CSU or DSU for MS in Information Systems?

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by Nance82, Sep 28, 2018.


Would you choose CSU or DSU's MS in Information Systems program?

  1. CSU's MCIS

  2. DSU's MSIS

  1. Nance82

    Nance82 New Member

    I am a career changer who is currently working in a less technical role of an IT department of a school district. I am pursuing an MS in Information Systems to gain more technical knowledge and open doors for future roles. I have been accepted to Colorado State University's MCIS and Dakota State University's MSIS programs and am having a hard time choosing. DSU costs less, but CSU is ranked nationally. Any insight or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
  2. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Colorado State is ranked 140 by U.S. News which isn't that impressive. I could understand a top 20 ranked university. Of course, the U.S. News isn't the only source for college ranking but sadly it is the most referenced one. I would go with the more affordable one instead of just trying to pay more for a name. All the best.
  3. Nance82

    Nance82 New Member

    Thank you for your input! DSU is a lot more affordable at $450/credit compared to CSU's $842/credit. Just wondering if there is any benefit to choosing CSU over DSU.
  4. CalmLogic

    CalmLogic New Member

    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
  5. CalmLogic

    CalmLogic New Member

    As it says there, the tuition is $383 per credit hour. So for the 33 MSIS credits at UA Little Rock, the cost is $12,639.

    What makes the program unique is their Information Quality coursework. And I like they have a thesis option. (And, unlike DSU, none of the professors seem to be from Capella).
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
  6. CalmLogic

    CalmLogic New Member

    I don't see the ROI of paying more for CSU. So between DSU and CSU, I would go with DSU as well. As you may know, much bigger names for an online masters (in computer science) cost the same or less, e.g. GA Tech, UIUC, and even ASU. (OTOH, at GA Tech, etc., I sense there is little in getting to know professors, etc.)

    Incidentally, I have not yet applied to UA Little Rock. But they require no letters of recommendation, and the application fee is only $40.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
  7. Sheri

    Sheri New Member

  8. CalmLogic

    CalmLogic New Member

    Wow! Interesting/shocking/depressing about Cal Southern, though the OP is talking about Colorado State.
    Sheri likes this.
  9. dlbb

    dlbb Active Member

    DSU also has a doctoral program in Information Systems.
    DSU has a cybersecurity center, and CSU is in the process of getting one started.
    They both are excellent options, but DSU's price makes it the better choice.
    Nance82 and CalmLogic like this.
  10. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    What's wrong with a Capella Ph.D.? There are some Ph.D. holders from for-profit schools who publish more and are better professors than those who have graduated from the traditional non-profit schools.
    CalmLogic likes this.
  11. CalmLogic

    CalmLogic New Member

    Or at least have more industry experience.
  12. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Chris raises an interesting and legitimate question – what’s wrong with Capella? And what would make it different than some non-profits? Let me tackle this from a purely philosophical position:

    I have always stood against for-profit universities, as well as so-called online universities (in fact, I consider the mere term an oxymoron). I have made that a position of total opposition.

    My position is similar to someone who is against capital punishment. If you are against executing someone, it is consistent to hold that as a total, no-exception position. If you are opposed to capital punishment but are willing to execute Hitler, Charles Manson, Mumia Abu Jamal, or any other individual, then you are not totally against capital punishment, your position is inconsistent.

    Even Uncle Sam holds a similar position with regard to conscientious objection. If you claim to be totally against war but would be willing to participate in WWII because it was “the good war,” you do not qualify as a C.O. (This got a lot of guys in hot water during the VietNam days.) You would be inconsistent if you were not against all war.

    So I’m not about to be inconsistent. Obviously, I’m joking when I say that for-profit universities are evil, the spawn of Satan, ad infinitum, but in order to be consistent, I am, in fact, against all for-profits. Even the ones that appear to do it right.

    Capella is one of those schools. Early in their years, they were the first distance program of any type to earn accreditation from CACREP, which is the accreditor for professional counseling programs. CACREP accreditation carrys a lot of weight in many states and affects one’s eligibility to sit for the counseling boards. And Capella pulled it off. But that’s not enough for me to come out and endorse them – they’re still a for-profit, so-called online university.

    When you read the profile of almost all for-profits on Wikipedia, they contain a section called something like “Controversies.” You find for-profits engaged in controversial dealings far more than non-profits. In fact, it’s rare to find any of the major for-profits discussed on this board that have not had controversies of some type. And that’s significant enough to turn me against for-profits in general. Not all of them are blatant rip-offs, con artists, and shams, but enough of them are that I have written for-profits off as a general category.

