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  1. #1
    dipan2222 is offline Registered User
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    Inexpensive online MS in IT. Any suggestions ?

    Hi,

    This is my first post here, though I have reading all great discussions on forums.

    I need some suggestion in selecting a college/school where I can finish my Masters in Information technology , without going to college. I am still working and will keep working, so looking only for online MS. I have 17 years of experience in IT, servers, systems and project management. But my basic education is preventing me to get promotions without Masters. I do not want course to break my bank.

    While searching, I can come up with WGU only, which can allow me to finish MS in 15 months (or shorter) and under $10k. Apart from this, I check snhu, National University also, but all others are more than $25k.

    Do you have some other suggestions, which should be regionally accredited and should not be expensive.

    Regards

  2. #2
    sanantone is offline Registered User
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    Hodges Upower or Capella Flexpath, but Hodges would be cheaper. Minot State University is cheap, but not self-paced like the others.
    Texas State University - PhD CJ (ABD)
    Angelo State University - Master of Security Studies and Grad Cert Terrorism
    Thomas Edison State College/University - BA Soc Sci, AAS in Environmental Safety, ASNSM in Biology, & BSBA in CIS

  3. #3
    dipan2222 is offline Registered User
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    How is name is Hodges and Minot in comparison to WGU ?
    I am going through posts related to these ones, but want to know opinion here as well.

  4. #4
    Manturo is offline Registered User
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    Hi Dipan2222,

    I'm in the same boat myself. Here's the approach I'm taking to narrow down choices:

    I usually hit this list first: Online Programs | ABET and evaluate each based on tuition and perceived "prestige". I would ask the Human Resources department about their perception of these institutions so as to make sure you are addressing any prejudicial notions. And what I mean is addressed in these posts across the web:

    should I take the University of Phoenix off my resume?
    hiring process - What do HR departments think of for-profit universities such as University of Phoenix? - The Workplace Stack Exchange
    Employer Perceptions of Online Degrees: A Literature Review
    Employers on online education - CNN.com
    Can an Online Degree Really Help You Get a Job? | TIME.com
    More Tech Employers Want the 'Right' College Degree - Dice Insights
    https://www.quora.com/Do-employers-t...licants-resume

    Secondly, via networking (think LinkedIn discussion groups, etc.) I would query other hiring managers and recruiters on their perception of the degree program.

    Third, I would contact the intended program and ask to speak to at least three graduates to gauge the quality and the perception of the degree, what their personal experience has been.

    Due diligence pays off because you don't get many more surprises like some people have when using online programs that are of ill-repute.

    That's my two cent and change. Hope this helps.

  5. #5
    sanantone is offline Registered User
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    Most IT and computer science programs neither have nor care to have ABET accreditation because it's not seen as something essential or beneficial to those fields. Many of the best IT and computer science programs do not have ABET accreditation. I believe that there are a couple of for-profit colleges that ABET accreditation for their IT programs. Neither Boston University nor University of Southern California have ABET accreditation for their IT programs, but those schools have more prestige than Walden or Capella , which do have ABET accreditation. Regardless of what people think about U.S. News, its rankings are a better gauge of prestige than ABET accreditation.

    Best Information and Technology Management Programs | Top Public Affairs Schools | US News Best Graduate Schools

    They also have an online programs ranking. I'm not a fan of the U.S. News' online program rankings, but they're still better than going off of ABET accreditation. Both of these rankings are for graduate programs, but undergraduate and graduate programs usually share the same instructors/professors.

    Best Online Information Technology Programs | Online Graduate Computer Technology Degree Rankings | US News

    If one is that worried about perceptions and stigma, then just attended a non-profit institution with a brick and mortar campus. You likely aren't going to get prestige and low cost, but you can get a low chance of embarrassment and low cost.
    Last edited by sanantone; 04-12-2016 at 04:53 PM.
    Texas State University - PhD CJ (ABD)
    Angelo State University - Master of Security Studies and Grad Cert Terrorism
    Thomas Edison State College/University - BA Soc Sci, AAS in Environmental Safety, ASNSM in Biology, & BSBA in CIS

  6. #6
    dipan2222 is offline Registered User
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    I am not concentrating much on reputation, but also, it should not look bad on my resume. I know about my company that they do not take University of Phoenix very seriously, if there are two candidates, one from some other university. That is the reason, I do not want to go with bad reputation college.
    I spoke to Hodges and their representative is going to call me back tomorrow with more details. I had discussion with WGU also. I am still thinking about these two and keeping my option open for others as well.

  7. #7
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manturo View Post
    Hi Dipan2222,

    I'm in the same boat myself. Here's the approach I'm taking to narrow down choices:

    I usually hit this list first: Online Programs | ABET and evaluate each based on tuition and perceived "prestige". I would ask the Human Resources department about their perception of these institutions so as to make sure you are addressing any prejudicial notions. And what I mean is addressed in these posts across the web:

    should I take the University of Phoenix off my resume?
    hiring process - What do HR departments think of for-profit universities such as University of Phoenix? - The Workplace Stack Exchange
    Employer Perceptions of Online Degrees: A Literature Review
    Employers on online education - CNN.com
    Can an Online Degree Really Help You Get a Job? | TIME.com
    More Tech Employers Want the 'Right' College Degree - Dice Insights
    https://www.quora.com/Do-employers-t...licants-resume

    Secondly, via networking (think LinkedIn discussion groups, etc.) I would query other hiring managers and recruiters on their perception of the degree program.

