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Fast Track to a CS Degree?

Cliff posted about 13 years ago | from the for-those-who-have-no-time-for-college dept.

Education 1143

kyrex asks: "it's been 5 years since I've been working in the tech industry and I've make great progress. My salary has grown by an annual rate of about 50% and I'm currently working as a consultant in a leading consulting firm. But not having received any formal education in Computer Science, and therefore having no degree will be a problem for further progress. I've considered many options but they all take time: at least 3 years. I've been programming since I was 12 (I'm currently 24) and have read hundreds of CS books. I think that I can easily complete a CS degree in 1 year. I want to know if there are universities/institutions out there that offers computer professionals like me a fast track to a CS degree that will be recognised as such by other universities (so that I can continue with a MSc afterwards)"

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yipee (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758570)


no dice! (3, Insightful)

demian031 (466963) | about 13 years ago | (#2758573)

well for my cs degree i had to take the calculus sequence calc I, II & III. that's 1.5 yrs there, not to mention the other dependencies between classes; like post-calc stats i had to take after calc...

your best bet is to maybe CLEP your way out of some of the other classes if you're really bright and study hard. but doing it in 1 yr is un-reasonable.

it's still worth the effort i think...

Re:no dice! (3, Informative)

RedOregon (161027) | about 13 years ago | (#2758623)

Yes... you do want to look at CLEP tests to get started. I CLEP'd my way into an associate's in a couple of months (with some credits for some military courses I'd taken during my career). Quick way to knock out some basic courses. More info on CLEP tests at http://www.collegeboard.org/clep/ along with lots of other sites (google to the rescue).

Re:no dice! (3, Insightful)

dougmc (70836) | about 13 years ago | (#2758661)

Well, do you have a degree of any sort? Any college at all?

If yes, then you may be pretty close to a CS degree already. One year probably won't work, but two years is probably doable.

If no, you've got well more than 30 semester hours of stuff like english, math, history, philosophy, etc. ahead of you, and everybody else had to take these classes to get their degree, why should you be any different?

The biggest problem in the first case is going to be dependancies -- CS 302 requires CS 301, CS 303 requires CS 302, etc. Even if you can place out of several classes (which may not be as easy as you think), many (most?) later classes won't have such tests.

Your best bet is probably night school, or perhaps some sort of correspendance school. If you really do have the skills (and already have the non-CS stuff taken care of), then taking the classes won't take much of your time. If you don't have the non-CS stuff, this is going to take a long time ...

And of course, as you already know, in this field a degree is nice, but it's hardly essential. An impressive resume is much more important than a degree ...

Re:no dice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758679)

I thought CLEP was for more basic courses (algebra, not os design). Some colleges will let you test out of certain courses, but generally not for higher level major-related classes, although you might be able to get credit for work experience.

You could also consider an online place like university of phoenix. You can take the classes at your own time (so you can still work part or full time), and take classes 3+ semesters a year instead of just 2. You're still looking at a 2 year minimum, though.

Of course, there's also foreign or unacredited institutions that will sell you a degree.

clept tests? (5, Informative)

Squeezer (132342) | about 13 years ago | (#2758574)

I believe its called clept tests, where you can take a test on the course and if you pass it, you get credit for the course. Ask a university if you can clept tests and how many courses can you clept. Some schools have it where you have to go manditory for so many years or only allow you to clept so many classes, etc. Maybe you can find a school in your area that will let you clept most or maybe even just about every class and then you'd only need to go there for a couple of semesters to get your bachelors.

What for? (2)

scott1853 (194884) | about 13 years ago | (#2758575)

If you have a proven track record and years of experience, that's what matters. Or at least that's what matter to companies that I'd want to work for.

Re:What for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758601)

Agreed -- WHY? I've been working for 16 years with a degree in Communications -- Radio, TV, and Film....most of my colleagues don't have CS degrees. They have English, History, Biology, etc.

If you have the work experience, forget the degree.

Re:What for? (2, Insightful)

tenman (247215) | about 13 years ago | (#2758631)

Ah the words of someone who isn't married a big borther type corperate whore. When you work for small organizations nobody expects you to be better than you are. But when you work for a huge organization (and you have to assume that you want to stay there for this example) nobody knows how good you are. Thus the degree is required to advance past one of those glass celings. It plays into the stereotype that 'there are a bunch of idiots with degrees, and they all get paid better than I do'. I work for the worlds third largest software mfr. (at least that is what it says at the quarterly confrence call) I don't want to leave the company to better my pay. Here, I get a company car, a REALLY nice benefits package, and my fair share of pay. Of course I want more, but I'm not going to quit here, and go to work for someone who will double my pay. The double in pay doesn't offer the security that this place does. That is why, even with experience, you need to have a degree. So that you can make more money, with out haveing to job hop every year or so.

Re:What for? (3, Interesting)

Bonker (243350) | about 13 years ago | (#2758653)

Here is a real good example...

In the 70's, the DOE's Pantex Nuclear Weapons facility in the Texas Panhandle fired dozens of experienced scientists with proven track records... simply because they did not have degrees.

BLING BLING (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758576)

I got the skills to pay the bills.

I haven't (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758577)

got to be the f irst p oster in a while. But today probably isn't my day anyway.

Paper (3, Interesting)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | about 13 years ago | (#2758580)

Its unfortunate that so many people value pieces of paper with writing on them.

There are many great people out there hindered by this belief.

I dont think all companies and organisations within the industry are that judgemental. Most companies have theyre own rating system internally.

Stick with them.
Make yourself valueable to them.

Re:Paper (0, Redundant)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | about 13 years ago | (#2758600)

Another point. This industry also moves faster than any academic course can keep up with.

Re:Paper (5, Insightful)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | about 13 years ago | (#2758624)

That's why a *good* CS department teaches theory rather than practice.

Re:Paper (2)

stevew (4845) | about 13 years ago | (#2758621)

This guy happens to be working for a consulting
company (as do I) and I can assure you that these
companies send resumes of their staff to potential
clients. At some point this will REALLY become
an issue if the gentleman plans to stay in the
consulting field.

Further, a college education is more than just the
technical classes that you take. Even at
polytechnic universities like the on I attended there
are breadth requirements for a reason (even though
I hated them at the time).

