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Ask Slashdot: Fastest, Cheapest Path To a Bachelor's Degree?

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the assume-the-identity-of-a-current-holder dept.

Education 370

First time accepted submitter AnOminusCowHerd (3399855) writes "I have an Associates degree in programming and systems analysis, and over a decade of experience in the field. I work primarily as a contractor, so I'm finding a new job/contract every year or two. And every year, it gets harder to convince potential employers/clients that 10-12 years of hands-on experience doing what they need done, trumps an additional 2 years of general IT education.

So, I'd like to get a Bachelor's degree (preferably IT-related, ideally CS, accredited of course). If I can actually learn something interesting and useful in the process, that would be a perk, but mainly, I just want a BSCS to add to my resume. I would gladly consider something like the new GA Tech MOOC-based MSCS degree program — in fact, I applied there, and was turned down. After the initial offering, they rewrote the admissions requirements to spell out the fact that only people with a completed 4-year degree would be considered, work experience notwithstanding."

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370 comments

Apply to a local university (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46575653)

What other advice were you expecting?

Re:Apply to a local university (2)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 3 months ago | (#46575879)

Maybe he was looking for an answer more like, this [hp.com] . It would be far faster and cheaper. You really can't beat 14 cpm (certificates per minute) with the more traditional routes.

Fast, Cheap, High Quality (4, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | about 3 months ago | (#46576063)

As with everything else, Pick two.

Re:Apply to a local university (2)

t33jster (1239616) | about 3 months ago | (#46575965)

Frankly, with all of the job experience on the OP's resume, a degree mill is not a bad way to get a legitimate line on the resume. I had an associates degree, went to the local branch of the state university, and realized I'd be graduating with my kids if I stuck with that route. I sucked it up, plunked down the money to buy my degree in 15 months worth of classes, and now HR departments everywhere will pass that portion of the resume filter.

As far as the original requirements - fast, cheap, accredited, you may pick any 2.

One way you can lighten the financial burden is to get hired full time by a company that offers tuition reimbursement.

Re:Apply to a local university (2, Informative)

jellomizer (103300) | about 3 months ago | (#46576053)

I am willing to bet most companies will not bother to see if your college is accredited just as long as it sounds collegey.

For most jobs in theory you can just fake your degrees. But if you get caught you are often in deep doo-doo, as lying on your resume is a bad thing.

For people with experience a college degree gets past that resume filter.

Re:Apply to a local university (2)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 3 months ago | (#46576209)

For most jobs in theory you can just fake your degrees. But if you get caught you are often in deep doo-doo, as lying on your resume is a bad thing.

Man don't say things like that. That is a good way to get a major black spot in your resume. This business is smaller than some people realize. Next time you try getting a job it will probably be of the kind where you say 'do you want that with fries or not?'.

Re:Apply to a local university (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 3 months ago | (#46576089)

I've never understood the point of a degree from a non-accredited institution. If the university isn't accredited, I'd probably be better off licensing an official Miskatonic University degree plaque from HP Lovecraft's estate.

The parent nailed it. I'd see about the reimbursement item.

Also, sometimes OS certificates can get one in the door as well. A CCIE can get one in the door, similar with a MCSE. For the tech people, it doesn't mean as much, but the HR department are the people that round-file resumes or pass resumes on, so those are the people that one has to get past first, then one will need to show the IT people what one can really do.

Re:Apply to a local university (3, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | about 3 months ago | (#46575975)

You often can get a decent rate at part time taking some classes at your local state University. You can often take classes before you are admitted to the school. Usually after you prove that you know your stuff and get a few good grades, the school will normally let you in the program.

As for experience. Experience does matter, however from my own personal experience hiring developers, a college education usually gets employees that don't have those odd holes in their skills, which makes bringing up to speed sometimes a little more difficult.
These gaps vary from person to person... However some of the common ones are.
1. Not understanding details of data structures. Why am I getting a negative number when it is clearly 5 billion!
2. Recursion seems magical. I admit it, in college it took me a bit to get Recursion, after a class in LISP it cleared it right up. Also when you get the details realizing how often the system is stacking stuff together means there is a limit on how much Recursion magic you can do.
3. IPC (Inter Process Communications) Dealing with threads can get sketchy if you don't have a way to get them to talk.
4. Complex Boolean logic with short circuit evaluation. Yep after that one function returned true that second function won't run in your or clause. You know that one for some reason you made to update some data.

