Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

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Cg2
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by Cg2 »

Vulcan wrote: Mon Feb 24, 2020 7:27 pm
Vulcan wrote: Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:49 pm Is she still waiting for some RD decisions from reach schools - or did she not apply to any? A STEM girl with 99+th %ile scores has a shot at the very top schools that would be either generous if you qualify for need aid, or easier to justify the price difference for.
OP, is your daughter an NMF? (with her scores she should be)
If so, did she apply to any of the schools that offer full ride/full tuition to NMFs? They aren't top tier, but also not unranked ones. Think Bama, UTD, UCF, UK.

It may be too late, but five applications sounds really low in this day and age for a top-flight student that wants to have options.

Our son, also a senior, applied to thirtee, and had two more applications ready to go, but they became irrelevant before he submitted them.
Thanks. Commended in NM competetion. The ACT was the 0.5% score. She was accepted at Bama and it's a great deal but its probably a third choice (her brother goes there and she seems to want to forge her own path). Five may have been too low but it's too late now😀
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Cg2
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by Cg2 »

smackboy1 wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:27 am I am not an engineer but come from a family of engineers. I also studied a few years of biomedical engineering in college before abandoning it for another major. Your daughter is that the start line of a marathon. What are her possible career plans? Only having a BE level degree is going to be limiting for higher level jobs and management in engineering, which typically require ME level degree or higher. Or is there a possibility for future lateral move to MD, MBA, JD, etc.? Engineering is a great background for many non-engineering careers. So her undergrad school is just the first step of many. As other people have pointed out biomedical engineering is a relatively new field and to be perfectly honest, it's really just traditional engineering with an extra helping of biology thrown in. At the undergrad level she will likely be in all the same basic, math, science, comp sci, mech, EE, chem classes as all the other engineering undergrads. For job hunting, it's much simpler to teach a mech, EE, chem engineer how to do a biomed job than the other way around.
Not positive of future career plans--I've heard talk of med school but that's not a sure thing for sure. Thanks for your input!
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Cg2
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by Cg2 »

pennywise wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:43 am
pezblanco wrote: Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:28 pm
Gropes & Ray wrote: Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:14 pm Close family member of mine has a biomedical engineering degree from a relatively prestigious institution. He found the job prospects and even grad school opportunities to be a lot worse than people with mechanical or electrical engineering degrees.
I'm sure there will be much good advice given in this thread but this comment is the one you (and your daughter) should pay attention to. Tell her to get a EE (or depending on interests an ME) degree ... take some biomed and biology courses if she wants ... but get the EE degree.
Commenting here as a former career advisor at an engineering school (private research institution, accredited BME program though not top ranked). BME majors do have a surprisingly tough time getting that first career opportunity and the major is a detriment in most cases, not a positive.

Biomedical engineering is a relatively new stand-alone undergrad degree and a student aiming for a medical career who also has a bent toward mechanical or electrical is usually going to be better positioned by doing that major while concentrating electives and internships in whatever medical area appeals.

Recruiters still tend to look at a mech-e, an electrical or even in industrial engineer grad as moldable clay in a biomedical setting....and they are. Whereas the biomedical engineer doesn't have the depth to go after a straight up ME/EE/IE option if that becomes necessary.
Thanks so much for the info. My is at another institution thinking about Env Engineering or Civil with Env focus. But are we thinking wrong? should it be ME/CE/EE with an Env minor? He wants to do "something important".
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Cg2
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by Cg2 »

jambadoc wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:53 am I went to a premier biomedical engineering undergraduate school (tops at the time). I can't speak on any other school, but my undergrad engineering school experience was fabulous. I had significant research experience and ended up working for NASA for a time in physiologic zero gravity research. I, and a lot of my peers as was mentioned above, ended up going to medical school. Biomedical engineering, I would argue, probably gives you the best background and would make you a highly competitive applicant to medical school if that was even a possibility in the future. This may have changed in the last 20 years, but when I went to school there was a significant drop off between the top schools (say top 20 or 25) in terms of research funding and opportunities and those below this level. If med school would even be a possibility, I would say generally speaking the better quality school would be a sound investment.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by Mako »

I went to Hopkins and was a BME for a time. It was generally considered the hardest major and most people doing it were planning on med school or a PhD. I actually don’t know anyone who became an actual BME with just a BS. Once I decided I didn’t want to go to med school I switched to EE, which I was planning to concentrate in and liked more. Eventually I got into patent law where EE has always been very strong while BME very weak. I’m fortunate I switched to an “easier” major.

This doesn’t answer the question I know, but is just to say: it’s early. I never expected any of that when I started college. But if she may want to go to med school BME will likely help and a better school is likely meaningful for med school.
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galving
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by galving »

Engineer in a different discipline.
Smaller private school for what its worth. I've seen top notch engineers from all different kinds of schools. It's more about the individual and how aggressive they go after opportunities. So to answer your question, it probably doesn't matter too much and the best school is likely where she 'fits' the best.

It's been my observation that certain schools have 'relationships' with certain companies.
As grads enter these companies and get promoted through the ranks they continue to recruit from the same schools.

It might make sense to look at the target companies that hire bio medical engineers, and see which schools they prefer. Alternatively, I suppose you could approach the schools and ask a similar question.

Also concur with several other posters, digging in and getting a strong Mechanical Engineering depth while adding electives to supplement the Bio Medical field may be a less precise approach, and offer different/diverse opportunities.

Ultimately, a successful engineer is going to need to make a Depth(Technical) vs Breadth(Leadership). Both can be really rewarding, though they are best served by different personalities.

