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Not quite finance related, but might be of interest to those who want a (relatively) quality education at a (relatively) good price.

Online Master of Science in Computer Science, from Georgia Tech. First classes will be Fall 2014.

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There are doctorates issued this way. Valdosta State's Doctorate in Public Administration program has gotten popular on ... (more)

calwatch (May. 22, 2013 @ 10:48p) |

Will they accept me if I only have an Associate Degree from community colleges and not a Bachelor's?

Nyce (Jun. 29, 2013 @ 12:04p) |

I know this was posted a while ago but I'm just now seeing it. My PhD program is in this area so, just to be clear, this... (more)

magika (Jun. 29, 2013 @ 1:04p) |

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Question to the recruiters out here: What is the real value of an online degree like this?

It will never be viewed as highly as a normal degree.

T800 said:   It will never be viewed as highly as a normal degree.

Do you even have to list it as an online Degree?

caramelito said:   Question to the recruiters out here: What is the real value of an online degree like this?

It's probably 4 years too early to tell.

In a field like CS, where many of the courses are project-oriented, I could imagine that an online degree like this could pretty readily be just as rigorous as a traditional on-campus degree.
In fact, it might be a littler harder without having a built-in on campus network of students to talk to in person.

heyeaglefn said:   T800 said:   It will never be viewed as highly as a normal degree.

Do you even have to list it as an online Degree?


It is officially an "OMS CS". If you wrote "MS CS" on your resume you would not be accurately conveying your credential.

Penn state has a similar online program which can be put on your resume the same as their on campus program.

arch8ngel said:   caramelito said:   Question to the recruiters out here: What is the real value of an online degree like this?

It's probably 4 years too early to tell.

In a field like CS, where many of the courses are project-oriented, I could imagine that an online degree like this could pretty readily be just as rigorous as a traditional on-campus degree.
In fact, it might be a littler harder without having a built-in on campus network of students to talk to in person.


All the CS courses I took for my undergrad were essentially "distance" courses - all material was recorded and available as video lectures, and all projects/homework were submitted online. The only time I had to go in was for the midterm / final, and something similar could easily be replicated using a proctored environment.

Tons of good universities have allowed their name to go on resume for their online program the same way as their on location program. Hell Indiana University which is now rocketing towards the a top 10 business school(I think jumped like 8 spots to ~15 in the last couple of years) allows people to enroll online for a year and then without objection transfer to on location for the 2nd year of their MBA program.

They don't realize it, but it's the beginning of the end for their overpriced educations. And it's going to happen because now these universities are incentivized to do the very thing that will break it down. Don't forget that even in public education this is still a business. Revenue has to meet or exceed costs. Like an airline who has practically all of its costs fixed and variable cost of acquiring that next customer being essentially zero. For a university that invests in the online infrastructure as almost all of their cost it is far too tempting to allow in 5001 students instead of 5000 when the extra student is all profit(or more precisely contribution margin). So they excuse the extra 1 then an extra 500 then an extra 10,000 and before long numerous schools that were once coveted for the exclusivity are degree mills for those that can put up with the rigor of that schools classes.

Highly competitive fixed cost businesses have always been extremely good at mutually assured destruction by constantly price cutting their competitors for short term gain and long term loss. The education market is in the process of switching from a variable cost model on location model to one more reliant on online programs **with the complicity of the top universities because they see at as another source of revenue**. They have no idea what they're unleashing. I would hate to be a professor today.

caramelito said:   Question to the recruiters out here: What is the real value of an online degree like this?CS is the most natural degree to be completely online. The only thing that requires interaction are team projects. But in a lab, there can only be one driver at the keyboard while other teammates sit and watch the same screen. This could easily be replicated with desktop sharing. Although I suspect productivity might suffer -- wanting to get out of the lab after long hours is a pretty good motivator. There's no motivation to finish the project quickly in the comforts of your parents basement

Georgia Tech just launched the first volley in what will be come to be known as the online degree wars. Those that were either rooting for or scoffing at University of Phoenix were just missing the boat. The issue was always the major *existing* universities adopting an internet model not a new entrant. A Chancellor or Dean wants a raise and the easiest way to do it is degree mill a couple thousand people your Universities name online and the revenue roles in.

