OT: College Advice

christopher fletez-brant cafletezbrant at gmail.com
Wed May 13 14:39:06 BST 2009

What advice would you give if I were to say that I am trying to find the
degree program that will give me the most options at a budget price?  This
is wholly on my tab - I'm an administrative assistant for an ophthalmologist
so they are not paying for school - through federal aid and more student
loans.  A top-tier school is not important to me due to undergrad grades,
but I would like to be able to pursue even higher education down the road,
should I choose to do so.

Kipper Fletez-Brant

On Wed, May 13, 2009 at 8:19 AM, Celeste Lyn Paul <celeste at kde.org> wrote:

> On Wednesday 13 May 2009 07:52:56 am christopher fletez-brant wrote:
> > Hi guys,
> > I have a BA in Liberal Arts and am considering taking a master's at
> Capitol
> > College (www.capitol-college.edu) in Computer Science.  The biggest
> > advantages to me are that they do not ask for my GRE's, which I have not
> > yet taken, and that their MSCS program is entirely online, which is great
> > because I just can't afford to stop working.  I am concerned, however,
> > about how this school (or any online degree, for that matter) is received
> > by potential employers and/or PhD programs. I'd appreciate any thoughts,
> > comments or info about this program or any others (especially since I'm
> > considering beginning in the fall).
> Hi Kipper,
> For the most part, I think people get Master's degress in order to refine
> their
> education (usually you hone in on a discipline with a master's) and get
> that
> stepping stone which is required for the next level of salary or job
> position.
> Prestige wont matter most of the time unless you are applying for a very
> competitive job. However, unless you are going to a tier 1 school, no one
> will
> care where your degree came from, and online degrees are increasingly more
> acceptable.
> If you are considering a PhD program, you might want to look for a MS
> rather
> than an MA. A PhD program is an academic achievement and so the "science"
> part
> is pretty important. You also might want to consider a more prestigious
> school
> or biting the bullet and going to real classes. Even at a tier 3
> university,
> competition for PhD programs is very high. Most programs will get tens to
> hundreds of applications a semester and will only accept 1 or 2 students.
> Also, is price an issue or are you getting loans/employer is paying? If
> prestige is a factor, there are a number of CS/IS programs offered by
> notable
> universities online. Syracuse and UMBC have online master's degrees in IS.
> UMUC has several online technical degrees and is probably more well-known
> in
> the DC Metro area.
> In summary:
> If you are just getting the piece of paper/progressing your career:
> * Online school is fine
> * Be sure to do research for online programs not in the DC area
> * For more prestige go for a well-known Uni online program
> If you are seriously considering a PhD:
> * Seriously consider a meat-space program
> * At the very least, go for a Uni online program rather than at an
> institution
> which "specializes" in online edu.
> Hope this helps
> ~ Celeste
> --
> Celeste Lyn Paul
> KDE Usability Project
> usability.kde.org
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