NCU MBA 9 months later

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by ryoder, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    I started my MBA at NCU mid March by taking two classes non-degree seeking. I finished these two courses rather quickly but was unable to register for additional classes until July 1 due to the 12 week course format at the time.
    So I began my 2nd bachelors in Natural Science at TESC and finished up the coursework last month.
    My NCU degree plan goes as follows:
    Business Ethics - Mar
    Strategic Knowledge Studies - Apr
    --- hiatus --
    Foundations of Graduate Study in Business - Jul
    History of Mgt Thought - Jul
    HR Management - Aug
    Business Statistics - Sep
    C# Programming - Oct
    C++ Programming - Oct
    Computer Graphics - Nov
    Applied Computer Science Research Project - Nov - present

    I am currently 7/8 complete with the final course and should be totally done next week or so.

    It has been a great experience and my research and writing skills are much improved.
    I am very happy with the distance learning format, but this format is not for everyone.
    NCU is basically a web based correspondence school, much like Thomas Edison State College.

    If you are an adult and you have a high internal locus of control you will do fine at NCU.

    I highly recommend it for those that are into this type of learning environment. UOP it is not. There are no group projects or class discussion board postings. It is basically an independent study program the whole way through.

    If anyone wants additional information, just ask.
  2. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    That's really impressive. To think, you are just a small step away from having an M-B-freakin-A on top of two bachelor's degrees. Congratulations :party:
  3. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    Damn!!!!!!!!! You are kicking ass!!!!!!!!!

    Keep it up,

    Abner :smile:
  4. rebel100

    rebel100 New Member

    Way to go man, truely astounding!
  5. Cyber

    Cyber New Member

    How hard or easy were those 2 programming classes (C# and C++)? Were there real programming assignments (enough to actually program in a work/project environment?) or just writing of papers? Are you planning to do their doctorate in business? Grantham University is looking for instructors to teach some specific programming courses (actually, those postings have been there for upwards of a year now), maybe you can give it a shot (applying, that is if you're interested in adjunct work) and see what they say, after graduation.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2011
  6. First, congratulations, it's always a good achievement. How many credit hours was the program? It seems a bit strange to have so many electives (if the programming courses were electives) and less of a focus on business.

    A more traditional MBA usually also includes the following which I didn't see in your degree plan:

    - economics
    - accounting
    - marketing
    - operations management
    - finance
    - business planning
    - business law

    I'm not knocking the program or your efforts, just wondering how all of the above are included. If the general intent of a MBA is to be a terminal business degree so there needs to be at least a baseline level of study in the operational aspects of business. I know coming out of my program that I'm very comfortable now doing analysis on annual reports, marketing and business plans and reviewing general ledgers/statements of cash flow, etc.
  7. Cyber

    Cyber New Member

    I've also raised these points previously in this forum. The lack of business courses, in a business administration degree, is partly the reason I withdrew from their PhD in Business Administration (on the day my first class was scheduled to start - I dodge the bullet). I guess this business administration degree by name only works for some, not all.
  8. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    An NCU MBA in Business Administration requires 36 credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree. Here are the foundation courses:

    MGT 5019: Business Ethics (3 credits)
    SKS 5000: Strategic Knowledge Studies (3 credits)
    MKT 6001: Product Management (3 credits)
    MGT 5031: The History of Management Theory (3 credits)
    MGT 5028: Business Statistics (3 credits)
    HRM 5000: Human Resource Management (3 credits)

    Then there are 18 more credits above and beyond the foundation courses, depending on the specialization that is chosen. For example:

    Applied Computer Science Requirements (18 credits)

    Students choose five of the following courses:
    CS 5001: C# Programming (3 credits)
    CS 5002: C++ Programming (3 credits)
    CS 5003: Computer Graphics (3 credits)
    CS 5005: Database Management (3 credits)
    CS 5009: Computerized Systems for Business and Management (3 credits)
    CS 5010: Managing Communication (3 credits)
    CS 5012: Operating Systems (3 credits)
    CS 5013: Programming Languages (3 credits)
    CS 5014: Software Engineering (3 credits)
    CS 5015: Distributed Computing (3 credits)
    MIS 5005: Network Management (3 credits)

    Students must also take the following course:
    CS 6010: Applied Computer Science Project (3 credits)

