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For those of you with Masters in Computer Science: how did you choose your school?

I think the title might sum up my question pretty well, but I am interested in pursuing a Masters degree (undecided between part-time or full-time), and I'm curious how others have gone about selecting a school to enroll at.

  • Did you have an interest in a particular field of study and went looking for the leading schools in that (sub) field?

  • Was it a location thing?

  • Is there anything you wished you had known at the start of the process or the start of your career as a grad student that you know now?

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level 1

Can I ask what you want to do after you get the masters degree?

level 2
Original Poster1 point · 8 years ago

Good question.

I don't know! I am gainfully employed as a software engineer now, I think I'd like to pursue a master's for a few reasons, not necessarily "to advance my career", but mostly to expand the weak undergraduate computer science education that I feel I got.

I still want to write software and it's what I love, but I just think that in pursuing a Masters there would be a lot of subjects that I'd get to learn or interact with in more depth which I'd (hopefully) be able to re-use later on in my career as ways to implement projects, new products to build (for a startup), etc.

(Or I could be completely naive and optimistic about what pursuing the degree would involve)

level 3

I am gainfully employed as a software developer as well and I can't see putting the time and money into a masters degree. I also am starting a family, I have a new born at home so I'm a bit busy.

level 1

It depends on your priorities, but I'll post my experiences and let you draw your own conclusions. I got an M.S. from UNC-Greensboro because I thought being able to work full time and go to school would be a good combination. I didn't have a particular interest in mind when I chose the school, and indeed I was more academically interested in NC-State where I was also admitted. Rather, I viewed it as a sort of second B.S. (my first was in Latin with a minor in C.S.) and figured that work experience would be just as stimulating. Since I had a decent job at the time, and they paid for the M.S., I took the local school (UNC-G) and decided to keep working.

I do regret that decision now, for a number of reasons, and I wish I could go back and tell myself that doing both simultaneously involves a serious compromise.

Here is more detail - someone on Slashdot asked a similar ? and these were my thoughts last year.

level 2
Original Poster1 point · 8 years ago

thanks for the writeup!

level 2

Offtopic, but Latin + CS makes an interesting combo. May I ask why you went with those?

level 1
1 point · 8 years ago

It was where I got my bachelors and they offered me a job teaching if I would stay. There was a recession going at the time so I took the offer.

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