deopatriae Posted November 16, 2015 Share Posted November 16, 2015 Hello everyone! After long hours of research on this forum to help answer some of the questions I've been having, I thought: why not just post my questions here directly? So here goes my first post! First, some context. It is my goal to work in the IC (CIA, NSA, Homeland Security) in the DC area. To accomplish this, my top three choices are Columbia's SIPA (International Security Policy), Princeton's WWS (MPA), and GWU Elliott (Security Policy Studies). I have 8 years of working experience, 6 of which have been abroad (including my current position) in two different countries. I have been accepted early action into SIPA (Fall 2016) and am quite confident about Elliott. WWS is a toss up. I am originally from New York, so NYC would be very close to my parents and home. This is a plus for SIPA. However, I am hesitant to commit to SIPA after reading multiple (and I mean more than one) reviews criticizing SIPA for a litany of reasons on this forum. These include, but are not limited to: Cost does not justify the rewards - whether this is in regards to employment opportunities following graduation or the lack of specialization in coursework someone like myself might seek Class size is, generally speaking, larger than the other two schools mentioned Stemming from this, lack of face time with professors NYC can be a quite impersonal place to begin with - I know this firsthand Employment opportunities in the IC coming out of SIPA are not as strong as WWS/Elliott. This is what I am primarily concerned about. NYC does not equal DC when it comes to the IC and so forth. Now of course, the internet as an open source platform isn't always the most reliable. I have tried to take the above expressed sentiments with a grain of salt. You will rarely find, however, anyone with anything negative to say about WWS or Elliott. On the contrary, I can list multiple students/alumni of Elliott who have wholeheartedly vouched for the institute's reputation and concern for students. I find it somewhat alarming that a school with an Ivy league pedigree such as SIPA has such an unexpected amount of naysayers. I surely can't be the only one who has noticed this on these forums. I just thought I should elaborate on what prompted me to reconsider my choices as they pertain to pursuing a career in the IC. Naturally, I thought SIPA would be a great fit for me as a New Yorker and someone who misses mom's cooking, but after further deliberation perhaps Elliott/WWS would be a better choice. Anyway, here are my questions! Which of the above (Elliott, WWS, SIPA) would be the best for someone who is set on pursuing a career in the Intelligence Community? Why? Is it thanks to the outstanding networking opportunities in the DC area for someone interested in the IC? Is it the quality of instruction and education/curriculum structure at the institute itself? Is it a particular focus that institute places on job placement and preparing students for "the real world"? (As it pertains to the schools not #2) Why not? I tried to keep the questions as brief and to the point as possible. If anyone feels the need to go into more detail with their answers, please do so! Information helps all of us and that's why these forums exist friends. :-) Thank you so much in advance everyone! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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