    Financial Management Specialization Requirement (18 credits)

    Select five of the following courses:

    FIN 5012: Corporate Finance
    FIN 5013: Investment Management
    FIN 5014: Financial Institutions
    FIN 5015: Financial Statement Analysis
    FIN 5016: International Finance
    FIN 5018: Accounting for Nonprofit Organizations
    FIN 6010: Financial Management Research Project (Required course)
  9. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    me again - the new program is 30 credits, not 36. It was 36 when I first enrolled.
    Cyber - yes there are not that many core business courses. The SKS5000 course covers economics, business law, finance, accounting and quantitative analysis in one super course.
    NCU offers an MBA in general business which is more like the traditional MBA in that it is a survey of intro courses to each of the typical business domains such as economics, finance, hr mgt etc.
    The nice thing about the NCU MBA is that you can do heavy concentrations and specialize in something.

    The programming courses were not hard for someone with over 20 years of experience in programming but they might have been hard for someone with only a bachelors degree in computer science and no real knowledge beyond that.

    The programming and computer graphics courses required the learner to create a business program progressively through assignments that tracked chapters in the text. Each assignment required the learner to provide code snippets, screen shots and documentation for the program. Some of the assignments were more theoretical and required additional research but each course culminated in an independent study project.

    In the C# course I created a document management application which allowed users to open up documents and add them to a workspace which was serialized as an xml file tracking the documents. Each document could then be indexed with metadata and viewed in the app. Raster images could also be annotated by selecting from text annotations, a pen to draw freeform, and a black rectangle annotation called a redaction. The user could make notes on a mortgage doc for example, in a multi-page tiff file and set index values on it such as loan number, address, doc type etc.
    As the course continued and the book introduced DotNet database access, I modified the xml serialization of the workspace to move to a database centered approach. I created strongly typed data access objects to store my documents along with their index data and any annotations. The benefit at this point was that the program could be used by multiple users collaborating on annotating and indexing a single document.

    For the computer graphics course I created a JSF based website called This site included a top-level navigation and secondary navigation on the left. All of the pages were HTML 5 and CSS based with jQuery added in for interactivity. I wrote jQuery code to pull blogs from social media sites and mash it up into my site. I also added youtube videos and created a custom scrollable video viewer control using jQuery and CSS again.
    The whole site was built using Facelets templates so that each part of the site was built consistently and could be edited by someone with light html abilities. Custom controls were created to handle the blog content and video content.
    I also wrote a custom math flash card app using javascript. The app was available in the math section of the site and would randomly generate multiplication problems and prompt the user for input. If the user entered the correct input, a smiley face appeared on the right hand side along with their current score. Incorrect input resulted in a frowny face and a reiteration of what they entered and then the correct answer.

    For the C++ class, I actually rewrote the C# document management application in C++ and added a few different annotations while I did so.
  10. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I always found really sad that someone gets credit at PhD and master's level a programming class in C and C++ when these ones are normally given at the lower level undergraduate credit at regular Computer Science or IS programs.

    I also find deceiving this MBA in Computer Science. Most people would think that it is a Master's program in Computer Science when it is an undergraduate program disguised as a Master's.

    Nothing against the student, if you can get a Master's with undergraduate level work then go for it. I just find odd that a program like this could be regional accredited.
  11. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    RFValve - I don't know why you think that a topic such as C# programming is limited to undergraduate credit. There are people making $120K per year doing C# programming with 10 years required experience. I assure you that a 20 year old kid with a single undergraduate course in C# has much left to learn and that learning could occur at the office or in a graduate program.
    Most MIS graduate degrees have the obligatory "decision support systems" course. What a joke. What can one honestly learn in a college course about decision support systems? I guess you could read other college students' dissertations about one.
    I would rather sharpen my skills in a real subject like programming when doing an applied computer science degree than read journal articles talking about best practices for implementing decision support systems. Especially when these students never purchased a $500K decision support system anyway.

    Here goes my rant about college. Hold on to your hats...

