know that Berkeley has a strong Grad school, but it indeed ranks low in the USNews National University Ranking. Does Berkeley grads find job easily in U.S.?

The top four CS grad schools in the world are Berkeley, CMU, MIT, and Stanford, more or less in a four-way tie. http://grad-schools....cience-rankings

Rankings are a black art, but there are some where Berkeley comes out on top: http://www.washingto...ersity_rank.php

The Ivy League overall are not great engineering schools, though Cornell and Princeton have very good CS programs. While it's true that Princeton has more prestige than Berkeley as an undergrad school, it's the reverse for Computer Science, especially at the Ph.D. level. Princeton will not enhance your chance to get a better job, unless you are applying for a job that would bore anyone with a Ph.D. in computer science.

The primary US News rankings you're talking about apply to undergrad education. Berkeley cannot compete with the very top private schools in the undergrad rankings, because as a public school, we charge much less admission, so our undergrad-faculty ratio is large. But that has no effect on the graduate program, because graduate students and research are funded by research grants, and our department is as effective as any in competing for those.

For all programs at this level, finding a job is simply not an issue. But it's true that Berkeley CS has been uniquely successful in minting Ph.D.s who go on to be professors at the very top schools.

I agree with others in this thread who say that, from among the top schools you're admitted to, you should look for the best advisor match. Ideally, go to a place where there's three faculty members you'd love to work with. But stick with a program in the top ten or so; below that, the quality of your fellow students will drop off rapidly.

Jonathan Shewchuk

Associate Professor

Computer Science Division

UC Berkeley

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Princeton will not enhance your chance to get a better job, unless you are applying for a job that would bore anyone with a Ph.D. in computer science.

Graduating from a top-10 program (using the rankings that you yourself cited) won't enhance your chance to get a better job?

And given that you pointed out (correctly) that undergrad rankings aren't the thing to be looking at here, why do you then cite a different undergrad ranking (Washington Monthly) that puts Berkeley on top?

You mention that it's important to go with a top-10 program, but how exactly do you tell that? Berkeley, Stanford, CMU, MIT, are all pretty obvious. But there are some schools that get different numbers in the NRC regression rankings, the NRC survey rankings, and the US News rankings, and that are in the top 10 in one or two of these but not all three. And what about subfield rankings? The top programs in general also tend to be top in many subfields, from what I've seen, but there are a few that are significantly better-ranked in a particular specialty than they are overall.

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For all programs at this level, finding a job is simply not an issue. But it's true that Berkeley CS has been uniquely successful in minting Ph.D.s who go on to be professors at the very top schools.

Yeah I agree that Berkeley CS is great on training prospective professors, but seems that MIT is a little better? http://pages.cs.wisc...mni_matrix.html

Especially when considering that the MIT's CS division is smaller than Berkeley's.

Edited by hiscoba
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