When you are researching graduate schools, how much does reputation matter to you? Are you only considering Ivy League schools? Are you looking for the school with the best reputation for the program that you are considering? Are you looking for the school with the flexibility to fit your schedule? Are you making your decision based on who the advisor is that you would be working with as a graduate student? Just how important is the reputation of a graduate school to you?
There is no right or wrong answer and the answer is going to be different for each person. The influence that a schoolís reputation will have on your decision when choosing a school should depend on your ultimate goal. First, you need to identify your goal. Why do you want to go to graduate school? If your goal is to teach at a university, you should do some research before choosing a graduate school. Contact the universities where you would like to work and ask what their requirements are for potential faculty. For example, do they prefer to recruit from particular schools? Do they only consider applicants from Ivy League schools? Do they only hire faculty with degrees from schools that are regionally accredited and donít consider applicants with degrees from nationally accredited schools?
If your goal is to use your graduate degree in the corporate sector, your research should include talking with recruiters and Human Resources representatives from companies you are interested in. Some companies only recruit from a specific group of select universities. Some companies are more interested in the work you do while in school than which school you attend. Many companies will be more impressed by where you do your internships or what research projects you work on while in graduate school than where you earn your degree.
As with the rest of the decisions you need to make when it comes to choosing a graduate school, the importance of a graduate schoolís reputation is something that you need to look at as a long-term consideration and it should be included on the list of items you need to research.