    This is the problem with academia actually. I have implemented a content management system that cost the company $600k in capital costs alone, with $100k per year in maintenance and it is deployed in dual data centers spanning 5 servers per data center plus 2 database servers.
    There is no way any graduate student could come close to this level of experience. It took 18 months to get this system fully up and running and customized to meet our needs. Now some super smart PhD will come in and do a case study on it for his dissertation but does he know how to setup geo-fault tolerance, satisfy compliance issues, configure logging appropriately so the server doesn't run out of disk space, get the firewall holes poked for the daemons, configure load balance on the LTMs, setup DNS servers, configure proxy passes in the Apaches, setup a clustered search server, establish a taxonomy, setup ACLs, install patches, teach other developers how to integrate their systems with it, show marketing how to use it. Hell no. But he will write a paper on it and become published. Don't ever ask the guy to purchase, setup, troubleshoot, extend, integrate or even use the system. He probably never even logged into one. He just read about it online. :)
  12. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    May be because I have taught C++, C#, java,VB and other languages for the last 12 years at different Universities and this has always been a undergraduate lower level credit.

    Graduate work normally assumes knowledge of programming languages and does not give credit for basic programming.

    I don't argue that people with associates or bachelors can make 120K or even more, but this doesn't mean that a programming class in C# should be given graduate credit for a Masters or PhD program. The same logic would apply if someone gets graduate credit for introductory accounting for a master's in accounting, accountants also make more 100K but this doesn't mean that an accounting course should be given automatic graduate credit.

    I'm not arguing that a C# or C++ is not useful but that it is not very credible that a Master's in Computer Science would have this class a part of a graduate requirement.

    This is a personal opinion and did not want to hurt feelings or make you believe that your graduate work is substandard.
  13. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    You are correct about college to a point, but you are seriously over-valuing the experiences you've posted above. None of those steps taken individually with the exception of those requiring human interaction (Teaching, ACL development) are that big of a deal and are heavily commoditized.

    I suspect that when you get to the point where you've got the Ph.D and are paid for writing and publishing that all of the experiences you've had will be discounted by the engineering staff who don't know any better. The Ph.D that knows nothing about applied work is certainly one stereotype that has merit, but you'd be showing your lack of maturity by assuming all Ph.Ds are like that.
  14. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I think that most agree that a BS is the terminal degree in IT and Computer Science. Graduate work in Computer Science or IT is not really meant to build professional skills but to educate researchers that can create new knowledge.

    For 99% of IT professionals, the BS is more than enough. There is 1% that might profit from a graduate degree and work as research staff for Microsoft, Google, etc but most will not use the knowledge earned a graduate level.
  15. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Hell, I did that last week while I was balancing my checkbook! Top that :cool:
  16. HikaruBr

    HikaruBr Member

    Well, to put this in perspective: the famous Harvard class CS50, Introduction to Computer Science (famosu because it's known as one of the hardest classes from Harvard College), it is a introductory class for undergraduates AND a graduate class for both the MBA (count as an elective) from Harvard Business School and for the
    ALM in Information Technology from the Harvard Extension.

    It's the exactly same class for both undergraduate and graduate.

    So, this may seem strange but NCU is in good company. I mean, one could even question the Harvard Extension School (although they would be wrong), but I don't think anyone question the quality of a Harvard MBA?
  17. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Bottom line is that we are taking about an MBA here. I agree that is someone is taking an MBA and takes an introductory class in IT should be taken for credit. However, if someone is taking a Master's in Computer Science and an introductory class is taken for credit then the program is not really a Master's in Computer Science.

    The problem is that the MBA at NCU is in Computer Science. It is the only school that I know in the planet that offers a business master's with a major in Computer Science (Not MIS as traditional MBA programs). I find this deceiving as the prospect employer would think that the holder of this degree has advanced knowledge when the complete program appears to be at the undergraduate level, this makes sense from the student perspective as students were not expected to have previous background in computer science as any other traditional graduate program in computer science would require so I'm not blaming the student here but the program that seems to be intentionally designed to deceive potential employers.
  18. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    I believe that many courses at Harvard Extension can be taken for undergraduate or graduate credit (or no credit), with corresponding tuition costs.
  19. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    Good to know that I am overvaluing my own experience. I guess I should ask my boss for a pay decrease.

  20. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    To be quite honest, I don't think University education does much for an IT professional. Most companies need you to have a bachelors degree but most won't care in what field as long as you have the right experience.

    I found that the many of the good programmers were people with Math and Engineering degrees. These programs do not contain a heavy amount programming courses but teach people how to solve problems.

    Sorry if we upset you, I just wanted to point out that this particular program was a little unusual.

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