I am a longtime user of SE but posting as anonymous for the (not so) obvious reasons.
I am an early academic researcher (though I have been working in industry for a while prior to academia), and my PhD is in Information Technology, from a fairly high ranked university (Top 100 in my area). I have been offered two tenure track positions.
Position A: Large, established, and high ranked research intensive university (research focus but limited options)
Position B: Small, young, and low ranked university (some alignment with my existing research, university is not research intensive but teaching load is attractive, some interesting research projects going on).
Salary, benefits, and package in general is almost equal. I have a good publication pipeline, and both universities are aware that I will focus mostly on my research.
My main question is, for early researchers, how does the ranking of a university where one begins the career relates to a future career in high ranked universities?
If I accept position B, would my affiliation with the low rank university affect my future progress?
Another related question is, are there any pros and cons of joining a small and young university (for early researchers such as myself)?
UPDATE: This is supposed to be comment. I don't strictly intend to use a tenure track job as a stepping stone to a more prestigious school, but as an early academic, in the initial two years if there are opportunities in more prestigious school then I would like to move (I know many people do, I don't see why this is seen as a negative thing)