    Today, the percentage of colleges and universities offering distance education has grown to the extent that we can apply the same standard to choosing schools that we did with accreditation: We often say, “Why choose an unaccredited school when there are so many that are legitimately accredited?” (As most of you know, I carry that even further with my position of “RA or the highway.” Some, but not all, other accreditations are bullshit. But that’s another discussion.)

    On the profit/non-profit issue, the question is now the same: There are so many non-profit programs out there (RA to boot), why would anyone choose a proprietary school (yes, kids, that’s a synonym for profit-making) which is likely more expensive and has a mickey-mouse reputation anywhere?

    The fact is that many hiring managers think the same way I do – yes, many, but obviously not all or even most. But enough of them to create the possibility that one of them may end up reviewing your résumé. They’re the same type that laugh at degrees from unaccredited schools or non-RA schools. So if you want maximum acceptance of your degree, (1) make it RA, and (2) make it from a non-profit school. Yep, it’s that simple.

    Finally, a theory . . . I haven’t checked to see how many faculty DSU has with degrees from Capella, but I have no doubt that it could happen at a major state university (or even a minor state university). How does it happen? Sometimes you have a faculty member who got to his or her pinnacle on the strength of a master’s degree, then that person continued on for a doctorate from Capella. Now you have a tenured department chair or dean that hires other Capella graduates. Remember, everyone tends to favor their alma mater (which is why you have so many big-three graduates on this forum recommend the specific big-three school from which they graduated).

    To every rule there’s an exception. Yep, every rule. That’s why you’ll find occasional traditional schools heavy on Capella grads, occasional for-profit schools that actually do things well, and occasional non-profit schools that screw things up more than their profit-making counterparts.

    I shall now go back to contemplating my navel on a mountaintop.
    Nance82 and CalmLogic like this.
  13. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    Why's not going BIG or going home? The University of Pennsylvania's Master of Computer and Information Technology for $26,300.00 through CourseRA.org platform.
    URL: https://www.coursera.org/degrees/mcit-penn

    If I don't have any master degree, I would choose UPenn as the option. I regret that I did not attend top schools. I chose Troy University over University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign for Bachelor of Science in Computer Science for undergraduate, I still regret about it.
  14. Nance82

    Nance82 New Member

    Hi everyone,

    Thank you so much for all your input and recommendations. I have a B.A. and M.A. from UC Irvine in a different field (education) and am still paying back those student loans. As a career changer and now an older student, I'm trying to limit the amount of additional student loans I take on while attending a regionally accredited school/program (RA in case hiring managers care). Since I work in the public sector, most job postings I found that pay better require a degree in Computer Science or Information Systems. I also only applied to programs that were willing to waive GRE/GMAT test scores for students who already hold a graduate degree. That way, I can bypass months of studying for the exam and the cost of test prep materials before even applying.

    Right now, I'm leaning towards DSU for the cost. CSU is a larger school with a larger alumni network, but since I live in California and will be an online grad student, I'm not sure if that is a big enough factor for me to pay about twice as much for the MS program.

    CSU's MCIS program
    DSU's MSIS program
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
  15. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I could barely understand what you wrote without reading each sentence at least twice. I raised this "issue" because you were the same person who was chastising the supposedly Indian students whose work you stated weren't doctoral level work. Interestingly, your criticizing comment also contained grammatical errors.
  16. Nance82

    Nance82 New Member

    I found a listing of professors for the MSIS program at DSU: https://dsu.edu/graduate-students/msis/faculty. It looks like they all have at least one degree from public universities.
  17. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    I’ve never seen an actual survey on this, but my informal take is that universities stay within their own “turf” when it comes to hiring. State universities will be heavy on faculty that have graduated from state universities, just as the Ivy schools favor other Ivy schools.

    In other words, as a general rule, don’t expect to be hired by DSU if you earned your doctorate at Harvard. And don’t expect to be hired by Harvard with a doctorate from DSU.

    If it were an either/or for me, I’d head to DSU before Harvard. But I like the common people. :D
  18. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Also, the program coordinator earned his Ph.D. at Northcentral.
  19. dlbb

    dlbb Active Member

    Chris brings up an important point. A record of research is going to be more significant after the terminal degree has been conferred. How many publications does a scholar have? How significant are they? How selective are the journals or conferences?
  20. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I did not criticize anybody. I just responded to the person who taught classes at the University of the Cumberlands. And I said I agreed that there are more Indian Nationals. I just said some copied exactly from the sources. Well, I do not check my grammar on social media posts. If you care about it so much, why don't use social media posts for your dissertation as sources?

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