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Old 09-28-2012, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Jawjah
2,468 posts, read 1,526,617 times
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GaTech is the "public" MIT and has a strong reputation overseas as well.
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:27 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
1,991 posts, read 3,397,919 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viningsgt View Post
That's EXACTLY why Tech grads earn higher salaries. Because companies and recruiters know that they are the type of people who can survive in stressful situations with limited resources and information, just like in a business environment.
The business environment has ample resources and information. A company that assigns an engineer a project or task is going to make sure that engineer has the resources to be successful. A company that does not do this is a company setting ITSELF up for failure. So I reject the notion that businesses look for individuals who can work in an environment where there is very little help, very little resources, very little information. Information is how businesses SURVIVE these days.

And again, adults several years out of some of the top schools quit high paying jobs due to stress. I can vouch that there ARE companies that pay well that will recruit from more than JUST the top name schools that seek to minimize stress on those new employees by putting them in a position to be successful, by giving them access to the resources and information that success depends on. Only companies with idiots running them want people who can deal with stress AND little resources/information to help accomplish goals. People running that kind of business are running that business into the ground. ESPECIALLY when there is a chronic shortage nationwide of engineers to fill various engineering positions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by viningsgt View Post
If you weren't a problem solver before you got to Tech, you will be when you get out, and that adds value in the business world.
Lots of schools teach problem solving skills. In my experience what helps many folks survive Tech, especially survive it with a decent GPA is "the grapevine" of old tests and advice from students in your major who just took Professor Z and can tell you to avoid Professor Z or can tell you what Professor Z tests you on that he doesn't mention during the lectures. Two students can have the SAME problem solving abilities, and one will do poorly and the other do well based on grapevine information/warnings.

Yes, Tech makes you into a problem solver. But it also makes you either get grapevine help or step on a bunch of landmines before you make it out. Plenty of other schools make you into a problem solver while not making you have to dodge landmines, dodge Professor Z and his tests on info never covered in the lectures, dodge Professor Z and his curve where you can score an 81% on a test and get a C because he's grading on a curve and too many other people in the class scored in the 80s. Tech adds value for the business world, but does so in unnecessary ways when other schools PROVE they can accomplish the same thing for their students, accomplish learning and problem solving for their students without trying to take a B student and make him into a C student just because too many other students around are also B students.

There was a joke about some Tech professors that they could do top notch research and bring in big bucks for the school because of it, but they couldn't TEACH worth a darn. Grapevines tell you which professors actually try to teach and which ones are there trying to torpedo you because the school MAKES them teach classes while they do research. Grapevines are useful at other schools, they're make or break at Tech. To me, in highly recognized, highly touted university, you should just be able to SHOW UP at class at random and have a professor who can teach like an all-star. And while Tech has those kind of professors, they also have too many Professor Z's or Professor D's based on the curve they insist on grading to.

Engineering schools tend to be highly touted moreso based on the research they do and its application in the real world than on anything else, certainly moreso than on % of faculty that are excellent top notch, all star teachers. Ironic that engineering works this way, when for business school or law school or even medical school, it's almost ALL about the teaching and how much information is SUCCESSFULLY imparted from teacher to student. Engineering is an interesting quirky discipline where you can be an AWFUL teacher and still make your university a star among universities because of your research.
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:57 PM
 
1,971 posts, read 2,382,372 times
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You say plenty of other schools make you into a problem solver without making you have to dodge land mines, but really the only top tier engineering school in the USA that isn't a pressure cooker is Stanford. Is there another?
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:05 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
1,991 posts, read 3,397,919 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
It's not only the school you get your degree from, but also your GPA. Some companies have their cutoffs at 3.0 or even 3.5 regardless of your school. And GT is ridiculously tough and stingy with the grades. If you graduate with a 3.5 from GT, you're set. But if you're not that brilliant, you might be better off going to GSU and get your 3.5. It'll get your foot in the door and from there you can sell yourself.
Definitely agree. It's about choosing the environment that will best promote success for you as a student. Students who aren't brilliant but are highly intelligent and skilled in certain areas may run the risk of getting lost in the crowd at Tech come graduation/interviewing time. I personally experienced that. The early abstract classes like Calculus I, II, and III were tough for me and I didn't do so well in them because they were abstract and I had a horrible professor who could barely speak English and could teach only slightly better than he spoke English. But I also had a Physics Satics class and Dynamics Class where the professor was all about the application to real problems and was an excellent teacher, and I was one of the top students in that class. Likewise when I got to my major I found that I really loved programming and was one of the top students there as well, while more of a B student in other major classes that I wasn't that interested in but had to take. I ultimately graduated in the lower end of the 3.0-3.5 range, and was lost in the graduating crowd. I decided to go to grad school, took the GRE, scored 98% percentile in analytical, finished grad school, and easily found a job. But the point is that I always had the ABILITY to do well, particularly in certain applications, but because I wasn't 3.5 I got sorta lost in the Tech interviewing crowd. And I had grapevine help. So I saw firsthand just how brilliant you have to be to get the 3.5. You have to be great at nearly EVERY subject. Few are. And honestly, in the business world, few need to be. And I also saw how there is a LOT of top talent below 3.5.

