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WashU vs CMU

dotsondotsdotsondots Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
Hey everyone!

I've got only a few days left to make a decision between Carnegie Mellon and Washington University in St. Louis. Yes, many would consider them to be very, very different schools, but nonetheless, it's been hard to make a decision between the two!

So, I've been accepted to the Information Systems program at CMU, and if I went to CMU, that's what I would do. I've heard REALLY great things about the program, and that many top companies heavily recruit from the program, which makes it very attractive to me. I want to enter the workforce when I graduate, and want to get an MBA later on after a few years of work experience. I don't have a very specific area of interest, but hopefully something along the lines of marketing/consulting/business or financial analyst. Information Systems seems to fit the bill (many people from the program get internships/jobs at IBM, Deloitte, Accenture, etc.)

Now, at WashU, there isn't really a comparable program to Information Systems. I'm in the College of Arts and Sciences, and not the business school (I don't want to get a generic business administration degree for my undergraduate degree, I'd rather do something more unique). One major that is attractive to me is PNP, which is Philosophy, Neuroscience, and Psychology. I still want to get the same type of job that I mentioned above when I graduate, and I know it will be much harder at WashU, and recruiting will be something I'll have to work harder for. However, I like the people, campus, and overall vibe a lot more at WashU, and that's why I'm confused. Is it worth giving up a great program at CMU and essentially a guaranteed job by the time a graduate to go to WashU? Or should I stick with CMU because the program is awesome, even though I'm not really a fan of the atmosphere? It's a bit to techy and cutthroat for me, and I didn't really connect with the people as much as I did at WashU. My parents are leaning towards CMU, because they want to get their money's worth out of an education -- and a guaranteed job (about 90 percent of Info Systems majors have jobs by the time they graduate) is enough to want CMU.

Any tips/advice? I'm really struggling to make a decision, and have to by May 1st, which isn't that much time! I really appreciate any help I can get. Thanks so much!

Replies to: WashU vs CMU

  • kaukaunakaukauna Registered User Posts: 1,127 Senior Member
    Dotsondots: Parent here. CMU graduate. One child was accepted to CMU but went elsewhere.

    Difficult choice here for you and your family. At CMU, computing permeates all things pretty much, and that's good for getting your first job. But maybe something about your style of learning would allow you to thrive at WashU. One of the things my son's high school counselor would say about WashU is that it is very cross-disciplinary. Maybe over time you can construct a major which looks like the CMU IS degree?

    The important thing, I think, for becoming employable and satisfied with your work is to figure out what you are interested in then figuring out how you can prepare yourself so that society will reward you for the knowledge and skills you've attained. I think there's no doubt that if you work hard at WashU you can do that for yourself.

    Best of luck to you.
  • TubacaflacaTubacaflaca Registered User Posts: 81 Junior Member
    I believe that fit is very essential for a great college experience, and that's definitely a pro for WashU in your case. Regarding landing a consulting job, you should know that companies like Deloitte and many other consulting firms recruit heavily from WashU. Top tier firms like Bain also visit campus multiple times. I too don't want a traditional business degree and hence my first major is in Art Sci and my second major is Economics and Strategy in the Business school which is pretty much a path into consulting. At WashU, you'll be able to mix and match many major, switch in and out of schools, double major and sorta of mould your degree to your liking.

    Here are some employment statistic for Business school and also second major in business students:
    https://olincareers.wustl.edu/SiteCollectionDocuments/PDFs/WCC/WCC_EmploymentReport2013.pdf
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