    Third, I would contact the intended program and ask to speak to at least three graduates to gauge the quality and the perception of the degree, what their personal experience has been.

    Due diligence pays off because you don't get many more surprises like some people have when using online programs that are of ill-repute.

    That's my two cent and change. Hope this helps.
    I don't mean to crap all over your good faith effort but I would strongly recommend against doing any of what is listed here. Ever. I say that as an HR Professional and someone who deals with this stuff daily.

    1. Web opinions - For starters, using opinion pieces and web forums to determine a degree's value is beyond worthless. Many of these fora paint a picture of a world where no one would ever hire a University of Phoenix graduate. That simply isn't true. A simple LinkedIn search reveals that there are many UofPhoenix alumni who are gainfully employed with some of them at some very big, respectable firms. Everyone on the internet has an opinion. And with the entire world at your fingertips it isn't surprising when you find others who agree with you. That doesn't mean these opinions are actionable. You should always strive for the best brand recognition you can. Barring that, I would say you should aim for accreditation (regional preferred) and a school that doesn't have a bad reputation. If you Google it and a cheating scandal comes up on the first page then that doesn't really help you. Web opinions might help you somewhat. University of Phoenix , for example, has a lot of press. Whether the opinions are actionable is one issue. But the plethora of bad press gives one reason for pause.

    2. Recruiters often do not have opinions of degrees or degree programs, particularly at the mid and senior levels. Recruiters are searching for people with the requisite skills and experience. If a recruiter is tasked with finding say, an IT Developer with experience in language X, then they are looking for that. They aren't forming a ranking of those candidates based upon quality of their degree. The experience and skills are what drive that need. Also, recruiters generally don't like being used like free job coaches. Every day my LinkedIn is filled with, at least, a dozen inquiries about jobs. Most of them impersonal mass e-mailed garbage that some people send to every HR person on the internet. We don't have time to play guidance counselor as well.

    3. Why would you approach hiring managers with a "Is this degree OK?" sort of question? Those are people you may be interviewing with in the future. Do you really want your first impression to be you being insecure over your degree choices?

    4. Unless your HR department is paying for the degree then their opinion is, generally, irrelevant. HR doesn't hire people. And HR doesn't determine what makes for a "good" degree program. Inquiring with HR about whether your degree will be "accepted" will only make HR start to question if you are in some sort of shady diploma mill situation. Beyond that, any advice you get is likely just to be the opinion of one individual which may have no impact on the organization's hiring practices or the preferences of a hiring manager.

    If you want to use your degree to advance your career then, by all means, ask your manager. If your company is paying for a degree then, by all means, ask HR . Some companies (like mine) have a preferred school list for tuition assistance.

    But don't go knocking door to door asking if a degree from school X is "OK." There is no universal acceptance of a degree. And, if a person has been in IT for 17 years and the ONLY thing holding them back is a Masters, then the Masters itself is not the basis for their hiring or promotion. Their experience and skill is. Though I would add that another good question to ask is whether the Masters is really necessary for career advancement or if focusing on certifications would bear more fruit. If you have all of the certifications that you could reasonably need or be expected to have then, by all means, consider a Masters. But listening to anonymous trolls on the internet and bugging people, who could better be leveraged as potential in-roads to a company down the road, are not ways of doing your due diligence they are ways of wasting the time of working professionals (both you and them). This isn't a middle school "what do I want to be when I grow up?" assignment and that's just not how adults do research about how to further their careers.
    Last edited by Neuhaus; 04-13-2016 at 07:56 AM. Reason: Also, everything sanantone just said
    M.B.A. University of Scranton (Anticipated 2019)
    M.S.M. (Project Management) University of Management and Technology
    B.S.O.L. Thomas Edison State University
    B.S.B.A. Colorado Technical University
    A.A. University of Scranton
    Certificate in Human Resources Management - Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations
    Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS)
    Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)

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  9. #8
    Manturo is offline Registered User
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    I'll agree to disagree on your opinion, Neuhaus. Every city is different and in NYC particular, HR department do hold sway about what is and not is an acceptable institution. Recruiters here DO HAVE opinions about degree programs AND experience.

    Nothing about my comment mentioned about blasting impersonal emails to people or indiscriminate "knocking door to door asking if a degree from school X is "OK." There are industries where you do have to do your due diligence. In the life sciences (where I'm at), there are tons of LinkedIn groups about particular sub-branches where they do encourage people to ask questions about career choices, etc. Perhaps that's my prejudice, so there, I'll own up to that.

    And every industry is different.

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