Now for those of you without degree who feel insulted by this, don't be this is what I find are often the most common issues. There are a lot of really good developers without degrees, many who I will admit who could kick my butt at coding. But for a company trying to hire, it is normally better to weed out some good employees then it is to hire a bad one.

Re:Apply to a local university (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 3 months ago | (#46576155)

I'd add a couple:

5: Locks and integrity. You have two threads updating one variable. Without some sort of transaction/lock/mutex/semaphore system, one can get very unpredictable results. This is a subset of #3 above, but variable manipulation can be a basic thing overlooked.

6: Choosing the proper variable type in a strongly typed language. Yes, one can always use long doubles for every floating point calculation, similar with long longs... but when a counter never gets past 16, it wastes space. Yes, the pressure to conserve RAM and disk space isn't as much as it used to be, but embedded programming is only going to grow, so resource use will be an issue for a number of projects.

Re:Apply to a local university (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 3 months ago | (#46576233)

As you noted #5 was a subset of #3
Also I would say #6 is a subset of #1. If you don't understand data structures those long doubles and long longs seems like the best choice if you really don't know why there are so many different types.

Check out WGU (4, Interesting)

FictionPimp (712802) | about 3 months ago | (#46575663)

http://www.wgu.edu/ [wgu.edu]

Solid course material. Industry standard certs tied to the courses as finals, and fully accredited.

Re:Check out WGU (1)

gujo-odori (473191) | about 3 months ago | (#46575697)

+1

My team lead is currently doing a degree there and he speaks very highly of it. It's pretty affordable, too.

Re:Check out WGU (1)

mbaGeek (1219224) | about 3 months ago | (#46575735)

ditto on WGU (got my MBA in IT management from there) - another low cost, accredited option is Excelsior [excelsior.edu] (one of the older "distance education" institutions)

Re:Check out WGU (1)

tpaudio (651186) | about 3 months ago | (#46575889)

I also did a degree with WGU and am very happy with it!

Re:Check out WGU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46575989)

I just finished my degree with them and +1 this. As long as the student is self motivated, the degree can be done quickly and cheaply.

Re:Check out WGU (1)

AnOminusCowHerd (3399855) | about 3 months ago | (#46576109)

After a brief review, this (WGU) actually sounds very promising. Fully accredited, work at your own pace, cheap (~$3,000 per 6-month term), liberal acceptance of transfer credits, acceptance of industry standard certifications for degree credit, credit given for anything/everything you can test out of, and an interesting non-traditional, non-class-based program of study. I'm surprised I hadn't heard of this one before. Thanks.

consultancy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46575669)

Just start your own consultancy, highlight your previous contractor engagements as examples of pleased clients, and sell your ability to clients. I've done this for years, and I've never had a single client ask me about my education history.

Re:consultancy (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | about 3 months ago | (#46575687)

That plus industry certifications.

We are a RHCE shop and look at all these happy clients who use Redhat, or the staff has X MCSE and MCSA holders and here's our list of happy people with windows servers.

Re:consultancy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46575831)

The requirement to pass any of the IT specific classes at WGU is taking and passing industry certifications.

I'm a student attending WGU. I'm just into my second year, and I'm more than half-way done with BS in IT, including picking up 8 certs so far, with my next set of courses being the CCNA and MS networking cert. Part of your WGU tuition pays for the cert tests, so it's not out of pocket to you, and you can take as many classes as you can fit into your schedule for the same cost (~3000 for 6 months).

I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Re:consultancy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46575945)

Excellent advice.

Next up: "Where can I buy a good used car?" "Take the bus!"

Re:consultancy (0)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 3 months ago | (#46576027)

It's more like "Sell your own car to yourself", but it's still retarded.

Re:consultancy (1)

bberens (965711) | about 3 months ago | (#46576231)

How do you shop for new clients? How do you find businesses and get on their list of "approved vendors?"

