All about College!

Let’s talk about college. How much, when, why, what, where and how? And maybe even who?

1 Like

As someone who has hired and managed college grads, internship experience is critical. I think it’s near impossible to get hired without it. Also, I look for people that worked part-time during college. They tend to have better time management and don’t have the entitlement atttiude you hear about with millineials. Despite everything you read, I’ve had great experieces with millineials.

The most difficult to manage are people that have topped out the individual contributor ranks and aren’t good enough to go further. They’re either bitter they can’t advance more, or they’re doing the bare minimum.

1 Like

Which UC or Cal-state (aka affordable) 4 year college would you recommend for a computer science Bachelor’s degree? Kid just wants to program videogames or apps.

Forgive my nosiness, aren’t your kids almost guaranteed admission into MIT because you are an alumnus?

MIT claims not to give preference to alumni–or at least it did when I went. I don’t know if that’s still true.

Even if he gets in–I don’t think we can pay for it. I have to be realistic that we are behind financially, and Berkeley is $15K and he can live at home, work for Google, and pay that off himself.

I’m also not convinced that MIT is a good match for a programmer. The CS department is very theoretical. Which is great if you want to design languages or computers or compilers, or teach math and CS theory classes to gifted kids–but if you’re planning to code a videogame… I’m not sure it’s a good investment. I’m open to being convinced otherwise.

Is MIT way better than Berkeley? If those of you hiring think it’s worth that $200K extra, do let me know.

MIT undergrad is much better than Berkeley. Grad school though is about the same I think.

It’s more than quality of education though. There is also the prestige factor, and other intangible like will he be more likely to be a founder or meet kids who will become founders?

Steve ballmer became a billionaire solely because he share the same dorm room with bill gates.


Kids can learn programming just watching Khan academy videos. I would not worry too much or place much value on the quality of education. It’s other intangibles that I would optimize.

This may have changed since I went there, but I do not see MIT’s CS department as raising up founders. Certainly many of my friends have gone on to start companies, but the Mech E dept did a way better job of training for product design and business than the CS department did.

I’ve worked with several MIT / Berkeley / Stanford grads. My take is, if you graduate from top 10 schools, school brand doesnt matter once you’re hired. And once you get some experience, nobody looks at your diploma.


Manch, if you had $200K, and your kid got into MIT, would you send the kid to MIT, or buy the kid this?

Good question. I would buy the house.

At the end of the day SWE is still a laborer, albeit a high level one. I now think it’s much easier to make money from capital than from labor, and the trend will only get steeper in the future.


Furthermore, once your kid has landed a job as a SWE here, they have a place to stay. Double win.

I have a hard time because I know #1 is capable of doing very very well at MIT, but the point of life is not to graduate with a PHD from MIT, but to buy a house, get married, have kids, save for retirement and not be dependent on society.

If he at some point realizes his potential and decides to go into drug research or cure cancer, I’ll send him to MIT, but right now if he’s just going to be a regular programmer…

1 Like

Don’t me get wrong–if he gets enough scholarships to go to MIT for the price of Berkeley, I will totally send him–it’s just I have difficulty with the “sticker price.”

I think lack of peoole skills holds back a lot of engineers. As has been pointed out here, the starting pay is very high, but they also hit the peak pretty quickly. At the point, engineers need to move to management to advance. Then it’s more about people skills. If they don’t want to advance, then they need to stay current on changes in tech, so they don’t become highly paid and obsolete.

1 Like

MIT is definitely not a bad place, and i met some of the truly smart people there (and to give a context, I try to surround myself with smart people at work, there are maybe 4-5 people among hundreds I met at google whom I consider smarter than I am), at mit that ratio was much much much higher. Sounds maybe arrogant, but whatever.

I would probably try stanford, though, mostly because of entrepreneurial aspect. That’s the right age, right energy, and enthusiasm. Combine that with people from wealthy background, it becomes a really good combination.

Don’t buy the argument for IC vs M, most managers don’t have a vision or capability to “leap” a business. IF your kid is smart, channel that to something very rewarding (and it’s ok if s/he fails).


Another enlightened one :+1:

1 Like

I’m disappointed with you :disappointed_relieved:

1 Like

This picture has not changed for decades, may be centuries ago :wink:

1 Like

This is due to the fact that education has become abundantly available and educated people are all over the place.

Now educated people need to live a real life and earn their life. In the old days, getting an education will bring you a good house, good family and good retirement automatically. All you need to worry about is study and study.

Education is now a commodity. With the online courses, this commodity will be worth less and less.

Now you can live in Africa and watch MIT courses online. The previledge is a lot less now.

Scarcity creates value. Abundance will devalue everything.

That said, when Wiener’s bill passes, real estate investment will be less attractive. When 5 story building becomes common, home value will increase less quickly. Nothing can escape the law of supply and demand.

The point of life is to have as many kids as you can. So become a welfare mom and pop out 10 babies and have the government take care of all of them…