Carnegie Mellon vs Northeastern vs George Washington vs Stevens

I’m not a recruiting expert and got those original numbers from the CMU grad report, so I don’t have stats for Northeastern sadly.

I a not recruiting expert, but that said given I was in the range, at least one :slight_smile: I know a few friends who have offers as well during my year, and at least one current Northeastern intern (a main way to new grad hiring for the company). I’m in only one office of a larger company, so I can’t speak to larger macro trends, unfortunately.

Linkedin would say there’s about 4-5x more CMU CS grads than Northeastern CS grads working as engineers at my company, which shouldn’t be surprising given CMU’s CS strength. The key here for this conversation is all of this is talking CS, not ECE.

Checking a few degrees, it seems many on Linkedin are masters from CMU and bachelors elsewhere. I did also find an IS for the first time and one ECE, but both of those were not right out of college hires and had prior SWE experience before being hired (far more important than degree name). The direct new grad undergrad hires I could find were all CS degrees.

I wanted to thank everyone for all the thoughtful and thorough information. I shared your posts with my daughter and she found them very helpful. It’s so hard for a high school student to really know what career path they want to embark on. At the moment, she is leaning toward CMU. It may be too good of an opportunity for her to turn down. She actually might really like ECE more anyway (or even another major she hadn’t considered). I think if she decides she really wants to pursue CS and can’t do it sufficiently at CMU she can always transfer. She didn’t get a very large scholarship at Northeastern anyway. We will be visiting CMU the last weekend of April to make a final decision. Hopefully, she can talk to some currents students in the program to gain more insight.


Good luck.

There is an instagram (pretty sure it is instagram) group that my daughter is part of for those recently accepted into CMU. She has found it interesting. If your daughter is interested and does not find it easily on her own I can ask my daughter for the group name.

[quote=“LuckFreeZone, post:16, topic:3517904”]
Barnard? - not sure[/quote]

I’ve looked at it the same way as Honors and A/P classes - it’s NOT just about how “good” they look on the transcript, but VERY IMPORTANTLY also who your “cohort” of students are. Attending an A/P or Honors class, you are likely among students who share similar comprehension, dedication, discipline - which affects your OWN ability to learn and affects how your teacher will treat and run the class.

So other than the supposed “better options” arising from having attended an elite college, like Barnard, you might also find your 4 years there a different experience, because of whom ELSE is attending, which might impact how the school and courses are run. If your daughter is a high-achieving student, she might find herself in a more compatible environment.
I fully realize that this is a very broad and non-scientific generalization - but maybe a different angle to look at the difference between more and less selective colleges.

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I have the same/similar thoughts (assuming I understand what you wrote). One’s peers will likely have the biggest influence on their college education/experience and the more intelligent / more academically inclined those peers are then, I would hypothesize, the more favorable the overall experience is likely to be. The student will have learning opportunities / options he/she would not otherwise have.

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Hello again,
I wanted to thank everyone who responded to my question regarding which college my daughter should choose. My daughter found all the responses very helpful. After visiting Carnegie Mellon this past weekend and speaking with a number of kids on campus, my daughter finally felt confident about her decision to choose CMU.
Thanks again!


Congrats and Good Luck!

CONGRATULATIONS! :+1: :grinning:

  1. Im pretty sure a lot of MechE’s also do SWE. YOU DONT NEED A DEGREE TO GO TO SWE
  2. CMU CS is more theoretical than practical. 90% of the time you learn abt sml and category theory which isnt even applied
  3. CMU CS prepares you for grad school, not industry
  4. A CS degree isnt valuable as much as a specialized field of study like physics. This is because pretty much everyone can learn how to code and there are no heavy prerequisites or math. Unless your doing theoretical cs and want to become a professor, a CS degree is not that valuable
  5. CS didn’t exist in the 80s. All the CS professors today either did EE or math


What’s your background that allows you to say things with such certainty?

I have spent over 15 years as either a software developer, software architect, or software manager. For the last 10+ years I have been a quant investor who is part of the hiring approval process for every software developer in our company’s IT department.

I find I disagree with just about everything you wrote.


well a lot of employers actually dont care about a degree most notably google and tesla. smaller companies are still under the impression that degrees matter but thats soon to change. also CMU CS is too theoretical most of the time, theres barely any courses taught in python and most of it is maths which isnt really used much in SWE

You don’t need a degree to code. One of my son’s classmates in HS skipped college and went right into SE. He’s pretty sharp. Some of the best technical people I’ve worked with started in data processing in the 70’s. Typically night shift and would teach themselves to code. Unfortunately a lot of these people are weeded out because a lot of companies have college degree filters on all jobs.

As for CMU, I’ve worked in IT for 30 years. Mostly in Pittsburgh. Not a lot of CMU grads in industry but I think it’s because they have a different mindset. Not really interested in the corporate ladder. They gravitate to academia or VC/start-ups. Some in consulting.

Two of the small companies/start-ups I worked for in the 90’s were started by Harvard math guys in the 80’s. One was also a CMU professor/Google Fellow.

Good luck to the OP.

Sure, you don’t need a degree to learn to code, just as you don’t need a degree to speak English. But a great CS program can help develop a person’s latent talent in a more structured way than people who learned to code on the fly.

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Never said it didn’t. A CMU CS degree is great. It will take you places. Just not the end-all, be-all and also pointing out that @ccbit1 isn’t entirely off base like you described. There’s more than one path to success.

“Educated” and “talented” aren’t always related.

So people who learn to code themselves can’t be “structured” like you say? Good to know.

Let’s not lose site the question was where should I go and the OP made her decision. Let’s not take away her positive moment.


CS certainly did exist (including as academic departments in colleges) in the 1980s.

Some colleges started to offer CS in the 60s. A few UCs started to offer them in the 70s.