A printer and a template (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46575675)

Most companies never vet your resume.

Re:A printer and a template (1)

zlives (2009072) | about 3 months ago | (#46575729)

and he didn't mention "legal" anywhere

Re:A printer and a template (1)

Manfre (631065) | about 3 months ago | (#46575779)

As far as I know, there are no laws requiring people to be honest on their resumes. They will obviously get fired if caught, but not arrested and charged with a crime.

Re:A printer and a template (5, Interesting)

Shados (741919) | about 3 months ago | (#46575935)

I once interviewed for one of the big investment banks (not gonna give a name, but its one of the big evil wall street banks that everyone knows about). That one has the usual silly "4 year degree with 3.0 GPA or we don't even talk to you, no exception, not even if you're a well known superstar in the software world" rule.

I didn't know that, and I only have a 3 year degree (from a country where thats common). I aced the interview as that particular job wasn't even very computer science-ish, and they had been looking for someone for months to fill that position. Then they noticed the little issue of me not having the mandatory degree.

The hiring manager (not someone from an agency, but someone on their payroll) just modified my resume without telling me and passed it over to HR for final signoff. I got hired.

Fast forward a year, they're updating the HRIS system and verifying that all the info is correct. I get an email from HR asking me to confirm that I indeed have a 4 year bachelor with 3.0 GPA from Big Name College XYZ with my boss CCed.

My boss quickly replied, before I had time to go "WTF?!", that I indeed had such a degree.

Needless to say, him and I had a little talk afterward. That was awkward.

Re:A printer and a template (4, Insightful)

SillyHamster (538384) | about 3 months ago | (#46576183)

Great that your boss is watching out for you, yikes that your company has to lie to itself to hire and keep qualified personnel.

Something's broken, and it's beyond individuals to fix it ...

Re:A printer and a template (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 3 months ago | (#46576189)

Don't know which other country you're talking about, but a UK 3 year honours degree is considered equivalent to a 4 year US degree.

I don't think "4 year" is to be taken literally.

Re:A printer and a template (1)

coolsnowmen (695297) | about 3 months ago | (#46575849)

the Submitter might actually want to learn something though

Re:A printer and a template (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 months ago | (#46575875)

Forgery is 'something'.

Re:A printer and a template (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46575943)

If he actually wanted to learn something 'fastest and cheapest bachelor's degree' should not be his goal.
If you want to learn something, ask instead 'What's the best low-budget bachelor's degree I could get in [subject]?'

Re:A printer and a template (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 months ago | (#46576077)

the Submitter might actually want to learn something though

And yet, the summary says:

If I can actually learn something interesting and useful in the process, that would be a perk, but mainly, I just want a BSCS to add to my resume.

To me this sounds like how it reads ... someone wants the letters to put on their resume to make it look better.

Woah there, pilgrim (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46575689)

My advice would be to slow down. Looking for the "fastest cheapest" degree is a mistake. Just go get one. You _will_ learn something. More than you think. And you will be much better off in the end. Employers looking for sharp people will see right through you otherwise.

Re:Woah there, pilgrim (1)

azadrozny (576352) | about 3 months ago | (#46576033)

I had a similar though, fast and cheap is the wrong mindset. Sit down and research the local (or online) schools and degree programs available to you. Dig into the courses and see what topics are taught. Look for a program that will compliment your career goals. Some schools may accept your associates degree coursework, but make sure you ask up front since credits do expire. You are probably looking at a minimum of 2 years to complete a decent program. It could be a long, miserable road if you pick a program simply because you can get it done "fast". I am not saying that time and cost shouldn't be a factor, but make sure you consider the sights you are going to see along the way.

The answer is simple: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46575691)

College.

Distance education in Turkish Universities (1)

eaudurobinet (2359712) | about 3 months ago | (#46575705)

Hi, You can check for Internet for distance education programs in Turkish universities. Many of the courses are offered in English too. Also you can gain a bachelor's degree in 2 years if you can transfer your credits from your previous studies.

Not IT ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46575713)

And every year, it gets harder to convince potential employers/clients that 10-12 years of hands-on experience doing what they need done, trumps an additional 2 years of general IT education.