All that being said - another (tougher) suggestion
is to try getting the degree part time. Giving up
the big pay check can be tough - this the one
solution I know about that doesn't require it. You
do give up a social life (another thing you would
have if you were just a student...)

Re:Paper (1)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | about 13 years ago | (#2758667)

Then on the resume, focus on previous successes and achievements.

Show what value has been attained by previous placements.

At least where I am, its not that you have on paper. Its what you can do, and if you cant do that, how fast can you learn and apply that. Where I am, the pace is very fast and at the bleeding edge of technology. Ie., developing the next big thing where no man (or woman) has gone before :)

Re:Paper (5, Interesting)

webword (82711) | about 13 years ago | (#2758696)

Smart people don't value the paper, the value what the paper represents. To some it represents time and dedication. When focus on a subject for many years, you do learn a few things that experience won't give you. You don't explicitly learn theories, for example. That's a shame, since theories can help guide you in a different way thatn experience. Sometimes theory is better than experience, sometimes not.

Like it or not, a degree indicates that the person has at least some formal knowledge of material. Formal knowledge is no joke. It helps you recognize good form from bad form. Formal knowledge leads to understanding structures and architectures and other complex things.

Education itself is always behind corporations. It is behind technology in general and it seems out of date, almost immediately. However, the idea is to learn core principles. Tools and techniques for solving problems. Therefore, some of the best technical people will have degrees in areas like psychology and philosophy. (I've seen this again and again. Many technical degrees are inferior to non-technical degrees even though the person is in a technical field!)

Don't be foolish: Degrees are not the only thing companies use to judge people. They also look at pure technical skills, previous work experience, and so forth. A degree is only one part of the equation.

There are also some people out there who simply love to learn. They go to school to learn quickly or learn deeply. This idea is insane to mose people because it doesn't always translate to money. Oh well...!

Re:Paper (4, Insightful)

Eryq (313869) | about 13 years ago | (#2758714)

It's not the paper; it's the wealth of information you get on your way to earning the paper.

I own my own consulting business, and it is true that my day-to-day contracting has a lot to do with the languages I learned after I left academia. BUT:

The problems I have to solve are many and varied, and often I find myself applying knowledge from my CS classes 15 years ago: "hmm... didn't we study a quadtree-like data structure which would be good for that problem?" "isn't that just a binary matrix multiplication?" And so on.

Academic CS is to practical CS what physics is to architecture: you need the theory to make a well-built product, and you need the product to make the theory meaningful.

True, you don't need the piece of paper to get the theory. But the piece of paper usually proves that you've been exposed to it, and even an average student will absorb things by osmosis.

What about system and network security? (2, Interesting)

Nintendork (411169) | about 13 years ago | (#2758581)

Is a CCIE and CISSP enough or would a BS make all the difference in the world? Most grads I talked to don't have a good understanding of computers unless it's also their hobby which leads me to believe that a BS is just to get your foot in the door when you have no real talent.

Re:What about system and network security? (1)

snoozerdss (303165) | about 13 years ago | (#2758592)

THANK YOU I've been saying this for years!! The people that go somewhere in the computer industry are the ones who love it (ya it sounds corny I know!) not the ones that take the course for the $$$

Re:What about system and network security? (2)

Tin Weasil (246885) | about 13 years ago | (#2758654)

It depends on your market.

I live in Alabama, where few corporations understand technology to begin with. Down here, they don't care if you "love it", just as long as you have a degree or a certification.

Getting my MCSE got me a 20% raise (proving that you don't even need to use a Windows OS in order to pass the tests.)

Sure, there are some companies that "get it." but in those parts of the country where most of the people voted for Bush, [newsmaxstore.com] a degree is your #1 tool to making money.

Re:What about system and network security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758647)

Depends. If you want to be hands on your whole life and never advance, than get the certifications. If you're interested in developing strategies and actually having the higher ups listen when you talk, than get a degree.

Additionally, info sec is all about risk management and cost/benefit analysis. Broadening your scop of knowledge to more than file permissions, buffer overflows, and user management is the way to improve in your field.

Re:What about system and network security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758720)

Broadening your scop of knowledge to more than file permissions, buffer overflows, and user management is the way to improve in your field.

And mere mortals can't possibly grasp algorithm efficiency or design techniques without having someone hold their hand and explain how.

Re:What about system and network security? (2, Funny)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | about 13 years ago | (#2758691)

"BS is just to get your foot in the door when you have no real talent"

That's the reason it's called a "BS" degree :)

Numbers (2, Funny)

RedOregon (161027) | about 13 years ago | (#2758582)

50% a year for five years? So... let's say he started out at 40K... he's making well over 200K now? Jeezus, just how far does this guy wanna advance???

Re:Numbers (1)

ZzeusS (206483) | about 13 years ago | (#2758619)

When you move into management at around 30-35 years old, you need a degree. It's usually a requirement. 200K is midrange.

Depending on how far you want to go, yes.

After about 100-120k a year you need a degree to get any farther.

Re:Numbers (2, Insightful)

rhh (525195) | about 13 years ago | (#2758668)

If he started at 19 with no experience it is not unlikely that the original pay was closer to $20k. Which would leave him at about 100k now. Nothing to sneeze at. If he played his finances right he could retire early. Since that would be possible I suggest getting the CS degree only if there is a desire to continue in the field for enjoyment.

Re:Numbers (1)

mfkap (230504) | about 13 years ago | (#2758707)

Has anyone else out there run into the problem of percent raises within a company? I came into my department at a very low salary because I had no experiance or degree, but that was over 2 years ago. I am now one of the most productive developers in my department but because of my company's policy on percent raises, I am not getting more than a 15% raise a year. That might seem like a lot, but it will take me 3 more years of that in order to get to the pay of all the other people in my department. Has anyone else run into this, and possibly have a solution? Or should I just be looking for another job?


Even Better (1)

NiftyNews (537829) | about 13 years ago | (#2758725)

He could just stay at his job for another decade and BUY a university at that rate...

Or just buy a few honorary ones from Bill Cosby. That guy has dozens of degrees he never uses.

So you are an moron? (-1)

The Turd Report (527733) | about 13 years ago | (#2758583)

working as a consultant in a leading consulting firm
Consultant is just a nice word for fucktard.

Word UP! (-1)

ringbarer (545020) | about 13 years ago | (#2758603)


Not really. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758585)

Most schools make you take about 1.5-2 yrs of prereq clasess if you dont allready have a degree in a non-related field. The ones that dont that have come up require you to be intensifyingly bright (ACT 32+, high iq, etc.).

