Stanford University Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (12)
I really enjoyed the college experience. Stanford is a great school with a good mix of interesting, intelligent people from different backgrounds and with different interests. While I think my degree prepared me in some ways for my career, I ultimately think that academic study in general can't prepare you for a career in engineering, and experience working on complex problems in a professional setting is the best way to become a good engineer. Additionally, while the quality of instruction at Stanford was certainly very good, I think you can learn the same engineering fundamentals from many other quality schools that are much cheaper and/or less competitive. Ultimately, you can become just as good at your job with a degree from a "lesser" school if you still get quality work experience in your early career. To phrase it another way, if you have a choice between practicing in an internship or entry level engineering position vs. going back to school or staying in school for longer or transferring to a more prestigious school, I would suggest choosing work over school. That said, I will acknowledge that having a degree from a well-respected university can help a lot in the process of finding a job or moving to a new job. While I don't think that any particular thing I learned from Stanford has had a significant impact on my career, I do believe that having a framed piece of paper with Leland Stanford Junior's name on it certainly helped me get the job I had after graduating.
I was in the M.A. journalism program in 2008-2009. While there was a (depressing) focus on the deteriorating state of the traditional journalism industry and the rise of digital communication, there was not nearly enough practical training. While I knew that digital skills were important, there was not a single class in the program that taught HTML, CSS or any even basic coding skills. Nor were there any classes on Adobe products like InDesign (for layouts) or Fireworks/Illustrator for graphics. Our digital skills class did teach us photo slideshows and video editing, which were good skills; however, that was the breadth of the digital skills and those skills are a lot less applicable to available jobs than the skills I listed that I wish I had learned from the program.
I was probably not a great fit for the program to begin with. However, I do judge a journalism program in 2009 for not preparing me well as it could have for digital communication. I will say that you can gain a lot of those skills from electives--which I did out of my own interest in computer science--but they are not required or even particularly encouraged.
My undergraduate degree in Communications and my graduate degree electives were what provided me with actual skills that would help my career (mostly Computer Science and design skills). However, I cannot discount the value of just having an M.A. from Stanford as far as job prospects go. So while it probably did technically help my career, I would not recommend getting this degree.