They don't give bachelor degrees in 'IT'. They give bachelor degrees in a field of study.

'IT' is an application, but to the best of my knowledge, not something you can get a degree in. At least not a 'real' one.

If you want BSCS after your name, you're not getting a fucking degree in 'IT'.

Re:Not IT ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46575951)

At the university I went to, they do a business degree with a focus on IS: http://www.fresnostate.edu/catalog/subjects/info-sys-decision-sciences/ba-cis.html however I'm not sure how great the course work is, as I did CS.

Re:Not IT ... (1, Troll)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 months ago | (#46575983)

It's a business degree. That should tell you everything. PHB training academe.

Re: Not IT ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46575977)

http://www.wgu.edu/online_it_degrees/information_technology_degree

Re:Not IT ... (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 3 months ago | (#46576199)

It isn't "IT", but there are degrees in IS, along the lines of business management. This is another path, likely a profitable one since it gets one closer to PM/PHB types of jobs... those are the jobs that will stay even after the corporate axemen come to visit with the pink slips.

associates degree? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46575747)

what's wrong with a two year associates degree from a community college? Just asking

Re:associates degree? (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 3 months ago | (#46575953)

My gut tells me the education is just the "official" or "least objectionable" thing employers are finding to either negotiate a lower salary or show him the door.

Kinda like when you buy a car and find some nitpick thing to get the guy to knock a little off the price.

WGU (0)

Tumbleweed (3706) | about 3 months ago | (#46575751)

As someone already mentioned. Both regionally and nationally accredited. Also very affordable.

Seems so (2)

slinches (1540051) | about 3 months ago | (#46575761)

Ask Slashdot: Fastest, Cheapest Path To a Bachelor's Degree?

Yes, it seems like a free education can be had just by posting the right ask slashdot questions.

I have no degree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46575765)

And have not encountered the trouble you are seeing. (I'm a software engineer)
I don't bother putting the community college I didn't finish on my resume. I'd recommend you quit advertising that you have an associates degree, control the conversation. I'm assuming people forget to ask about my school, and since I didn't put that on my resume they aren't reminded to consider it.
Or maybe Silicon Valley operates by different rules than the rest of the world and is more tolerant of mavericks.

Re:I have no degree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46576007)

There's a core idea that I think is overlooked, and you're the closest commenter to it.

When you've been in the field for 10 years, no one really cares where your degree came from. There are Harvard graduates that do nothing with their lives. There are community college graduates who become wildly successful CEOs. After 10 years in the field, what the client really wants to know: Do you know your stuff? Can you prove it? The answers should be: Yes. Take a look at some of the work I've done for previous clients.

When entering college, you show them what you did in high school. When entering graduate school or the work force, you show them what you did in college.

In essence, when you progress your career, you're showing what you have done immediately prior to now.

Re:I have no degree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46576225)

There's a core idea that I think is overlooked, and you're the closest commenter to it.

When you've been in the field for 10 years, no one really cares where your degree came from.

In Canada it is common practise for employers to demand a university degree at the bachelor level plus 10+ years experience. For entry-level and some junior-level positions they will waive the education if you have sufficient 'progressive" experience but not always. Sometimes you have to take a step back to move forward so continuous "progressive experience" is not always possible.

Re:I have no degree (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 3 months ago | (#46576051)

My resume doesn't have any education listed on it either. It never has. Knowing the subject matter is far more important than the piece of paper saying I spent a few years at a school.

If they ask about it, I only discuss it loosely. Yes, I have gone to college. No, I don't have a degree. I started working, and stayed with working rather than school. I've never been pressed for any educational details, like what college/university, how long, etc, etc.

Usually, if I get in for an interview, I have the job. Some others, I interviewed and refused the job, just because I didn't want it after I saw the environment or the people I'd be working with. Employers seem just as likely to misrepresent the actual job, as candidates are to misrepresent their own abilities.

A few things to consider (2)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | about 3 months ago | (#46575783)

I don't know much about on-line options.

I got my degree from a local state university that has a lot of non-traditional/part-time students. I'd suggest seeing what colleges in your area are like that.

