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Old 04-20-2011, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
37 posts, read 94,521 times
Reputation: 58

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I'm interested in continuing my education sometime in the next year, and am looking to gather information that will help. I'm probably going to apply for Fall '12.

I'm interested in public schools, as I'm paying for my education through financial aid loans and those would seem to be least expensive with looser admissions. I graduated CC in Computer Technology with a 3.0 GPA, but to advance and get a better job, it is obvious I need a higher degree (and by that I mean NOT working for $9.00/ph at a help-desk)

I wonder what the reputation of UMB is overal? I'm 27 years old, I'm used to commuter schools, and don't need a traditional experience. I'm interested in education to learn and get ahead, not to party. I understand UMB has a couple of schools within CS, I am interested in the B.s CS Degree, not the B.s in IT which seems to specialize in network technologies.

My other immediate option is to stay here in Maine and attend USM, the admissions are easy enough, having already been a student in this state.

Other places I'm looking at are in Silicon Valley and other places in California, although I doubt I can get into Berkeley (Haven't applied), plus relocating to Boston would just be so much easier. How does the Computer Science dept compare with other public universities? Do they have any type of job-placement service for their grads? I know this is a loaded question, and it's very specific, so don't worry about nailing it ... I'm just after general information.

Like I said, University of Southern Maine is a viable option, but I really want to relocate to a larger city. Boston seems to be a good fit for me personally, I love the vibe of the place and there's so much more to see than up here. But if the quality of education is the same, and the regions aren't too drastically different, I would assume stay here, although that is not my first choice.



A note about credits: I realize practically none of the CC credits will transfer (not from the CS dept, anyway, not even to USM) and the highest math I took was pre-calculus. So I don't think transferring in as a Junior is an option, either, unfortunately. So I would be starting from the ground-up. Also, I work part-time/full-time while juggling school, so I'm worried this would have me at any school for longer than the traditional four-years, possibly 4 or more which will bring me into my early 30s. I would really hope to be in a city I loved at that point in my life! However if the degree gets me no-where (Like the one I'm currently holding) than it's not worth it, I'd be right where I am now.

Thanks for reading, hope I provided enough info for feedback ...
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:54 PM
 
Location: a bar
2,636 posts, read 5,710,254 times
Reputation: 2774
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptld View Post
I'm interested in public schools, as I'm paying for my education through financial aid loans and those would seem to be least expensive with looser admissions. I graduated CC in Computer Technology with a 3.0 GPA, but to advance and get a better job, it is obvious I need a higher degree (and by that I mean NOT working for $9.00/ph at a help-desk)
I've worked in the IT field now for 15 years, and most of the folks I've worked with have little to no college. I have a bs degree, but it is actually in business. Is the job market so tight now, employers are looking for a cs degree?

With that said, I believe UMass Lowell would be the better choice for a cs program.
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
14,044 posts, read 10,364,640 times
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I just took a GIS course at UMass Boston. I would not do it again.
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Old 04-20-2011, 03:56 PM
 
114 posts, read 307,417 times
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new graduates with degrees in CS are in high demand:

For these tech grads, the job choice is theirs - The Boston Globe

I agree that UMASS Lowell is more prestigious for CS than UMASS Boston.

I don't see much difference prestige-wise between a degree from UMASS/Boston and Southern Maine.

If you really want to experience Boston, I would recommend Northeastern if you could get into it.
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
37 posts, read 94,521 times
Reputation: 58
Duly noted, thank you for the feedback, guys.

I guess what I'm wondering is do employers really care where the degree is from? I think the just the name "Boston" carries lots of connotations for folks not necessarily from this region, although I've never considered Lowell. I'll look into the schools mentioned here!

Thanks for the link, Thomas. @Cliff: I'm running into a lot of jobs that appeal to me, but without the ridiculous number of year's experience employers are asking for, I would need the B.Sc to be considered. At least that is the impression I've been getting in the last 6 - 8 months of job-searching.
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:22 PM
 
5,817 posts, read 15,169,224 times
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One point to consider if you prefer state colleges to save money is that you'll pay non-resident tuition at a MA college. It will still cost less than the costs at many private colleges, but will be significantly more expensive than staying in Maine and going to a state school there.

If you're determined to attend college in Boston, or at least in Boston's vicinity, and are willing to suck it up when it comes to the higher cost of going out of state, then I'll add my voice to those recommending UMass Lowell. UMass Amhert's CS department is especially highly regarded, but then you're well away from Boston. If you want the best public college for CS located within the Boston metro area, go with Lowell.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:45 AM
 
Location: a bar
2,636 posts, read 5,710,254 times
Reputation: 2774
Now I'd never talk anyone out of pursuing a bs degree, but another option may be to hook up with a contracting agency. Our dept is current about half contractors, and many times they're hired on full time. It might be a way to get your foot in the door.
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