Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Topic Author
physiorol
Posts: 250
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:52 am

Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by physiorol » Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:00 pm

A few months ago I initiated an inquiry on behalf of my son who had at that time been admitted to computational engineering (under aerospace department) at UT Austin.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=270977

He and I found the discussion quite informative and it helped him realize that computational engineering at UT Austin was not the best fit for him. Therefore, he asked me to write another post regarding his current college options. As it turns out, since the prior discussion, he was accepted to some pretty good in-state schools and is considering the following:

1) UC Berkeley for Industrial engineering and Operations research (IEOR) (in-state tuition)
http://guide.berkeley.edu/undergraduate ... ementstext

2) UC Davis for computer science (in-state tuition)

3) Waterloo (Canada) for Management Engineering (similar to the Berkeley program I believe and International tuition ~45K USD per year)
http://ugradcalendar.uwaterloo.ca/page/ ... ngineering

4) Northeastern for computer science (pretty good scholarship but still more $ than UC)

Student background:
Although things in life change rapidly, he is currently leaning towards working in the business/people side of high tech, eg business analytics/management consulting. And therefore the coursework in the Berkeley and Waterloo programs seem to excite him more than straight CS.

I think he would be satisfied with any of the above programs as they all have great points. EG He likes the individual attention he would likely receive at northeastern and he likes the feel of Davis.

Primary Question:
Does anyone have any feedback regarding the IEOR program at Berkeley? Employ-ability, future job titles, salary etc

Secondary Questions:
He has heard lots of negative stories about Berkeley being over-the-top in terms of stress and competition, but it is not clear if this an urban myth or if it just applies to a subset of the student population (eg students who are pre-med that are trying to get high straight A's)

Feel free to share anything else about any of the schools/programs

User avatar
RickBoglehead
Posts: 5608
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:10 am
Location: In a house

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:08 pm

Top engineering schools are intensely competitive. When my son entered one of the top 3 undergrad programs, at orientation they were told - "You should expect your grades to drop a full level, if not more. You are now among the brightest students in the world.". My son's grades did not drop, he graduated at the top of his class. Then, in grad school, his grades dropped significantly. That was the cream of the cream.

Berkeley, MIT, Stanford, Michigan are all very, very competitive.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

KlangFool
Posts: 15512
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by KlangFool » Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:10 pm

physiorol wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:00 pm
A few months ago I initiated an inquiry on behalf of my son who had at that time been admitted to computational engineering (under aerospace department) at UT Austin.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=270977

He and I found the discussion quite informative and it helped him realize that computational engineering at UT Austin was not the best fit for him. Therefore, he asked me to write another post regarding his current college options. As it turns out, since the prior discussion, he was accepted to some pretty good in-state schools and is considering the following:

1) UC Berkeley for Industrial engineering and Operations research (IEOR) (in-state tuition)
http://guide.berkeley.edu/undergraduate ... ementstext

2) UC Davis for computer science (in-state tuition)

3) Waterloo (Canada) for Management Engineering (similar to the Berkeley program I believe and International tuition ~45K USD per year)
http://ugradcalendar.uwaterloo.ca/page/ ... ngineering

4) Northeastern for computer science (pretty good scholarship but still more $ than UC)

Student background:
Although things in life change rapidly, he is currently leaning towards working in the business/people side of high tech, eg business analytics/management consulting. And therefore the coursework in the Berkeley and Waterloo programs seem to excite him more than straight CS.

I think he would be satisfied with any of the above programs as they all have great points. EG He likes the individual attention he would likely receive at northeastern and he likes the feel of Davis.

Primary Question:
Does anyone have any feedback regarding the IEOR program at Berkeley? Employ-ability, future job titles, salary etc

Secondary Questions:
He has heard lots of negative stories about Berkeley being over-the-top in terms of stress and competition, but it is not clear if this an urban myth or if it just applies to a subset of the student population (eg students who are pre-med that are trying to get high straight A's)

Feel free to share anything else about any of the schools/programs
physiorol,

1) The same response to the Computation Engineering at UT Austin. Another fancy degree with no usefulness in employability.

2) No idea. Low-cost option.

3) See answer to (1).

4) Why spend more than (2) and get nothing in return?

<< Student background:
Although things in life change rapidly, he is currently leaning towards working in the business/people side of high tech, eg business analytics/management consulting.>>

What has that got to do with the bachelor degree? You would not be good enough to work in that area anyhow after a bachelor degree. So, get a solid bachelor degree in CS and/or engineering. Get your future employer to pay for the MBA. Then, you may work in that area.

How could you consult with anyone when you know nothing about real business? Why would anyone trust you?

KlangFool

il0kin
Posts: 305
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:19 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by il0kin » Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:26 pm

I work in the Business Intelligence/Business Analytics field, which it sounds like he is interested in. I would steer towards the UC Davis Computer Science program.

It is much easier to learn and hone management and analytical skills than it is to learn computer science and he will be a much more viable candidate for a wide variety of jobs. A candidate with a CS undergraduate and a future MBA is a very strong combination for technical leadership positions and will likely lead to high earnings over time. Encourage him to focus on his people skills while he gets his CS undergrad - take electives on public speaking, network with people, do internships etc and he will be very well poised for a long and prosperous career.

Edit: A really great combination would be a major in CS and a minor in Business.

It is surprisingly hard to find people who have both strong technical/programming skills as well as business knowledge/people skills ... if he can fulfill both of those, he will do well and rise quickly. Remind him to always be humble (but confident in himself), stay curious, and to always ask questions.

He sounds like a great kid. Well done! :sharebeer

mighty72
Moderator
Posts: 879
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 11:22 pm
Location: Somewhere in the West

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by mighty72 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:41 pm

I don't know anything about the Berkeley program so won't comment. However, I don't think that a pure CS degree will get him a business analytics job. Has he looked at information science programs? Or he could do CS as major and business as minor. In computer science take electives in data science and analytics.
One catch in doing CS is that you get an engineering job and get comfortable. Also, I have seen most engineers go either in people management or sales/product management when they decide to switch. Again, this is based on my small sample

quantAndHold
Posts: 4287
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by quantAndHold » Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:00 pm

Industrial engineering is one of those glamour fields that usually doesn’t pay very well. Unless he has a real desire to be the next Jony Ive, that major doesn’t really match the rest of his choices.

Waterloo is a very good school, probably the best of his current options. I know nothing about what management engineering actually is, but it sounds like one of those non-engineering “engineering” fields, and he’s probably better off with a degree in one of the core engineering disciplines.

If it were my kid, I would be gently guiding them towards Davis.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.