Re:A few things to consider (1)

Drethon (1445051) | about 3 months ago | (#46576087)

And the cost at those local state universities is usually pretty good.

You Don't Want to Work There (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46575789)

RE "it gets harder to convince potential employers/clients that 10-12 years of hands-on experience doing what they need done, trumps an additional 2 years of general IT education."

This is actually a benefit. If this is the attitude then you do not want to work there. Take it is good information that the prospective employer is lazy in hiring and does understand programmers and move on.

Re:You Don't Want to Work There (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 3 months ago | (#46575981)

If this is the attitude then you do not want to work there. Take it is good information that the prospective employer is lazy in hiring and does understand programmers and move on.

,,, and if he doesn't have a trust fund?

When all employers demand the same thing (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#46576115)

If this is the attitude then you do not want to work there

When it becomes a choice of either "there", 5 different employers with the same policy as "there", or minimum wage, it becomes hard to make ends meet.

Fast, Cheap, Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46575793)

Pick two.

Fast and cheap and bachelor's degree don't mix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46575797)

I think what you're looking for is "associates degree from a 2 year technical college"

A bachelor's degree takes time and effort... that's kind of the point.

Re:Fast and cheap and bachelor's degree don't mix (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#46576129)

I have an Associates degree

I think what you're looking for is "associates degree from a 2 year technical college"

No, OP is looking for something sufficient for employment.

DeVry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46575811)

I went to DeVry, by default their 4 year program is 3 years (because they do trimesters and go year round);

But i was 22 or something and loaded up on credit hours; I finished my 136 credit hour program in 18 months. taking something like 34-37 credit hours a trimester.
Because its a IT geared college, all of the classes made senses for what i was doing already and breezed through them; Ended up finishing with a 3.78GPA with a B.of S in Computer communications and Management. Most employers dont look where you went, just that you went and graduated. The interview is where you impress them with your knowledge.

Cost? I think over all it was something like 37-40k; The trick is not to buy books if you dont need them, if you do, borrow them or try to find used ones; Dont mess around and just push through it. In order to take that many credit hours i had to get the deans approval ever trimester. Since i had good grades it just became automatic for him to approve. Overall, i think i saved about 40k by pushing through it vs going the normal route.

As someone who now has to also interview people; most of them i make cry because they put things on their resume but are not prepared to go in-depth on the topic. If you put IP on your resume, i am going to assume you know EVERYTHING about the IP protocol including packet/frame sizes, headers etc. If you cannot even tell me the difference between tcp and udp; you need to rework your resume.

Re: DeVry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46576035)

40k is your idea of cheap? Ouch.

Re: DeVry (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 months ago | (#46576171)

Went to DeVry; you know he's not the brightest bulb in the pack.

University of Phoenix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46575845)

LOL.

a humble suggestion. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46575857)

"If I can actually learn something interesting and useful in the process, that would be a perk, but mainly, I just want a BSCS to add to my resume."

A "perk." Jesus fucking Christ.

Here is what I suggest. Find a shotgun, and duct tape an L bracket to the barrel. Shave your head, stick it in your mouth, and use more duct tape between the bracket and the back of your head to hold it in place. You want the barrel to be pointing roughly at your brain stem. Get in a bathtub, make sure nothing of value is behind your thick head, and then pull the trigger. You might have a reflex to save your worthless life at the last moment; that's what the duct tape is for.

People like you are ruining the world. We don't want you here.

Re:a humble suggestion. (1)

Nevo (690791) | about 3 months ago | (#46576161)

WTF? A guy wants a degree on his resume to enhance his employment opportunities and you suggest that he blow his head off? What the hell's the matter with you? "Perk" is defined as 'an advantage or benefit following from a job or situation.' Which pretty much describes the OP's intent. Just because he is interested in the practical outcomes of having a degree rather than worshiping at the Holy Altar of the Ivory Tower you think he should end his life?

