Do schools matter in industry?

Craig V.W. Lewis cvl at
Wed Jan 10 11:15:51 EST 1996

In article <4cvrca$la8 at>, ditascas at (Ditas
Castillo) wrote:
> Everyone tells me I should not wait to get my doctorate 
> because they are say competition in the top schools is very feirce and 
> waiting might make me lose my edge.  (I've worked for two years in a 
> research lab already.)  but does industry care where I go so much as to 
> what I studied?

It has been my experience that students who have worked in a lab or in
industry for a few years after getting their B.S. are much more focused. 
"Losing your edge" is a lousy reason for hurrying into a program for which
you may not be ready or suited.  I took the advice you were given and feel
that it was a poor choice for _me_.

I have not observed any competition in my graduate school.  Each student
is expected to produce good research, but we are typically compared to the
standards of our field rather than to each other.  This may be due to the
diversity of interests here.

I believe the name of your institution does have a small effect on your
ultimate hiring chances, but that the primary determining factor is still
the quality of your work.  Find the advisor with whom you would most like
to work, and go to his or her institution.  If you can't identify the
advisor and the work you would like to do, I would suggest NOT commiting
yourself to a doctoral program until you can.  Get a masters, work in a
lab for a few years, but don't jump blindly into a Ph.D.

Craig V. W. Lewis (cvl at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
ph: (508) 289-4814   fax: (508) 457-2169    Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543

"A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in
human history--with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila."
      - Mitch Ratcliffe, _Technology Review_, April, 1992

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