Good luck!
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by gr7070 »

Millennial wrote: Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:54 pm I'm an engineer, but admittedly in a different field. I been hiring manager or on hiring team for >25 entry level engineers. For reference, I went to a well regarded private school for my degrees, but many of my coworkers went to state schools with decent programs. Some went to private schools not known for engineering.

Interview, internships, and extracurriculars have all mattered more, in my experience, than the exact school.
This x100

Nearly 3 decade career here. Also hired engineers at times depending upon positions held.

Went to state school that essentially only has STEM degrees with excellent local (multi-state) reputation, but middling national ranking. Have masters from probably lesser known state school, but still quality program.

Upon graduating I left local, multi-state region where my school name had some clout and have never worked anywhere near that region. I'm certain it has not mattered much to my success!

Pick a solid school, one that is ABET accredited (if there such thing for biomed eng), has at least a solid rep (read not the state party school) and that is *very* affordable.

I've worked alongside folks from big name private schools like Duke and MIT and big name state schools like Illinois and Texas. None of them made any more or less because their alma maters. All matters is the work we produce. Dynamics and fluids all have same formulas regardless wear the chalk board hangs.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by gr7070 »

Cg2 wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:44 pm Thanks so much for the info. My is at another institution thinking about Env Engineering or Civil with Env focus. But are we thinking wrong? should it be ME/CE/EE with an Env minor? He wants to do "something important".
I'm biased against minors. So...

I'd get the major I'm most likely work within. I don't think minor provides much, any real value.

Were i to do EnvE I'd choose school with it as a full fledged major, not a CE with Env emphasis. Probably biased there, too, as my alma mater was early adopter (30+ years ago) of the EnvE major. I'm a CE (Structural) FWIW.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by goodenyou »

I got a BS in BME in the mid 80's from a top tier now ridiculously expensive private school. I went to medical school after graduation and never was an engineer in any way. However, I believe it was the right major for me because it fed my interests in math and applied science. My FIL is a Professor Emeritus Chemical Engineer from an outstanding university and has voluminous publications and citations. That is real engineering. He is the real deal in engineering. I am not. If you want a career in engineering, I would do ChemE, EE or Mechanical and get a Masters in Engineering (and maybe an MBA).
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by gr7070 »

bryansmile wrote: Mon Feb 24, 2020 7:58 pm As sophomores. My son and his friends will make >$30/hr as interns, and most of them got multiple offers.
FWIW i know kids attending mid-tier state engineering schools getting similar summer jobs; similar kids also getting 75k starting offers.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by dash9890 »

I'm going to bring up a point that I don't think anyone else has mentioned. Malcolm Gladwell (Author of Outlier, Blink and many other great books) recently did a talk where he put forth the proposition that it is better to go to Hartwick College than Harvard, I've included the youtube link if you would like to watch it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J-wCHDJYmo

The argument he makes I find very compelling, keep in mind however that I am slightly biased because I myself went to an in-state school with no name recognition. Basically, his idea is that the most valuable degree a person entering the workforce today and for the foreseeable future is a STEM degree, and that most employers accept these degrees at face value and don't put too much distinction on where the degree was obtained, rather the only thing that truly matters is whether or not the person has one of these degrees. I don't remember exactly all of the data that he presents for the next points but he makes the case that only a certain percentage of the students that start out majoring in one of these subjects graduate with that degree. And a significant percent of students at the bottom of each class ends up switching to an "easier" liberal arts degree. This happens at both the prestigious institutions where the innate mathematics ability as approximated by the selection of SAT scores is higher and your run of the mill college or university where innate math competency is lower. This is because the student will always compare themselves to their current environment and competition. So Gladwell believes because of this it is better to be the big fish in the small pond, and be at the top of the class of lesser competition than take the chance of being the bottom of the class with better competition.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

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dash9890 wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:32 pm I'm going to bring up a point that I don't think anyone else has mentioned. Malcolm Gladwell (Author of Outlier, Blink and many other great books) recently did a talk where he put forth the proposition that it is better to go to Hartwick College than Harvard, I've included the youtube link if you would like to watch it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J-wCHDJYmo

The argument he makes I find very compelling, keep in mind however that I am slightly biased because I myself went to an in-state school with no name recognition. Basically, his idea is that the most valuable degree a person entering the workforce today and for the foreseeable future is a STEM degree, and that most employers accept these degrees at face value and don't put too much distinction on where the degree was obtained, rather the only thing that truly matters is whether or not the person has one of these degrees. I don't remember exactly all of the data that he presents for the next points but he makes the case that only a certain percentage of the students that start out majoring in one of these subjects graduate with that degree. And a significant percent of students at the bottom of each class ends up switching to an "easier" liberal arts degree. This happens at both the prestigious institutions where the innate mathematics ability as approximated by the selection of SAT scores is higher and your run of the mill college or university where innate math competency is lower. This is because the student will always compare themselves to their current environment and competition. So Gladwell believes because of this it is better to be the big fish in the small pond, and be at the top of the class of lesser competition than take the chance of being the bottom of the class with better competition.
Did your reject an acceptance from a top university to stay in state?
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by dash9890 »

Vulcan wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:50 pm
dash9890 wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:32 pm I'm going to bring up a point that I don't think anyone else has mentioned. Malcolm Gladwell (Author of Outlier, Blink and many other great books) recently did a talk where he put forth the proposition that it is better to go to Hartwick College than Harvard, I've included the youtube link if you would like to watch it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J-wCHDJYmo