The Earl Scheib Institute (3, Funny)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about 3 months ago | (#46575861)

He will sell you any degree for only $149.95
Cars painted while you study. :)

Re:The Earl Scheib Institute (1)

DriveDog (822962) | about 3 months ago | (#46576105)

ESI ! I'm an alumnus. But I went back when it was only $99.95 (plus 29.95 for a "sealer" coat). Problem with that is I assume he wants a lifetime degree, and Earl's only lasts you about 3 years. Also, at least in the past, you had to choose one of the colors, er, disciplines, they already offered. No design-your-own interdisciplinary resprays, um, degrees.

Re:The Earl Scheib Institute (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about 3 months ago | (#46576141)

I am so glad someone got that. I was wondering if anyone would.
I have often thought about starting my own online diploma printing company. I think I just came up with a great name for it. :)

Leave the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46575863)

That's the cheapest path.

Community college (1)

hessian (467078) | about 3 months ago | (#46575869)

It's relatively fast and easy to take community college courses at your own pace. You can then transfer to a full university for your final year and get the BA/BS.

Re:Community college (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 3 months ago | (#46575947)

Why would he do that? He already has a 2-year AA degree.

Re:Community college (0)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 3 months ago | (#46576239)

RTFA, you fluttering twatwad.

potential solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46575895)

You can do University of Illinois Springfield online. They are accredited and offer a Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science fully online. You may need to do some courses at the community college first but if you have that done just transfer it and off you go.

Start with where you got your associates (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 3 months ago | (#46575899)

Ask them for a list of colleges and universities that accept their courses as transfer credit. Don't want to redo work you've already done.

If your associate's place doesn't transfer anywhere at all, the good news is that your options are all open, and the bad news is that you'll have to do two years of work over again. (The other bad news is that it's a sign that no other college likes the college you got your 2 year degree from, for some reason, which either speaks to the quality of education that you received or to some underlying college political issue, and you won't know which without digging a bit.)

Re:Start with where you got your associates (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 3 months ago | (#46575987)

Also, the bad news is that the Admissions office is usually more generous about transfers than the Records office. Once you get there, you may find that your credits don't transfer as well as they led you to believe before you got there.

Re:Start with where you got your associates (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 3 months ago | (#46576023)

Even if only half the credits transfer over, that's still less work that needs to be done - and less you have to pay for. If the originating associate's degree was worth the paper it was printed on, they'll probably let you transfer over credits from the core classes (English 101, basic math etc.)

Re:Start with where you got your associates (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 months ago | (#46576039)

He should also be aware that some schools will discount the value of old credits. Requiring testing (at least) for coursework more then 5 or 10 years old.

Further he should look for flexibility in testing for industry experience. It really sucks taking a class in a subject you know better then the teacher. Imagine taking a database course from a teacher that loves higher normal forms (read as: 'has never run a real world database').

Second-class colleges (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#46576181)

The other bad news is that it's a sign that no other college likes the college you got your 2 year degree from, for some reason, which either speaks to the quality of education that you received or to some underlying college political issue, and you won't know which without digging a bit

In the USA, there are two tiers of institutions of higher education: regionally accredited schools and nationally accredited schools [wikipedia.org] . Regionally accredited institutions tend to be more prestigious and more academic as opposed to vocational. Credits from nationally accredited schools seldom transfer to regionally accredited schools, and students have sued over this [nwsource.com] .

Intelligent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46575901)

Finally some intelligent conversation on Slashdot!

Fastest Way to Carnegie Mellon? (1)

moehoward (668736) | about 3 months ago | (#46575913)

A lot of practice!!

Ba-dum-da.

No seriously, there is a shortcut... Private colleges who are funded by shady government-backed loans. Didn't we just have this discussion? Or was the answer "Plastics!"?

Just got my CS degree at age 30 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46575915)

I am about to turn 31, and recently obtained CS degree from UMBC. Like you, I initially went to community college and took basic courses in CS and math. Thereafter, transferred all of my credits to UMBC, and within 3 years (worked part time) got my CS degree.
As you see, there is no easy way of getting degree.

About 10 Minutes (not counting shipping time)? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46575933)

Fast, Cheap Bachelor Degrees [fakediplomanow.com]

Easy (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 3 months ago | (#46575939)

Send me a cheque for $300 and I'll send you a Degree.

