U of T vs. York vs. Ryerson

U of T vs. York vs. RyersonI got my degree from the University of Toronto. It was conveniently located, had a good reputation and they accepted me. So off to U of T I went exactly 19 years ago this week...

I had a friend who went to York University, and I remember reading his essay and knowing it was a solid 60% at my school. He got a 90% for it at York. There's no way in hell that paper would have got me anywhere close to 90% at U of T.

Rumour had it that Ryerson was even easier. I suspect I would have killed there. Meanwhile, I was busting my hump to get a 70% with papers that would have scored me 90% at other universities.

But I did it, and now I have a lovely degree I could hang on my wall. I don't hang it, but I could!

But what if I went to York or Ryerson instead? How much easier could it have been? Does it really matter which university you graduate from? I have one line on my resume that mentions where my degree is from, and I can't imagine it's ever made a difference.

Employers and hiring managers: Do you differentiate between a graduate from U of T, York and Ryerson?


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Comments (30 - click here to join in!)

elvis

Yes. I hire the Western grad.

September 9, 2013 @ 10:05 AM

Argie

Damn, Elvis beat me to it.

Western grads seem to get hired over a grad from another school all too frequently. The reason is this: If the hiring manager is from Western, he'll hire a fellow UWO grad. If the hiring manager is from another school, he'll hire the best candidate (usually). Western grads are extremely loyal to their own. Its one of the reasons they're hated by non-Western grads.

And memo to Western grads: Just because you went to Western, it doesn't mean you can outdrink me.

September 9, 2013 @ 10:15 AM

Andrew

I'm a Rye High grad, but then the other two schools didn't have my program and I sure as hell wouldn't hire a 'film major' grad to work in TV humping cables and getting your hands dirty... that would too below them ;)

Cheers,
Andrew

September 9, 2013 @ 11:24 AM

Wayner

I would agree with Argie...I got my degree from York and the first major job (i.e. degree related) I was hired for was because the hiring manager was a fellow York grad.

After that it became a matter of on the job experience coupled with the fact that I had a degree from an accredited university.

September 9, 2013 @ 11:38 AM

Gump

My wife in on a committee that on decides which law students/grad get hired for summer interns and articling positions.
Over the last 7 years she has seen and experienced the difference between the different law schools in Ontario. Let's just say that if you have a law degree from from Windsor or University of Ottawa law school, you might as well forget about getting a job. Queen's, UofT and Osgoode (which *isn't* York), are the only law schools that 'count'.

September 9, 2013 @ 11:40 AM

Wayner

and when I was in the position to hire...I didn’t care where they got their degree...just that they had one

September 9, 2013 @ 11:40 AM

Daddy Mac

Rather generic question Mike. A degree in what? If you take Math, CompSci or Engineering it's UW. If you are a food sciences guy, it's U of G. If it's a bachelor of alcohol, it's U Windsor.

Certainly nothing wrong about with an education, but sometimes I think too much is made out of it. I think passion for your chosen trade is just as (or more) important. UW in CompSci, some guys liked it & other guys lived it. But I've met some absolutely brilliant programmers, UNIX dudes & hackers who have no education.

Ever wonder why fund managers can't beat the S&P 500? 'Cause they're sheep -- and the sheep get slaughtered. I been in the business since '69. Most of these high paid MBAs from Harvard never make it. You need a system, discipline, good people, no deal junkies, no toreadores, the deal flow burns most people out by 35. Give me PSHs -- poor, smart and hungry. And no feelings. You don't win 'em all, you don't love 'em all, you keep on fighting . . . and if you need a friend, get a dog . . . it's trench warfare out there sport and in here too. - GORDON GEKKO

September 9, 2013 @ 12:56 PM

CQ

As a Humber Community College non-grad, I would have killed to afford and attend Ryerson (pre-Univ. designation). A pair of 52% final grades from a Mississauga H.S. (inc. English, I also dropped and retook Math via night school - for potential comm. college insurance.) put a final stop to that dream.
One of a former company's co-presidents left to teach at Humber, btw. That college falsifed my two-semester cost accounting grade - uncorrected for 13 years until I purchased a transcript. It cost me an extra $70 for a faked summer course registration to obtain my CGA qualifying real grade of approx. 82%. It's a too small damn world sometimes.
I was lucky to get to Humber. Worked quasi-regularly at minimum wage jobs for a year after high school and applied entirely on my own. I needed to quit their immediately expanded to three years program after just two years. (Much of those two years meant 5 daily hours of transit buses and about the same amount of milling around time between scheduled filler courses.) It was also a family forced time to live on my own.
I can't possibly qualify nowadays for the low-paid entry level pensionless work I once did. Most of that work was automated and outsourced years ago anyway.
As often as not - many of my co-workers and management types were always personally connected! The knowledge was usually closely guarded and would only slip out with time. Prerequisite Qualifications were only for the outsider discard employment class.

September 9, 2013 @ 1:22 PM

CQ

Correction to above.
The faked summer session course was for a CGA minimim of 70%. (Not that I knew that.) The initial 50% grade remained. Both had been cleared (with the 82%) when I later purchased a transcript. I had once considered studying full-time again at Seneca college. Instead I chose Ryerson night school - where the instructor died in-class and the Rogers computer lab building was closed the following semester, during mid-course, at nights to save costs.

September 9, 2013 @ 1:27 PM

CQ

P.S. I also never received anything, in writing nor verbal, from the CGA association to confirm any of my post-college direct studies standing throughout another four and half years. Only the occasional 3x5 inch plain thin paper updates listing current final grades*.
Mostly these were (never returned) under 65% fails, after qualifying for their all-or-nothing exam grades with a mandatory 9 out 10 weeks' assignment passings of 90%. Therefore, I could never self-schedule an off-week, for you know - any occasional life events. Full-time University students had been then-admitted to compete directly against my night school exam results.

