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OMS CS degree - viable option?


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#1 Robot Ninja   Members   -  Reputation: 569

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 10:42 PM

I just received an interesting email from Udacity announcing an online Master's degree program hosted by Georgia Tech. Since my degree is not in Computer Science I have considered pursuing an MS in the field to supplement my education and be able to put the words "MS in Computer Science" in my resume. I will have to look into the program further to see if I can pursue this part-time, but I wanted to get your impressions on this new program. Udacity is a fantastic site to learn programming and computer science theory, and Georgia Tech itself is a great school, but there's still the fact that this is an online program that I fear may have future employers confused. Do you believe paying more tuition and attending a program on campus is still the undoubtedly better option? Here's the a link to the announcement: http://www.omscs.gatech.edu/.



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#2 ISDCaptain01   Members   -  Reputation: 1394

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 12:38 AM

I don't think on-campus is any better tbqh. Who the heck wants to go through traffic jams, look hours for parking, be waitlisted ALL THE TIME for classes, getting bad proffs? Its very annoying, and made me not want to major in CS in the first place. For CS I don't need distractions like those, they just get in the way of actual learning. That's why im just a hobbyist game programmer now.


Edited by ISDCaptain01, 30 May 2013 - 12:39 AM.


#3 Robot Ninja   Members   -  Reputation: 569

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 01:14 AM

I don't think on-campus is any better tbqh. Who the heck wants to go through traffic jams, look hours for parking, be waitlisted ALL THE TIME for classes, getting bad proffs? Its very annoying, and made me not want to major in CS in the first place. For CS I don't need distractions like those, they just get in the way of actual learning. That's why im just a hobbyist game programmer now.

 

Those issues aside, I'm kind of worried that an online format won't allow enough access to the instructors.



#4 Buster2000   Members   -  Reputation: 1662

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 01:43 AM

Those issues aside, I'm kind of worried that an online format won't allow enough access to the instructors.

 

A masters degree isn't about being taught by instructors it is about self learning.  The instructors are only there for guidence or to ask the odd question.  You should be able to watch the lecture material and then go away and research / do your project on your own with only minimal instructor interaction.



#5 Robot Ninja   Members   -  Reputation: 569

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 02:04 AM

Those issues aside, I'm kind of worried that an online format won't allow enough access to the instructors.

 

A masters degree isn't about being taught by instructors it is about self learning.  The instructors are only there for guidence or to ask the odd question.  You should be able to watch the lecture material and then go away and research / do your project on your own with only minimal instructor interaction.

 

Right. Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't MS students still typically work under a faculty member related to their focus? So it would still be important to have that one-on-one interaction, right?


Edited by Robot Ninja, 30 May 2013 - 02:05 AM.


#6 ISDCaptain01   Members   -  Reputation: 1394

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 02:23 AM

 

Those issues aside, I'm kind of worried that an online format won't allow enough access to the instructors.

 

A masters degree isn't about being taught by instructors it is about self learning.  The instructors are only there for guidence or to ask the odd question.  You should be able to watch the lecture material and then go away and research / do your project on your own with only minimal instructor interaction.

 

Right. Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't MS students still typically work under a faculty member related to their focus? So it would still be important to have that one-on-one interaction, right?

 

$7000 for an accredited MS degree is a killer deal man. You rather be in student debt for some help from some ivory tower?



#7 Robot Ninja   Members   -  Reputation: 569

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 02:42 AM

$7000 for an accredited MS degree is a killer deal man. You rather be in student debt for some help from some ivory tower?

 

$7000 is a killer deal, and that is the main appeal for me. I've never been the kind of person that thinks it's necessary to spend 50k+ a year because the school is well known. Plus, I've already done quite well learning on my own, so I'm not worried about understanding the material on my own. However the ability to have intelligent and enlightening discussions with experts in their field is something that can be of very high value to those that take advantage of the opportunity. A meaningful connection with a faculty member you admire can be really great, I think, but is of course not the be-all and end-all. I appreciate the input. I am still very interested in applying to this program, but would still like to get some additional insight.

 

*EDIT* In retrospect, I should have given this thread a better title than "viable option".


Edited by Robot Ninja, 30 May 2013 - 02:49 AM.


#8 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 21115

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 11:29 AM

Looks like a coursework-only degree.  No research requirement, and no thesis.

 

The coursework-only aspect will make a difference to some people, and will make no difference to others.  

 

Ultimately it is still just a bit of education and certification.  It won't guarantee a job, and it won't guarantee any changes to your career.  You may be able to leverage the knowledge and other facets of what you gained, but it guarantees you nothing.