The argument he makes I find very compelling, keep in mind however that I am slightly biased because I myself went to an in-state school with no name recognition. Basically, his idea is that the most valuable degree a person entering the workforce today and for the foreseeable future is a STEM degree, and that most employers accept these degrees at face value and don't put too much distinction on where the degree was obtained, rather the only thing that truly matters is whether or not the person has one of these degrees. I don't remember exactly all of the data that he presents for the next points but he makes the case that only a certain percentage of the students that start out majoring in one of these subjects graduate with that degree. And a significant percent of students at the bottom of each class ends up switching to an "easier" liberal arts degree. This happens at both the prestigious institutions where the innate mathematics ability as approximated by the selection of SAT scores is higher and your run of the mill college or university where innate math competency is lower. This is because the student will always compare themselves to their current environment and competition. So Gladwell believes because of this it is better to be the big fish in the small pond, and be at the top of the class of lesser competition than take the chance of being the bottom of the class with better competition.
Did your reject an acceptance from a top university to stay in state?
Yes, I was accepted to the only Ivy that I applied to which was Cornell. I personally didn't have the scores or achievements necessary to get into to Harvard so I didn't even bother applying, but as for Cornell vs my state school University at Buffalo, I don't think my career has been adversely affected by choosing the latter.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by dogperson »

At my school almost all the BMEs went to med school. The medical device companies seem like good companies to work for, but I don’t know if they’re hiring for BS in BME or what.

Does your son know what environmental engineers typically do? A lot of times they’re working for large companies (directly or as a consultant) to ensure they don’t exceed pollution limits. If your son is a dyed-in-the-wool environmental activist, he might not like working for those kinds of companies, since they’re still polluting a little. Or he might like knowing he’s helping the company do the right thing. Something to consider.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by Vulcan »

dash9890 wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:04 pm
Vulcan wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:50 pm
dash9890 wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:32 pm So Gladwell believes because of this it is better to be the big fish in the small pond, and be at the top of the class of lesser competition than take the chance of being the bottom of the class with better competition.
Did your reject an acceptance from a top university to stay in state?
Yes, I was accepted to the only Ivy that I applied to which was Cornell. I personally didn't have the scores or achievements necessary to get into to Harvard so I didn't even bother applying, but as for Cornell vs my state school University at Buffalo, I don't think my career has been adversely affected by choosing the latter.
I am curious if your decision at the time was primarily based on financial factors or on the big fish-small fish considerations Gladwell discusses in his books/lectures.

He may have the facts straight, and I am very sympathetic to the idea that the student matters more than the institution, but his explanations seem to miss another important factor: classes are harder at more selective institutions (esp. those not known for grade inflation). So a person that would have been top of their class at one school may find themselves barely treading water at another. It's not that they just compare unfavorably to other students and decide to become english majors. It's that the rigor and difficulty of the course load at a top 200 school is not the same as it is at the top 20 school. If it were, almost all of the top 200 school's students would drop out.

So there are things we do know and things we do not know when comparing a top 200 to a top 20 college. Things we do not know (and can try to predict) have to do with the future: future job opportunities, future earnings, future career trajectory. Things we do know have to do with now: peer group, class rigor, cost of attendance.
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

knightrider wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:29 am One thing I can say is that engineers at the top schools care very little about engineering! They are there because it looks good on their resume. Their objective is jobs on Wall Street. At least that was my experience 20+ years ago.. I heard now things are a little different, with tech being the sought after first job.. Anyways just something to think about..
Yah, sorry...this is completely wrong.

I transferred from a mediocre engineering school that focused on business to a top engineering school, wishing to never do anything but hard core technology. After 3 years, I was able to go back to the top school in my specialty to further expand my skills in engineering. 35 years after that first engineering job, I'm still doing engineering in my specialty along with a number of other engineers at my level in other disciplines. Wall Street? What?

Over the years, I've worked with lots of engineers with PhDs from MIT, Cornell, Stanford, Harvard. A few have become managers but after a few years changed back to individual contributor. This isn't unusual.

That said, I've had 2 instances where I was offered management positions within the same company and group I worked in and it took me microseconds to say no.

My son is about to graduate with an engineering degree at the same undergrad school. I could see him staying in a technical role or academia.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by knightrider »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:44 am Over the years, I've worked with lots of engineers with PhDs from MIT, Cornell, Stanford, Harvard. A few have become managers but after a few years changed back to individual contributor. This isn't unusual.
PhD from Ivy League school means nothing like what it means to have Bachelors from those schools.. The rule of thumb is for undergraduate degrees, it's the entire university reputation that matters. For advanced degrees it is the department's reputation that matters.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by knightrider »

2pedals wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:04 pm Huh, I went to a top school in engineering in the early 80's. The students were very complex individuals. I didn't get a monolithic answer from them about career aspirations.
I am not sure what your top school is, but 80+% of engineers from Ivy League schools want to work in Wall Street . That was 20 years ago..
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by TBillT »

chalet wrote: Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:42 pm my standard advice is ME, EE, CE


in this case CE does not fit, so it's

BS in Mechanical

or

BS in Electrical.


get concentration in biomed.
I would tend to say ChE too as a generic degree for biomed focus. ChE has become quite a stepping stone for various fields.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by ScubaHogg »

As someone who went to a Top-20 undergrad school and a Top-5 grad school (not engineering at either though, FWIW), I've found school prestige to be grossly overrated. If it was my kid (or me), I'd choose the full scholarship any day of the week. Her willingness to hustle and scrap will be more critical to getting things like internships and jobs than any school career office.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by snowman »

OP,

So which 2 schools are you asking about? Without providing specifics, this thread will end like all the others - is Harvard worth it, Malcolm Gladwell, Ivy League, Wall Street, public vs. private, etc. etc. You will get much better responses by being specific.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by Johnsson »

Our DD was BME in top-rated honors college (with 3k per year scholarship) at well known state U. Used that to go to Ivy League med school. [She unded up where she wanted to go and saved us 160k in educational costs by going to the state school.]