DrGoogle2017
Posts: 2528
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:31 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:07 pm

Actually, I did start the IEOR program at one of the Ivy League in NYC, master level, mostly helped me with investment interest. I never actually had to use it to find any job. My company at the time was very generous with paying for education and that’s why.
But my kid’s big sister at a sorority had 6-7 job offers when she graduated with an industrial engineering degree. At the time the job market was very tight, as in my kid couldn’t find a decent part time job paying $15 an hour even. She did some sort of consulting in SF then New York City, still there I think. No advice for your son, but she did graduate on top of her program.

HEDGEFUNDIE
Posts: 4243
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:06 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:13 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:10 pm
physiorol wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:00 pm
A few months ago I initiated an inquiry on behalf of my son who had at that time been admitted to computational engineering (under aerospace department) at UT Austin.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=270977

He and I found the discussion quite informative and it helped him realize that computational engineering at UT Austin was not the best fit for him. Therefore, he asked me to write another post regarding his current college options. As it turns out, since the prior discussion, he was accepted to some pretty good in-state schools and is considering the following:

1) UC Berkeley for Industrial engineering and Operations research (IEOR) (in-state tuition)
http://guide.berkeley.edu/undergraduate ... ementstext
1) The same response to the Computation Engineering at UT Austin. Another fancy degree with no usefulness in employability.



<< Student background:
Although things in life change rapidly, he is currently leaning towards working in the business/people side of high tech, eg business analytics/management consulting.>>

What has that got to do with the bachelor degree? You would not be good enough to work in that area anyhow after a bachelor degree. So, get a solid bachelor degree in CS and/or engineering. Get your future employer to pay for the MBA. Then, you may work in that area.

How could you consult with anyone when you know nothing about real business? Why would anyone trust you?

KlangFool
Klang, you have no idea what you’re talking about here.

Consulting firms absolutely hire directly from undergrad, and industrial engineering is one of the classic majors they look for.

Go to any major consulting firm’s career website and look at on-campus analyst recruiting.

I worked in consulting for four years and have interviewed many, many IE majors during on campus recruiting.

ThatGuy
Posts: 958
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:00 am

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by ThatGuy » Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:19 pm

il0kin wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:26 pm
It is much easier to learn and hone management and analytical skills than it is to learn computer science and he will be a much more viable candidate for a wide variety of jobs. A candidate with a CS undergraduate and a future MBA is a very strong combination for technical leadership positions and will likely lead to high earnings over time. Encourage him to focus on his people skills while he gets his CS undergrad - take electives on public speaking, network with people, do internships etc and he will be very well poised for a long and prosperous career.

Edit: A really great combination would be a major in CS and a minor in Business.

It is surprisingly hard to find people who have both strong technical/programming skills as well as business knowledge/people skills ... if he can fulfill both of those, he will do well and rise quickly. Remind him to always be humble (but confident in himself), stay curious, and to always ask questions.
I've plugged this before, but my recommendation would be CS at Davis with a minor in philosophy. Or english literature.

Davis is a good school. It's also close enough to get internships in the hallowed brown hills of Silicon Valley. But if he wants to do business, he needs to be able to convince people of what he wants them to do. A liberal arts course, in particular ones that deal with logic and the written word, will be more valuable in that area than anything STEM.

In fact, I would suggest all hard science/math/engineering students take more than one course in philosophy or literature.
Work is the curse of the drinking class - Oscar Wilde

User avatar
Steelersfan
Posts: 3790
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:47 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by Steelersfan » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:21 pm

IE/OR can be lots of things depending on what the college offers and what the student decides for a concentration. It can be anywhere from classical Industrial Engineering in manufacturing, to mathematical models applied to almost any aspect of business. There will be lots of computing in the curriculum, but it won't be focused on writing programs but using them to solve problems.

I got a degree in IE/OR too many years ago to be relevant to the job market today, but I never spent a day in an industrial setting or writing mathematical models. I ended up managing teams of software developers. My degree was of great importance in the success of my career.

BTW - Berkley has a really good reputation in the field, at least according to a couple of sources:

https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/ra ... ufacturing

https://www.collegefactual.com/majors/e ... t-popular/

P.S. if he decides on the OR side of the field, those are sometimes in business schools these days.

Topic Author
physiorol
Posts: 250
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:52 am

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by physiorol » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:23 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:00 pm
Industrial engineering is one of those glamour fields that usually doesn’t pay very well. Unless he has a real desire to be the next Jony Ive, that major doesn’t really match the rest of his choices.

Waterloo is a very good school, probably the best of his current options. I know nothing about what management engineering actually is, but it sounds like one of those non-engineering “engineering” fields, and he’s probably better off with a degree in one of the core engineering disciplines.

If it were my kid, I would be gently guiding them towards Davis.
Thanks for that. From my assessment the Waterloo management engineering program is kind of like industrial engineering with more programming courses, so you might be right. Waterloo does seem to have one of the best internship/co-op facilitation programs in the North America if not the world.

Topic Author
physiorol
Posts: 250
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:52 am

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by physiorol » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:25 pm

Steelersfan wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:21 pm
IE/OR can be lots of things depending on what the college offers and what the student decides for a concentration. It can be anywhere from classical Industrial Engineering in manufacturing, to mathematical models applied to almost any aspect of business. There will be lots of computing in the curriculum, but it won't be focused on writing programs but using them to solve problems.

I got a degree in IE/OR too many years ago to be relevant to the job market today, but I never spent a day in an industrial setting or writing mathematical models. I ended up managing teams of software developers. My degree was of great importance in the success of my career.

BTW - Berkley has a really good reputation in the field, at least according to a couple of sources:

https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/ra ... ufacturing

https://www.collegefactual.com/majors/e ... t-popular/

P.S. if he decides on the OR side of the field, those are sometimes in business schools these days.
Thanks

Topic Author
physiorol
Posts: 250
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:52 am

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by physiorol » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:31 pm

il0kin wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:26 pm
I work in the Business Intelligence/Business Analytics field, which it sounds like he is interested in. I would steer towards the UC Davis Computer Science program.

It is much easier to learn and hone management and analytical skills than it is to learn computer science and he will be a much more viable candidate for a wide variety of jobs. A candidate with a CS undergraduate and a future MBA is a very strong combination for technical leadership positions and will likely lead to high earnings over time. Encourage him to focus on his people skills while he gets his CS undergrad - take electives on public speaking, network with people, do internships etc and he will be very well poised for a long and prosperous career.

Edit: A really great combination would be a major in CS and a minor in Business.