 

 

If you want to invest the time and the money, and if it fits your life goals, it might be worth it.


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#9 Robot Ninja   Members   -  Reputation: 569

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 12:23 PM

Looks like a coursework-only degree.  No research requirement, and no thesis.

 

The coursework-only aspect will make a difference to some people, and will make no difference to others.  

 

Ultimately it is still just a bit of education and certification.  It won't guarantee a job, and it won't guarantee any changes to your career.  You may be able to leverage the knowledge and other facets of what you gained, but it guarantees you nothing.

 

 

If you want to invest the time and the money, and if it fits your life goals, it might be worth it.

 

Thanks for the input. Honestly, my desire is to get my feet wet in industry before I go on to a MS CS program. So I am working on my own projects to build up a portfolio. Unfortunately I keep getting mixed answers to this question of getting a Master's degree (or even a Bachelor's in CS) first, which becomes frustrating and a bit of a distraction when I am working towards my primary goal. That said, grad school is more of a backup plan if finding work is seeming like a shot in the dark.



#10 ISDCaptain01   Members   -  Reputation: 1394

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 12:25 PM

Looks like a coursework-only degree.  No research requirement, and no thesis.

 

The coursework-only aspect will make a difference to some people, and will make no difference to others.  

 

Ultimately it is still just a bit of education and certification.  It won't guarantee a job, and it won't guarantee any changes to your career.  You may be able to leverage the knowledge and other facets of what you gained, but it guarantees you nothing.

 

 

If you want to invest the time and the money, and if it fits your life goals, it might be worth it.

 

Thanks for the input. Honestly, my desire is to get my feet wet in industry before I go on to a MS CS program. So I am working on my own projects to build up a portfolio. Unfortunately I keep getting mixed answers to this question of getting a Master's degree (or even a Bachelor's in CS) first, which becomes frustrating and a bit of a distraction when I am working towards my primary goal. That said, grad school is more of a backup plan if finding work is seeming like a shot in the dark.

 

Just remember a degree in just about anything (even STEM degrees) don't guarantee anything. They are just a CV/resume booster. But I can say with confidence that your portfolio and personal projects will say a lot more than that piece of paper



#11 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9859

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 12:26 PM

Unfortunately I keep getting mixed answers to this question of getting a Master's degree (or even a Bachelor's in CS) first, which becomes frustrating and a bit of a distractio

 

What that should tell you is "stop asking people's opinions, and make your own decision."  Make a decision grid. http://sloperama.com/advice/m70.htm


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#12 Blackarch   Members   -  Reputation: 595

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 06:07 PM

I don't think on-campus is any better tbqh. Who the heck wants to go through traffic jams, look hours for parking, be waitlisted ALL THE TIME for classes, getting bad proffs? Its very annoying, and made me not want to major in CS in the first place. For CS I don't need distractions like those, they just get in the way of actual learning. That's why im just a hobbyist game programmer now.

 

Pretty terrible advice. You are suggesting not to go to school because of inconveniences that aren't even that bad?


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#13 ISDCaptain01   Members   -  Reputation: 1394

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 10:22 AM

I don't think on-campus is any better tbqh. Who the heck wants to go through traffic jams, look hours for parking, be waitlisted ALL THE TIME for classes, getting bad proffs? Its very annoying, and made me not want to major in CS in the first place. For CS I don't need distractions like those, they just get in the way of actual learning. That's why im just a hobbyist game programmer now.

 

Pretty terrible advice. You are suggesting not to go to school because of inconveniences that aren't even that bad?

 

When  did I ever say not to go to school? He asked if online was worse than on-campus and I gave him my opinion. I go to school too ya know?


Edited by ISDCaptain01, 31 May 2013 - 10:23 AM.


#14 Ravyne   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7313

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 11:26 AM

More to the point, I was looking at the same course the other day and it doesn't appear to be open yet for general enrollment -- when it begins its first year in the fall, enrolment will only be an option for certain corporate partners of Georgia Tech, and their sponsor in this endeavor, AT&T. In other words, either you or possibly your parents probably have to be employed by AT&T or one of those corporate partners. Enrollment is also limited this first year, so even though its an online class (MOOC), its not like just anybody with seven grand is guaranteed a seat. They intend to widen registration over the next 3 years.

 

I could have interpreted wrong, but that's my understanding of the situation. It's still very interesting, and a good deal if you want a diploma to go along with your learning. I'm planning to keep an eye on it myself. But if you just want to learn, which is nearly every bit as good, I believe Stanford and/or MIT make all their coursework and lectures freely available to learn from.






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