The important pieces for her further success were the honors college, BME major, grades/place in class and activities.

As long as she goes to a respected program (internships certainly help) it's up to her to earn her future.

DD had friends in the program (not honors college) that were offered >100k salaries upon graduation (pharmaceutical I think) in 2011.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by comcool »

I got my BME undergrad in 2010, but I went on to grad school studying something else I was more interested in. FWIW my friends who stuck with the BME career path are doing very well with their undergrad degrees. Some of this may be about location. They graduated from U of Minn and the twin cities is ripe with biomedical companies (Medtronic, Boston Scientific, St Judes, etc.), so YMMV
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by MaryO »

Cg2 wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:58 pm
Vulcan wrote: Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:49 pm How much extra academic rigor/prestige is worth is a perennial question, and the less stark is the difference between the choices, the more difficult it is to justify a six digit price difference.

Ultimately, it is the student, not the institution, that matters most. But the institution, and its peer group, matter some, and so do the internship/research opportunities.

As a 99+th percentile student, she will have very few, if any, academic peers at a school where 75% of student body are below 90th percentile. A top 20 engineering program (we're talking Purdue level?) will be a lot more challenging and stimulating. It is, of course, impossible to predict what the payout will be in monetary and non-monetary terms.

Is she still waiting for some RD decisions from reach schools - or did she not apply to any? A STEM girl with 99+th %ile scores has a shot at the very top schools that would be either generous if you qualify for need aid, or easier to justify the price difference for.
She applied to 5 schools but no reach schools. She was accepted to the honors programs of all (five publics 2 out of state). We don't qualify for any need based aid at any schools I agree with you about the student making her own opportunities. I also think about her being a biggish fish in a smallish pond. Might be good because she willfully do well might be bad because she won't be forced to work hard
I am certain that anyone, no matter how intelligent, will have to work hard to complete an engineering degree at any school. The local school might be less cutthroat, but it won't be a walk in the park. If she is thinking med school as a possibility, GPA is critical. It's more important than the prestige of her school, and it appears that both her choices are state schools & not super elites that would turn the heads of the admissions committee anyway.

It still boils down to getting the first job. Check the list of companies who recruit at both schools and compare. Check for co-ops and internships run during the school year.

It's true that down the road, your personal reputation and results are what land you future opportunities, so it's not wise to obsess over school prestige. My state-schooled husband never went on for a masters or MBA or law degree as some colleagues did. He loves the design side of engineering, not auditing or managing hoards of people. He's worked for MIT grads and also had an MIT grad report to him. Once you are up and running in your career your alma mater is not very important. But your daughter's initial opportunities from each school will be different. Not necessarily better at one than the other. Just different. That's what she has to consider.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

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knightrider wrote: Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:44 am
2pedals wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:04 pm Huh, I went to a top school in engineering in the early 80's. The students were very complex individuals. I didn't get a monolithic answer from them about career aspirations.
I am not sure what your top school is, but 80+% of engineers from Ivy League schools want to work in Wall Street . That was 20 years ago..
answer: Georgia Tech
I would not have expected 80+% would want to "work in Wall Street", no doubt they are your personal accounts. Does the 80+% include the "flash boys" that did all the high-frequency trading systems engineering? 40 years ago might have been somewhat different than 20 years ago but I suspect an average ivy league engineering student career aspirations to be somewhat different than at the elite technological universities, such as MIT, Cal Tech, RIP, VPI, WPI, Case Western, Purdue and Carnegie Mellon. My experience 40 years ago they had many different careers paths with a lot jobs in engineering, at least initially.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by Vulcan »

2pedals wrote: Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:53 pm
knightrider wrote: Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:44 am
2pedals wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:04 pm Huh, I went to a top school in engineering in the early 80's. The students were very complex individuals. I didn't get a monolithic answer from them about career aspirations.
I am not sure what your top school is, but 80+% of engineers from Ivy League schools want to work in Wall Street . That was 20 years ago..
answer: Georgia Tech
I would not have expected 80+% would want to "work in Wall Street", no doubt they are your personal accounts. Does the 80+% include the "flash boys" that did all the high-frequency trading systems engineering? 40 years ago might have been somewhat different than 20 years ago but I suspect an average ivy league engineering student career aspirations to be somewhat different than at the elite technological universities, such as MIT, Cal Tech, RIP, VPI, WPI, Case Western, Purdue and Carnegie Mellon. My experience 40 years ago they had many different careers paths with a lot jobs in engineering, at least initially.
I know our new MIT/Caltech/Georgia Tech/Purdue admit has zero interest in Wall Street, at least currently. The reason we will pay $200K for him to study CS at MIT vs taking full tuition scholarship at our state flagship (in the 2nd hundred USNWR, top 100 in CS) is because he wants all the academic rigor they can throw at him.
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by MaryO »

2pedals wrote: Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:53 pm 40 years ago might have been somewhat different than 20 years ago but I suspect an average ivy league engineering student career aspirations to be somewhat different than at the elite technological universities, such as MIT, Cal Tech, RIP, VPI, WPI, Case Western, Purdue and Carnegie Mellon.
Your list shows how subjective all this can be. I assume RIP is Rensselaer Polytechnic? I'd never put it on a list of elite tech universities. But your opinion is certainly valid. You have your reasons for including it.