It is surprisingly hard to find people who have both strong technical/programming skills as well as business knowledge/people skills ... if he can fulfill both of those, he will do well and rise quickly. Remind him to always be humble (but confident in himself), stay curious, and to always ask questions.

He sounds like a great kid. Well done! :sharebeer
Thanks this is very helpful. One option he is considering, if he sticks with Berkeley, would be adding a minor in CS to the industrial engineering major. Do you think a minor in CS would develop "strong technical/programming skills"?

CppCoder
Posts: 917
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:16 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by CppCoder » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:40 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:00 pm
Industrial engineering is one of those glamour fields that usually doesn’t pay very well. Unless he has a real desire to be the next Jony Ive, that major doesn’t really match the rest of his choices.
????
Industrial engineering does not equal industrial design. Industrial design equals design an iPhone (as you alluded to). Industrial engineering (or the OR side of it) equals design an optimized airline schedule for Delta.

Operations research is a very useful skill to many businesses. These jobs do a lot of linear programming (for those uninitiated, this is not software programming, but mathematical modeling/optimization, i.e., minimize an objective subject to constraints), scheduling, etc. They are valuable in the airline industry, manufacturing, supply chain/logistics, energy, etc. It would also be a good degree, I would think, for a consulting job at, say, a Deloitte type of place, too. I don't know if the good jobs require advanced degrees. We (energy industry) exclusively hire Ph.D.s with OR backgrounds, but I work in research, so that might be why we tend to exclusively hire researchers :). It's a split between those in IE/OR programs and engineers specializing in OR skills. On top of that, Berkeley is a great school, and the name recognition will open doors, worldwide. In-state, I would choose this option, and the others aren't even a close second. I'm not sure about Berkeley's rules for switching majors (and CS at Berkeley is a premiere department), but I would assume there is always the possibility of switching into or double majoring in CS if your son decides to go that route.

Topic Author
physiorol
Posts: 250
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:52 am

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by physiorol » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:48 pm

CppCoder wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:40 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:00 pm
Industrial engineering is one of those glamour fields that usually doesn’t pay very well. Unless he has a real desire to be the next Jony Ive, that major doesn’t really match the rest of his choices.
????
Industrial engineering does not equal industrial design. Industrial design equals design an iPhone (as you alluded to). Industrial engineering (or the OR side of it) equals design an optimized airline schedule for Delta.

Operations research is a very useful skill to many businesses. These jobs do a lot of linear programming (for those uninitiated, this is not software programming, but mathematical modeling/optimization, i.e., minimize an objective subject to constraints), scheduling, etc. They are valuable in the airline industry, manufacturing, supply chain/logistics, energy, etc. It would also be a good degree, I would think, for a consulting job at, say, a Deloitte type of place, too. I don't know if the good jobs require advanced degrees. We (energy industry) exclusively hire Ph.D.s with OR backgrounds, but I work in research, so that might be why we tend to exclusively hire researchers :). It's a split between those in IE/OR programs and engineers specializing in OR skills. On top of that, Berkeley is a great school, and the name recognition will open doors, worldwide. In-state, I would choose this option, and the others aren't even a close second. I'm not sure about Berkeley's rules for switching majors (and CS at Berkeley is a premiere department), but I would assume there is always the possibility of switching into or double majoring in CS if your son decides to go that route.
Based on our visit to Berkeley it seems like minoring in CS is a viable option, But I think switching into CS or double majoring in CS would be very very difficult.

stan1
Posts: 8173
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by stan1 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:53 pm

physiorol wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:31 pm

Thanks this is very helpful. One option he is considering, if he sticks with Berkeley, would be adding a minor in CS to the industrial engineering major. Do you think a minor in CS would develop "strong technical/programming skills"?
That would be an exceptional choice. Remember Operations Research gave us yield management to optimize revenue most famously applied to airfares as well as optimizing the route of a UPS driver in a busy city with stoplights [hint: make lots of right turns and minimize left turns]. There's plenty of opportunity for Ops Researchers to learn the formal analytical methods of the field and implement business algorithms in models as well as in code. If he likes math and coding OR plus CS is a perfect match for undergraduate, then get a MS in either field and eventually an MBA.

KlangFool
Posts: 15512
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by KlangFool » Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:21 pm

Deleted.

KlangFool
Last edited by KlangFool on Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NoGambleNoFuture
Posts: 309
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:17 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by NoGambleNoFuture » Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:30 pm

I manage the recruiting team of a medium-sized public tech company in SoCal and recruited tech in the Bay/Austin the last 7 years...

Fall 2018 was the first time we have explored NEU and I must say it’s drastically exceeded expectations. The talent there is high and on par with many of the elite CS programs on the pacific coast. Their co-op program is spectacular and the significant real world experience they graduate with opens numerous doors. We have 8 NEU coops with us right now with another 8 slated for the summer/winter... and we’ve already extended full time offers to almost everyone of them just 3 months in.

TheFlats
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:20 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by TheFlats » Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:10 pm

Deleted
Last edited by TheFlats on Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Topic Author
physiorol
Posts: 250
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:52 am

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by physiorol » Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:16 am

NoGambleNoFuture wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:30 pm
I manage the recruiting team of a medium-sized public tech company in SoCal and recruited tech in the Bay/Austin the last 7 years...

Fall 2018 was the first time we have explored NEU and I must say it’s drastically exceeded expectations. The talent there is high and on par with many of the elite CS programs on the pacific coast. Their co-op program is spectacular and the significant real world experience they graduate with opens numerous doors. We have 8 NEU coops with us right now with another 8 slated for the summer/winter... and we’ve already extended full time offers to almost everyone of them just 3 months in.
Gonna pass this on. Thank you.

Strayshot
Posts: 613
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:04 am
Location: New Mexico

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by Strayshot » Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:11 am

I would go #2 or #4. A solid foundation in CS opens the most doors, regardless of the ultimate nature of the job he decides on. If the business/sales side becomes appealing, follow up the BS with an MBA or minor in business for the BS. More important than any education for a management or sales job will be social skills, you can get as educated as you want in organizational behavior and marketing but if you don’t have social and communication skills and an ability to interact in person you won’t make it.

Topic Author
physiorol
Posts: 250
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:52 am

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by physiorol » Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:13 pm

Strayshot wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:11 am
I would go #2 or #4. A solid foundation in CS opens the most doors, regardless of the ultimate nature of the job he decides on. If the business/sales side becomes appealing, follow up the BS with an MBA or minor in business for the BS. More important than any education for a management or sales job will be social skills, you can get as educated as you want in organizational behavior and marketing but if you don’t have social and communication skills and an ability to interact in person you won’t make it.
Thanks. He also got accepted to UC Irvine for computer science and engineering so I guess that would be a third option to add to Davis CS and Northeastern CS. If he decides to go the CS route.

