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Rochester Institute of Technology

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by blindfire, Apr 1, 2018.

  1. blindfire

    blindfire NES Member

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    My niece got accepted there and just got back from her campus visit. She seemed pretty excited by the place.

    Anyone have any personal experience or knowledge on the quality of the education?

    It's down to between UMass Lowell and RIT.

    She's looking at majoring in EE with a focus on Alternative Energy Sources

    Have to admit, I'm very proud and totally jealous. She's got a great opportunity and is picking a great major. With any luck, she'll make more than I am right now (which took me 20 years to get here) in less than half the time.
     
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  2. jefftk

    jefftk

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    I went to RIT - Computer Engineering, 2010. (although I think all of my grad/elective courses were from EE).

    I would say the quality of education was good - if you put the effort in (but that will be true anywhere, of course...). When I was there, there seemed to be a notion by some people that RIT had a low bar for entry/admission, despite being a tough school, and therefore had a high attrition rate - not sure how true that really is/was.

    They have lots of clubs and good quality labs, probably better than when I was there if I believe the magazines they keep sending me.
    RIT is/was really big in to "sustainability" (I think they have a PhD in sustainability now - although I'm not really sure what that entails). I would imagine that philosophy extends in to alternative energy. (I do recall some some groups participating in electric bike/vehicle contests).

    A few other good points for RIT, I think, are the mandatory co-op program and most of the engineering disciplines offer a dual degree BS/MS program.


    I can't say much about UMass Lowell - although I think UMass Amherst seems to be fairly well regarded. UMass Lowell will almost certainly be cheaper.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
  3. Rob Boudrie

    Rob Boudrie NES Member

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    Well respected, though it is actually near the suburb of Henrietta - though they chose not to call it the South Henrietta Institute of Technology.
     
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  4. matt2491

    matt2491 NES Member

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    I went to RIT in 2009. It was fine. Quality of education is good. Location and surroundings suck - ultra dreary most of the time. Made good friends, had a good time.
     
  5. Varmint

    Varmint NES Member

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    Have come across some RIT grads, who were solid, and it has a great reputation. No offense to UMass Lowell but she really should go to RIT. In fact it seemed like a nice town as well, when I visited once. (talking about Rochester, not Lowell!)
     
  6. Rob Boudrie

    Rob Boudrie NES Member

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    Rochester gets the most snow of any city in the continental US.
     
  7. Varmint

    Varmint NES Member

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    I went to a top 20 engineering school and it was a slaughterhouse the first year or two. It was in that case all the affirmative action candidates, every last one of them dropped out. Poor bastards wasted a lot of money and time.
     
  8. northny

    northny NES Member

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    It is a good school in nice area. Just look at stats for both schools for the % of freshman that graduate. Many schools use % that graduate after five years. Last I looked RIT used % that graduate after six years and was still a lower number. Not saying don't go there, just something to check out.
     
  9. sigfanboy13

    sigfanboy13

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    UMass Lowell's entire academic reputation is on their engineering program. Its a good school. Lowell isn't nearly as rough as it was, and there is so much good food. I miss it :/
     
  10. Rayvis13

    Rayvis13 NES Member

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    I grew up I Rochester. RIT is a great school. great college town. bail out after graduation though. NY taxes are worse than MA by a lot. And politics are swayed towards NYC. Snows a lot, so what. Finger lakes are 1 hour away. wine country of the East. Any other questions , ask away. spent 2/3 my life there .
     
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  11. Varmint

    Varmint NES Member

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    It's hard to judge from those statistics. My engineering school (UMd College Park) was difficult to finish in 4 years, plus a lot of people did coops. It was also very challenging so a lot dropped out. Also depends on how many part time or returning students you have.

    US News has UMass Lowell as #125 engineering and RIT is #61. For what that's worth, probably not much.
     
  12. Rob Boudrie

    Rob Boudrie NES Member

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    Grads don't get special career opportunities or paths unavailable to kids from lesser schools unless they come from a place like MIT or Caltech. A school 20 or 30 down from the top won't open up more doors than one 100 or 120 down. They are all "Not MIT".
     
  13. TayNinh_66

    TayNinh_66

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    Back when I hired EE's I always went for grads from coop programs. Lot's of hand's on experience and real world expectations. MIT grads wanted to be Director of Engineering. NE grads went to top of interview pile.
     
  14. drgrant

    drgrant Moderator NES Member

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    IMHO a lot of colleges have a high attrition rate.... because a lot of kids going to college don't have any business there. I know because I was "one of those kids". thankfully on the whole it didn't end up costing my parents a shitload of money (I only went to WIT a year before dropping out) and I made my own way eventually...