September 9, 2013 @ 1:38 PM

Tim

All I know is this getting a job any job in your field is very hard whether you went to University or not. I took English Lit at the University of Guelph and journalism from Humber College. I now work for the school board as a caretaker and i am lucky to have it

September 9, 2013 @ 4:18 PM

elvis

I'm a non-grad of every college and university (except Western) as well.

September 9, 2013 @ 6:20 PM

Western Grad

I think it really depend on your personality and your personal experience.

As a Western Grad, I have enjoyed every moment @ Western, It was stressful and hard looking for my first real job (but who doesn't)

But I would hang my degree proud at home

To Argie, haters will always hate. Is not about outdrinking all the other universities (though proven true most of the time) It’s really is about drinking together and having an EPIC time

September 10, 2013 @ 4:44 PM

Stephanie

In the Macleans magazine a couple of weeks ago there was an article I read quickly about this years University Ranking that will be out in Oct. This year it is also going to include 'life after university' and what the chances are of getting a job. Getting in is one thing but if it's not going to materialize into a job at the end ..

I went to UW, lived in V1, drank at the Bombshelter. I am actually considering going back for homecoming this year.

September 12, 2013 @ 6:44 AM

MrFascination

Most university programs are a complete waste of time

The brain washing of the importance of getting a "university
education" is causing this country to have a shortage
in tradespeople - most of these trades pay more than your
average run of the mill lawyer position.

UFT most over rated university in Canada.

September 12, 2013 @ 9:11 PM

MrFascination

Most university programs are a complete waste of time

The brain washing of the importance of getting a "university
education" is causing this country to have a shortage
in tradespeople - most of these trades pay more than your
average run of the mill lawyer position.

UFT most over rated university in Canada.

September 12, 2013 @ 9:11 PM

LOL

LOL the guy above me is just mad that he couldn't get into UofT and had to go to george brown for construction and is now doing bitch work for brick layers

December 5, 2013 @ 3:06 PM

Anonymous

MR. GUMP SINCE WHEN OSGOODE ISN'T YORK?????????

December 5, 2013 @ 4:08 PM

Anonymous

practical experience, general intelligence and mannerism, and how well you can write a resume and present at an interview is what my hiring managers look for

what is often the highest ranking institutions, in terms of "academic research", score pretty low in quality of education and experience

i work at one of the largest engineering and architectural firms in the world.

March 8, 2014 @ 8:44 AM

James

We have to admit that U of T is a great school and it is a bit overrated. And surely the degree from York or Ryerson is still a very decent one, with York the much better one as it is ranked the top 300 universities in the world by Times Higher Education. So it means if you take York's degree oversea, people might not know it at first and if they do some research they would know it is a decent school.

I rejected U of T St. Geroge's offer and chose York for English literature. I never regret it.

August 27, 2014 @ 9:28 AM

Jet

The people saying engineering is better here or there, I call bullcrap. First year is exactly the same for every Ontario university by law, its to keep standards. As for the liberal arts, UofT likes to overload their students a bit to cut the fat, only the serious students pass, I would have to say in the end you will end up with a better education than at ryerson or york for those programs, maybe with the added bonus of hiring potential, I don't know. Anyway it doesn't really matter where you went, its about who you are, don't lower yourself to the standards of anyone else who would judge you, and forget that piece of paper, getting a job is overrated anyway :D I don't know why people would be loyal to their school when hiring, sounds like people are lonely and need to reminisce instead of making the good hire.

September 7, 2014 @ 11:56 AM

Geoff

In 1994 I was accepted into both york and u of t. I choose york and had some of Canada's best history professors (Granatstein, Saywell, Cohen). I quite enjoyed my time at york, and know I would have not liked u of t as much.

20 years later I don't feel like my career has been any way impeded by choosing york over u of t, and feel like most employers just want to check off "university degree" regardless of school. I mean really, in 2014, does anyone care what grade I got in humanities 300 in 1997?

October 23, 2014 @ 1:25 PM

joanh

You can be top student with 100% efforts at york,
while u of t students put 200% effort to get 'C'.

when they graduate from york, strong GPA with extra curricular, life friends, good memories..!

November 23, 2014 @ 12:21 AM

John

For people who worry, if you're just getting a bachelor's degree, it will either say BA or BSc regardless of which university you go to. The bachelor level education is pretty similar across all universities.

April 29, 2015 @ 1:57 AM

Shane

Attending York for undergrad was the best decision I ever made for my education. Graduated summa cum laude and now attend Osgoode Hall Law School.

For undergrad, unless one is going into engineering, nursing or business, people really should go to the lower-ranked schools, into an easier program.

May 6, 2015 @ 4:36 AM

Anonymous

Shane, you are so right, best to be a big fish in a little pond in undergrad if you want to go to a grad school that will actually mean something when you are done.

November 19, 2015 @ 10:54 AM

Terry

Comon.. only people from the last century cares about which university you've been to.

It is all depended on personalities.

March 5, 2016 @ 2:55 PM

chris

UofT is a University & York & Ryerson are both extensions of High School.

March 5, 2016 @ 3:53 PM

James

UofT is a lot more difficult than ryerson and York. Ryerson and York are like highschool, whereas UofT is actually university ...

November 4, 2016 @ 1:34 AM

Richard Hsu

To all Readers: Unless you are studying the following, most university degrees are worthless scams:

1. Medicine, 2. Nursing, 3. Dentistry, 4 Pharmacy, 5. Engineering, 6. Architecture, 7. Accounting, 8. Law, 9. Education. Then again some of these latter mentioned degrees guarantee no job security. Stick to Health and Engineering. -RH

December 18, 2016 @ 4:16 PM

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