It's like ordering coffee at starbucks.

gpburdell
Posts: 202
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:01 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by gpburdell » Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:37 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:08 pm
Top engineering schools are intensely competitive. When my son entered one of the top 3 undergrad programs, at orientation they were told - "You should expect your grades to drop a full level, if not more. You are now among the brightest students in the world.". My son's grades did not drop, he graduated at the top of his class. Then, in grad school, his grades dropped significantly. That was the cream of the cream.

Berkeley, MIT, Stanford, Michigan are all very, very competitive.
I graduated from Georgia Tech in CS. At freshman orientation, they would have everyone together and say "Look to your left, look to your right, only 1 of you will make it to graduation". It turned out to be very accurate. As a freshman I had 3 roommates, two dropped out by end of the first year and the third never graduated. They stopped saying that several years ago for political correctness. GT students call graduation "getting out" and on average it takes 5 years to graduate.

GT99
Posts: 326
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:26 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by GT99 » Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:24 pm

There are a number of folks chiming in here who don't know what they're talking about. I have an Industrial Engineering degree from a top tier school, and the majority of my career has been in data analytics. Some thoughts:
1. Industrial Engineering, is a high demand, great paying field. From a top tier school, median starting pay right out of school is likely to be $70k+. About half the IE grads I knew took consulting jobs out of college - the big management consulting firms love IE degrees.

2. CS is even higher demand...but there are also more folks majoring in CS (and the gap between the top ~10% or so and the median in terms of capability is enormous. Bigger than any other field I'm familiar with).

3. A lot of IE is a way of thinking. It can be a curse going through life thinking about how you can make everything more efficient, but it's a valuable skill.

4. A lot of CS major programs have Analytics/AI/ML tracks. Those that don't will soon (probably well before your son graduates).

5. Regarding IE vs CS in general, I'm kind of torn. I think IE major with a CS minor or CS major with a business minor (or subsequent MBA) would both work well. If I could go back and do it again, I'd personally probably major in CS, but I enjoy the technical side, and while I'm more technical than most, I wish I was even more more technical. I'd tell your son to go with his gut on that.

6. One thing to consider is that it's it's easier to learn programming skills inexpensively outside of a university setting than it is to get what you gain from an IE degree - there are lots of great online training programs.

Topic Author
physiorol
Posts: 250
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:52 am

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by physiorol » Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:08 pm

GT99 wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:24 pm
There are a number of folks chiming in here who don't know what they're talking about. I have an Industrial Engineering degree from a top tier school, and the majority of my career has been in data analytics. Some thoughts:
1. Industrial Engineering, is a high demand, great paying field. From a top tier school, median starting pay right out of school is likely to be $70k+. About half the IE grads I knew took consulting jobs out of college - the big management consulting firms love IE degrees.

2. CS is even higher demand...but there are also more folks majoring in CS (and the gap between the top ~10% or so and the median in terms of capability is enormous. Bigger than any other field I'm familiar with).

3. A lot of IE is a way of thinking. It can be a curse going through life thinking about how you can make everything more efficient, but it's a valuable skill.

4. A lot of CS major programs have Analytics/AI/ML tracks. Those that don't will soon (probably well before your son graduates).

5. Regarding IE vs CS in general, I'm kind of torn. I think IE major with a CS minor or CS major with a business minor (or subsequent MBA) would both work well. If I could go back and do it again, I'd personally probably major in CS, but I enjoy the technical side, and while I'm more technical than most, I wish I was even more more technical. I'd tell your son to go with his gut on that.

6. One thing to consider is that it's it's easier to learn programming skills inexpensively outside of a university setting than it is to get what you gain from an IE degree - there are lots of great online training programs.
Thanks I will pass this on. It sounds like there a a couple of pathways (IE + CS minor versus CS + Biz minor or MBA) to achieve his goal. One obvious advantage of CS major path is that he would likely have access to additional career roles (eg software engineer).

ohai
Posts: 1327
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:10 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by ohai » Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:28 pm

Hi. Go to Berkeley. It doesn't matter if your degree is not explicitly CS. Most engineering majors from good schools can be competitive for a wide range of jobs. If the school's were ranked closely, then maybe it would be a toss up. However, Berkeley is much better than Davis or Waterloo let alone Northeastern.

Also, Berkeley's network in northern California is much better than Davis', if not in numbers than in quality. You have to be here to appreciate how many bones people will toss you based on your school name alone.

To me, this is a no brainer. I am also highly elitist, like most people you will find at Berkeley.

"Secondary Questions:
He has heard lots of negative stories about Berkeley being over-the-top in terms of stress and competition, but it is not clear if this an urban myth or if it just applies to a subset of the student population (eg students who are pre-med that are trying to get high straight A's)"

It's most likely true. I don't get people who say college is easier than high school. I worked 100 hours year round at university (not Berkeley but the place down the road). But that's the life you choose if you go to a competitive place. Or you could just be lazy and not do your best in life. That's actually not necessarily a negative choice.

GT99
Posts: 326
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:26 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by GT99 » Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:36 pm

physiorol wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:08 pm
One obvious advantage of CS major path is that he would likely have access to additional career roles (eg software engineer).
I actually disagree with this statement - IE almost certainly gives a greater breadth of career paths. That's one of it's greatest strengths - it provides a foundation for so many paths (at the expense of technical specialization with other engineering or CS degrees).

Topic Author
physiorol
Posts: 250
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:52 am

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by physiorol » Thu Apr 04, 2019 6:38 pm

ohai wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:28 pm
Hi. Go to Berkeley. It doesn't matter if your degree is not explicitly CS. Most engineering majors from good schools can be competitive for a wide range of jobs. If the school's were ranked closely, then maybe it would be a toss up. However, Berkeley is much better than Davis or Waterloo let alone Northeastern.
Thanks for your comments. Obviously, it is not a level playing field between students and we have not spoken to many Berkeley recent graduates, but the ones we did speak to gave us the impression that the Berkeley name does not carry as much weight in getting into a top company as we previously thought. The relevance of the school name is such a hard thing to weigh-up.

edited for grammar

CppCoder
Posts: 917
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:16 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by CppCoder » Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:03 pm

physiorol wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 6:38 pm

Thanks for your comments. Obviously, it is not a level playing field between students and we have not spoken to many Berkeley recent graduates, but the ones we did speak to gave us the impression that the Berkeley name does not carry as much weight in getting into a top company as we previously thought. The relevance of the school name is such a hard thing to weigh-up.

edited for grammar
It will carry weight getting into a top graduate program, though, if he goes that route.

