Mechanical Engineering Schools

I am a mechanical engineering student transferring from a community college to a University. My top choices that I have been admitted to are UCLA, UCSB, and UC Davis. All of the schools offer programs in my interest, and UCLA is probably the best of them, but I really don't want to live in LA. Will the school that I go to really effect my long term career? Can anyone give any advice on any of these schools? I feel that they are all good schools that will provide a quality education. I am just struggling with ranking the importance of the actual school ranking and the geographic location that would suit my life style. Is it detrimental to my career to attend a school that is ranked a little lower than others that I got into just because I don't like the area that the "best" school is in? Any feedback is appreciated.

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Dear mondoman:

The school that you go to will affect your short-term career. In general, local schools tend to serve local demands. They contact local employers and slant subjects towards local needs. Sometimes the teachers are employed by, or consult for local employers. So you are more likely to find employment in the cities bordering your chosen school.

What you do after school will have far more to do with your long-term career than what school you get your undergraduate degree from. And I don't mean that as a tautology. I mean the jobs you take and the accomplishments you do early on *at work* are stronger pillars in the foundation of your career.

David A. Smith

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N:dlzc D:aol T:com (dlzc)

For most employers, my achievements at Northern Illinois University were substandard. However, after completing my Mechanical Engineering coursework, I took a job as a detail drafter and moved up from there. I've taken 3 promotions in two years. The school that I went to had little to do with my career. However, if I had tried to start working for a Fortune 500 company instead of a small company, they would have preferred someone from a more well-reknowned school.

If you want to go after jobs right out of school at big companies, get good grades at a school with a well-known program. If you want to work your way up and rely on your talents instead of your school's name, go to the school that fits your learning style and talents best.


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Nick Earnest

Thanks guys, I appreciate your time in answering my questions. It was helpful!

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