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Overall prestige of a school vs departmental rankings for job placement


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What is more important for MS students who are just looking to get a job after their masters?  The overall prestige of a school or the ranking of their CS department?  I'm sure it's a bit of both.


For example University of Chicago is a pretty prestigious school overall, but not well known for computer science in particular.  Whereas schools like UT Austin, Georgia Tech, and UMass Amherst are less well known in general, but have strong CS departments.


Do tech companies and tech recruiters generally know and care about departmental CS rankings?  I have a feeling that large corporations will know, but maybe not small startups?  



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Both large companies and startups are familiar with the top 20 Cs schools. So you should choose UT Austin / Georgia tech over UChicago for sure, unless there is something particularly special about the UChicago program (I.e. They cater to people who did not do their undergrad degree in CS)

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I second what CSallday said. For undergrad you could argue that the overall prestige of the school is a bigger factor, but for grad school the department ranking is basically all that matters (unless you're trying to impress people outside the field). Recruiters know that grad schools have department-specific admissions and department-specific programs, and everyone in the field knows that UMass's CS program trumps U Chicago's.


That said, there's also a lot of variance in the quality of MS programs. You should carefully consider each of them to make sure you're getting the best deal possible. A top-10 CS program doesn't necessarily have a top-10 MS in CS program.

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