Re:Not really. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758602)

intensifyingly? intensifyingly.

More to the degree (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758587)

There is definetly more to a CS degree than simply being able to program. Other courses in the arts, sciences and languages are usually required. The point of a CS degree is not to produce programmers; it is produce well rounded students who can apply their knowledge to more fields than just computer programming. If you want a quick and easy degree just go to some kind of trade school.

Re:More to the degree (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758670)

You sound like yet another unemployed person bitter about the money you wasted on your piece of paper. I've never met an inteligent person with a degree who honestly thinks the degree helps in someway other than resumes.

Buy it. (0)

stevenprentice (202455) | about 13 years ago | (#2758589)

I have the perfect solution. I got it in email the other day and they will just give you the degree! It is only a couple thousand and it says that it will make you rich!

I will forward the spam to you.

All you dot-commers who "didn't need degrees" (-1, Flamebait)

imagineer_bob (163708) | about 13 years ago | (#2758591)

...are now scrambling to get one! Ha!

Wait 'til you find out that you'll need to know REAL SUBJECTS like MATH and PHYSICS to get a degree.

You can't just fake your way through life anymore by cutting/pasting other people's Perl scripts.

Don't get me wrong, I wish you the best, but I like how the world cycles around and Degrees are important once again.

I spent 6 years in college, and they were well spent. I survived the dot-com boom unscathed, never been unemployed one day in my life, and I get to do cool stuff.

Re:All you dot-commers who "didn't need degrees" (3, Insightful)

Etriaph (16235) | about 13 years ago | (#2758627)

I don't think you survived the dot-com boom unscathed because you spent six years in college, you were just in the right place at the right time. Don't you think it's a little arrogant to assume that everyone with a degree will get to keep their job and those without them won't? There are people without degrees who are far more talented than you may ever be, and I'm saying that without even knowing you, which is ballsy but justified. :)

Re:All you dot-commers who "didn't need degrees" (1)

ZiGGyKAoS (86253) | about 13 years ago | (#2758650)

Ok.. I think its funny how some people think that the way that they did something is the only way to do it right and that everybody else must be idots for doing it diffrently.

You can't just fake your way through life anymore by cutting/pasting other people's Perl scripts.

Uhm yah.. I think there are quite a few people out there that were in the dotcom thing just for the money. The problem with them is that no amount of schooling will help them. You either have a passion for this feild and excell or your just in it for the money..

Re:All you dot-commers who "didn't need degrees" (2, Funny)

Stepto (25864) | about 13 years ago | (#2758655)

...are now scrambling to get one! Ha!

Wait 'til you find out that you'll need to know REAL SUBJECTS like MATH and PHYSICS to get a degree.

You can't just fake your way through life anymore by cutting/pasting other people's Perl scripts.

See folks? You too can get a degree and be an insufferable dickhead to other people!


Re:All you dot-commers who "didn't need degrees" (1)

Ageless (10680) | about 13 years ago | (#2758658)

The ending of the dot com boom isn't the resurrection of uninformed companies blindly hiring people waving stacks of paper at them. Good engineers without degrees were getting jobs before the dot com boom. Companies finally started to wake up in the early 1990s and will continue to remain awake now.

The important difference is that now (and before the insanity) only /good/ engineers were getting the good jobs. The people that cut and paste Perl scripts are done with, but that doesn't mean you need a degree any more now than you did 2 years ago.

There will always be companies, and shops that won't let you in the door without a degree... but do you care to work for them? Look for a company that is hiring /people/ and not paper. You will be glad you did.

Re:All you dot-commers who "didn't need degrees" (1)

Liquid(TJ) (318258) | about 13 years ago | (#2758662)

Well, I'm about to start the last semester of a CS program, and I kind of wish I had gone the dot-commer route. I'm a total tightwad, and I always thought it would crash an burn quickly, but in retrospect, I should have jumped on right away when I finished my enlistment. Sure, I'd be a year or two behind in school compared to now, but so what? Maybe I should've drawn a few paychecks off those insane investments.

I'm not at all hurting right now, so I don't have any regrets or anything, but I don't blame these guys one bit for taking advantage of the situation.

Then again, I probibally would have ended up getting paid in stock... :)

Re:All you dot-commers who "didn't need degrees" (1)

antibryce (124264) | about 13 years ago | (#2758664)

I spent 6 years in college, and they were well spent. I survived the dot-com boom unscathed, never been unemployed one day in my life, and I get to do cool stuff.

I've never been unemployed, consistently gotten good raises and reviews, and am doing some really fun stuff (working in a large datacenter as the sole admin.)

Of course I didn't finish college. I can understand your feelings, tho. I dislike the large rush of peoplel running towards the dotcom world with $$$ in their eyes as much as the next guy. But not everyone who doesn't have a degree is one of them. I didn't feel like I was learning anything useful in college, so I left after the first semester of my junior year. Mostly because in the 3 years I'd been there they had yet to teach me anything I hadn't already taught myself in high school.

Re:All you dot-commers who "didn't need degrees" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758686)

Actually, degrees aren't important. It's been my experience that the "University of Waterloo, 1992-1997" on my resume works just fine.

I studied there full time for a few years, then switched to part-time studies. I never received a degree, having been lured away by a tech company (but most certainly not a dot-com).

My initial salary back then in '95 was about $34k Canadian (piddly, I know). By 1997 I was making $50k there. It's now 2002 (almost) and after having worked for a few companies as a sysadmin & software developer, I pull down nearly $90k.

It's odd - I'd *like* to go back and finish my degree - the only reason I left was because I was *really* hurting financially back then. But every company I've worked for assumes that since my resume shows I attended university for approx. 5 years, I must have a degree. I never state anywhere that I've actually received a BSc, and in fact on several occasions have written "planning to finish my degree thru part-time studies". It doesn't matter. My experience does, and that's what sells.

Mind you, I'm sure that if I didn't have *any* post-secondary education listed on my resume, things would likely be much more difficult.

