Online Master of Science in Computer Science

Just finished my undergrad so it's time for the Masters!

Motivation

My personal motivation is to "complete" my higher education, which is going to be a first in my direct family. My career motivation is to boost my résumé as I seek to move to the US.

I'm not sure so sure about doing a PhD, so it is interesting to have to opportunity to join one after my masters. One conflicting point is that I do not plan to stop working, so I may give up chasing a PhD and complete a masters without a final thesis.

Overview

Higher education in my home country works somewhat differently from the US higher education, so here are some useful notes.

They usually require undergraduate GPA of 3.0/4.0 (75%). Some institutions may differ, like only considering the last two years of your undergrad course.

It's possible to complete the masters without a thesis or project (course-only route). This is sometimes referred as a professional master.

Professional masters in computer science may not have the "of Science" in the name, so you may come by MSCS and MCS, where MCS implies a course-only route, but the MSCS may have a course-only route.

The University of Georgia began offering OMSCS around 2014 and reached Wikipedia status. Other universities offers OMSCS's (or OMCS's) and they hit around 10k USD with some degrees reaching +20k USD.

The good part about those OMSCS is that the O will probably be omitted in diploma, so it is the same as a MCS(* except that you can't get a work permit after completing it).

Joining

Good grades (>= 75%) during undergrad plus 2 or more recommendations letters (RL) are usually requested. By my current research, RLs from professors are the way to go if you just got out of undergrad and RLs from supervisors are the way to go if you completed university long ago.

Non US-resident people usually are required to have some proof of English Proficiency (IELTS or TOEFL usually).

The main goal here is to judge if you can complete the masters, so exceptions may apply.

Masters

30 to 32 classes credits which correlates to 8-10 courses depending on the University. Classes offered may be a criteria in choosing which uni to attend.

Because it is online, there are more students and probably a more well maintained "parallel" infrastructure (courses rating, helpful material, people to get help from and so on).

This allows us to have a more clear view of each degree before applying to it.

With 8-10 classes and a FTE working schedule, expected time to complete it is around 2-3 years. Probably 2 to 3 hard but required courses and the rest can be selected according with the desire of the student.

It's also important to understand the university calendar. They may impose limits on the number of courses per term and may have offering in the summer.

PhD note

Having a thesis may be a requirement to enter in a PhD and by default those courses are not going to require you to do a thesis. The catch is that some of them probably do not have even the option. So if a PhD is later desired, getting information about its requirements is a must.

Work&Study

I do not know how hard it is to keep Work and Study life balanced and healthy. But like many, I'll learn along the way.


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