Know what you're asking for (3, Insightful)

Subm (79417) | about 3 months ago | (#46575949)

By the principle of "Quality, price, speed, pick any two," when you ask for price and speed, just know what you're asking for.

Re:Know what you're asking for (1)

Nightwraith (180411) | about 3 months ago | (#46576071)

Now, where'd I put those mods points...

State Schools (1)

ClayDowling (629804) | about 3 months ago | (#46575959)

Apply to a local state funded university. Talk with an admissions counselor about your goals and how well your associates will transfer (10 years old, the answer is usually Not At All). State schools provide the best bang for the buck. It also helps that their programs tend to be quite good. You also have to accept the fact that this isn't going to be convenient or easy. If it was easy to get a degree worth the paper it was printed on, everybody would have one.

If you just want to throw money at the problem and don't care about the quality of the degree, find the online program with the biggest advertising budget. Ideally somebody who can advertise on broadcast channels during prime time. The degree won't be well respected, but if you're doing this as a checkbox item it hardly matters. Just avoid taking on debt to do it. The private programs are expensive, and have a terrible track record for defaults on student loans (probably because of the expense).

Hi... (3, Insightful)

beelsebob (529313) | about 3 months ago | (#46575993)

Hi, I want to pretend that I've done a bunch of academic learning, because I feel that I have the right to the title because I have some experience.

Hint: Bachelors degrees are different from experience. Experience is valuable, but it's not the same thing as academic learning, in the same way as academic learning is valuable, but not the same thing as experience. If you want a bachelor's degree... go and do one.

Re:Hi... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46576013)

Just add it to your resume. No one's ever going to check.

Co-op programs (1)

AmazinglySmooth (1668735) | about 3 months ago | (#46575997)

My school (University of Cincinnati) requires all engineering grads to have 1.5 years of industry experience (co-op) to graduate. That means that you get paid for 1.5 years at a decent rate and likely will have an offer at graduation. Worked great for me, though, it does require a 5 year program to complete. Regardless, you get a solid grasp of the fundamentals and a job.

Great school that is self pace, accredited and all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46576009)

Western Governors University. I completed my Bachelor's and Masters there in just over three years.

http://www.wgu.edu/

not so fast, not so easy (3, Insightful)

DriveDog (822962) | about 3 months ago | (#46576015)

But not wasting your time... I'm all for a solid CS education and I'd give brownie points for it. But if it bugs you to study what you think you already know, then don't. I really can't imagine that a BS in CS is going to impress most hiring managers more than your dozen years of experience plus some other 4 year degree. So get the 4 year degree in something else quantitative in which you have interest. Physics, statistics, math, chemistry, etc. Take your time, and enjoy learning something outside of your normal field.

Re:not so fast, not so easy (1)

blue9steel (2758287) | about 3 months ago | (#46576127)

Sadly, HR departments are risk averse and that is likely not the correct path. Often times they use a degree in the correct field as a first filter, so his resume would get dropped before it was even manually reviewed. My suggestion, find a program at a local state school and slog it out.

Two possible options (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46576025)

I'm writing from Canada here, but there are two options you might consider. One is to pick a brick and mortar university with a strong online presence and see if you can get advanced standing. For example, Athabasca University in Canada (http://www.athabascau.ca/course/ug_subject/cd.php) has a strong online presence (offering many online courses,) and is good university with real-world standing.

A second option is through your local community colleges (or trade and technical schools–whatever they are called where you are.) Again speaking from a Canadian perspective, where I live, many of these have created solid bridging programs to allow diploma holders to upgrade to bachelors degrees. These are run in conjunction with a good solid university, and are quite popular.

Cheapest Colleges (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 3 months ago | (#46576043)

Obviously, your local state school is probably the cheapest.

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2009/11/09/cheapest-colleges-13-standup-schools-that-cost-less-than-5-000/

Both are meaningless... (2)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about 3 months ago | (#46576045)

every year, it gets harder to convince potential employers/clients that 10-12 years of hands-on experience doing what they need done, trumps an additional 2 years of general IT education.