BTW: I hate Perl. I'd never cut and paste a line of it. Ick. Give me Python any day. ;)

Re:All you dot-commers who "didn't need degrees" (1)

Quasar1999 (520073) | about 13 years ago | (#2758717)

I spent 6 years in college, and they were well spent. I survived the dot-com boom unscathed, never been unemployed one day in my life, and I get to do cool stuff.
Good for you... But I just gotta ask... how did you pay for your education? I know one of the reasons I'm out in the real world without a degree is because I couldn't afford to go and get one when I graduated from high school (Unlike most people, my parents didn't want to get a second mortgage to finance my education).

Not only do I gain valuable experience from the real world, facing everyday problems (which from what I've seen no university or college can truely prepare any of their pupils for), I am making slightly less money than my counterparts who have degrees... We do the same work, but they have tens of thousands of dollars of debt to climb out of... while I don't. And the funny thing is when they get stuck, they go read a book to find the answer... I do the same thing... I've yet to see anyone truely apply a skill they could only have learned in college/university here at work (I work for a company that develops device drivers for various OS's).

So yes, a degree is necessary in todays slumping economy, but not because it is an indicator that you are smarter/better than someone who doesn't have one, it simply indicates that you probably have loads of debt, and will be staying put at this job for quite a while... and you'll be more willing to accomodate the company's needs rather than your own, just to keep your job to pay your bills...

Slashdot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758593)

News for FUCKING BASTARDS, Stuff thats CRAP!

THIS IS A REAL SITE! [cjb.net]

As fast you have sex (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758594)

Quick...like when you have sex.

Does it really matter? (1)

fractalus (322043) | about 13 years ago | (#2758607)

Why do you want the degree? Do you want more money, better job security, to move to management? Are you unhappy enough with where you're going that you want to invest the time to do something else? Or do you just want it because you feel like you missed out because you didn't get it?

I'm in a similar position, but I like what I'm doing, and while more money is cool, there are better ways for me to do it than spending lots of time sitting in a class "learning" stuff I already know. I don't think I'm going to go back to school unless I'm switching careers.

Go Directly To Master's(if you can) (1)

keird (519534) | about 13 years ago | (#2758608)

If you already have a Bachelor's degree then you should just start working on a Master's. It doesn't really matter what your Bachelor's degree is in, but it may mean that you need to take a bunch of prerequisite courses. Another piece of advice....I wouldn't try to hurry through a CS program. You don't realize how much you don't know until you start taking the classes. While still a young field, computer science has come a long way which means you get to learn from many other's discoveries and mistakes. It would be naive and arrogant to think that just because you've been programming for a long time that you can speed through the education. This is from experience. I, too, had been programming since I was 12 (I'm 29) and when I started down the path of my CS education I thought I could breeze throught it. I was wrong and I glad I was. I now have Master's in CS and even though it took me a long time I wouldn't trade it for anything. Good luck!!!

Re:Go Directly To Master's(if you can) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758635)

RTFP!! THe guy dont have any degrees at all! He started working in industry at 19! The best he probably got is a High School Diploma

what about... (2)

mirko (198274) | about 13 years ago | (#2758609)

...companies certifications ?
I guess an SAP-certiufied consultant, or a Java-certified developper or an Oracle DBA or whatever else whose company could afford the short but intensive training costs could show quite a worthy piece a paper to a company willing to hire him for specific purposes...

There are also company who claim they'd pay the costs of a complete university degree (MBA, for example) to their best employees, that's why until you actually know what you expect I'd advice you to just impress your chiefs.

BTW, if you are willing to relocate in foreign countries, then I agree you *need* at least a Bachelor to obtain the work VISA.

Life experience credit (2)

CaptainSuperBoy (17170) | about 13 years ago | (#2758610)

Some universities have programs where you can get credit for life experience. Typically you have to submit a proposal, write papers describing how you learned from life experience, and that sort of thing. You can't get a full degree that way, but will take some semesters off of your education.

I'm in the same boat as you are, right now.. I have 3 semesters to go towards a CS degree, but I'm working right now at a consulting firm. A degree is good to have, and I'm sure I've done some things that will count towards life experience.. my current job, past internships, etc.

I can't stress enough how much the core CS classes have helped me. I have a much better understanding of data structures, algorithms, software engineering, etc. than I would have if I'd taught myself those subjects reading books. You may be a different type of learner - I'm just going from personal experience, but I wouldn't skip too much of the core CS. Intro to programming courses don't matter, but don't cheat yourself out of a solid CS theory foundation.

Also, depending what school you go to and what you are planning to do after you graduate, you should think about physics/math requirements. My feeling is that they are outdated and shouldn't be required - some CS programs are still taught as if every grad is going straight into academic research, where these things are of course necessary. In many other careers CS could lead to, you won't ever touch that calc book again.

Possibly SOL....? (2)

jeffy124 (453342) | about 13 years ago | (#2758611)

You might SOL on getting done in 12 months. At best >3 years is what it will take for a bachelors of CS. Just about any accredidated (sp?) school will require non-CS stuff like 2 semesters Physics, Chemistry, history, and the like.

But there are some distance learning stuff that some schools are developing, which might be good and easy to get done quickly, depending on who's giving it.

Beware those distance leraning programs where there's no human interaction (ie, an entire computer based course). I once took a short Java course through one of those - lousy and full of errors. If you were asked to enter some missing text, liek the "String [] args" in the main() sig, using "String[]" as opposed to "String []" (note the space) gets you marked incorrect, not to mention they were full of syntax errors. (Coincidentally, the course was given through a Java-applet)

Re:Possibly SOL....? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758719)

String_[] won't compile so I don't really see the problem...

Whitespace is not null [my newest haiku]

CS is great, but... (1)

Publicus (415536) | about 13 years ago | (#2758614)

If you've got the technical skills, maybe you should consider English?

I've been working in the tech industry and I've make great progress.

But what's a liberal arts degree worth anyway!?

cs != coding (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758615)

its been mentiond here time and time again, but computer *science* is not just coding... obviously i dont know exactly what you do for a living, but it seems unlikely that you've been exposed to algorithmic theory, ai, graphics, systems theory, etc etc to the extent that most universities would consider adequate for granting you a degree.

that being said, if you're smart you may very well be able to blow through such classes without too much trouble, but this still takes time. bottom line, i think expecting to receive a b.a or b.s. in computer science in under 2 or 3 years respectively is unreasonable.

I'm sure its already been said many times (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758620)

The problem probably won't be the CS classes, if you are a solid programmer already. However, the problem will be the assorted other classes you have to take.

