benefits of going to a top grad school?

<p>i'm a senior with good stats. I think I can get into top schools but I'm not sure. </p>

<p>What made you decide to go to a top school instead of a crappy one?</p>

<p>better students? better job opportunities? better research environment?</p>

<p>thanks!</p>

<p>" instead of a crappy one " lol</p>

<p>I would think that when you're looking at grad school the most important thing would be whether or not they have what you need there. If you know what you want to research then figure out who is on the cutting edge of that, since they should have the most relevant equipment and brain power for that topic.</p>

<p>I decided not to go to a crappy school because I didn't want to be at a crappy school.</p>

<p>one of the undisputed advantages of going to a top school vs a "crappy school" is that you'll surround yourself with higher caliber students. this will lead to a more competitive environment which will be more motivating for yourself to excel at your subject.</p>

<p>in regards to job opportunities...i dont think there is a huge advantage for top grad schools....naturally you will have an easier time looking for jobs. a job applicant from a lesser school may have to communicate to an employer more about why he is just as great as a MIT student whereas the MIT student gets to walk into the interview with high expectations already attached. </p>

<p>depends on your major...but if you attend a top grad school, one of the primary advantages that you wont be able to experience at lower schools is the opportunities to be recruited at top consulting and banking firms...firms that exclusively recruit at top 10-20 schools. of course, this "advantage" doesnt really matter if you never see yourself going in that career direction........but it's always nice to have options?</p>

<p>all of the above</p>

<p>Just to throw something out there, because it's nice to provide some counter-perspective: I think there's also something to be said for being a big fish in a small pond. For one, you're more likely to have your pick of who you work with, and you're not grad student #348 / 572. Professors are usually happy to involve you in their projects, and you don't have to worry about going cut-throat with other students. It's kind of pathetic, in a way, that grad school could even be considered competitive. Research, especially in science, should be a collaborative process. Large egos don't exactly help get stuff done, and we all know how important egos are in academia. The downsides are also obvious: there is less money to go around, some peers simply aren't as motivated, and you don't get a fancy name on your diploma.</p>

<p>I think most students at least for PHD's choose based on research opportunities. I had many TA's in my undergrad who decided on my U over another much higher ranked, simply to work with a given professor.</p>

<p>^so if one wants a career in academia to become a professor, its more important to choose a good advisor than it is to go to a top 10 grad program?</p>

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<p>Both. Getting a job in academia is all about two things: research output and connections. Getting yourself a good advisor can get you both of those things fairly easily no matter what school you are at. However, it is definitely a trend that said top professors tend to congregate at the top schools.</p>