Cartographer
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:46 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by Cartographer » Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:01 pm

Berkeley is clearly the top choice:
- The name certainly carries weight in industry, and makes a huge difference for grad school. If your kid has any inkling that he might pursue a graduate degree (especially PhD or MBA), Berkeley is really the only choice.

- The proximity to SV means more active recruiting from a wider range of companies. Even if an employer is indifferent to Berkeley vs one of the other schools, you still have way more options than from the other schools.

- While all schools have a range of students, Berkeley engineers as a whole are very talented and motivated. Having great peers is a huge part of the college experience.


About Berkeley's reputation for stress and competition: keep in mind that there is a lot of fearmongering. Many students at Berkeley, especially the engineers, take a lot of pride in their program being hard and competitive, and will endlessly promote this to boost their egos. The reality is that Berkeley engineering is probably slightly harder than most other schools (private schools tend to offer more handholding and have more generous curves, whereas most other public schools have a weaker student body to compete against). But it isn't so much harder that your son will go gray from stress at Berkeley, but would have breezed through at another school. And that extra difficulty/competition goes hand-in-hand with having top-notch peers, and is well worth it.

SC Anteater
Posts: 302
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:50 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by SC Anteater » Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:46 pm

physiorol wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:13 pm
Strayshot wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:11 am
I would go #2 or #4. A solid foundation in CS opens the most doors, regardless of the ultimate nature of the job he decides on. If the business/sales side becomes appealing, follow up the BS with an MBA or minor in business for the BS. More important than any education for a management or sales job will be social skills, you can get as educated as you want in organizational behavior and marketing but if you don’t have social and communication skills and an ability to interact in person you won’t make it.
Thanks. He also got accepted to UC Irvine for computer science and engineering so I guess that would be a third option to add to Davis CS and Northeastern CS. If he decides to go the CS route.

It's like ordering coffee at starbucks.
Go Anteaters!

ohai
Posts: 1327
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:10 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by ohai » Thu Apr 04, 2019 11:18 pm

physiorol wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 6:38 pm
ohai wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:28 pm
Hi. Go to Berkeley. It doesn't matter if your degree is not explicitly CS. Most engineering majors from good schools can be competitive for a wide range of jobs. If the school's were ranked closely, then maybe it would be a toss up. However, Berkeley is much better than Davis or Waterloo let alone Northeastern.
Thanks for your comments. Obviously, it is not a level playing field between students and we have not spoken to many Berkeley recent graduates, but the ones we did speak to gave us the impression that the Berkeley name does not carry as much weight in getting into a top company as we previously thought. The relevance of the school name is such a hard thing to weigh-up.

edited for grammar
Hmm. Berkeley is not a golden ticket, but it is still much better in terms of name recognition than any other school on the list. If Berkeley is not enough to get a job that you want, then it will be even harder coming from UC Davis. It's up to you I guess, but to me, as someone who spent years in Silicon Valley from what you'd probably consider a competitive professional environment, the answer for you is pretty obvious.

User avatar
AtlasShrugged?
Posts: 699
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:08 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by AtlasShrugged? » Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:22 am

physiorol....I do not know if you'd consider an East Coast school, but if so....take a look at Drexel University (Philadelphia). Their engineering programs are excellent, and they have paid co-ops for their students. Note: My son is a graduate of Drexel (Undergrad, and Grad).

The price is pretty stiff, but if your son is a good student, there are plenty of scholarships.
“If you don't know, the thing to do is not to get scared, but to learn.”

Valuethinker
Posts: 39597
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by Valuethinker » Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:32 am

physiorol wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:00 pm
A few months ago I initiated an inquiry on behalf of my son who had at that time been admitted to computational engineering (under aerospace department) at UT Austin.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=270977

He and I found the discussion quite informative and it helped him realize that computational engineering at UT Austin was not the best fit for him. Therefore, he asked me to write another post regarding his current college options. As it turns out, since the prior discussion, he was accepted to some pretty good in-state schools and is considering the following:

1) UC Berkeley for Industrial engineering and Operations research (IEOR) (in-state tuition)
http://guide.berkeley.edu/undergraduate ... ementstext

2) UC Davis for computer science (in-state tuition)

3) Waterloo (Canada) for Management Engineering (similar to the Berkeley program I believe and International tuition ~45K USD per year)
http://ugradcalendar.uwaterloo.ca/page/ ... ngineering
Just a data point.

Grandnephew of a friend is at Waterloo in Computer Engineering of some form or other. Work experience for top companies (Google in NYC I think). So many offers after 3rd year that parents were worried that he would just drop out and not finish his degree (he will).

My main concern might be body of friends. Waterloo will inevitably have a large Canadian contingent (plus international students primarily from Asia, who may or may not return there, Canada is very good about visas). Your university friends tend to be life-long (more so than later friends) and so he could wind up with friends a long way from where he settles and makes his career.
4) Northeastern for computer science (pretty good scholarship but still more $ than UC)

Student background:
Although things in life change rapidly, he is currently leaning towards working in the business/people side of high tech, eg business analytics/management consulting. And therefore the coursework in the Berkeley and Waterloo programs seem to excite him more than straight CS.

I think he would be satisfied with any of the above programs as they all have great points. EG He likes the individual attention he would likely receive at northeastern and he likes the feel of Davis.

Primary Question:
Does anyone have any feedback regarding the IEOR program at Berkeley? Employ-ability, future job titles, salary etc

Secondary Questions:
He has heard lots of negative stories about Berkeley being over-the-top in terms of stress and competition, but it is not clear if this an urban myth or if it just applies to a subset of the student population (eg students who are pre-med that are trying to get high straight A's)

Feel free to share anything else about any of the schools/programs
All I know about Berkeley is what it's like to be a tenture-track professor there in computer science. And it is hell -- enough so that a friend of mine said he would not want it (he's a professor at a Canadian school, not Waterloo).

That means the profs are under huge pressure to do research. That will feed down to contact hours with students, time preparing for class, etc.

Valuethinker
Posts: 39597
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by Valuethinker » Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:37 am

Cartographer wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:01 pm
Berkeley is clearly the top choice:
- The name certainly carries weight in industry, and makes a huge difference for grad school. If your kid has any inkling that he might pursue a graduate degree (especially PhD or MBA), Berkeley is really the only choice.
I think you have to put Waterloo into that bracket. The university has a fearsome reputation in the tech sector (for undergrad, it's grad school is also very good). I can't say if it ranks the same as Berkeley but I do know its grads go to all the big tech cos (working in USA as well as Canada).