Maybe at another engineering school I would have gotten the 3.5 and not been lost in the crowd and not been compelled to go to grad school to boost my job seeking chances. I'm glad I went to Tech, and the experience was definitely beneficial, but in the process I did learn that most of the name brand certain schools like MIT and Tech have is due to research, not quality of instruction. Both HAVE quality of instruction, but it's not readily found- you have to find out which professors are good instructors and avoid the others. I fully believe there are other schools out there that have a plethora of good instructors, instructors like my Physics instructor, but who don't get the name recognition because they don't touch Tech and MIT in research dollars and accomplishment.

The problem is that it's not easy at all for a parent or student to find out which engineering school really has the plethora of good professors since name branding isn't based on that. It's more easy for business or law or medical schools, etc. because those disciplines are all about the teaching, all about accomplished professionals imparting valuable knowledge to students. With engineering it's not quite so obvious that GSU is where you can both get your 3.5 and get some top notch math, physics, engineering instructors as well. Engineers have to become skilled at problem solving. Ironically, one of the most critical but most difficult problems to solve is which engineering school has plenty of great teachers AND has plenty name recognition to attract plenty of recruiters and the well paying jobs they come with- so you won't get lost in the crowd.
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:23 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
1,991 posts, read 3,397,919 times
Reputation: 891
Quote:
Originally Posted by rzzz View Post
You say plenty of other schools make you into a problem solver without making you have to dodge land mines, but really the only top tier engineering school in the USA that isn't a pressure cooker is Stanford. Is there another?
In clarifying pressure cooker DUE TO grading curves and awful instructors that if you don't know to dodge them, you step on a land mine (as opposed to pressure cooker because you have to really study and apply yourself even moreso than students in other majors, which is true of Stanford)-

From my readings and what I have heard about various engineering schools (and in the interest of full disclosure, I haven't visited all these campusses and talked to the students to find out for myself) some really good ones are:

Stanford, which you mentioned.
Duke
Texas (Austin)
Purdue
and I've heard good things about engineering at some Ivy League schools like
Harvard
Princeton

[edited to add Carnegie Mellon, particularly for Computer Science]

But again, when you (or anybody) say Top Tier Engineering School, it's my conclusion that by default you're talking about schools with highly recognized research grants and research accomplishments. And as I've said, I graduated a top tier engineering school, with all the ability and potential in the world, and ran across plenty of awful instructors and heard about plenty of other awful instructors whose class I should avoid. That was an eye-opener. Honestly there should not have been so many in a top tier school like Tech IMO. But again that's the thing- Top Tier Engineering = Top Schools for Engineering Research and really has nothing to do with how saturated the faculty is with top tier instructors. So when I see/hear Top Tier Engineering School these days, I take it with a grain of salt because I know the real deal, as do plenty of others who metriculated there.

I am curious though that there may be a trend that universities known moreso for OTHER disciplines (Harvard Law, Business; Princeton Ecomonics; Stanford Almost Everything) may have some of the more saturated engineering faculties with teaching ability. I don't know this for certain, but everything I've read and heard points in that direction.

Last edited by MantaRay; 09-28-2012 at 06:12 PM..
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Old 09-28-2012, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA (Sandy Springs)
3,528 posts, read 2,301,001 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
MIT as well as other schools have put a lot of their courses online for free. In my opinion, the MIT lectures are better than any lecture I had at Tech.
Good point, at least you can understand the MIT lectures.
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:02 AM
 
258 posts, read 326,792 times
Reputation: 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by MantaRay View Post
By the way, I've heard the MIT environment is pretty much the same as Tech in that regard.
My experience at MIT was nothing similar to what you described at GA Tech. Granted you have a ton of high achieving people and most inherently want to do well, but it was not competitive and the few "dazed" kids I remember would have been that way anywhere as it was their nature. I remember during orientation when they asked the valedictorians and saludictorians to raise the hands and it was easily more than half the class with the rest being top 10%. MIT was was actually a party hot spot when I was there, granted only on Friday and Saturdays, as there was very active Greek life as the frat houses (most of which were off campus in Boston) were needed for housing.
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Old 09-29-2012, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Dunwoody
32 posts, read 51,581 times
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I've read enough posts of ridiculous opinions now that I think I should chime in having graduated from GT not once, but twice with both a BS and MS in Aerospace Engineering. First off I'm not going to make presumptuous comparisons of Tech vs XXX based on one person's account of the school. Rather I'll give you my opinion based on my experience:

As far as the student life was concerned it was whatever you wanted to put in is what you got out. If you didn't want to leave your dorm room, no one made you. If you wanted to drink yourself stupid every night of the week, no one stopped you. If you wanted to be in every club or joint a fraternity or sorority no one would tell you different. I really enjoyed my time at GT because I wanted to. If you hated the school because insert XXX was too hard, or XXX teacher was a bad teacher, or were a closet-case nerd or an embittered HS kid who expected a party every night thrown in your honor because 'college must be better than HS' then of course you wouldn't enjoy Tech, hell, you won't enjoy any school, and quite frankly I doubt many people at any school would enjoy your company. I think the reality of Tech is that there is a good percentage of kids like that, but there are also a good percentage like me who rocked out while we went to school, did well, and as in life, achieved a manageable balance.

