Cornell vs. Brown for CS

<p>I was wondering which of the two schools would be the best bet for a kid who's really interested in computer science. I know that Cornell is higher in the rankings, but does it necessarily mean better job opportunities and better faculty? This is important since I'm not interested in grad school and would like to work at a software company like Microsoft.</p>

<p>Doesn’t matter that much. Cornell University does have a larger department and perhaps slightly stronger faculty and does more research than Brown in computer science but the difference is marginal, especially at the undergraduate level. Computer programming and computer science skills are largely gained outside of the classroom.</p>

<p>The program at Brown University is also very strong and your peers will be excellent. You might also want to think about other non-Ivy schools that are good at CS (your state school would be a good place to start). CMU is excellent. And recruiters rank schools differently than US News and World Report. Think about other important factors (cost/financial aid, curriculum, availability of a minor, school culture, placement into companies and graduate schools). </p>

<p>As for getting a job at a company like Microsoft and Google (or Amazon and other first-tier Silicon Valley CS employers), these are the three things that matter, in no particular order:

  1. Your GPA
  2. The school you attend
  3. Industry experience
  4. Research experience
  5. Interview performance - especially “puzzle questions”</p>

<p>The weightage of GPA becomes less significant once you have solid industry experience. Tech companies also put a lot of weight into IQ, which they try to measure through clever responses to interview questions as well as GPA. Of course, you can and should prepare . They want Smart and Gets Stuff Done.</p>

<p>Both Brown and Cornell are strong in factor 2 but the rest is up to you. Even if you attend a lesser ranked school, given strong performance in the other 3 criteria, you can land a great job (I didn’t go past first interview at Microsoft this year but I will try again later). Going to a good school will certainly help prepare you for the trick questions on the interview though. Doing research on a topic that is active at large companies (Artificial Intelligence, Distributed Systems, Theory, Programming Languages, User Interfaces) will help your chances for graduate school and for careers in industry.</p>

<p>6 in one hand…a half-dozen in the other hand.</p>

<p>^ I’d choose a half dozen over 6. Sounds like a better deal. All said and done, one extra free word!!</p>


<p>Is that a baker’s dozen?</p>

<p>Rankings are for graduate school. When you get to this high a level, it matters less and less. Even for graduate school the rankings don’t mean much because you’re not looking for a school really, you’re looking for a group.</p>

<p>A lot of good companies recruit at Brown and Cornell. I would recommend going to the place where you feel the most comfortable and get the most FA.</p>