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Princeton or Berkeley MET

sj0192sj0192 1 replies1 threads New Member
edited February 2019 in College Search & Selection

I was recently admitted to Princeton Engineering (early action) as well as UC Berkeley's MET program for EECS + Business. I'm having a tough time deciding between the two.

Some background info:
-I'm from NJ, live close to Princeton
-Princeton would be much cheaper for me to attend
-I wanna go into software development and work for tech company (Google, FB, etc.)
-I've visited Princeton's campus, and I like it a lot
-I haven't yet visited Berkeley
-I like the idea of a small school (Princeton), but I wouldn't mind a small program (MET) either

Any advice/opinions would help!
edited February 2019
9 replies
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Replies to: Princeton or Berkeley MET

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80187 replies720 threads Senior Member
    http://met.berkeley.edu/academics/eecs-business/ shows the suggested course plan for UCB EECS+business (MET).

    What they do not show on the course plan is the number of credit units for each course. If you look in the catalog at http://guide.berkeley.edu/courses/ , you will find substantially more credit units than the usual 15-16 per semester. I.e. the program is a lot of work because it must fulfill all requirements of both majors.

    In addition, on the engineering section of these forums, engineering employers may see engineering+business combinations as undesirable, as it signals an interest in using engineering as a stepping stone to management, rather than interest in engineering itself.

    If you just want to go into software development, UCB EECS (without MET) is perfectly fine. However, if Princeton is substantially less expensive, then it is a perfectly fine place to study CS as well that will save a good deal of money for you. Recruiting for jobs may vary somewhat beyond the big computer companies that recruit widely. Small Silicon Valley companies may be more present at UCB, while Wall Street and consulting may be more present at Princeton.
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  • sj0192sj0192 1 replies1 threads New Member
    Thank you for the help!

    Do you think two degrees (EECS + Business) is helpful to companies like Google, FB, etc.? Does the second degree add any value for an employer?

    Also, I'm not really sure how easy/difficult it is to find internships as an MET or Princeton CS student. Any thoughts?
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  • ColoradomamaColoradomama 2779 replies32 threads Senior Member
    I don't think the added business classes in MET give you any advantage at all, but it may depend on what you are after in a job. For instance, do you want to eventually get a masters or PhD in computer science? Then for certain, the business option is a total waste of energy and time. If you want to take a lot of math, then the business classes again are wasting your time. Do you want to get into big data? Business is a waste of time, you need statistics, math, maybe some sciences and also CS. (biology class for bioinformatics, chemistry if computational chemistry is of interest, or physics or meteorology if you want to say write code for climate models , etc )

    I see no reason to combine business with CS at all. But I am an engineer with a PhD in my subject. So others may disagree.

    On internships-- I actually think smaller schools take care of students better because at the job fair at Princeton, you can get an actual offer. At Berkeley, you will be competing with thousands of other CS students. While MET is a trend, it will die, is my prediction as either you need to do a lot of math, stats and CS and go that route, or you can become a "manager" or finance or accountant and don't really need a ton of CS.

    You can always add an MBA later, so there is no reason at all to dilute your CS and math education in undergrad with business or "entrepreneurship" classes or leadership. Its easy to learn management on the job, but it will depend on your soft skills, people skills, and leadership skills. Joining a sorority or fraternity or eating club at Princeton builds those business skills without sitting through endless "management" classes at a place like Berkeley.

    With that, Berkeley Hass IS a very top business program, but go there for your MBA after Princeton.

    Thats my bent, other will disagree.

    MBAs are totally worthless for someone who wants a technical career, but its marginally useful if you want to run a company some day or start one.
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  • ColoradomamaColoradomama 2779 replies32 threads Senior Member
    Look at this carefully, the business side of your degree at Berkeley is actually a total detriment to you learning to read and write well, because it offers bogus classes like "leading people", and then useful classes like accounting, and then marketing that you probably don't need right away.

    any future entrepreneur needs to WRITE well. You are going to have to convince others to hand you money for
    your company. Go to Princeton, take reading and writing classes around your CS education and you will be so far ahead of Berkeley MET folks who wasted their time in "marketing" and "leading People".

    You can learn soft skills outside of school and you do not need a for credit class called "leading people".
    You may want to go join a club at Princeton, get to know people and EVENTUALLY lead it.


    I am more convinced that Berkeley MET is a total gimmick after reading what it actually is.

    If you do go to Berkeley, take English classes that force you to write, to get the best education, along
    with a lot more math and CS than MET will give you. Skip MET for EECS plus English classes or history,
    or any class that forces you to read, analyze and write.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80187 replies720 threads Senior Member
    Writing intensive courses more specifically useful to those working in engineering or computing may be found in places other than the English department (depending on the college; at UCB, see College Writing and Rhetoric, among others, for other options). Most writing at work is not literary analysis that is the focus of English departments.
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 4184 replies92 threads Senior Member
    @Coloradomama I wouldn’t go so far as to call MET a gimmick, but on the internal Piazza discussion pages for EECS at Berkeley, there are quite a few people who do disparage the MET guys because they wind up diluting their EECS classes with “handshaking” classes.

    Personally, I got my MBA way too early in life (I was 24) and never made much use of it. I think an MBA, which MET most likely leads to, is probably more effective after at least 5-7 years in the job. If you’re going into software, I really don’t see where the business component helps that much initially out of school, unless you work in software for a company that requires that type of domain knowledge.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80187 replies720 threads Senior Member
    Gimmick or not, engineering or CS with business programs do seem to be popular around here, based on the amount of forum chatter that the programs at Penn and Lehigh also get (though the one at USC gets less). Perhaps the growing pre-professional pressure is causing some students to (somewhat erroneously) think that two programs with better pre-professional aspects combined is automatically better than one, despite the dilution aspect and the suspicion that some engineering employers have when hiring new graduate engineers.
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  • prezbuckyprezbucky 4323 replies11 threads Senior Member
    I would choose Princeton because:
    - It is substantially less expensive for you
    - You very likely will not make much use of the business courses at Berkeley if you are interested in a career in Engineering. An MBA will help if you later decide to go into the corporate world or become an entrepreneur, as it will provide a very broad base of business knowledge (Acctg, Mktg, Ops, Fin, OB, Corp Law, etc.).
    - Already you are familiar with Princeton and know that you like it.
    - Princeton's career services will very likely give you more personal attention than Berkeley's will, and you will likely have easier access to your profs (in most classes) at Princeton.
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  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1568 replies35 threads Senior Member
    The primary focus of these coordinated business/technology dual-degree programs including Berkeley MET is business. They make sense only if your ultimate goal is to be on the business side. The inclusion of the business half of the program generally leaves you with fewer electives to explore your interest on the technology side. If you just want to be entrepreneurial in a technology area, you could just take courses without a full business degree. On the other hand, there're advantages to the dual-degree programs if your primary interest is on the business side (e.g. a career in VC).
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