I understand why a West Coast American would go to Berkeley instead, but I believe a grad at Waterloo has very similar opportunities (largely because of the reputation of the school in Comp Sci-Elec Eng and the Co-Op programme, one of the first in North America, I believe).

Just to be clear, I am from Ontario, but I did not attend Waterloo - saw it as a fierce rival when we were in undergrad (and I had good reasons for not considering it). It's more looking at what my friends' kids have done.

User avatar
WWJBDo
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:43 am
Location: California

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by WWJBDo » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:32 am

Our 2 boys looked at many of the schools you discuss and recently finished in BioE at Berkeley (UCB) while I live in San Diego. That's my bias.

Most importantly, involve your kids in the decision making and don't leave out the financial aspect of things. For example, we reviewed the cost of private vs UC schools and essentially explained that "If you go to the private school, we can pay for it, but you will be a poor student with no allowance per se.If you go to a UC, we save enough to give you 1/2 of the difference as an allowance." That income means they can afford events, better food and yes, even some travel during college. I believe it made for a better college experience. I have seen families treat choosing a college independent of the cost. That's missing out on an opportunity to discuss financial issues that impact you and them. If you're net worth is in the mid-8 figures, then cost may not matter.

1. Where do you live? It's best if their school is one direct flight away. More than that and it gets hard for them to visit on long weekends and if they have a medical problem that require your help, it's a nightmare. So if you like your kid, it's best if it doesn't take a full day of travel to get there.
2. Berkeley has such a diverse culture that anyone (and I mean anyone) can find their niche. Most important is to sign up for groups in those first few weeks. We had one son who was proudly a nerd, the other still lives in a coop in SF. Both are financially secure even in the Bay area.
3. The town of Berkeley (and UT Austin and Davis, definitely less so for Irvine) is a great 'college town' with lots to do, a chance to develop your independence (one of the prime features of college) and ready access to SF when you want. You have 3 airport options - SF and Oakland are convenient and even San Jose is pretty close.
4. Agree the degree is less important than what you make of it. A degree from Berkeley will generally open more doors than UCI or Davis coming out of college and for a few years, but later your job performance is more important. Davis is a great college town, more biocentric and fewer onsite job fairs for internships and UCB.
5. Waterloo is "The MIT of Canada" and it is a fantastic school for engineering, CS. But it's not better than the other schools you mention.
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." Upton Sinclair

Valuethinker
Posts: 39597
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by Valuethinker » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:46 am

WWJBDo wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:32 am
Our 2 boys looked at many of the schools you discuss and recently finished in BioE at Berkeley (UCB) while I live in San Diego. That's my bias.

Most importantly, involve your kids in the decision making and don't leave out the financial aspect of things. For example, we reviewed the cost of private vs UC schools and essentially explained that "If you go to the private school, we can pay for it, but you will be a poor student with no allowance per se.If you go to a UC, we save enough to give you 1/2 of the difference as an allowance." That income means they can afford events, better food and yes, even some travel during college. I believe it made for a better college experience. I have seen families treat choosing a college independent of the cost. That's missing out on an opportunity to discuss financial issues that impact you and them. If you're net worth is in the mid-8 figures, then cost may not matter.

1. Where do you live? It's best if their school is one direct flight away. More than that and it gets hard for them to visit on long weekends and if they have a medical problem that require your help, it's a nightmare. So if you like your kid, it's best if it doesn't take a full day of travel to get there.
2. Berkeley has such a diverse culture that anyone (and I mean anyone) can find their niche. Most important is to sign up for groups in those first few weeks. We had one son who was proudly a nerd, the other still lives in a coop in SF. Both are financially secure even in the Bay area.
3. The town of Berkeley (and UT Austin and Davis, definitely less so for Irvine) is a great 'college town' with lots to do, a chance to develop your independence (one of the prime features of college) and ready access to SF when you want. You have 3 airport options - SF and Oakland are convenient and even San Jose is pretty close.
4. Agree the degree is less important than what you make of it. A degree from Berkeley will generally open more doors than UCI or Davis coming out of college and for a few years, but later your job performance is more important. Davis is a great college town, more biocentric and fewer onsite job fairs for internships and UCB.
All very fair and well informed it seems to me (as a total outsider).

Agree that aspects of the student life (e.g. college town) are as important in undergrad as anything else.

It's a time of life where you have some of your most important formative experiences and may make friends that will last a lifetime, so getting that right is both hard and important.
5. Waterloo is "The MIT of Canada" and it is a fantastic school for engineering, CS. But it's not better than the other schools you mention.
Couple of provisos, having had a relative whose child went through this choice not so long ago and friends whose kids are in undergrad engineering in Ontario:

- your undergrad engineering experience their in terms of learning will not be significantly different than at Toronto or Queens (and perhaps McGill, UBC, U of Alberta) (they don't all offer the same engineering programs)

- it's the Waterloo Co-Op that gives its students the real edge in post degree recruiting - and the other universities have added professional experience year options etc as a way to compete

- grad school it really depends on what you want to study. Some fields of Computer Science or EE, Toronto is better. One of the world's leading experts in airflow around structures, and his lab, is at U of Western Ontario

Valuethinker
Posts: 39597
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by Valuethinker » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:58 am

physiorol wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:08 pm
GT99 wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:24 pm
There are a number of folks chiming in here who don't know what they're talking about. I have an Industrial Engineering degree from a top tier school, and the majority of my career has been in data analytics. Some thoughts:
1. Industrial Engineering, is a high demand, great paying field. From a top tier school, median starting pay right out of school is likely to be $70k+. About half the IE grads I knew took consulting jobs out of college - the big management consulting firms love IE degrees.

2. CS is even higher demand...but there are also more folks majoring in CS (and the gap between the top ~10% or so and the median in terms of capability is enormous. Bigger than any other field I'm familiar with).

3. A lot of IE is a way of thinking. It can be a curse going through life thinking about how you can make everything more efficient, but it's a valuable skill.

4. A lot of CS major programs have Analytics/AI/ML tracks. Those that don't will soon (probably well before your son graduates).

5. Regarding IE vs CS in general, I'm kind of torn. I think IE major with a CS minor or CS major with a business minor (or subsequent MBA) would both work well. If I could go back and do it again, I'd personally probably major in CS, but I enjoy the technical side, and while I'm more technical than most, I wish I was even more more technical. I'd tell your son to go with his gut on that.

