does reputation matter?

<p>Hi everyone,</p>

<p>I am currently a junior undergraduate student who is looking to complete a Ph.D in bioengineering. I was wondering, how important is the reputation of the school where you complete your Ph. D? if it depends on what you want to do after the Ph. D, right now I'm not so interested in working at a university, I want to do research for a private company. Thanks</p>

<p>I personally think reputation matters. You are going to get more interest if you say you are a Havard graduate as opposed to an “insert state school here” graduate. Equally or perhaps more important though is the lab you decide to join and the reputation of your PI. Connections get you a long way.</p>

<p>So-called “prestige” depends entirely on the field. Harvard is not the best program in many fields it offers, and of course doesn’t even offer programs in many other fields.</p>

<p>From my experience, name recognition goes a long way. I never said Harvard was the best but I can’t imagine a scenario where someone would discount someone because they were from “Harvard” regardless of field.</p>

<p>I can - if Harvard didn’t have a great program in your field. Harvard is actually not ranked as high as you would expect for engineering - it’s in the top 20, but there are a lot of public universities that are ranked a lot higher than Harvard. The Ivies have never been tippy top for engineering.</p>

<p>Reputation does matter, a lot, in PhD placements.</p>

<p>First of all, the “state school” vs. private school thing is ridiculous. Where your school’s funding comes from has little to do with the reputation of the school, as we can all name some large public universities with outstanding undergrad AND grad programs. Some of the top programs in my field are Berkeley, Michigan, UCLA, UIUC, Wisconsin-Madison and Minnesota.</p>

<p>The schools that have popular name recognition for undergrad studies aren’t necessarily the best schools for graduate school. For example, Georgia Tech would be a better place to go than Princeton or Harvard for bioengineering - they have a top program in that field. UCSD and Washington also have top programs in bioengineering. People within the research field (whether it be academic or industry) know the reputations of research programs within their field.</p>

<p>With that said, reputation absolutely matters, both in academia and in industry. In academia, who you work with matters a lot too, whereas in industry that may not be so important.</p>

<p>@juillet: so am I to understand that the reputation is diminished in industry job search, as opposed to academic?</p>