Each hiring manager at firms where OP's daughter applies will have their own preferences, and when you move down from the tippy top schools there's plenty of variety on the list of acceptable schools. There is no way to know who in the future will be judging her resume. I have two relatives in HR at megacorp tech firms. (Neither are biomedical) They have lists of preferred schools from which to recruit engineers. Both include elite and public and local schools. Both have extensive co-op & internship programs with a variety of schools.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by AB609 »

First of all your daughter should determine which school is the better fit for her. Any program is what you make of it. Top grades and solid achievements at lesser ranked school will stand out better than a mediocre record at a higher ranked school. In my experience, nobody really cares were you went to school after your first job.

Regarding BME, my daughter is due to graduate with undergraduate BME degree from a state flagship university. She has had pretty good opportunities and completed a paid internship with a local biomedical firm. She has a standing full time job offer from the company but has decided to pursue a masters in Comp Sci /Cyber Security at the same university. She just just he acceptance today along with offer of full funded tuition + a significant TA stipend (enough to cover all living expenses). She is interested in doing cyber security work on biomedical devices. So I think there are lots of paths out there and BME is a good major but I would have a plan about what I want to do and structure things that way. My daughter became aware of (was heavily recruited) for the graduate program last year and as a result really loaded up on EE and Comp Sci classes this year to facilitate the transition into a different major.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by alamo »

My DD initially wanted to major in BME but the school she was first attending had a fairly weak BME program. Their BME program was basically a ME degree with a few Bio related electives. She didnt want to go the ME route so she transferred to another school that offered the ChemE major (ABET) and will complete a Bioengineering minor. This new school doesnt offer an accredited BME degree but I think that might have helped steer her back to one of the traditional Eng majors. She may still go on to get a Masters in BME later. Hopefully internships, etc will help determine if the MBME is worth it vs say an MBA etc.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by 2pedals »

MaryO wrote: Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:46 pm
2pedals wrote: Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:53 pm 40 years ago might have been somewhat different than 20 years ago but I suspect an average ivy league engineering student career aspirations to be somewhat different than at the elite technological universities, such as MIT, Cal Tech, RIP, VPI, WPI, Case Western, Purdue and Carnegie Mellon.
Your list shows how subjective all this can be. I assume RIP is Rensselaer Polytechnic? I'd never put it on a list of elite tech universities. But your opinion is certainly valid. You have your reasons for including it.

Each hiring manager at firms where OP's daughter applies will have their own preferences, and when you move down from the tippy top schools there's plenty of variety on the list of acceptable schools. There is no way to know who in the future will be judging her resume. I have two relatives in HR at megacorp tech firms. (Neither are biomedical) They have lists of preferred schools from which to recruit engineers. Both include elite and public and local schools. Both have extensive co-op & internship programs with a variety of schools.
Yes your assumption was correct I meant RPI (Rensselaer). My point I was making is that the schools listed are elite technological universities and that was their administrative focus. It is my general opinion that students that prefer to attend a technological university are primary focused on engineering as a career more so than an ivy league student studying engineering. Also it my general opinion the technological university student types are more introverted rather than the extroverted ivy league student types.

Of course there are other great engineering schools and students that do not come out of a technological university. RPI not unlike the other elite technological universities has a long history of producing a quality engineering program.
Last edited by 2pedals on Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by 2pedals »

Vulcan wrote: Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:18 pm I know our new MIT/Caltech/Georgia Tech/Purdue admit has zero interest in Wall Street, at least currently. The reason we will pay $200K for him to study CS at MIT vs taking full tuition scholarship at our state flagship (in the 2nd hundred USNWR, top 100 in CS) is because he wants all the academic rigor they can throw at him.
Wishing all the best for you and your admit in future endeavors 🖖
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by Vulcan »

2pedals wrote: Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:16 pm Wishing all the best for you and your admit in future endeavors 🖖
Thank you, 2pedals :beer LLAP! 🖖
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by fatFIRE »

I'll offer a nugget of wisdom, take it or leave it, it's not my life anyway.

Here's some hard truths. Non-CS engineering is basically a 2nd-class degree now. Their graduates have a harder time to find a job, and are lucky to make $100k/yr out of school. CS grads have so many jobs in tech, and can make $150-200k/yr out of school. That's comparable to Director-level positions at some Fortune 500 companies.

School prestige matters too. Prestigious schools means that you are target school for recruitment. The best pipeline to get into top companies is through interships, and your chances of getting a good one increases a lot if you are from a target school as opposed to podunk college. Get a FAANG-level internship, and you'll get more, and eventually a FAANG-level FTE position after graduation (provided you don't screw up). It's an easy ticket to a better life, especially if you don't come from a privilege background like me, being in tech has changed my life drastically for the better.

What about passion and preference? I say, shove it aside. Focus on the money, FIRE, then do something else if you really hate it. I speak from experience, and yes I'm a bit salty. I am earning 2-3X more now in tech that I ever did outside tech, and it took me 10 yrs to pivot. Don't be like me. Make the pivot when she's young, don't do BME.

Lastly, a degree is worthless if you don't monetize it. Getting a perfect GPA, honors, etc... doesn't matter, if that doesn't advance your career and agenda. Too many "smart nerds" focus on the qualifications, and not enough on tangible outcomes. Yes, I speak from experience.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE »

e5116 wrote: Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:28 pm Only about 1/3 of BMEs from the University I studied at become engineers/go to engineering grad school. Another third go to med school. Last third goes into other careers, with consulting and technology gigs being particularly popular along with business-type careers. It's a pretty broad curriculum.
This jives with my experience.

