Best Colleges For Computer Engineering In California – California Polytechnic State University, located in San Luis Obispo, California (abbreviated as Cal Poly SLO), is a major university on the west coast of the United States.
The word “university” means different things in different countries. In the US, this means a university that offers industry-based education rather than research-based education.
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Cal Poly SLO offers a 4-year bachelor’s degree and a 2-year master’s degree. A mixed 4+1 program is available for obtaining bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the same time. Doctorates are not awarded because Cal Poly is not a research university.
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Being industry oriented, Cal Poly SLO has strong ties to industry so landing internships and jobs is easier than many other universities. Top companies like Apple, Amazon and Microsoft come to the Cal Poly campus to recruit students for internships and jobs.
Many ranking websites only include research universities. Cal Poly is not a research university, so it is not ranked on such websites. Even when it is included, it appears less on such lists. For that matter, Cal Poly is ranked 51st out of 739 colleges in Money Magazine’s 2020 Best Colleges in America and 58th out of 600 in Forbes’ 2021 Best Colleges in America.
But if you change the criteria from research outcomes to employment outcomes, Cal Poly appears higher on the list. Cal Poly SLO ranks in the top 20 to 25 on the list based on employment outcomes:
Cal Poly’s footprint at top tech firms is especially impressive when you consider that Cal Poly’s enrollment is much smaller than other universities. Just 196 people graduated from Cal Poly with computer-related majors in 2019. Compare that to 1,129 from USC, 704 from UC San Diego, 676 from ASU, 676 from UIUC, 661 from UC Irvine and 507 from Purdue. (Data available here).
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Cal Poly is not well known abroad or even domestically. However, Cal Poly has quite a reputation in Silicon Valley. It is well-known among top tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon, and that’s what matters.
Mainly for historical reasons, California has two public university systems: the University of California (UC) system and the California State University (CSU) system. UC has 9 campuses and CSU has 23. UC Berkeley and UCLA are the most selective of the UCs. Cal Poly SLO is the most selective of the CSUs.
Cal Poly SLO is below UC Berkeley and UCLA in terms of selectivity and above most other UCs. See the acceptance rate here. Cal Poly SLO is comparable in prestige to mid-tier UCs.
Note that there are three Cal Poly campuses within the CSU system. This article applies specifically to the Cal Poly SLO, San Luis Obispo campus. When we say Cal Poly in this article, we also mean Cal Poly SLO. Cal Poly SLO is far ahead of the other two Cal Poly in terms of selectivity.
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In other universities, the priority is research, and the focus is on graduate and doctoral students, because the university’s reputation is based on research results, published papers, citations of those papers, and the like. Cal Poly’s reputation is built solely on the quality of its undergraduate education.
At Cal Poly, undergraduates can take courses like Distributed Systems and Deep Learning. In other universities, these are often reserved for graduate students and the course content is geared towards graduate students. More on that below.
At other universities, it is common to have 200 or more students in a class, and the lecture halls are huge. You can also watch the clock recording, as the clock is not interactive. At Cal Poly, a typical class size is 35 students. Professors know your name.
In research universities, professors focus on research. They may teach, but recognition for them comes from their research output. At Cal Poly, you learn from professors who love to teach (and they’re there to teach, not research, and miss out on industry jobs that pay many times more). Students who attend Cal Poly CS speak highly of their professors.
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In contrast, hear what one UC Berkeley student had to say: “As a current student [at UC Berkeley]: It’s a great research university and a beautiful campus, but the undergraduate experience is terrible. The classes are huge and there is very little professor/student interaction, because the faculty’s focus, for better or worse, is not on undergraduate education.”
At some universities, students declare their major by the end of the first year or in some cases by the second year. At Cal Poly, you declare your major when you apply for admission, and you start your major on day one!
If you took AP Computer Science in high school, you can take the Data Structures and Algorithms course at Cal Poly.
And start learning about stacks and queues, binary trees and graphs, etc. (In comparison, UC Irvine students don’t take this core course until the middle of their sophomore year.) By the end of your sophomore year, you may be ready for a software development internship, leaving your junior and senior years for advanced courses such as deep learning and distributed computing. system.
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“Learning by doing” is more than an ideal at Cal Poly. Almost every CS course at Cal Poly has a lab component.
According to a UC Irvine student on Reddit, he took an algorithm design course without writing a line of code. Same for the network course. An ASU student reported, “I just started coding and I’m a sophomore with a 4.0.”
Not in cal poly. Here you start coding as early as the first quarter of your first year. When you take a networking course, you must write code using sockets. When you do algorithm design course, you need to apply graph algorithm, dynamic programming etc.
This is perhaps the most important criterion – what could be more important than what you learn in college?
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Some universities are not good at keeping their courses current. For example, this ASU student complains about teaching outdated technologies like JavaFX and Swing. This is not a problem at Cal Poly.
The CS course catalog at Cal Poly is impressive. Cal Poly has courses in almost every major industry-relevant topic, including deep learning, distributed computing, distributed systems, etc. (These courses are very important for job preparation in top tech companies like Google.)
Although some of these courses may be available in other faculties, they are almost always intended for graduate and doctoral students, and undergraduates are not permitted to take them. (For example, this distributed systems course at Purdue is limited to those enrolled in the MS or PhD programs.) At Cal Poly—thanks to their graduate focus—these courses are designed for undergraduates.
Cal Poly offers 5 majors in Computer Science including Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning and Data Engineering. See density details. This is apart from software engineering, which is a separate major.
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This is an area where cal poly excels. Thanks to ‘learning by doing’, Cal Poly has a strong reputation among technology companies Top tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon come to the Cal Poly campus to conduct internships and on-campus job interviews. Read more about the Cal Poly job fair. See the results here, including top employers and salaries.
Amazon has a software development office in downtown San Luis Obispo where Cal Poly students can work as year-round interns, working 16 hours a week. For more information, see here.
Apple, known for being selective about where it hires fresh graduates, is one of the top employers for Cal Poly graduates. Apple recruits more from Cal Poly—as a percentage of its graduating class—than any other university. According to a recent report, Apple hired 8.3% of all Cal Poly graduates. Stanford ranked second with 7.7% of graduates hired by Apple.
Why would Apple favor Cal Poly graduates over graduates from more prestigious universities? Because Cal Poly teaches art and Cal Poly students don’t just learn theory, they ‘learn to do’ and are ready for day one.
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Cal Poly is not a research university. This does not mean that there is no scope for research. Cal Poly offers graduate students research opportunities. See here and here for more information. The William and Linda Frost Center for Graduate Research will open soon. It is funded by a $110 million gift specifically to increase resources for graduate research.
Being industry-oriented, Cal Poly conducts applied research. In addition, graduate students may participate fully in research for Cal Poly’s graduate focus.
Known for diversity. Cal silt is predominantly white. While this may be true of universities in general, engineering faculties are more diverse and computer science is quite diverse.
The Cal Poly campus, although beautiful, is not as impressive as some UC campuses. There are no fountains. There are no sculptures. There is no Gothic architecture. In fact, there is no common architectural theme for his buildings. If you had to film on location
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