Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by ambradfo, Aug 9, 2004.
Which college is cheaper Thomas Edison State College, Excelsior or Charter Oak State College?
Sort of depends, how are you going to approach the program, do you have any credits already, can you PLA any of it, etc?
Also, it depends on the exams you plan to take (assuming you're going to complete via examination). Subject GRE exams give the most "bang for the buck" with Excelsior giving up to 30 credits, and COSC 18-24. TESC doesn't give credit for the Subject GRE.
On the other hand, if you take all TECEPs it'll probably be more expensive (unless you take the TESC "all you can eat" yearly plan).
Do you have additional information that you can share with us such as your proposed major/concentration, # of existing credits, etc.? Thanks.
If I may use my son's and spouses example:
Associates in liberal arts with 23 credits (my husband - mostly computers) or none (my son).
Which would be cheaper for each?
I'm 40yrs. old with two sons and a wife. I never attended college. I've been working in the IT field for the last 19 years. I am currently a Team Leader for a team of application developers and wish to get a degree in computer technology.
Selecting based on cost is the absolute wrong way to approach this area. You need to decide what degree/major/concentration you want and then determine the best route to attain that degree. And TESC/COSC/EXCELSIOR may not be the best alternative.
But, IF, the degree/major/concentration you want is available from them, then determine what credits you will need and then determine the most expeditious way of getting those credits.
If you were going out to buy a computer would you look for lowest possible cost first? Or, would you look for the computer that best meet your needs AND then determine the lowest cost alternative for getting it?
If the object is to jest get a degree, why worry about the area (computer technology). But if the area is important, then look for the best cost/benefit alternative, whihc may not be TESC/COSC/Excelsior.
I went to COSC - it was very cheap and they will accept a ton of different CLEP and DANTES exams - the cheapests ones to take.
You know, I'm sure we'd all love for the thread-starter to get a degree wherein he can learn for the love of learning and all that gobbledegook. But they guy's 40, got kids, wants a life, already knows how to do his job far better than any fresh-out-of-college CIS grad does, and probably won't learn a damned thing from the coursework that he actually needs (at least not in the area of IT, I suspect). His problem -- and I'm just guessing here -- is that since the dot com crash and the exporting of IT jobs overseas, he's finding his resume overlooked by idiot HR people who don't realize that 19 years of IT experience easily trumps a CIS or IT degree any day of the week. So he needs the credential, not the education. He didn't say so, but that's my guess.
Yes, absolutely... at least as a start. There are some damned fine PCs in no-name cabinets that are dirt cheap and that out-spec the brand names costing hundreds more. Start cheap/no-name; assess the hardware and decide why it's so cheap and if you can live with that, and if not step-up a bit and assess again; when you're happy with the hardware maker's philosophy and agree with how he builds the machines, add back in whatever features you need until you're right where you want to be. You may spend only marginally less than an equivalent brand named box, but you'll have a no-name cabinet with brand-name components inside that are generally superior to what's in the brand-named cabinet and are more serviceable because the machine's been built from components rather than utilizes a proprietary motherboard that has all the components except maybe the hard drive built right onto it and, therefore, can't be repaired without replacing the whole darned thing. Go dirt cheap to start, then build from there.
Because it needs to be an IT or CIS degree, for the reasons stated above. But he doesn't really need the education. Just the degree; the credential. And, of course, he doesn't want to go with a diploma mill.
He needs the cheapest, fastest, easiest-to-get, but still regionally-accredited BA or BS with either of the phrases "Computer Information Systems" or "IT Management" or the equivalent somewhere in them. By whatever means. Do I have it about right, ambradfo?
And the best lawyer is the cheapest lawyer, the best car is the cheapest car, etc. If you know what you are buying!
My POINT was to do a cost benefit look, and make sure the program would do what you need, not just be lowest cost. The same for the field. Don't just grab and run because the price looks good. Unlike a computer, a shyster, or a car, the degree will be with you the rest of your life, and you need to spend some time evaluating the whole package.
Why? Why not Computer Science, Technology Management, Computer Engineering, or even a Juris Doctor? There are many choices out there.
BTW 40 is not that old, and if he makes a poor or rash descion now, in 10 years he will be 50, with a worthless degree.
Excelsior B.S. in CIS
As another 40 year old with a ton of I.T. experience and no degree, I looked at Excelsiors B.S. in CIS. I like that they accept some certifications toward credit. It looks like a very flexible and useful program.
I've since retired from I.T. to pursue other studies nearer and dearer to my (aging) heart, but my wife is still a CIS instructor at a local community college. She is working out a plan for her students that will let them finish up 90 semester credits in her school (or a combination of coursework and ACE evaluated exams for the experienced students), and then take 30 semester credits with a local 4 year on a military base very close by for the upper division work, then transfer the whole boatload to Excelsior. Cheaper by far than attending a 4 year school.