A CS degree (or any degree, for that matter) is not like a certification: it doesn't simply show mastery of one thing, but it demonstrates formal education in several areas, including critical thinking, math, communications (written and verbal), etc., with a specialization in one area (in your case, Comp Sci). You may be a stud programmer, but you will still have to take English, Math, some other basic requirements and some electives. 1.5 years is unreasonable, unless you are going for an Associate's degree, which I wouldn't recommend - it will probably be worthless given your experience.

Having said that, go ahead and spend the time getting your degree. Ignore the people that are sure to be posting ignorant crap about how "I wouldn't want to work at a place that values degrees!! Its just a piece of paper!" Those are, in all likelihood, people that couldn't hack it in college due to a serious lack of social skills, motivation, work ethic, whatever. The basic fact is that in order to advance in the majority of the organizations out there, you have to have some sort of degree.

In all likelihood, you can get your firm to pay for you to get your degree at some local university. Why not take advantage of it and do it right instead of trying to find some way to rush through it?

ArsDigita University(closed) (2)

Pinball Wizard (161942) | about 13 years ago | (#2758630)

ArsDigita University [aduni.org] is the only one I know of. Its closed down at the moment because it lost its funding. They offered a comprehensive CS degree in one year.

There's no traditional university that does this. In fact, its not possible to do it in a year. You need 130+ credits to get a CS degree. Maybe in 3 years if you are dedicated, and can work
I really wish there was a place where you could take university quality CS classes in a program geared for working adults that didn't require you to take english, history, or whatever. I don't know of one, however.

You're in luck... (2)

JohnDenver (246743) | about 13 years ago | (#2758633)

I just got an email offering Bachelors, Masters, and PhDs WITHOUT spending time in a classroom, because it's based on professional experience!!!

Seriously, 1 year is an awefully short period of time, and I would think you would really loose out on a lot of good classes.

Being in the same situation you're in, but having the benefit of following my friends throughout thier CS studies, I would have to say that I'm a lot less optimistic than you.

While you probably already know Universities don't subject you to much to the technology, you can really emerse yourself deeply in the theory.

My advice: If you really want to get the most out of a degree, put some good time in it and specialize in 2-3 related areas, while going for your Masters. Become THE authority in those 2-3 areas, and have the papers to back up your assertions.

2 tips (1)

Beowulf_Boy (239340) | about 13 years ago | (#2758634)

A. University of Arizona.
Everything is done over the Web there.
B. Talk to your local Uni, and see if you can't work something out with the CS prof.

This worked for me (-1, Redundant)

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Do the time like everyone else. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758638)

Do the three to four years just like everyone
else. Sheesh, some people think that the world
gives a rats arse about how 'special' they think
they are ...

No, this is not trolling or flamebait.

Penguin Kicka.

- Did my degree in 3 years, graduated at 26 and have never looked back. Yes, I thought the degree
didn't teach me much, it has extended my career
opportunities no end, though.

I am 37 know.

Re:Do the time like everyone else.[correction] (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758660)

That should read: "I am 37 now."

- Penguin Kicka

One Year Time Frame (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | about 13 years ago | (#2758639)

Even if you have transferable credits already, and can test out of classes- you will still probably have to do more than a year.
Most accredited universities will mandate that a certain percentage of your work be done through them in order for them to give you a degree.
This makes sense on 2 levels. You can't take one class somewhere and say you have a degree from that school and they make some money off you.

The only 1 year programs I am aware of to get a technical degree will only give you a degree in I.T. and require that you have another Bachelors prior to entering the program.

As has been posted, there are way to many prerequisites and classes that cannot be taken concurrently to earn a bachelors from start to finish in one year.

things and stuff (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758640)

There are several types of competency tests you can take to earn quick college credit. CLEP, DANTES, and TECEP spring instantly to mind. As for colleges, i would suggest Empire State College in NY. It's a SUNY school, which means it's fully accreditted, and is designed for people who are working and trying to earn degrees at the same time. They give credit for prior learning, which basically means that they will give you school credit for all those books and work you have done in the past, as long as you can prove you learned something from it. You can only get 96 of the 128 credits needed for a bachelors degree in that manner, but its an excellent start. They are also set up for distance learning, and many students there never physicially step foot on the campus.

Don't bother (2, Informative)

swordgeek (112599) | about 13 years ago | (#2758642)

First some background. I have a degree in organic chemistry, and made the jump to computers because the opportunity was there. My salary has since doubled (in three years), I'm heading towards a senior consulting role, my company is paying for 4-5 courses/year (actually eight this year, but it was an exceptional year), and the sky is the limit from my point of view.

Computing is still a field where a degree isn't mandatory. It's possible to get by (and even thrive) on determination and ability, if you're willing to work hard at it. Having a degree is better than not, and having a computing degree is better than another one, but nothing will preclude you from going as far as you want with one caveat--grad school. (more in a minute on that)

As far as the "fast track degrees," if it's the sort that I'm thinking of ("Start A New And Rewarding Career In Computers In Your Spare Time!!!!!") then don't bother! Nobody in their right mind takes them seriously. If you want some paper, take vendor courses and exams and become a "certified" Sun/HP/Linux/Whatever admin. If you can put that on your resume', it'll show more prominently than a degree from Bob's Computer College and Used Car Sales.

The one case where a degree is almost critical is if you want to go on to get a Master's or Doctorate. The problem there is again that a degree from one of these colleges isn't going to help much.

If you feel the need for a degree (and there are very good reasons for it), then take a deep breath, pull out your chequebook, and spend four years at it.

Re:Don't bother (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758693)

Actually, your degree does matter very much - it just doesn't help you in your day to day roles. A degree in organic shows that you are intelligent, have a pretty solid work ethic, and aren't afraid of math/logic. Do you think that degree in organic doesn't impress the hell out of clients when your consulting firm's marketing pukes are pushing them to accept your services? Do you think it doesn't allow your firm to charge more for your services?

Your degree matters...

No... and the very question is insulting (5, Insightful)

coyote-san (38515) | about 13 years ago | (#2758643)

Damn it, a university is not a trade school! Only a small amount of the time in classes (maybe 1/3?) is spent in the nominal field of study - the rest of the time is spent getting a broad general education.