Both are pretty meaningless if you don't actually have the necessary knowledge to do the job properly. There are plenty of people with degrees that don't know anything. There are plenty of people with lots of experience that don't know anything. I know lots of people who talk a good game, and can't deliver. There are plenty of people paying for software development that don;t know what good software is, and that's what allows these hacks to survive. The fact that you want to get a BS in computer science with doing the least amount of effort, makes me not want to hire you. What it says to me, is that you don't think the knowledge gained by going through a real CS program is very important. There is also quite a difference in quality between "accredited" computer science programs, and most employers are aware this difference. Maybe you think you know the material already, but I have literally never seen a single "self-taught" person who knew a damn about proper software engineering. Maybe you are a genius and an exception, but I also wouldn't take the word of some self-proclaimed CS/IT genius. Everyone who does computers thinks their a genius, myself included. It's a psychological disorder that's rampant in the field.

Don't be surprised if a fastest cheapest accredited degree (i.e. where you learn the least), doesn't yield the results you were hoping for.

Where are the online Computer Science degrees? (5, Interesting)

Rinikusu (28164) | about 3 months ago | (#46576131)

I've always wondered what it is that prevents us from creating a fully accredited* Computer Science Degree (bachelor's) completely online, for cheap. I'm not talking code-school, I mean let's learn Computer Science, with all the math and non-shortcuts that entails. The "industry" might want programmers, but *I* want to be more than that, and I'd like a formal education to get it without spending $30-40k/semester and would prefer to do it at my own pace while I continue working in the field. Perhaps this needs to be a Y Combinator style start-up. Courses from Algebra (yes, Algebra), Geometry, Trig, first principles kind of stuff focusing on the WHYS not just rote memorization. Sure, you'd still need the social sciences and what not (and I would be happy to just take those at the local community college for $cheap and transfer them in), but the real meat at the real school. Hell, it doesn't even have to be accredited if you actually learn something.

This also brings me to self-taught computer scientists: I've begun an adventure down "Teach myself math from scratch" lane because, at age 40, I'm still rather annoyed at my math education in high school. I was more concerned about learning to the test, not the concepts, and that's haunted me ever since. Anyone have recommendations for learning math starting from, say, Algebra I or II level (high school) that will actually teach in a way that will be useful rather than taking a test? Stuff that will carry over into future classes as the proper building blocks, etc?

Heritage (0)

Fluffy the Destroyer (3459643) | about 3 months ago | (#46576133)

Marry an old rich hag. make your way in her will. When that is done and complete, time for the evil plan, have sex till she has an heart attack. When done, wait for heritage to come in and go get your Bachelor's Degree (ps: Hide your mom from me lol)

Divorce or separation (0)

jovius (974690) | about 3 months ago | (#46576167)

by airplane.

WTF is an "Associates In Programming"? How... (1)

Assmasher (456699) | about 3 months ago | (#46576219)

...does an accredited (presumably) school come up with that? That sounds like a trade school degree. Might as well be self-taught.

When did people stop going to college to get "educated" as opposed to "resumated"?

Check out SUNY Empire State College (1)

stephencrane (771345) | about 3 months ago | (#46576227)

They allow you to transfer lots of credits, to write essays to demonstrate life learning, and offer tons of independent study courses to top off any remaining gaps. The essays are pure gold though.

One other way that might work for you. (1)

agoldenlife (3536645) | about 3 months ago | (#46576241)

Most do not consider this, and most colleges don't advertise it. One option to to look at taking an exam to pass out of the required classes for a degree. So for a bachelor's degree look for classes that you know everything about and fit the degree requirement. Most colleges allow you to pay a fraction of the cost for a class, and allow you to take a single exam. If you pass, that is your grade, or some do just a pass/fail. However if you know most of what the college requires for their Bachelor's CS degree, you can get away with the degree for pennies. I haven't looked at my local college for awhile, but I know at one point I paid like $250 about 10 years ago and then took an exam. It takes some work and research, but could end up being your fastest and cheapest route! I would also recommend if you go this route to meet with the professors or chair of the school (CS of IS maybe) and let them know what you are doing. Most of them are very accommodating and understanding of people who work full time trying to get a degree
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