choosing between Gatech and UCLA

<p>Hi,</p>

<p>I have got PhD admissions from ECE GATECH and UCLA CS departments. I really don't know which one is better for me.</p>

<p>UCLA pros:
- my advisor has a few papers that have been cited more than 1500 times.
- my co-advisor is very well-know. everybody knows him and his graduate students have found good jobs and he publishes several good papers each year.
- they have a lot of funding. my RA is about 3500$ per month on average.</p>

<p>UCLA cons:
- ranking is very low compared to Gatech's
- I like the research of the co-advisor not the advisor's
- I don't know anybody there and I consider it a real problem.
- I am very worried that I can not find a good academic job after that due to the low rank. I know someone who did his postdoc in Berkeley but he is now an assistant professor in a very very low rank school.</p>

<p>Gatech pros:
- very good ranking and it matters alot for finding an academic job.
- I know a lot of people there and it is like my home country.
- most of the students are smart and the research environment is very good.
- there are great professors in other departments to collaborate with.
- several good courses are offered each semester.</p>

<p>Gatech cons:
- my advisor is not very knowledgable and I am sure I will not know anything more than what I know now after graduataion. So I will not be satisfied with my research which is a bad thing for studying PhD.
- a couple of my friends who graduated from that department could not find good jobs.</p>

<p>I would appreciate it if you could help me.</p>

<p>Your ability to get a good job after graduation has a lot to do with your adviser's reputation and whether he will "go to bat" for you, that is, find you a good position through networking and strong recommendations. At UCLA your adviser and co-advisor are well-known in the field, and their graduates have found good jobs - obviously they are able and willing to help their former students into academia. What about the Gatech adviser?</p>

<p>Also I think that you should go to a lab that is turning out innovative work. It sounds like your UCLA co-adviser is publishing in the right papers, usually a sign of cutting-edge research. The Gatech adviser sounds like he is not doing interesting work or leading his field. How did you wind up as that dude's advisee? Can you switch?</p>

<p>It sounds like you would be happy if you could get a quality adviser at Gatech. I am in bio and we don't choose advisers until the end of the first year...do you absolutely have to commit to this Gatech adviser or can you shop around once you get there? ...I would not go there if you're forced to work with that guy.</p>

<p>Academic jobs after your PhD are much more about what you accomplished during your time at the school and the reputation of your adviser. The ranking really only goes so far.</p>

<p>Well as far as i know, you dont have to select your advisor until after passing what they call at ECE GATech the Preliminary examination. I dont know if you have special circumstances (maybe an RA position under a specific professor?). I myself shall be joining the PhD program at ECE GATech this fall and interestingly chose ECE GATech over CS UCLA as well among other schools....</p>

<p>If you want to go into academia in a sci/eng subject, in general, the reputation of your advisor is more important than the reputation of your program. This is because, in sci/eng doctorate programs, you are seen as an apprentice of your advisor.</p>

<p>I have a similar dilemma, albeit for undergrad ...</p>