For CS in particular, any university worth the effort of attending will probably require you to complete the first-year courses in all other sciences - physics, chemistry, biology. Plus first year courses in mathematics. Plus the humanities - literature, humanities, etc. You aren't expected to become an expert in any of these fields, but you should learn enough to be able to recognize when someone is trying to sell you a pack of lies in an election, in a courtroom (as a juror), or as the next-of-kin when a loved one is seriously ill. That's the stuff that ultimately matters, not just knowing how to write LALR(a) grammars.

What's that I smell? (2)

bribecka (176328) | about 13 years ago | (#2758646)

Hmmm....5 years @ 50% increase per year...that is a total of a 759% increase. If he started at 20K/year he is now making 151K, starting at 30K he is making 227K. At 24 yrs old, I don't think so.

In any case, I don't see how you can complete a CS degree in a year. At 120 credits for a degree (mine was actually like 139), that comes out to 40 classes at 3 credits per class. 20 per semester? Even if you include a full winter and summer schedule (which is probably hard to find), 10 classes in a semester is an impossibility. 2.5 hrs per class per week = 25 hours per week = 5 hrs per day if they are all in a row. Not to mention that there is such a thing as prerequisites for classes, so many of the classes cannot be taken concurrently.

I'm sorry, but this whole "Ask Slashdot" seems just too outrageous to be true.

CLEP exams (1)

Galahad (24997) | about 13 years ago | (#2758648)

Information is at College Board [collegeboard.com] . I just finished my BS in CS -- took twenty years to do so with time off for good behaviour. Had I not clep'd out of 21 credits, I'd still be going.
The only reason I finished the degree is to get the *next* job -- many HR departments use keyword filtering on their resume databases and I want to make sure I don't get lost because I didn't have a degree.
That argument is moot if you are good, and have a good headhunter and the economy allows companies to afford their services.

Education or vocational training? (2)

isdnip (49656) | about 13 years ago | (#2758652)

Do you have any kind of undergraduate degree yet?

If you don't, then knowing all there is to know about your major shouldn't be worth more than, say, half of a degree, from any respectable school. That's because a college degree (undergrad BA/BS level) implies more than passing your major, it implies some degree of general education. It means you've taken the "distribution requirements" in humanities, sciences, etc. That's what distinguishes college from trade school. A college grad should have been exposed to at least a good selection from literature, art, history, economics, and other subjects utterly unrelated to the major. And should be able to write a decent essay, if not a thesis -- literacy is a two way street.

At the grad school level, your work experience and trade ability are more focused. But don't confuse training with education.

I work at a major consulting firm, in a technical group. We're largely a bunch of liberal arts majors who have technical skills. Moving up in consulting requires educational breadth, not depth. At least not the kind of depth you get in college.

This is going to be a BIG shock to you, but... (5, Insightful)

tswinzig (210999) | about 13 years ago | (#2758656)

... did you know that getting a CS degree has very little to do with PROGRAMMING?

I am in the same boat as you, and when I attended [a state school in Florida well known for computer science], I was surprised that the focus is entirely on the Science of Computing. Sure, some classes require you to know how to program in a certain language, but that is not the focus. The focus is on MATH. At least in the first years (that's as far as I got ;-). Lots of calculus, and the hideous "discrete structures" courses. ::shudder::

In short, I don't see how a human could possibly get a CS degree in one year.

So you have the veneer (3, Insightful)

color of static (16129) | about 13 years ago | (#2758657)

of a CS degree, congratulations. As anyone will tell you though, a veneer needs a solid backing to stand on it own. What the backing consists of is the liberal arts (well roundedness), fundamental mathematics (Calculs, Matrix, Discrete, and stat), and exposure to the science and engineering side of the business (logic circuit design, followed by computer architecture).

Even if you have read through many of the senior level texts, you probably didn't fully absorb the subject material without the fundamentals. It is amazing to re address a subject when you have a better grasp of the fundamentals. The subject looks so much clearer.

Now that doesn't mean you can't have a rewarding career as a programmer. Many of your co workers will not have fully grasped the subject material on their degrees, thus putting you on a equal footing. When it comes time for promotions, or finding a new job though you will be much better off with the degree.

I'm not sure what a degree would do for you... (2)

turbine216 (458014) | about 13 years ago | (#2758659)

...given the position that you're already in, I really don't think a degree will give you any advantage. You've already got plenty of practical real-world experience (THE most important factor), and additional merits to help back that up. A degree really isn't worth anything unless you're just trying to get in the door. In most cases, a degree is a somewhat-acceptable "substitute" for experience - which you are not lacking.

It seems to me that you're already "over the hump" in terms of getting into the industry, and that ANY degree, be it a BS or MS, isn't going to be worth the effort.

Online University (1)

ruvreve (216004) | about 13 years ago | (#2758669)

The problem with getting your degree is getting the general education classes out of the way. Any 'geek' could pass all the CS classes and other tech related stuff but having to take english, communication etc etc requires you to stay for more then the 1-2 years needed to complete all the CS classes.

My suggestion is to check out 'online' universities that offer a large percentage of their classes over the internet. This way you can keep working and do your homework and class related stuff in the evenings. Maybe the consulting firm would let you work part-time.

Another option is to enroll in a university test-out of as many classes as you can and then transfer to an online university as described above.

Your major problem is not going to be understanding what is being taught it will be the homework and class work that will be assigned. Such as write a 5 page paper about Bill Gates and then do your math homework and then do that other assignment and then meet with your 'team' to finish this project.

Learn Skills Other than Computers (2, Insightful)

bkjoegold (238893) | about 13 years ago | (#2758674)

My company requires a Bachelors degree to move into the higher levels of our IT organization. This is not because it makes you a better system or network admin but it show two things, you are willing to stick with something (your education) to better yourself and that you know a little more than just how to use a PC.

My CS degree did not come close to preparing me to become a network admin but those years of math taught me good problem solving skills and occasionally I actually do use the Calculus. When getting a degree though you learn about more than just computers, you learn a little literature and history. Although this will not help you program, it does give perspective and rounds out the tech skills. You also may learn a little accounting and business law, skills that you will need as you move up the ladder and need to worry about budgets and personnel issues. These are just a few examples.

