2 answers

In California, do CSU or UC campuses have the better engineering program?

Asked San Jose, California

I would like to kick start a career in engineering, any suggestions of what to major in to make job hunting easier later on? Also what were your experience with California public school programs?

#california #engineering #berkeley #first-job #degree #major #software-engineering

2 answers

Peter’s Answer

Updated Kent, Washington

From a reputation standpoint, the University of California is definitely considered to be the more prestigious institution, compared with the Cal State Universities. Of course individual Cal State U's may have good engineering schools...you would need to check into this. My experience with the UC San Diego was very good. However, the Lower Division courses tended to be quite large and held in large auditoriums. As a result, my best college experience did not occur until my Senior Year.

With regard to a good career potential, I can suggest at least two engineering disciplines: Civil Engineering and Computer Engineering.

Good Luck, Pete Sturtevant, PE

Bryon’s Answer

Updated California, California

At the software companies I've worked for, I've noticed that our recruiting teams tend to focus their on-campus recruiting efforts more on the UC campuses than the CSU ones. However, they also tended to focus on schools that are nearby, so San Francisco State might be a good choice if you're considering working in the SF Bay Area whereas UC Merced might be less desirable. That being said, I know a lot of good engineers who went to UCs and CSUs and no one seems to care where you went to college after your first job.


In terms of instruction, I'd expect that the undergraduate engineering programs are similar between the two institutions. If you intend to pursue a graduate degree, I suspect that the UC system may offer better research opportunities with more prominent professors.


Wherever you go, try to build a lot of relationships with other students and even professors. Having contacts within your industry of choice can be instrumental in unlocking opportunities as your career progresses.