As far as teachers go, sure there will always be some teachers who are less apt to explanation, less hand-holding, less patience, and realistically is that such a bad thing? If every teacher was 'good' and the material was easily explained and understood, then why bother going to college at all, if you can learn it all online. Tech lectures covered anywhere from 60% to 80% of the knowledge you needed for any given exam. The rest was outlined in the syllabus. If you thought everything was taught in the lecture would prepare you to solve A and B, when they are only steps on the road to solve C and D then you're missing the point. Tech was hard because it required extreme discipline in the application of problem solving, not that this teacher only covered A and B but never told you about C which was all that was on the test. If you could solve A and B, C was just the next step, if that was too hard for you, maybe Engineering isn't the best choice.

As far as tuition and bang for you buck, GT is up there, and I think the numbers in the report are frankly low in my observation of my friends and I who graduated from there. I know I'm going to offend many a person out there, but I have this to say about Engineering school. If you can succeed in Engineering, and have a good disposition you can frankly do just about anything because you understand the technical side as well as the practical/application. Don't think Engineers don't end up in leadership, they do more often than not because they have this knowledge...
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA (Sandy Springs)
3,528 posts, read 2,301,001 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raze View Post
As far as teachers go, sure there will always be some teachers who are less apt to explanation, less hand-holding, less patience, and realistically is that such a bad thing? If every teacher was 'good' and the material was easily explained and understood, then why bother going to college at all, if you can learn it all online. Tech lectures covered anywhere from 60% to 80% of the knowledge you needed for any given exam. The rest was outlined in the syllabus. If you thought everything was taught in the lecture would prepare you to solve A and B, when they are only steps on the road to solve C and D then you're missing the point. Tech was hard because it required extreme discipline in the application of problem solving, not that this teacher only covered A and B but never told you about C which was all that was on the test. If you could solve A and B, C was just the next step, if that was too hard for you, maybe Engineering isn't the best choice.
In my experience, the TA/recitation sections were much more key to understanding what you needed to know for the test than the lectures.
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA (Sandy Springs)
3,528 posts, read 2,301,001 times
Reputation: 2762
Quote:
Originally Posted by MantaRay View Post
Definitely agree. It's about choosing the environment that will best promote success for you as a student. Students who aren't brilliant but are highly intelligent and skilled in certain areas may run the risk of getting lost in the crowd at Tech come graduation/interviewing time. I personally experienced that. The early abstract classes like Calculus I, II, and III were tough for me and I didn't do so well in them because they were abstract and I had a horrible professor who could barely speak English and could teach only slightly better than he spoke English. But I also had a Physics Satics class and Dynamics Class where the professor was all about the application to real problems and was an excellent teacher, and I was one of the top students in that class. Likewise when I got to my major I found that I really loved programming and was one of the top students there as well, while more of a B student in other major classes that I wasn't that interested in but had to take. I ultimately graduated in the lower end of the 3.0-3.5 range, and was lost in the graduating crowd. I decided to go to grad school, took the GRE, scored 98% percentile in analytical, finished grad school, and easily found a job. But the point is that I always had the ABILITY to do well, particularly in certain applications, but because I wasn't 3.5 I got sorta lost in the Tech interviewing crowd. And I had grapevine help. So I saw firsthand just how brilliant you have to be to get the 3.5. You have to be great at nearly EVERY subject. Few are. And honestly, in the business world, few need to be. And I also saw how there is a LOT of top talent below 3.5.

Maybe at another engineering school I would have gotten the 3.5 and not been lost in the crowd and not been compelled to go to grad school to boost my job seeking chances. I'm glad I went to Tech, and the experience was definitely beneficial, but in the process I did learn that most of the name brand certain schools like MIT and Tech have is due to research, not quality of instruction. Both HAVE quality of instruction, but it's not readily found- you have to find out which professors are good instructors and avoid the others. I fully believe there are other schools out there that have a plethora of good instructors, instructors like my Physics instructor, but who don't get the name recognition because they don't touch Tech and MIT in research dollars and accomplishment.

The problem is that it's not easy at all for a parent or student to find out which engineering school really has the plethora of good professors since name branding isn't based on that. It's more easy for business or law or medical schools, etc. because those disciplines are all about the teaching, all about accomplished professionals imparting valuable knowledge to students. With engineering it's not quite so obvious that GSU is where you can both get your 3.5 and get some top notch math, physics, engineering instructors as well. Engineers have to become skilled at problem solving. Ironically, one of the most critical but most difficult problems to solve is which engineering school has plenty of great teachers AND has plenty name recognition to attract plenty of recruiters and the well paying jobs they come with- so you won't get lost in the crowd.
Not sure what your major was but mine was CS and I graduated with a VERY low GPA.

Yet, just recently I was looking for a new job and found a good one within 7 days of posting my resume.
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