A college education is not for everyone but it is a good way to round out your knowledge base and the parties are cool.

check out schools for "non-traditional students" (1)

chart (45124) | about 13 years ago | (#2758675)

Look into schools for "non-traditional students" or "adult students". They are in the business of helping working adults get a degree (for example, University College at Denver University http://www.learning.du.edu/ , or the University of Phoenix http://www.phoenix.edu/ ). They usually have classes during evenings and weekends, and they often give credit for "life experience". Some also issue "certificates" a year or two into the program, documenting that you have demonstrated proficiency in some skills -- this can help you get a better job sooner.

Don't be surprised, though, if you find that there are things they can teach you in college that you haven't learned yet, out in the "real world". It may be that there are indeed classes you need to take, and that you don't know all there is to know about CS yet!

1 year MSc? (3, Informative)

larien (5608) | about 13 years ago | (#2758676)

Personally, I started with an Accountancy degree, but I did a 1 year MSc in Information Systems which basically gave me a grounding in programming, databases, networks etc. I've now been working for over 4 years and I don't see me having any disadvantage over someone who did a 4 year BSc in Computing, so that may be an option (of course, you need a degree first unless you can blag your way past the admissions office).

As others have said, there comes a point where experience counts more than bits of paper; I don't really see how relevant my degree is now, as my experience has more than surpassed it. Over 90% of what I do is stuff I've learned in the last 4 years, not stuff I did in class.

Unfortunate, but true. (1)

jbrelie (322599) | about 13 years ago | (#2758677)

I am in the same boat. I am pretty successful now at 23, but I never finished college. On the surface, this would not seem to be a problem. I am married and buying a house, and all seems well... however, in the back of my mind, I remember recessions past when the labor market was tight. Between two qualified candidates, the one with the degree always wins. I know I am going back. At least for something. It doesn't even matter so much what your degree is in. Just that you have it. If you really want to continue upwards, consider (gasp!) a business degree. If you already know CS, learn something new. Make yourself more versatile. You never know, they may just give you your very own flock of geeks to govern or turn into a primitive society as you see fit.

Online Unis (2, Informative)

farsighed (136671) | about 13 years ago | (#2758681)

Strayer University [strayer.edu] [strayer.edu] is pretty generous with their "life" credit, if you're in the MD/DC/VA area (midatlantic US). I'm doing that route now- I'm a senior level consultant without even an associate's. They accept transfers easily enough, and simply req. that you complete a certain (1 yr, I think, but don't quote me on that) amount of time (which = ca$h to them) in their classes. They started out as a business college, so they have some odd prerequisites (Accounting? Intro to Business???), in addition to whatever your state makes you have for a degree (virginia, frinstance, apparently has decided that all THEIR students must have taken Logic or precalc, Communications 2 & 3, intro to art/music/lit, and other social science courses.)

The *really* cool thing is that they're a Cisco Academy (and have something similar worked out with MS, apparently), so the courses you would take in, say, Computer Networking, are also good for your CCNA.

And no, I don't work for them. :)

In any event, check some of the border colleges- those that are midway between a "full" university and a community college. You may be suprised.

-- F.S.

Overseas (and straight to MSc) (3, Informative)

psicE (126646) | about 13 years ago | (#2758684)

I don't know about other universities (though I expect they'd do the same), but Oxford in Britain allows you to get into a MSc compsci program solely on the basis of work experience instead of previous degrees. British schools also has the advantage that a MSc degree only takes 1 year to complete, tuition is far lower than at a US school (because all schools there are public), and there's no requirements for physics, math, or anything except compsci.

Thomas Edison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758687)

Thomas Edison (http://www.tesc.edu/) is a 100% distance learning acredited school. My mother took the clep tests (got about 30 credits), and then just portfolioed all of the work she's done in the past 47 years, and was able to achieve a degree in exactly one year. The only corses that she had to take were only the requirements. She would just email or mail the assignments in, and would be proctored exams at a local community college.

Not bad.

Getting a degree (1)

AlgUSF (238240) | about 13 years ago | (#2758688)

The problem with CLEPing courses, is that any accredited (real) university has a limit (of a couple of courses) on the amount of courses that you can can clep. Most of these lower division courses are like Algebra, Calculus I,II,III, etc. I don't know of any program that would let you clep Upper division classes core to your degree.

Arrogance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758690)

Maybe if you slowed down for a few years and actually got your degree the traditional way, you'd learn a thing or two that would help you in life - not just technology.

For instance, you might just learn how to drop the arrogant attitude you spewed all over that post.

Oh well, since you're but 24, you still have lots of time left to get a life.

What aboot Sally Struthers? (1)

cscx (541332) | about 13 years ago | (#2758692)

Ever see those commercials where Sally Struthers will sell you any degree through the mail? You show them college folk! :D

Pay Your Dues (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758694)

I busted my ass for 5 years in college to get my degree and I say that if you want the same priviledge that I've gained by having it, yer going to have to earn it like I did. What makes you so special?

Why a CS Degree? (5, Insightful)

Genady (27988) | about 13 years ago | (#2758697)

I can understand the desire to have a degree, there are institutions that really want you to have that piece of paper that says you're in debt to a student loan processing center. I personally am in a similar situation with only a two year degree (electronics) and 7 years of IT experience. Here's my question though? Why do you want a CS Degree? Really, most employers are looking for *A* degree, it doesn't usually have to be a CS degree perse, especially with your experience.

If you're looking to advance your current career I'd say an MIS Degree (Management of Information Systems) would look better on your resume than a CS Degree.

It's been my experience that CS programs teach people to be programmers. How many CIO's and IT Directors are there that have come from the programming pool? Less than 1/2? Yes, programming is one road into an IT Career, but it certainly isn't the only one, or even the road that is the quickest.

All that said... a Degree isn't like an MCSE, you have to put in some time to get that piece of paper, but it'll be worth the time. Take the three years and learn something that will stick with you, rather than the current flavor of the day programming language.

Fast Track to a CS Degree? (1)

seyfarth (323827) | about 13 years ago | (#2758699)

A typical bachelors degree requires about 128 semester hours. If you finished such a degree in 1 year (fall, spring and summer semesters), you would probably take about 50 hours of classes in the fall and spring and 28 hours in the summer. 50 hours of classes would mean 50 hours in lectures and some time spent on assignments. I don't think it is likely that you could get a degree in 1 year.

Getting a degree in 2 years sounds possible, but hard. You would need to take 2 years away from your job. This is usually hard for people to do.

