{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "My nephew is graduating from UC Berkeley this year but he can’t seem to be able to land a “good” job despite having prior internship experiences. He has an offer from Columbia Engineering for grad school, should he take it? He recruited for consulting in the past and wants to continue that route, but I’m not sure if the investment is worth it as 1) masters student are considered on par with undergrads 2) his undergrad is already good enough that prob doesn’t need the brand?", "post_id": "607148fb40992400246835db", "reply_count": 24, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting" }

My nephew is graduating from UC Berkeley this year but he can’t seem to be able to land a “good” job despite having prior internship experiences. He has an offer from Columbia Engineering for grad school, should he take it? He recruited for consulting in the past and wants to continue that route, but I’m not sure if the investment is worth it as 1) masters student are considered on par with undergrads 2) his undergrad is already good enough that prob doesn’t need the brand?

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Was his undergrad in engineering? If so then Columbia engineering is actually a downgrade in terms of rankings so I wouldn’t do it. A bachelors degree from Berkeley in engineering should be more than enough for many tech startup roles or boutique consulting firms. From there he can either pursue an MBA or lateral over to a “top” consulting firm if that’s still something he wants in 2+ years. If his bachelors wasn’t in engineering then there’s a chance the masters program at Columbia could be worth it...but this is highly dependent on situation so would encourage you/him to research it carefully before committing. As others have said, it won’t help if his goal is to recruit straight into consulting (other than giving him another year for recruiting). If he’s interested in pursuing a more technical role straight out of his masters, it could help though. Source: I have a masters in engineering (was worth it for me because I studied math and physics at a top LAC for undergrad so I needed the masters to get the jobs I wanted in industry straight out of school). Consulting is my 2nd career after working in engineering for a few years.

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Doubt it since Columbia is a recruiting target - I know many BCG folks with a similar profile (top undergrad and non MBA masters from a recruiting target). He should just be prepared with a good story about why he chose to pursue an engineering masters in case they ask about it in the interview. I didn’t come from campus recruiting so not sure about how they treat masters students vs. undergrads. I lateraled in with a referral from someone I knew from my engineering work experience, as you said. But don’t underestimate the value of going out and getting more life experience before becoming a consultant - even 2 years in industry can both greatly expand your professional network and make you a better consultant if you’re hoping to focus in a particular industry.

He should purchase a large backpack, cash out his gerber grow up fund, and hike around the globe; and then decide. Sounds like he’ll be fine, and he has a once in a lifetime chance to take a break from the world before it gets real. If I were him, that’s what I’d do.

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Hahaha we need to get past covid first :/

He’s at Haas. He shouldn’t need a grad degree to find a job.

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Not sure about 2) though, Berkeley has a strong reputation on the west coast but is it enough to break into MBB? Also the engineering is in industrial engineering so he could also pivot to data analytics in case things don’t work out. But the tuition is quite expensive so I’m wondering if he should just start working and then jump instead

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Probably depends on the firm. At BCG anyone who isn’t an undergrad, masters student, or advanced degree (PhD, JD, MD) graduate is classified as an experienced hire. How much consulting or industry experience you have is only used to determine how much tenure credit you come in with (ie how quickly you can be promoted to next level).

Columbia itself may open doors, though not necessarily for engineering itself. There are other schools with stronger programs - depends on what he wants to do

The question is, what does he want to do at MBB. MBB isn't necessarily known for tech work so a Columbia degree may be overkill, but if he wants to pivot to strategy consulting, the Columbia name will help him get a foot in the door. If he wants to do data engineering, consider a stronger engineering school - MIT, Stanford, Georgia Tech, Berkeley, USC, etc and apply to FAANG, not MBB. If he really wants to do data related consulting, consider Deloitte digital or Accenture applied intelligence as they are market leaders.

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I don’t think the engineering degree is worth it. At MBB he’d still come in at the BA level through on campus recruiting. Also it is harsh but industrial engineering is often considered “not real engineering” by other engineering disciplines and Columbia is not recognized as a top engineering school. In my mind it actually wouldn’t even crack the top 20. Staying at Berkeley for and engineering masters is better as it has a well respected engineering program. I agree with the folks here that he should likely take a boutique job and hop up at this point. Many MBB are still driving hard in recruiting so if he didn’t go through the process in the fall and get dinged he should try to network in now.

Berkeley is a fantastic school. Your nephew shouldn’t get a masters unless he absolutely wants to. Are they graduating in May/June or Fall? Honestly, if possible, I would suggest he stay another semester to at least graduate in December 2021 because Fall recruiting is the most active for most companies.

Know many colleagues at old consulting firm who have masters at places like Columbia, Yale, etc. However, many of these masters programs and not really selective and basically a way for colleges to make extra money. The average Joe might be impressed with Columbia masters, but I do think most recruiters won’t care.

There are a lot of fresh grad openings we have in pwc

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