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How much weight should students place on the geographic location of their school?

Over the past five years many industries (tech in particular) seems to have concentrated in a few places around the country. In particular, New York, Silicon Valley, Texas, and Seattle. How large of an advantage is it to go to school at a university that is located in one of these places? Should university rankings take potential direct connections to industry into account?

#technology #developer #software #mobile-applications #urban

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Jeremy’s Answer

To echo Ken's point, I strongly believe that the specific location of the school doesn't matter. However, there are a few key considerations in this arena:

  • School reputation: The overall school reputation will carry weight for any industry or job that you apply to and can differentiate yourself in these applications
  • Connections with the industry of choice: A school may not be in a city with a concentrated industry, so to use your example San Francisco for tech, but they may have very strong connections to companies in those cities.
  • Personal profile: As with any job after graduation, the 3 areas that are looked at (on paper) are GPA, extracurricular involvement, and work experience. A balance in these three areas will set you up for success when applying to these jobs.

Hope this helps!

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Ken’s Answer

The answer is that it does not matter where you go to school. The important things are: how well you get to know yourself to get the best career direction, how well you do in school as employers look at this as a way of seeing how well you will do as an employee, and how well you do in developing networking as this is the way that you will successfully make progress throughout your education/career journey. Here is an important video to watch: ## http://www.ted.com/talks/julie_lythcott_haims_how_to_raise_successful_kids_without_over_parenting?utm_campaign=social&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_content=talk&utm_term=education<span style="color: rgb(103, 106, 108);"> </span>

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Ken recommends the following next steps:

The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##
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Michele’s Answer

I don't believe the location of a particular school is of great import, especially if you're willing to relocate for a job after college graduation. In my experience, the best way to learn a lot and get your foot in the door for a job after graduation is to get hired for an internship (more than one, if you can) during your college career. If you're a hard worker and can learn quickly, internships can often lead to job offers after graduation. Additionally (and just as important), you will make contacts in your field. These people will be able to vouch for the quality of your work, and may even help you find a job. I've helped several of my past colleagues find jobs at companies where I know other people, and others have done the same for me.
TL;DR - go to a school that has a lot of opportunities for internships, rather than worrying about where it is.
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Hannah’s Answer

Hi Patrick - this is a great question.


To echo the other responders, if you are driven and persistent during your search for internships and job opportunities, you will be successful regardless of the city that you choose to go to college. However, from personal experience, I found it extremely beneficial to attend a university in the same city that I began working. Throughout college, I was able to build a strong network with recruiters and employers in the area, many of which I am still in contact with today. This networking has been invaluable to me throughout my career.


I hope this helps and good luck with your search!

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Sam’s Answer

I would agree with Ken and Jeremy's points that there are many different factors to consider when deciding where you would like to go to school. The location doesn't necessarily matter, however I might also consider how feasible it would be for you to get to the concentrated tech areas if you would like to make visits to some companies or be able to meet and network with individuals in those areas.


Best,

Sam

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