If you have a community college nearby, you might be able to make challenges work for you. I found that the CIS instructors were willing to let me challenge the outcomes of the classes I needed and so I didn't have to sit the class. For the classes I wasn't so comfortable with (like C++), I took the online version. The C++ class was a 10 week class (as are most at the military bases), but I finished it in 5 days, since it was a self paced course.
In working the system this way, I just earned by Associates in Technology on Monday, August 9th, 2004. I think I actually sat for maybe 5 classes out of the 18 I needed. All of the credits were from either RA community college classes (or challenges to classes) or CLEP or DSST exams. It will all transfer to Excelsior's programs as well.
Oh, I forgot...
Oh, and I forgot to mention, if expediency is important to you, I finished the two year degree in ten months doing it this way.
Not bragging ('cause I still have a long way to go to get my undergrad and graduate work done!), but it's important to me not to do things "other peoples way". I've found that institutional systems are rarely designed for those that pay for them (students), but rather designed for those that administer and work in them. That's why I put off school until I was 39 years old.
Excelsior has a wierd name, and is probably not the best school in the world (ya think?), but I like that they cater to wierd people like me who like to try things on their own and explore lots of possibilities. And they give credit for stuff that most schools won't touch (like Microsoft certifications, which are waaaay harder than any old one- or two-hundred level class). That is mighty rare in the educational arena.
My 2 centavos.
I don't disagree with a word of what you've written, above. And I didn't mean to come across so flip. My apologies.
I was simply trying to make the point that because of the unusual events in the IT industry in the past... oh... I'd say maybe four to five years... there is a growing number of older (and by "older," I mean older than typical college age... no insult intended to anyone) IT professionals who never needed a degree on their resumes during the past 20 or 30 years in order to get the very best IT jobs; but who suddenly in the last five years or so find themselves being excluded from consideration for positions and/or promotions because they never slowed-down long enough back when they were fresh out of high school to get a BA or BS in anything, much less computer science or IT.
These fellows tend to be some of the best, most amazingly skilled IT professionals in the industry... most of whom could easily out-IT any fresh-out-of-college CIS majors! It's an interesting and in some cases tragic situation. For such IT professionals, all that's really needed is the "BS in CIS" or "BA in IT Management" (or equivalent) credential from an accredited university next to their names and/or on their resumes. Some of them, I suspect, would pay $100,000 cash for it (and some could afford to) if someone would just convey it to them on the spot (illegally, of course). They have no interest in the learning but just need the credential. It's not ideal, certainly, and I'm not defending it, but at least it's understandable... and it's the reality of the situation, like it or not.
This is true. Some computer companies do their own engineering and will do non-standard things to save a couple bucks. This can cause incompatibilites with software and later with add-ons.
The advantage of a generic machine built up from good brand name parts is:
1. One can get exactly what one wants.
2. The software is generally built to the generic specifications. So is actually less likely to have problems on this kind of system.
3. Trading out parts or upgrading parts later is likely to be easier.
The danger is that if one isn't familar with the technology then they could have a real lemon built for themselves if they pick bad parts.
Thanks Gregg. You have described exactly what I'm looking for!!!
Gregg has hit the hammer on the head!
I already know my job inside out. I have a "binder-full" of letters of commendations and awards of outstanding service from every company that I've ever work for. But, what I've found the hard way is that it hasn't meant a thing to the HR department.
Case in point: I work one of the largest automotive manufacturers in America. After 4 plus years of outstanding performance, (based upon the company I work for performance review) I was looked over once again, (for the sixth time) for a merit raise and promotion simple due to, "... lack of required educational background." This was after getting a personally signed certificate and bonus from our CTO. The Indian girl who got the position not only had absolutely no experience but, needs to ask me constantly how she should do her job.
I know my job. I just need "the paper" to prove it.
I thought I had it about right. I've seen it, literally, a hundred (or more) times.
So, everyone, this changes the nature of the question a bit. Mark needs a BA or BS with the words "IT" or "IT Management" or "Computer Information Systems" or "Management Information Systems" or "Computer Sciences" (or virtually any combination thereof) in its title. It needs to be from a regionally-accredited (or, I would guess, minimally DETC-accredited, but preferably regionally-accredited) university or college. It almost doesn't matter which one as long as it's RA. It needs to be cheap (relatively speaking). And it needs to be something he can do fast -- or at least relatively so.
EDIT: An afterthought... might an IT or CIS certificate of some kind (not from a vendor, but from an RA school) be a good stop-gap measure? Finally, Mark, you might get a better or at least more pointed response or set of responses over in the IT forum. I know for a fact that there are people around here who read that forum and none of the others so, therefore, they best people to answer your question might not really be reading it. Just a suggestion.
Thanks again Gregg. I'll give the IT forum a try.
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