My wife majored in BME and took the consulting path. Base salary in 2008 was $62k. 12 years later she is making close to $300k in a non-managerial non-technical business role at a major biotech company in the Bay Area. No MBA required.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by GeoffD »

Millennial wrote: Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:54 pm I'm an engineer, but admittedly in a different field. I been hiring manager or on hiring team for >25 entry level engineers. For reference, I went to a well regarded private school for my degrees, but many of my coworkers went to state schools with decent programs. Some went to private schools not known for engineering.

Interview, internships, and extracurriculars have all mattered more, in my experience, than the exact school.
Yeah, but I’m probably going to toss the resume from the new grad from the local unselective state commuter school in the trash. I know they are getting the lite version of the curriculum because nobody has the math skills. Profs teach to the level of their students. I don’t have the time to screen unselective commuter school grads for intellectual capability to find the rare smart one. For new grads, I’m going to pick from programs where you need at least a 650 SAT math score to get a seat in the classroom.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by MaryO »

2pedals wrote: Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:04 pm
Yes your assumption was correct I meant RPI (Rensselaer). My point I was making is that the schools listed are elite technological universities and that was their administrative focus. It is my general opinion that students that prefer to attend a technological university are primary focused on engineering as a career more so than an ivy league student studying engineering. Also it my general opinion the technological university student types are more introverted rather than the extroverted ivy league student types.

Of course there are other great engineering schools and students that do not come out of a technological university. RPI not unlike the other elite technological universities has a long history of producing a quality engineering program.
I was talking about tech schools. I don't think RPI is an elite tech school. You do, and obviously have very solid reasons for that. Ranking schools is very subjective, and that goes for hiring managers who will have their own lists of schools and their strengths in various programs.

Elite tech schools in my mind include MIT, Caltech, Carnegie Mellon. Insanely competitive admissions rates.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by Vulcan »

MaryO wrote: Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:26 am I was talking about tech schools. I don't think RPI is an elite tech school. You do, and obviously have very solid reasons for that. Ranking schools is very subjective, and that goes for hiring managers who will have their own lists of schools and their strengths in various programs.

Elite tech schools in my mind include MIT, Caltech, Carnegie Mellon. Insanely competitive admissions rates.
CMU overall acceptance rate is 22%, three times higher than MIT/Caltech (~7%), and on par with Georgia Tech.

It is also not in the same league with MIT/Caltech on test scores (32-35 ACT for middle 50% at CMU vs 34-36/35-36 at MIT/Caltech, which are really in a league of their own in that regard).

Although these numbers are probably significantly different for CMU's CS/Engineering majors, and it is no doubt an "elite" engineering school by any reasonable definition. I would add GT to that list as well. Maybe Purdue. A few others.

But once you get out of the top 10-20 spots in USNWR overall ranking and 10 spots in undergrad engineering ranking, it is harder to justify using the term "elite" - or paying 200K+ for the privilege.

Is Princeton (#1 USNWR overall, #17 USNWR undergrad engineering, #8 USNWR graduate CS) an "elite" tech school? You betcha! (for those that major in CS/Engineering there)

Is USC (#22 USNWR overall, #9 USNWR undergrad engineering, #20 USNWR graduate CS) an "elite" tech school? It will depend on who you ask.

Is RPI an elite tech school? With acceptance rate of over 40%, middle 50% ACT 28-32, and #41 USNWR engineering ranking, a lot fewer people would probably agree with that classification. Doesn't mean they do not produce some great engineers.

But if we focus specifically on "tech only" schools, then, for what it's worth, my personal "elite" list would be limited to the three schools with "institute of technology" in their names (third one being Georgia Tech, of course).
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by MaryO »

Vulcan wrote: Thu Feb 27, 2020 11:39 am
CMU overall acceptance rate is 22%, three times higher than MIT/Caltech (~7%), and on par with Georgia Tech.

It is also not in the same league with MIT/Caltech on test scores (32-35 ACT for middle 50% at CMU vs 34-36/35-36 at MIT/Caltech, which are really in a league of their own in that regard).

Although these numbers are probably significantly different for CMU's CS/Engineering majors, and it is no doubt an "elite" engineering school by any reasonable definition. I would add GT to that list as well. Maybe Purdue. A few others.
CMU mid 50% in computer science is 35-36. For engineering it's 34-36.
The most competitive major at CMU is Drama. The acceptance rate is < 3%. (Computer science is 7%) Even though grades are barely considered, and it's your audition that gets you into CMU, the Drama kids' mid 50% ACT is 32-35.

CMU has many non-tech majors, but I still think it's one of the most elite tech schools you can find.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by Vulcan »

MaryO wrote: Thu Feb 27, 2020 1:40 pm
Vulcan wrote: Thu Feb 27, 2020 11:39 am
CMU overall acceptance rate is 22%, three times higher than MIT/Caltech (~7%), and on par with Georgia Tech.

It is also not in the same league with MIT/Caltech on test scores (32-35 ACT for middle 50% at CMU vs 34-36/35-36 at MIT/Caltech, which are really in a league of their own in that regard).

Although these numbers are probably significantly different for CMU's CS/Engineering majors, and it is no doubt an "elite" engineering school by any reasonable definition. I would add GT to that list as well. Maybe Purdue. A few others.
CMU mid 50% in computer science is 35-36. For engineering it's 34-36.
The most competitive major at CMU is Drama. The acceptance rate is < 3%. (Computer science is 7%) Even though grades are barely considered, and it's your audition that gets you into CMU, the Drama kids' mid 50% ACT is 32-35.