6. One thing to consider is that it's it's easier to learn programming skills inexpensively outside of a university setting than it is to get what you gain from an IE degree - there are lots of great online training programs.
Thanks I will pass this on. It sounds like there a a couple of pathways (IE + CS minor versus CS + Biz minor or MBA) to achieve his goal. One obvious advantage of CS major path is that he would likely have access to additional career roles (eg software engineer).
It will be the CS skills and credentials which are harder to pick up post undergrad. The heavy lifting is in the mathematics and statistics fundamentals, and then in learning to code efficiently and effectively.

There are a lot of ways of getting the "business skills" that you are taught in an undergrad business course - such as an MBA. And, in fact, most of the important things about business cannot be taught, but have to be learned on the job.

If you have any undergrad business courses then you will duplicate that work in an MBA. In many ways it's better to come at an MBA fresh, without having studied the material before (but with having good quant skills).

MBAs can be done full time at a "top 10" school (really c. top 15) or part time or exec MBA courses whilst working.

Topic Author
physiorol
Posts: 250
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:52 am

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by physiorol » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:04 am

AtlasShrugged? wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:22 am
physiorol....I do not know if you'd consider an East Coast school, but if so....take a look at Drexel University (Philadelphia). Their engineering programs are excellent, and they have paid co-ops for their students. Note: My son is a graduate of Drexel (Undergrad, and Grad).

The price is pretty stiff, but if your son is a good student, there are plenty of scholarships.
HI Atlas

We did look at Drexel (as we heard good things about it for engineering and I believe they do pretty good with coops) but it did not make the list, not for any particular reason other than there are only so many applications a kid can do. He probably applied to too many as it is. We tried to cover the bases a bit (in-state public, out of state public, selected privates within range eg northeastern where he got accepted with a good scholarship and some privates out of range eg CMU/northwestern which he did not get into.

Another good school for engineering that we looked at but he did not apply too, was RPI. I believe this was mostly because he felt their open day was very lackluster, which is not the best reason. The whole US college search and narrowing process is overwhelming and eventually fatigue sets in.
Cheers

Roland

Topic Author
physiorol
Posts: 250
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:52 am

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by physiorol » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:21 am

WWJBDo wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:32 am
Our 2 boys looked at many of the schools you discuss and recently finished in BioE at Berkeley (UCB) while I live in San Diego. That's my bias.

Most importantly, involve your kids in the decision making and don't leave out the financial aspect of things. For example, we reviewed the cost of private vs UC schools and essentially explained that "If you go to the private school, we can pay for it, but you will be a poor student with no allowance per se.If you go to a UC, we save enough to give you 1/2 of the difference as an allowance." That income means they can afford events, better food and yes, even some travel during college. I believe it made for a better college experience. I have seen families treat choosing a college independent of the cost. That's missing out on an opportunity to discuss financial issues that impact you and them. If you're net worth is in the mid-8 figures, then cost may not matter.

1. Where do you live? It's best if their school is one direct flight away. More than that and it gets hard for them to visit on long weekends and if they have a medical problem that require your help, it's a nightmare. So if you like your kid, it's best if it doesn't take a full day of travel to get there.
2. Berkeley has such a diverse culture that anyone (and I mean anyone) can find their niche. Most important is to sign up for groups in those first few weeks. We had one son who was proudly a nerd, the other still lives in a coop in SF. Both are financially secure even in the Bay area.
3. The town of Berkeley (and UT Austin and Davis, definitely less so for Irvine) is a great 'college town' with lots to do, a chance to develop your independence (one of the prime features of college) and ready access to SF when you want. You have 3 airport options - SF and Oakland are convenient and even San Jose is pretty close.
4. Agree the degree is less important than what you make of it. A degree from Berkeley will generally open more doors than UCI or Davis coming out of college and for a few years, but later your job performance is more important. Davis is a great college town, more biocentric and fewer onsite job fairs for internships and UCB.
5. Waterloo is "The MIT of Canada" and it is a fantastic school for engineering, CS. But it's not better than the other schools you mention.
Thanks for that information. At this stage the tuition and room and board costs are not vastly different between the options he is considering (they are all within 10k per year of each other with Waterloo the most expensive). Obviously, the travel costs are significantly higher for the out of state options. We do not feel that 10k per year is enough to factor into his decision.

The importance of type of degree versus school reputation is a real difficult thing to weigh up, especially when many students do not end up working in their field of undergraduate study.

Student Background Update: There has been lots of discussion in our house and it seems although he was excited to be accepted to Berkeley the name/ranking of the school is not his primary motivation for selecting a college. Currently, he feels that small class sizes, flexibility to switch easily switch majors, greater academic/advising support (honors college) are more important than school ranking so he is leaning towards northeastern for CS. Not saying you cannot switch majors at a UC just that it can be pretty challenging. Visiting Davis tomorrow.

Topic Author
physiorol
Posts: 250
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:52 am

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by physiorol » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:23 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:58 am
physiorol wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:08 pm
GT99 wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:24 pm
There are a number of folks chiming in here who don't know what they're talking about. I have an Industrial Engineering degree from a top tier school, and the majority of my career has been in data analytics. Some thoughts:
1. Industrial Engineering, is a high demand, great paying field. From a top tier school, median starting pay right out of school is likely to be $70k+. About half the IE grads I knew took consulting jobs out of college - the big management consulting firms love IE degrees.

2. CS is even higher demand...but there are also more folks majoring in CS (and the gap between the top ~10% or so and the median in terms of capability is enormous. Bigger than any other field I'm familiar with).

3. A lot of IE is a way of thinking. It can be a curse going through life thinking about how you can make everything more efficient, but it's a valuable skill.

4. A lot of CS major programs have Analytics/AI/ML tracks. Those that don't will soon (probably well before your son graduates).

5. Regarding IE vs CS in general, I'm kind of torn. I think IE major with a CS minor or CS major with a business minor (or subsequent MBA) would both work well. If I could go back and do it again, I'd personally probably major in CS, but I enjoy the technical side, and while I'm more technical than most, I wish I was even more more technical. I'd tell your son to go with his gut on that.

6. One thing to consider is that it's it's easier to learn programming skills inexpensively outside of a university setting than it is to get what you gain from an IE degree - there are lots of great online training programs.
Thanks I will pass this on. It sounds like there a a couple of pathways (IE + CS minor versus CS + Biz minor or MBA) to achieve his goal. One obvious advantage of CS major path is that he would likely have access to additional career roles (eg software engineer).
It will be the CS skills and credentials which are harder to pick up post undergrad. The heavy lifting is in the mathematics and statistics fundamentals, and then in learning to code efficiently and effectively.

