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Are top universities worth it?

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I'm in grade 12 and will be applying to university soon.  I'm going to apply for engineering, but I'd like to ask: are top universities (Waterloo, UofT, UBC) really worth it for an undergraduate degree? I've heard that students at those schools are very stressed and even depressed.  Is this true? Is the stress really worth it in the end, because everyone will end up with the same degree anyways? Does the school name affect your chance of employment in any way? For people studying at these schools: do you have any regrets/advice for uni choice?
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Your post lies on the presumption that you won't be stressed out if you were to go to another engineering school. If you wanted to avoid such a stressful, rigorous program then why go into engineering in the first place? Just do a business degree instead. This has been discussed ad nauseum on this forum. Everyone might end up with the same engineering degree, but do all these engineering schools have the same connections in the industry and reputation among employers? It's a difference case if you were doing arts or sciences, but these degrees are not designed to get people into the job market. They're designed for academic purposes and to lead students to graduate and professional schools.

Your way of thinking is perfectly fine for unemployable, theoretical degree programs like arts and sciences, but if your goal is to enter the job market straight out of undergrad, then it becomes highly important to consider the connections and reputation that program has in the specific field. 
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I would disagree. Just go to queens engineering and have a hell of a time!
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Just cause you choose to attend Carleton or some other "low" program for engineering doesn't mean you will be a terrible engineer and no one will hire you. It's just how you market yourself. Some Waterloo grads have trouble finding jobs while some Windsor grads have already found jobs. If you want a bangin' time in university, Queen's, Western and uOttawa are good.
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Ok, high schoolers need to stop assuming that all U of T and Waterloo engineering students are depressed and on the verge of being suicidal. People handle these programs and the workload differently. Veronica, alexmac, and Ludwig Van have nothing but positive things to say about these programs and they actually go there. So, stop jumping to your own assumptions and conclusions and talk to actual students in the program.
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I really like what the first commenter said, so I'll add my opinions as a second year UW eng student.

There is a difference in job prospects. If you want to work at a top tech company in the Valley or even in major Canadian cities, your chances are much higher at a top institution. Apple and Facebook recruit dozens of students a term by going straight to Waterloo's job board. Although another student could apply, they'll be competing with hundreds of students from a dozen different universities for the openings that won't go to a Waterloo or U of T student.

Plus with Waterloo co-op you're going to graduate with up to 2 years of experience, plus a network of contacts and employers. Your resume will look comparatively better with 5-6 different job titles plus all of the extra curriculars and side projects you've done, versus a student at another institution that did not/could not secure the same amount of experience.

HOWEVER if the aim is to simply get hired as an engineer, the advantage isn't so clear. Lots of good engineering companies hire from all sorts of universities as long as they can do the job. Waterloo and U of T are by no means a guaranteed ticket to a $120k starting salary, so chances are you'll be working a fairly typical job with engineers from Queens, Western, Mac, etc

Stress and depression come up a lot when discussing Waterloo (thanks to the subreddit) but honestly it's what you make of it. I'm happier here than I was in high school and I have a great group of friends. Others may not feel the same way, but if you think the entire faculty of 6000 engineering students are all depressed and miserable, then you'd be wrong.
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This is why you and other people who actually get on this site should be ambassadors. No offence to the others, but Benson is literally the only one who I’ve seen prior to yconic picking the ambassadors. Oh well.
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The ambassador role is slightly different than what I want to do on this site. I prefer just popping up whenever someone has an engineering question.

Thanks for the feedback though :)
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I'm in law school and applied to be an ambassador and was not chosen. I suppose they mostly just want first year university students in the role. However, I think they need to realize that in many cases, upper year university students and post-graduate students such as myself are more than capable of guiding this forum and advising high schoolers and undergraduate students. We tend to have more knowledge on educational and career matters as well. But, oh well, I'm not holding anything against them as I still come on here to advise students.
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although school name means a bit, what's more valuable at top schools are the opportunities you have when you study there (connections, co-op, profs) that you won't find at lower tier schools. i want to stress this though, the difference is substantial and although working hard at a different university can make up for this difference, it is not easy. 

as to the stress thing, it is interesting how UW and UofT have this culture of stress and anxiety. my guess is that it happens because people are being pushed to achieve greater things while handling a non trivial course load. i also think the demographics that tend to go to UW and UofT play a part in it (too many memers). i'll put more blame on the individuals though - if you do your best not to compare yourself to people, you'll generally be happier. 

do i have regrets going to uw? funnily enough i think i'd regret it if i did engineering, but i don't find class work to be that stressful (minus a few exceptions). co-op season is quite stressful though...but i know i'd be way more stressed if i wasn't in co-op (or just unemployed lol)
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If u plan to go and work abroad and not staying in canada, u should go to the big ones like UBC, McGill, U of T and maybe... McMaster. If ur planning to work in canada, lets say ontario, research which unis are best for ur program, the fame wouldnt matter much. This is what i think, so dont quote on me lol.
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I'm a first year eng student at queens and I really couldnt be happier with my choice to come here at this point. Eng is challenging no matter where you go but Queens does a really great job of offering a massive array of resources so that you never feel too overwhelmed. It's not that it's not stressful but everybody knows we will all make it through, which is not something you can say about many other schools. In terms of employment, as long as you do some relevant work experience over the summer you should be solid for jobs once you graduate and it mostly comes down to that rather than the specific place you got a degree. Anything in the top 15 or 20 looks good to employers as long as you have good experience.
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I am in waterloo cs and I am the saddest sad boi you'll ever meat. Stay away 4 ur own gud
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The institution you go to does not have a huge impact once you graduate. as you said, we all come out with the same degree. The difference tends to be, as Veronica pointed out, with some large tech companies. The institution you go to can get your foot in the door for an interview when you face a great deal of competition at large firms. Moreover, a lot of large firms like Tesla, Apple etc. hire in large numbers from universities such as UT and UW. 

In reality though, most engineering jobs don't really differentiate on the school you went to. The reason I would recommend Waterloo is the co-op program. After up to 6 different placements, you gain a lot of experience into what field of engineering you want to delve into, considerable pay to mitigate student debts and the experience counts towards your P Eng. Personally, I have been offered a job upon graduation at my previous co-op placements which is a great security to have. 

(Source: I am a third year UW Engineering Student)
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