CMU has many non-tech majors, but I still think it's one of the most elite tech schools you can find.
Yep, you are right on the CS stats, as is common, CS is the toughest major to get into.
https://admission.enrollment.cmu.edu/pa ... er-science

Either way, as I said, CMU is an "elite" engineering school by any reasonable definition. But it is clearly not a pure "tech school" (hence the drama major). So if we are only discussing "elite tech school", then CMU is not one of them, but if we include CMU, then we have to also include places like Stanford and Princeton.

Of course, these are all semantics, and I do not know that there are necessarily inherent motivational differences between students pursuing CS at CMU vs MIT vs Princeton. Anyone is lucky to get into any one of those programs.

CS is extraordinarily competitive these days. Even a top 20 CS program like Purdue is very tough to get into even for students with excellent stats.
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by fwellimort »

I have 4 friends in biomedical/biochemical engineering.

All of them from prestigious schools. Columbia. Columbia. Stanford. Johns Hopkins.

All of them doing master's or phd's currently there (and all but JHU peer attended undergrad at the same institution).

The common consensus was there just wasn't any jobs out of undergrad for biomedical engineering and the market asks for at least a master's.

Mind you, these are peers smart enough to get into Stanford undergrad and Stanford grad. If even them admit you cannot find a job without a master's in biomedical engineering, then you should be aware that the market for biomedical engineering requires at minimum a graduate degree.

CS major here and math.
If you are into chemistry, go chemical engineering. For biology related fields, plan to save as much as possible for grad school.

As for CS being competitive, it is because that's where jobs are heading (and have been heading). The entry market is pretty damn saturated in major cities but unfortunately, automation is removing a lot of legacy jobs to the point students are more or less forced to this field.

As for CMU CS, people in the industry put it at same tier as MIT EECS. It's prestigious. CMU has a separate admissions for CS for a good reason.
Students there graduate college with median total compensation of ~$145,000. And those that get lucky to join companies like AirBnb or Jane Street or Citadel about total compensation of $240-400k out of college. Of course CS is going to be more selective. Higher pay ==> More of best and brightest competing for the jobs.

I have personally been disappointed many times with Berkeley EECS grads and Stanford CS grads but not CMU CS grads. I too view CMU CS as a top tier degree. The amount of in depth these students go through put most colleges to shame (and I also have high respects for Princeton CS grads. Smart peers). Personally though, I would avoid CMU CS if I want a life outside academics. The coursework there lives and breathes computer science. Brown seems to be the best overall CS school from seeing the alumni placement (and the high grade inflation) for the amount of work students undergo.

Oh ya, and it seems ECE grads try to get into software engineering outa college. Same with many Econ majors. And also EE grads.
There is some truth when another poster said engineering is a 2nd class degree right now. Money in the market is currently in software (and increasingly becoming so). Companies treat you nicer. You get better benefits. Work from home flexibility.
What other degree out of college lets you compete for six figure jobs today? You can see why the entry market is highly competitive in CS. Literally everyones trying to switch to programming. My fine arts phd friend at Stanford recently asked if she can easily transition to software engineering. It's just... how the market today is heading. Who knows when this bubble will burst (or if this becomes the new norm). Lots though can change in 4 years so I'll stay quiet.

Also, I call bullsht on Malcom Gladwell's claim. If you actually spent the time to research the data he used, then you would find his theory to be very hand wavey in order to sell his own books. For some majors at certain schools, there ARE better ROI for capable students. And as for Wall Street claim, I can assure you outside hedge funds and firms like Bloomberg, most Ivy League students are trying to work at F/G/Msft/Apple. Also, what's wrong with Wall Street. Latency engineering has more actual engineering than sitting down in Lockheed Martin waiting for project to be approved for months to years due to regulations. And to be quite frank, companies like Bloomberg are more tech than your everyday engineering company.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by 2pedals »

MaryO wrote: Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:26 am
2pedals wrote: Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:04 pm
Yes your assumption was correct I meant RPI (Rensselaer). My point I was making is that the schools listed are elite technological universities and that was their administrative focus. It is my general opinion that students that prefer to attend a technological university are primary focused on engineering as a career more so than an ivy league student studying engineering. Also it my general opinion the technological university student types are more introverted rather than the extroverted ivy league student types.

Of course there are other great engineering schools and students that do not come out of a technological university. RPI not unlike the other elite technological universities has a long history of producing a quality engineering program.
I was talking about tech schools. I don't think RPI is an elite tech school. You do, and obviously have very solid reasons for that. Ranking schools is very subjective, and that goes for hiring managers who will have their own lists of schools and their strengths in various programs.

Elite tech schools in my mind include MIT, Caltech, Carnegie Mellon. Insanely competitive admissions rates.
Let me explain my rationale for saying RPI is an elite technological institution. RPI was founded in 1824, and in 1824 there was only Rensselaer, so in the historical context it clearly is. Many other technological institutions were based on the foundation started by RPI. I was not trying say that the students RPI are anymore or less elite than other engineering students for hiring, although in my opinion they are not too shabby. I wasn’t trying to rank institutions.

