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Opinions? UW, Mac, UofT or UWO

A photo of jhoang jhoang
Hi there,

I am a grade 12 high school student who recently just applied to university. These are the programs which I applied to:

University of Waterloo
Mathematics (CO-OP) [Actuarial Science]

University of Waterloo
Electrical Engineering (CO-OP)

University of Western Ontario
Science [Actuarial Science]

University of Toronto
Electrical Engineering [Sustainable Energy]

McMaster University
Engineering I (CO-OP) [Electrical/Biomedical]

Based on my avg, I'm pretty confident I will get into most of the programs, if not all. I was just looking for opinions on which program I should accept. UW vs UWO for actuarial science? UW or UofT for Electrical Engineering? I also am thinking I may go to Mac for the electrical&biomed engineering program, then applying to med school down the road. Any opinions on that?

Thanks in advance.
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12 replies
 
A photo of rightsaidfred rightsaidfred
1. Actuarial Science
Pretty useless, but will give a good baseline for a grad level degree which can help you become an actuary. It's tough to do, by the way. There's under 3000 actual actuaries in the country.

2. EE
Great choice.

3. Actuarial Science
Bad idea picking it at Western unless you're in the city. I live in London. People usually leave this city to go to other schools.

4. EE
Great choice. I hope you can afford living in Toronto, though.

5. EE
Also a good choice. Great to have backups.

If you have the choice, UT Electrical Engineering.

IF you want to do electrical engineering and med school (seems to be a common goal these days), Western actually offers a 7 year program. Any engineering discipline you want plus you graduate having the MCAT.

Check out Western's page.

What's your average, just FYI?
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A photo of imaginaryengineer imaginaryengineer
Decide on what major you want to pursue first.

For electrical engineering it really comes down to what school you like better. Both programs are very good. The best thing for you to do is visit both campus's try to contact anyone you know who goes to UW or Uoft and let them tell you their experiences. For Uoft i can tell you the social life here is good if you are out going and lik frats or clubs. The res parties from my experience are bad and sometimes there are nights wher nothin is going on. But ive met some pretty awesome people. I recommend you do not commute though. Stay on res.

If your interested in biomed engineering im pretty sure UW/Uoft have specializations in it. Just dont be shocked next year if your marks fall by 10-30 %. Engineering is tough just be realistic and dont stress out to much over grades. Getting into med school is do able but dont be stressed out when u get ur first midterms back. Biomed engineering is cool on its own and more jobs are opening up for this specialization.

Good luck
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A photo of jhoang jhoang

@rightsaidfred wrote
1. Actuarial Science
Pretty useless, but will give a good baseline for a grad level degree which can help you become an actuary. It's tough to do, by the way. There's under 3000 actual actuaries in the country.

2. EE
Great choice.

3. Actuarial Science
Bad idea picking it at Western unless you're in the city. I live in London. People usually leave this city to go to other schools.

4. EE
Great choice. I hope you can afford living in Toronto, though.

5. EE
Also a good choice. Great to have backups.

If you have the choice, UT Electrical Engineering.

IF you want to do electrical engineering and med school (seems to be a common goal these days), Western actually offers a 7 year program. Any engineering discipline you want plus you graduate having the MCAT.

Check out Western's page.

What's your average, just FYI?



about 93%
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A photo of greygoose greygoose
UW probably has, at minimum, the most reputable ActSci program in the country. It's super competetive. For UW vs UoT, it's a tossup--choose which campus suits you better. And your third option, no idea.

Really, it's up to you to figure out what program you're most interested in. Actsci is a lot of number crunching, and guaranteed to be a desk job--EE is obviously going to be more hands on. Medicine, engineering, and statistics are really disjoint fields so you have to figure out what you like best and pursue it.
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A photo of luckystar luckystar

@greygoose wrote
UW probably has, at minimum, the most reputable ActSci program in the country. It's super competetive. For UW vs UoT, it's a tossup--choose which campus suits you better. And your third option, no idea.

Really, it's up to you to figure out what program you're most interested in. Actsci is a lot of number crunching, and guaranteed to be a desk job--EE is obviously going to be more hands on. Medicine, engineering, and statistics are really disjoint fields so you have to figure out what you like best and pursue it.


What about Computer Engineering? Is it as "hand on" as EE?
Thanks
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A photo of greygoose greygoose

@luckystar wrote
What about Computer Engineering? Is it as "hand on" as EE?
Thanks



All engineering programs are going to be hands on to some extent--other than perhaps software engineers, everyone will work in a lab at some point. Engineering is at the most applied end of the sciences spectrum. Incremententally more theoretical (and still similar):

- Software engineering
- Computer science
- Mathematics

EDIT: Broad, vague post because I'm not an engineer and can't answer from experience :P EE will certainly be *way* more hands on and broad a specialty than actsci.
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A photo of chatmike chatmike
All of those are reputable programs from reputable schools, and you're probably going to get into the bulk of them with a 93, so i'd suggest you do some soul searching and figure out what you actually want to do!

Best of luck!
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A photo of forthewinwin forthewinwin
On the resume, UofT and UW will look the best.

UofT is ranked 10th in the world for Engineering and 19th overall in the world as an overall insitution.

Don't think you could go wrong with either of the 2.
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A photo of chatmike chatmike

@forthewinwin wrote
On the resume, UofT and UWO will look the best.

UofT is ranked 10th in the world for Engineering and 19th overall in the world as an overall insitution.

Don't think you could go wrong with either of the 2.



I think you mean "UW"? No offense to Western, but i'm pretty sure Waterloo > Western in engineering aha.
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A photo of forthewinwin forthewinwin

@chatmike wrote

@forthewinwin wrote
On the resume, UofT and UWO will look the best.

UofT is ranked 10th in the world for Engineering and 19th overall in the world as an overall insitution.

Don't think you could go wrong with either of the 2.



I think you mean "UW"? No offense to Western, but i'm pretty sure Waterloo > Western in engineering aha.



Oh whoops, I meant Waterloo and U of Toronto. Got my abbrevation wrong.
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A photo of StochasticSeeker StochasticSeeker

@rightsaidfred wrote
1. Actuarial Science
Pretty useless, but will give a good baseline for a grad level degree which can help you become an actuary. It's tough to do, by the way. There's under 3000 actual actuaries in the country.

2. EE
Great choice.

3. Actuarial Science
Bad idea picking it at Western unless you're in the city. I live in London. People usually leave this city to go to other schools.

4. EE
Great choice. I hope you can afford living in Toronto, though.

5. EE
Also a good choice. Great to have backups.

If you have the choice, UT Electrical Engineering.

IF you want to do electrical engineering and med school (seems to be a common goal these days), Western actually offers a 7 year program. Any engineering discipline you want plus you graduate having the MCAT.

Check out Western's page.

What's your average, just FYI?



This might be a bit late, but who told you that you need to do graduate studies to become an actuary? Most actuaries are hired based on the number of exams that were passed and their experience in the industry. Trust me, the exams are a very good indicator of the quality of candidates as the pass rates for them are typically 35-40%.

As for the career, I would not say actuarial science is "useless" as it has consistently ranked in the top 5 list of best jobs in the country (this year it's at #3 and last year it was #1):

http://www.careercast.com/jobs-rated/2011-ranking-200-jobs-best-worst

It's also one of the few jobs with 0% unemployment (see here).

In short, the job is demanding and difficult, but I high recommend it if you enjoy doing maths.

EDIT: I also recommend uWaterloo for our great co-op program (you'll virtually come out with a surplus amount of income, no debt, and 2-yrs experience) and one the largest actuarial programs in the country.
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