There are a lot of ways of getting the "business skills" that you are taught in an undergrad business course - such as an MBA. And, in fact, most of the important things about business cannot be taught, but have to be learned on the job.

If you have any undergrad business courses then you will duplicate that work in an MBA. In many ways it's better to come at an MBA fresh, without having studied the material before (but with having good quant skills).

MBAs can be done full time at a "top 10" school (really c. top 15) or part time or exec MBA courses whilst working.
Cheers.

Topic Author
physiorol
Posts: 250
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:52 am

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by physiorol » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:27 am

WWJBDo wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:32 am
1. Where do you live? It's best if their school is one direct flight away. More than that and it gets hard for them to visit on long weekends and if they have a medical problem that require your help, it's a nightmare. So if you like your kid, it's best if it doesn't take a full day of travel to get there.
Yes this is a major concern (we live in the bay area) and it is likely the strongest argument, from our (the parents) perspective) for him to go to a Berkeley or Davis.

SC Anteater
Posts: 302
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:50 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by SC Anteater » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:46 am

Was he accepted to the honors college at UCI?

It's been 25 years since I went to UCI, but here are a couple of notes:

Yes, Irvine seems to be a sleepy boring suburban town. Most of our socializing happened at the beach (cf. Newport Peninsula). It was a fun place to live, though I moved back to the apartments across the street from school for my senior year.

The shopping center across the street from UCI has most of the conveniences a college student could want (Target, food options, movie theater, etc.) My D chose UCSB over UCI and is really missing those types of things because Isla Vista doesn't have anything and she doesn't have a car.

UCI was strong for computer sciences even way back when I was going there. Assume that hasn't changed.

Airport is a quick Uber ride away. Get a Southwest Visa rewards card and you're golden.

Topic Author
physiorol
Posts: 250
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:52 am

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by physiorol » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:57 am

SC Anteater wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:46 am
Was he accepted to the honors college at UCI?
Nope. He only go honors college at northeastern and did not get Regents at any UC.

I love orange county myself and the thought of winters in Boston versus the beach seems like a no-brainer. But having said that most of my time in college was spent going to clubs and bars with my friends, which i guess you can do at any school.

I believe UCI is considered very good for computer related majors, partly due to having their own school of Information and Computer science.

SC Anteater
Posts: 302
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:50 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by SC Anteater » Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:28 am

physiorol wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:57 am
SC Anteater wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:46 am
Was he accepted to the honors college at UCI?
Nope. He only go honors college at northeastern and did not get Regents at any UC.

I love orange county myself and the thought of winters in Boston versus the beach seems like a no-brainer. But having said that most of my time in college was spent going to clubs and bars with my friends, which i guess you can do at any school.

I believe UCI is considered very good for computer related majors, partly due to having their own school of Information and Computer science.
Most of my time was sitting out on balconies and patios in Newport. :-)

DrGoogle2017
Posts: 2528
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:31 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:44 am

Some kids don’t like to go to school so close to home, it depends on the kids. But they didn’t like to go too far either. About 1 hour away is perfect for mine.

il0kin
Posts: 305
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:19 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by il0kin » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:52 pm

physiorol wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:31 pm
il0kin wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:26 pm
I work in the Business Intelligence/Business Analytics field, which it sounds like he is interested in. I would steer towards the UC Davis Computer Science program.

It is much easier to learn and hone management and analytical skills than it is to learn computer science and he will be a much more viable candidate for a wide variety of jobs. A candidate with a CS undergraduate and a future MBA is a very strong combination for technical leadership positions and will likely lead to high earnings over time. Encourage him to focus on his people skills while he gets his CS undergrad - take electives on public speaking, network with people, do internships etc and he will be very well poised for a long and prosperous career.

Edit: A really great combination would be a major in CS and a minor in Business.

It is surprisingly hard to find people who have both strong technical/programming skills as well as business knowledge/people skills ... if he can fulfill both of those, he will do well and rise quickly. Remind him to always be humble (but confident in himself), stay curious, and to always ask questions.

He sounds like a great kid. Well done! :sharebeer
Thanks this is very helpful. One option he is considering, if he sticks with Berkeley, would be adding a minor in CS to the industrial engineering major. Do you think a minor in CS would develop "strong technical/programming skills"?
Hard to say if a minor in CS would develop strong technical/programming skills without seeing a course list, to be honest. If it covers both back end and front end languages in a minor, then it will give the fundamentals but probably not deep dive like a major would. That said, I don't have a CS degree... but if I could start it all over knowing what I know now, I'd get a CS degree with a minor in business like I mentioned before.

Can't emphasize enough that soft skills are so important in the tech world, though! Being able to sit down with an end user and really spend time understanding their requirements for a project, asking "why" until you unravel the project requirements, and understanding what makes them tick is what separates the good from the great.

Tdubs
Posts: 1018
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:50 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by Tdubs » Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:17 pm

Choose Berkeley, because there is no place else like it. He will live an interesting life.

entropy2017
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:42 pm

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by entropy2017 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:36 am

I received an undergraduate engineering degree from Berkeley and I can confirm that it is an intensely competitive experience, especially when compared to other majors. I never really used my degree so not sure I would do it again. So i would make sure that is what your son really wants. Also high grades are more difficult to achieve in engineering - something to think about if he wants to go to grad school. Congrats also on his admission - I know it is not easy these days!

As to the IEOR vs CS choice, If it were my son I would recommend CS based on employability and the way the labor market is evolving with technology consuming everything. This could be paired with a minor in business. A minor in statistics might even be more useful if he aims to go into business analytics. I have worked in both management consulting and analytics and both of these would be a great combination.

I think IEOR would be good too. My impression though is that it was more geared towards operations roles in industry that focused on process optimization and things like that. I would look into the types of jobs that IEOR grads get. Also there are easier ways to get into management consulting than via an undergrad engineering degree if that is the goal - Cal has a great undergrad business program.

Stormbringer
Posts: 948
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:07 am

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Post by Stormbringer » Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:04 am

physiorol wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:00 pm
Although things in life change rapidly, he is currently leaning towards working in the business/people side of high tech, eg business analytics/management consulting. And therefore the coursework in the Berkeley and Waterloo programs seem to excite him more than straight CS.
I have a BS in Computer Science and an MBA, which seems to work well for this sort of thing. My opinion is that if you are going to manage or sell high tech, you will be more effective if you have some hands-on experience with it.
"Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe." - Albert Einstein

Post Reply