    IMO if a kid is SERIOUS about going to college and they WANT to be there, they will probably do whatever it takes to succeed. The dropout rate among that sub-class of people going to college is probably exceedingly low.

    -Mike
     
  15. rep308

    rep308 NES Member

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    RIT is a great school, good luck and don't forget about Dinosaurs Barbecue in Rochester. and snow, lots of snow, feet and feet of endless lake effect snow
     
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  16. boiler_eng

    boiler_eng NES Member

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    I would say there is more a spectrum of diminishing returns. Also which schools is somewhat industry specific. Not every company recruits at every school. Going to a school that was in the bottom half of top ten engineering programs doesn't get "name on the company leadership sheet" treatment but it sure does give "street cred".
     
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  17. VetteGirlMA

    VetteGirlMA NES Member

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    Tell her we need more women in engineering. I was the only female in my graduating class.
     
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  18. boiler_eng

    boiler_eng NES Member

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    I think a lot of School districts, it happens before college so can't really blame the college, do a very poor job of properly routing people to fill out the statistics of programs. I knew a LOT of women who dropped from the honors engineering program to some other degree. The rate of men dropping was lower in the honors program but I didn't get to know a lot of other people freshman year so hard to say what the total rate was. The common theme was that they got through the first year and it just wasn't really what they wanted. The guys didn't have the same encouragement previous to college so they were less likely to be influenced by teachers or other adults telling them "oh you should be an engineer, you would be the best one!". To be clear, these women were very intelligent and likely went on to good careers in something they liked more. Also, the women that did stay in the program seemed to always be a cut above the average guy in the program because they had to deal with the BS of all the guys in the program.

    The flaw is probably a symptom of non-STEM people trying to figure out how to drum up girls to go into an engineering career. My wife had said it got to the point that some teachers would start acting like it was a disappointment if a girl didn't pick up an interest when they showed "promise" as a way to shame them into pursuing it.
     
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  19. Rob Boudrie

    Rob Boudrie NES Member

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    I remember being relatively new to the business and was proud of the fact that my bio was in the business plan a startup used to pitch investors. The page with my name was replaced the day the company hired a new grad from MIT.
    You cannot expect a UMass VP to think of MIT grads as her betters, but you can expect an MIT VP to think of UMass grads as her lessers.
     
  20. boiler_eng

    boiler_eng NES Member

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    Until you get into a career, its all about trading off other people's reputations. At this point I end up trading more on my own accomplishments than where I went to school, I am sure an MIT grad would still see some returns mid and late career. It was amusing to see people say "oh you went there? I knew these two people that went there and they said it was a tough program, you must be pretty smart." then stop questioning my ability. At this point I just have to tell them I just have to recite the X number of times I have solved this problem, and then perform the party trick of explaining some section of their controller manual that they don't understand.

    Then again I work in manufacturing, where if someone has an MIT degree the impression is probably "They are only here till they get a better title" or "I wonder why they ended up here."
     
  21. blindfire

    blindfire NES Member

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    She's getting a good amount of grants and scholarships from the school and the WE group on campus seemed pretty enthusiastic. I think she's leaning that way if the money situation works out. Mom is not making a ton of money which helps her with scholarships and grants.

    Thanks for the reply.
     
  22. boiler_eng

    boiler_eng NES Member

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    Where I went SWE (society for women in engineering) has a pretty good presence and provided a lot of networking opportunities. My suggestion to anyone is to always leverage those kinds of things, especially early as many don't go to them till senior year, and it can be fruitful for engineers both in exposing to industry connections and practicing those interpersonal soft skills.

    The women who were active leaders in that group all went off to have careers but would come back to mentor, advocate for, and recruit from the current students in the group.

    As a student I would have been hesitant to walk into a networking event with business cards listing my name, email, major, and course experience but when I went to an event as an Alumni at an event the night before a football game a sophomore handed me one and my reaction was "holy shit, I don't have an internship for you but if something comes up you are at the top of my list."
     
  23. vicorjh

    vicorjh NES Member

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    Congrats on her acceptance!

    EE programs can be pretty intense. Kudos to her for not shying away from the work.

    For EE undergrad programs it's easy to fall behind quickly if one chooses to overdo the college experience. Everything builds on everything else. Be sure to helpfully keep her on track, it's easy to get distracted by college life in general. Balance.
     
  24. crazymjb

    crazymjb

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    That's good to hear. I'm heavily considering keeping this perpetual student thing going with an engineering degree. I'm about half-way there with a BS in bio from UMass Amherst. Once I'm in the Guard I get 130 free credits in the UMass system, I've been in touch with UML about doing a BSE and MSE part-time.