Your trend of 50% salary increases is great. If you could keep up the good work, you could be rich soon. Then you could decide whether a degree was important or not. Also taking off for a couple of years or more might be easier to do.

If you have reached a salary plateau which does not seem to be leading to early retirement, then you might have a real interest in a 4 year degree. I would suggest that a good starting point would be to enroll in 1 or 2 night classes while continuing with your work. Enroll in at least 1 math class. Also you might ask about taking tests to prove that you don't need to take some of the beginning CS courses. Perhaps you could cut one semester out of your degree plan.

Good luck!


Need a degree? (2)

telbij (465356) | about 13 years ago | (#2758700)

Will you ever _need_ a degree? Once you get some experience under your belt it's not hard to find more jobs (assuming a certain level of talent since you got this job without a degree).

It's already clear that if you are on the bleeding edge then there's not much in school for you, but a college degree is a status symbol. When you're hobnobbing with the bigwigs at a cocktail party, hoping to get some high-dollar consulting work or whatnot, and they ask you where you went to school it comes in handy. Shallow though it may seem, many people will dismiss you if you don't have a college degree.

Your social connections can take you far in IT because so many geeks have no interest or skill in business communication.

Several things (1, Redundant)

karb (66692) | about 13 years ago | (#2758701)

  1. If you've read 100's of CS books, you should be ok, but note to others ... Programming != CS. You will take three or four courses out of maybe 12-18 (probably more for BS, I was BA) that will deal directly with programming. Even those can be somewhat theory-heavy. A few CS courses involve no programming. It's like knowing how to use a brush if you're an art student. It's important, and it'll help you if you're good. But it's just a piece of the puzzle.
  2. Get your job to pay for it. I assume you have fathomable reasons for wanting it to get done in one year, but I would take my time and do it on the company dime ;). You seem to be doing well, so you could probably convince your employer to pay for school or find another employer that will.
  3. I feel it's worth it. I am perhaps a little biased, but I've worked with many, many, many unqualified people that never got their CS degree. (and a few that have, but the ratio is far better) If I had to hire, I would very very rarely consider somebody without one. Why? For many reasons. You learn many obscure but useful things in school. Also, I've found that most late-trained or self-trained computer people are missing a sort of geekiness that they need. They are good workers, they're smart, but they lack passion for the craft.

Hurrying to post before I become redundant ... :)

Huh? (2)

JAVAC THE GREAT (239850) | about 13 years ago | (#2758702)

Explain again what makes you so special that you should be able to skip 3/4 of a college career to get a degree.

Is it because you're making a lot of money? Because you've been programming since you were twelve? Here's a tip: there are plenty of people in college who have plenty of money or have been programming since they were twelve, and they weren't able to skip 3 years of college, why should you?

In what other field could you ask such a thing? (3, Insightful)

fishbowl (7759) | about 13 years ago | (#2758705)

Why is this different from someone asking if there's a fast way to a medical degree for instance?

Don't Waste Your Time (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758706)

You've been programming since a tyke, so that means that you've lived most of your life in front of the computer screen. Kudos for enjoying what you do. Sounds like you do it well.

That being the case, why waste your time getting a CS degree? If you're going to go to university at this point, why not go for one of the sciences instead? You may find that this opens up areas which you never expected. eg. computational biology, etc.

Doesn't have to be scientific in fact. Music, arts, philosophy, whatever. You think learning more about computers is really going to make your life that much better at this point of your career? I think not. Do something a bit different, and you may find it surprisingly rewarding.

Being well-rounded (1)

spiritualmechanic (546268) | about 13 years ago | (#2758709)

Theoretically you could get a CS degree in one year, but the universities typically want you to take a certain amount of English, Math, History, Government, plus a certain amount of electives that aren't in your major. They want you to be "well-rounded," and I think that most employers who are looking for degreed CS professionals want well-rounded people as well. People who just want the job done won't care if you have a degree in the first place. But as you know, the work life is much more about interpersonal stuff and good politics and being responsible, etc, so there's probably not much a full degree can add to that. And while you could CLEP out of some things, CLEPing just means you don't have to take the lower courses, so you take the same 3 hours, but at a higher level. So it really doesn't buy you anything. Anyways, good luck. You might try some internet degrees, that way you can whiz through the history and focus on the CompSci side of things.

Why always the easy way out? (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 13 years ago | (#2758713)

So you want to do 5 years of work in 1 year because you feel that you already know everything there is to know? How interesting....

A degree from an accredited university is more about learning how to write code. Things like learning advanced calculus so that you have a better understanding of math, physics so that you learn to solve complex problems and general education courses to broaden your horizons and make you a better person are part and parcel of getting a BS degree.

Stop looking for the easy way out, find a good program and relish in the education you will recieve. If you truely think you deserve some short of degree for life expenience petition the university and prepare for a little rejection.

But remember anyone that thinks they know everything has already proved they don't know anything.

Biggest Problem (1)

Kalak451 (54994) | about 13 years ago | (#2758716)

I think one of the biggest problems you will find is that at most major Universites, CS is part liberal arts department. So you have to take lots of electives in social science, history, humanities etc. It seems kinda dumb, but thats part of having a BS degee, being well rounded etc. That is what the school is selling, and that is what anyone who is requiring a BS degree is looking for. Unfortunetly, all of those electives take time to complete, especialy if you can't go to school full time.

English would suit you better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2758718)

Did anyone else read that Ask Slashdot all the way through? My goodness, that was horrific! I suggest spending more time on your English grammar skills before any further CS studies. Ask any CEO or high level boss what kind of person they need working for them. Their biggest request is ALWAYS for someone who can speak, spell, write, and comprehend the English language properly. You sir, need English lessons.

Look into ACCIS.edu... (1)

Saltine Cracker (116414) | about 13 years ago | (#2758722)

I'm considering a Masters at ACCIS [accis.edu] . It's a web based accredited college offering computer science degree's. The online part sounds great because it's all self paced, plus you can get up to 30 credit hours for work experience.

Possible to get ahead without the degree (1)

MSUWalt (323986) | about 13 years ago | (#2758724)

Our Technical Systems Manager, who's in charge of the hospital's network, large server room, etc, was something like 3 courses short of his CS degree when he quit school. No degree, but a cushy manager's position. CS is definitely something that you can get ahead at without a degree.

If your goal is management on the enterprise level, then maybe get the degree as a springboard for an MBA.
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