Well, I'd like my son to go to UCLA for chemE, while his mother wants him to attend UIUC, which has a much stronger program. I'm looking for any justification to argue why he should go to UCLA. Apparently she does not care about paying an extra $6000 per year for UIUC because in her mind the program makes it worthwhile. I don't want to sound superficial by saying come to UCLA for the weather and the experience-- which are undeniably incredible. I know there are a lot of internship opportunities in CA, and I work in the industry myself so I could help him with that. Any idea what companies recruit UCLA engineers heavily? Other reasons to attend UCLA would also be helpful.
In a study compiled with data based on how many graduates of a certain institution gets hired by the Fortune 500 businesses, UCLA was in the top 10. It was beating colleges like Harvard, Stanford, and UC Berkeley. UIUC was not even in the top 100. Also, the top 10 colleges based on reputation included UCLA as well. Not UIUC.
In a study compiled with data based on how many graduates of a certain institution gets hired by the Fortune 500 businesses, UCLA was in the top 10. It was beating colleges like Harvard, Stanford, and UC Berkeley.
Woah, woah, woah, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Berkeley i believe; Harvard and Stanford i do not. In fact, the only ranking i can think where UCLA beats Harvard or Stanford is the Washington Monthly ranking.
My son literally wants whatever helps him more in his life. He thinks he can have fun regardless of where he attends.
I found this figure from the University of Maryland (another of his choices):
Avg salary for chem engineers post graduation: 64,245 Student Workshops, Engineering Co-op and Career Services, University of Maryland
This is comparable to average starting salaries of UIUC electrical engineers: Graduate Starting Salaries - ECE ILLINOIS | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
While I know these are two different fields, they are often similar in pay scale and I'm simply trying to show to my son and wife that the marginal gain in starting salary makes it not worthwhile to attend UIUC. It would probably be wiser to attend UMD from an economic standpoint but I feel that the industry here in CA makes it worthwhile. Both UCLA and UMD are around rank 20 in engineering programs and both are not ranked in the top 23 or so for chemical engineering. I'm trying to get in touch with someone from these forums who graduated chemical engineering at UCLA and hopefully he can confirm my previous beliefs.
I am not sure average starting salary is co-related to college attendance, unless it HYP or something. I would lean towards UCLA..isn't S. California hub for biotech type/defense companies (and maybe recruit chemical engineers as well..?) I know Clorox in N calif takes chem engineers. Look for where the recruiting is for chem engineers. Dont know about Illinois. Honestly I would make the choice based on the tuition cost. If you are a maryland resident, go with Maryland. East coast has quite a few engg companies as well..and of course the big government ones.
Where he goes to college does not necessarily mean where he will end up at. In silicon valley , there are engineers from all over. My niece from Rice is now settled in CA, my cousins from Virginia are Engineers in SoCal..so it doesn't really matter.
Engineering employers are very egalatarian with pay. An engineer graduating from UCLA or UIUC will command approximately the same starting salary. $65k these days sounds in the ballpark. Your money will go farther in cheaper areas like midwest or Texas vs. California. Employers don't pay much of a cost of living adjustment.
Difference will be on-campus recruiting. UIUC will be targeted by midwest companies while UCLA will be more targeted by Socal based companies. You can get a job elsewhere with a degree from either, you just have to do more leg work.
Thanks for the input! How about cal, does that give automatic benefits in terms of first job after graduation over the other options? Obviously its a great program. Unfortunately my son ruled it out because of the competitiveness in engineering there. Do you think by going there he would be significantly better off upon graduation?
^ Of course! But I'm biased.
Cal engineering is tough, but it's a collaborative environment.
Cal's chemical engineering program is in the small, prestigious College of Chemistry.
The program is widely recruited.
Honestly this may be one of those cases where you win the battle to lose the war. Suppose your son chooses UCLA. Then any misfortune down the road would have been avoided had he chosen UIUC. Bad grade in a class, not getting an internship he wanted, not getting a job offer he wanted -- you name it, it would have been different if he had gone to UIUC.
As someone once said, "those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still". It would be one thing if your wife said in effect "lets research this and find out what's better". But she already seems to know the `right` answer, and mere facts may not change that (at least not for long)