    If I were her I'd probably go with UMass due to cost. My friends who studied engineering at UML and UMA are all doing well.

    Mike
     
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  25. Spanz

    Spanz NES Member

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    one thing about EE courses: they are tough, and you do have to work.....if she is having trouble in any particular course....have her hire a tutor to help out. Sometimes the way a professor is teaching does not jive with the way her mind works, but another person telling her the same thing in a different way, and all of a sudden the lightbulb lights up.
     
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  26. richc

    richc NES Member

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    RIT is a great school. End of discussion.

    A young man I know and have mentored over the years attended RIT. After a few years writing boring trading systems for Wall Street he moved to Microsoft in their Hololens group. Recently he moved to Amazon to work on VR apps.

    He is paid an incredible amount of money for his efforts. Stunning, actually, for a 30 year old. And he loves his work.

    BTW many of his RIT buddies went to Microsoft at the same time. And many moved to Amazon as well. There's a strong bond among graduates that opens many doors.

    Congrats to your niece!!!
     
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  27. Jim85IROC

    Jim85IROC

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    I graduated from RIT in 2001. I struggled, but managed to finally graduate after an extra year. It's a good school, and the co-op program is what sold me on it.

    When I went there it was expensive. Now it's INSANE. One thing that I didn't really understand until I got out into the working world is that ultimately, where you went to college is a whole lot less important than you think. I work in a place with over a thousand engineers. Some went to better schools than I did, some went to lesser schools. I've found absolutely no correlation between anybody's alma mater and their talent level, nor in their pay level. I could have ended up with the exact same job by taking my first 2 years at a local community college, then transferring to a less expensive school with an EE program for my last 2 years.
     
  28. Rob Boudrie

    Rob Boudrie NES Member

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    >UMass Lowell's entire academic reputation is on their engineering program.
    As well as their Doctorate in Physical Therapy

    ....

    As to opportunities - A friends son graduated with a MS in Aero engineering. Before he graduated, he was offered summer jobs at EVEY ONE of the private space companies. I know he worked at least one. He has also been offered teaching positions as a guest lecturer in Moscow for several months, and Dubai for a week. These were all paid positions. His starting salary offers were almost exactly $100K.

    A kid getting an Aero degree from a top 50 but not MIT school is not going to be given those sort of opportunities.
     
  29. hedgehound

    hedgehound NES Member

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    We might add Embry - Riddle.

    But you are right, some schools names open doors.
     
  30. endus

    endus

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    I went there. The sun does not come out from September to May. The people from the city will tell you how nice it is in the summer, which obviously doesn't do a god damn thing for you as a student from out of state. There was a story that the plans for the campus were originally designed for a school in the south so that the buildings would channel the wind and keep people cool, but RIT bought them cheap. Probably not true, but the f***ing wind by the administration building in the middle of winter was so brutal you started to believe it. Rochester is a garbage-ass city in general. Highlights include Tapas 177, Jeremiah's on Monroe Ave, and Jay's Diner and that's about it. Red Creek right across from campus was a favorite at the time because they would serve basically anyone that could produce a piece of paper suggesting they were 21, but the creek is gone now! The healthcare there sucks balls too, had friends who got some weird misdiagnoses.

    I did make lots of great and super interesting friends from all over the world (none of whom were from my major, I should add). We did a lot of drinking and causing trouble because there was nothing else to do. We held the distinguished title of The Worst Floor on Campus freshman year. NRH 8 was in the running but couldn't keep up. At the time I went there the ratio was 3 guys to 1 girl, which helped make the experience even more deeply unpleasant.

    They've improved the campus a LOT from the time I was there. Way more to do, way newer housing, more eating options, etc. I have to give them some credit because that's what literally every single student survey from the time said...at least they actually listened to the torrent of complaints and tried to do something about it. It was like a f***ing prison camp when I was there...they instituted an alcohol policy my second year because of some deaths at other colleges. That eliminated all of the parties, which was the one fun thing to do. Fourth year we said f*** it and had a couple massive public blowouts at our apartment without any issues.

    The education was pretty good. IT has expanded like crazy and has all kinds of facilities and new majors I wish they had when I was there. I never filed the paperwork but I took enough classes to minor in philosophy and close to enough to minor in sociology, and I found those classes to be really good. Suits for philosophy is a must-take professor. Easy grader and really fun classes. There was an english professor who was a real trip too, but I can't remember his name offhand.

    I visited a lot of colleges that I didn't like and applied to RIT early decision because it just, "felt right". I had a friend there a year ahead of me as well. If I had it to do over again I would go somewhere warm where there was a lot of girls. The "college experience" was way more valuable to me than the actual education, and I could have learned what I needed somewhere more fun.
     
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