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I'm currently doing my Bachelor at EPFL, a top rated university for computer science (top 10-20 worldwide) but also very difficult. I was pondering whether or not I am wasting my time since I am planning on doing a Master's anyways somewhere, I may aswell go to an easier uni for my Bachelor and have more fun since I am young, then do my Master's at a good university. Or do employers care whether or not I completed my computer science bachelor at a top rated university in general?

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    "If I take an easier route, will employers respect it as highly?" - think about this. You know the answer :) – P. Hopkinson Aug 10 at 14:32
  • Switching universities comes with its own hurdles. Syllabuses, teaching and grading styles can vary and if you switch you may have to expend significant effort adjusting to conventions within the new university. So it might not be a free win. – P. Hopkinson Aug 10 at 14:35
  • This really depends on which country you’re in...not every place on earth cares about which university you went, but i would suggest going to a different university for your masters and being more relaxed there. – morbo Aug 11 at 7:44
  • The quality of your bachelors absolutely influences the quality of the master's programme you will be able to get into. Secondly you should consider that an optimal route is bachelors, a few year's work, and then masters, if you follow that route you will need a good bachelors. Thirdly, there are a few top schools whose reputation will follow you the rest of your life. I don't really know if EPFL is such a school, but if you graduated from somewhere like MIT or Oxford that would still open doors for you decades later. – Gaius Aug 11 at 15:50
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    Very related: Do employers care where you went to school? – David K Aug 13 at 13:46
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It entirely depends on the employer, many will take notice. More sophisticated employers will definitely include it as part of the data considered when looking for new team members.

You should always choose the more academically rigorous and acclaimed path if you can. Part-time programs could be a good option if you need extra time for things like caring for a family member. Search for scholarships, provided by the school and other institutions to offset the cost. Downgrading your academic experience to have more time for goofing off seems like a bad trade-off over the long term.

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    It must be noted that the more work experience you get, the less relevant your academic prestige gets. – rath Aug 13 at 13:51
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Your undergraduate university and major are good determinants of your first job post graduation. Employers generally have target schools for various reasons - academic rigor, regional affiliations, research collaborations, etc., so you will be exposed to better/different opportunities depending on the school you attend (you can easily research this aspect at your university's career center).

You got into the university because you had the raw intellectual ability to succeed there - working hard (early) will prepare you for your first job and in subtle ways later in your career.

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I think all the other answers make a good point, however it's also worth noting that (most of the time) attending a better/more difficult university will likely also give you a better education. So even if an employer doesn't care at all about where you went, the extra technical knowledge you gain may make a difference.

If the reason the degree is more difficult is because the content is more difficult or there is more content in general. Then I'd say it does make a difference.

  • Also, a better bachelor will likely get you in a better Masters program, which will get you into better internships, which makes a huge difference. – Kerkyra Aug 14 at 13:18
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A degree from a highly regarded university like the The Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne serve a lifelong purpose for you when you want a job.

It gets your job application noticed by human resource people and, to some extent, hiring managers.

It makes you stand out from the pile of applications and gets you the interview. When you go to the interview you can speak for yourself.

It doesn't matter whether it's a bachelor, master's or PhD. It works. If you want a long technical career this will help you.

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