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Program-Specific Info / Q's Thomas Jefferson University (PA) or Touro University (NV)

Coffee8

New Member
May 14, 2020
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  1. Occupational Therapy Student
Hi, I am trying to decide between Thomas Jefferson University in Center City, PA and Touro University, in Henderson, NV. I am from Central NJ and in the long run would like to work/live in the East coast. Nevada is the highest paying state for OTs, which is a reason I would go to Touro then work there, and move back to to the East in the future. Thomas Jefferson is ranked #6 for OT schools in the country and is located on the East coast. Does ranking and a school's name matter in the future when I go to apply to for a job? Will someone hire me for getting my Doctorate from Thomas Jefferson over Touro University? I am torn between picking Touro to get the experience of living in the West coast, being in less debt, and working in the highest paying state for experience, then relocating to the East coast. I am looking for any suggestions/advice/insight! Thank you!!
 

Skeletonia

Full Member
Jan 6, 2020
23
35
46
  1. Occupational Therapy Student
Hello,

I am starting Touro this summer and have lived in the area for a while. I'm not familiar with Jefferson, but maybe I can help. I wouldn't worry about name recognition. Cost and opportunities (available fieldwork placements) matter more.

The bad:

The Vegas economy has been hit very hard by Covid. Unemployment will likely remain high (though not necessarily for healthcare and/or OT) for a few years. This lack of jobs might translate into some long term problems in the community. I hope by the time I graduate, it will bounce back, but I am concerned with crime. I do live in a a more troubled part of town, though.

Touro has been the only OT program in NV for a long time, but now UNLV has started one, so there may be increased local competition for jobs.

I dont know about the cost of Jefferson, but Touro is expensive.

The good:

When shadowing, I met many happy Touro grads who came from out of state and chose to stay in Vegas. They all said they found work easily. I also met new grad OTs from out of state who also had no problems getting work. It seems like pediatrics and hands are often needed.

Housing is not too expensive, and may drop further given Covid problems. If you move near Touro, you may not even need a car, but you'll probably need to uber occasionally.

There is less OT school density here (Cali has the most, but even there it is not too packed given their size and population). So you may have a bit more luck job wise.

I hope that gives you a bit more to consider. I found it hard to choose at first, too.
 
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Coffee8

New Member
May 14, 2020
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  1. Occupational Therapy Student
Thank you so much for your response! It helped me weigh the differences! Thomas Jefferson is even more expensive than Touro :/. I am hoping to stay in Nevada for a few years after graduation to gain experience and explore the West coast!

Do you know if any Touro grads have tried to get jobs out of state and have been able to? I figured due to Touro being the only OT school in Nevada, it is easier to get a job within the state, but I would love to move back to New Jersey in the future.
 
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Skeletonia

Full Member
Jan 6, 2020
23
35
46
  1. Occupational Therapy Student
Thank you so much for your response! It helped me weigh the differences! Thomas Jefferson is even more expensive than Touro :/. I am hoping to stay in Nevada for a few years after graduation to gain experience and explore the West coast!

Do you know if any Touro grads have tried to get jobs out of state and have been able to? I figured due to Touro being the only OT school in Nevada, it is easier to get a job within the state, but I would love to move back to New Jersey in the future.

I don't know any personally but don't think anyone would have a problem. Many students are from out of state, and they do allow for fieldwork out of state, too. You might be able to get a placement in CA, AZ, etc, so you can explore the area more. Though, not sure how much the pandemic will tighten up options.

It seems that most OTs have more freedom to move once they get a few years of work experience, so if Jersey has limited job opportunities for new grads, I think the southwest will serve you well. You may find that you don't want to go back, though. (I am biased as I love the desert.)
 
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Coffee8

New Member
May 14, 2020
8
0
1
  1. Occupational Therapy Student
That is what I was wondering as well, how the fieldwork will work because of this pandemic. I know a friend of mine had to stop going to her clinical because of everything going on.

I have thought about maybe doing my fieldwork in NJ or other states to get more experience, and I would love to stay out in NV after school because I love nature and hiking!
 
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