I was responding to the following post
knightrider wrote: Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:44 am
2pedals wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:04 pm Huh, I went to a top school in engineering in the early 80's. The students were very complex individuals. I didn't get a monolithic answer from them about career aspirations.
I am not sure what your top school is, but 80+% of engineers from Ivy League schools want to work in Wall Street . That was 20 years ago..
My point is that in general the career aspirations of Ivy league school students are probably different than the “mainstream” engineering student. Many engineers of the past and current practicing engineers graduated from these historically elite technological institutions. Also a student attending or planning to attend such an institution is more likely to be using that engineering degree with name recognition so that they can get that initial engineering interview and job, compared to someone that has an ivy league engineering degree. They will be working on oil rigs, designing buildings, working in the aircraft factory with the mechanics, improving agriculture production, designing a new heart valve, supervising the manufacture of electrical equipment, improving the production or use of chemicals and other products, researching a new product for energy loss in a window, working on new high tech, working on new nano tech, etc, etc. Very few will be working on wall street.

Vulcan is right Carnegie Mellon is not a technological institution today but a big part of it's history was in tech. Carnegie Institute of Technology (known as Carnegie Tech before 1967) was founded in 1900. After the merger with Mellon Institute of Industrial Research it became Carnegie Mellon University.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by MaryO »

2pedals wrote: Fri Feb 28, 2020 3:49 pm
MaryO wrote: Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:26 am
2pedals wrote: Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:04 pm
Yes your assumption was correct I meant RPI (Rensselaer). My point I was making is that the schools listed are elite technological universities and that was their administrative focus. It is my general opinion that students that prefer to attend a technological university are primary focused on engineering as a career more so than an ivy league student studying engineering. Also it my general opinion the technological university student types are more introverted rather than the extroverted ivy league student types.

Of course there are other great engineering schools and students that do not come out of a technological university. RPI not unlike the other elite technological universities has a long history of producing a quality engineering program.
I was talking about tech schools. I don't think RPI is an elite tech school. You do, and obviously have very solid reasons for that. Ranking schools is very subjective, and that goes for hiring managers who will have their own lists of schools and their strengths in various programs.

Elite tech schools in my mind include MIT, Caltech, Carnegie Mellon. Insanely competitive admissions rates.
Let me explain my rationale for saying RPI is an elite technological institution. RPI was founded in 1824, and in 1824 there was only Rensselaer, so in the historical context it clearly is. Many other technological institutions were based on the foundation started by RPI. I was not trying say that the students RPI are anymore or less elite than other engineering students for hiring, although in my opinion they are not too shabby. I wasn’t trying to rank institutions.

I was responding to the following post
knightrider wrote: Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:44 am
2pedals wrote: Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:04 pm Huh, I went to a top school in engineering in the early 80's. The students were very complex individuals. I didn't get a monolithic answer from them about career aspirations.
I am not sure what your top school is, but 80+% of engineers from Ivy League schools want to work in Wall Street . That was 20 years ago..
My point is that in general the career aspirations of Ivy league school students are probably different than the “mainstream” engineering student. Many engineers of the past and current practicing engineers graduated from these historically elite technological institutions. Also a student attending or planning to attend such an institution is more likely to be using that engineering degree with name recognition so that they can get that initial engineering interview and job, compared to someone that has an ivy league engineering degree. They will be working on oil rigs, designing buildings, working in the aircraft factory with the mechanics, improving agriculture production, designing a new heart valve, supervising the manufacture of electrical equipment, improving the production or use of chemicals and other products, researching a new product for energy loss in a window, working on new high tech, working on new nano tech, etc, etc. Very few will be working on wall street.

Vulcan is right Carnegie Mellon is not a technological institution today but a big part of it's history was in tech. Carnegie Institute of Technology (known as Carnegie Tech before 1967) was founded in 1900. After the merger with Mellon Institute of Industrial Research it became Carnegie Mellon University.
If CM isn't a tech institution today, then neither is MIT. MIT also has the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences where you can earn degrees in music, theater, literature, etc. They're both schools that were created with tech as their mission and do an outstanding job. CM in Pittsburgh can be credited with the city becoming a tech hub. Not only are new companies forming there, but giants like Google have set up offices in Pittsburgh because they can pull top talent from CM.
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by Vulcan »

2pedals wrote: Fri Feb 28, 2020 3:49 pm Vulcan is right Carnegie Mellon is not a technological institution today but a big part of it's history was in tech.
MaryO wrote: Sat Feb 29, 2020 10:29 am If CM isn't a tech institution today, then neither is MIT. MIT also has the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences where you can earn degrees in music, theater, literature, etc.
In the spirit of continuing to argue semantics I will point out that out of 4,500+ MIT undergrads, full 124 of them major in humanities, arts, or social studies. Without putting too fine a point on it, I doubt very many of them applied to MIT with that intention IYKWIM. :twisted:

https://registrar.mit.edu/stats-reports/majors-count
Last edited by Vulcan on Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase
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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by KlangFool »

Folks,

I have no skin in the game as per CMU versus MIT. But, the Software Engineering Institute of CMU is highly respected in the industry. In fact, the SEI developed the Capability Maturity Model Integration. That is the gold standard to evaluate a software engineering organization. I cannot speak of any other engineering part of the CMU. But, in terms of software engineering, SEI has to be ranked among the top in the world.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capabilit ... ntegration

https://www.sei.cmu.edu/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_ ... _Institute

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capability_Maturity_Model

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Re: Does Biomedical Engineering School Matter?

Post by Vulcan »

KlangFool wrote: Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:59 am I have no skin in the game as per CMU versus MIT. But, the Software Engineering Institute of CMU is highly respected in the industry.
I do not think anyone here is arguing that it isn't.
CMU's (graduate) CS program is ranked #1, tying with MIT, Stanford, and Berkeley.

https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-sc ... e-rankings

Is Berkeley a "tech school"?
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase
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