But now that this cat has been let out of the bag there was just no way that you could get all of these competitors to 'play by the rules' of offering the online program for about the same cost as the on location one when the online program was all fixed cost and the on location was basically all variable cost and a huge disparity in total cost between the 2.

All it would take is 1 university to move to undercut the rest and the online volume of all the others would drop and the one that made that move would surge. It would only be a matter time before all the rest would follow suit.

Mark my words in 2 years all online computer science degrees with maybe the exception of a handful will be at or lower in price than Georgia Tech's move.

Are employers truly looking to hire people with a certain skill set or do they just use a degree as a benchmark of employee "quality?" My engineering degree got me job offers in multiple fields that were only (very) peripherally related to anything that I studied. I came in knowing no more than I would have out of high school, maybe before. If it's just a benchmark of employee quality, I wonder if employers will still be looking for attributes that one that goes to the campus itself will have (or acquire) as part of that life event.

dshibb said:    schools that were once coveted for the exclusivity are degree mills for those that can put up with the rigor of that schools classes.


If they actually maintain rigor, it is a lot more likely that they will simply see absurdly high attrition rates, since follow-through with distance degrees is almost certainly lower on average than traditional on campus degrees.

dshibb said:   
They don't realize it,


They realize it. There's just nothing you can do about it as an individual institution.

arch8ngel said:   dshibb said:    schools that were once coveted for the exclusivity are degree mills for those that can put up with the rigor of that schools classes.


If they actually maintain rigor, it is a lot more likely that they will simply see absurdly high attrition rates, since follow-through with distance degrees is almost certainly lower on average than traditional on campus degrees.


That is the most likely transition you will see. Name value post undergrad will only be achieved in that new environment by making tests tougher(think designations for a model example) there is no other way. So attrition will be the only way to maintain the name in an online world of constantly seeking 1, 10, 100, etc. more marginal paying students to make up for the lower prices you now have to charge.

That then gets into a more interesting subject matter. Are the graduate degree programs themselves in a lot of these areas going to be broken apart into chunks or transferability to be overhauled? See if I'm a halfway decent student and I now can go to University of Chicago, Harvard, UPenn, Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, MIT, etc. online because of a high economic interest to admit more with simultaneously way tougher classes to facilitate attrition, then I have to predict at the start of a program whether or not I will be able to pass a much, much, much tougher coursework or potentially waste a lot of time and money. The big schools would then have to adapt to make sure that a person that made it 80% of the way through a very tough program didn't have to start all over again if they didn't make it. They could achieve that by breaking apart their program into numerous pieces or by making sure that you could transfer somewhere else to finish the last 20% and get a degree there.

Then a more interesting question. What happens to the joke prestigious schools? Particularly we're talking about the ones where people go to a big name with tough admittance, high cost, but once you arrive it's not terribly difficult relative to others. Yale is probably the most known for that. USC has been mentioned before. I've heard that about both Princeton and Columbia as well. Numerous private schools have been given that label. What does a school like that do in this new environment?

What does the degree say when you get the physical piece of paper and it's hanging on your wall?

I could see doing this in my spare time.

And at $7k total cost...pretty cheap if I fail.

Al3xK said:   What does the degree say when you get the physical piece of paper and it's hanging on your wall?

I could see doing this in my spare time.

And at $7k total cost...pretty cheap if I fail.


Wait a couple years and it will be cheaper yet and bigger name!

dshibb said:   Al3xK said:   What does the degree say when you get the physical piece of paper and it's hanging on your wall?

I could see doing this in my spare time.

And at $7k total cost...pretty cheap if I fail.


Wait a couple years and it will be cheaper yet and bigger name!


Maybe. I'm thinking the sooner the better. If I just say "I have my masters in CS" they'll assume I went to the school and got it.

In a few years, they'll assume I just did it online and cheated lol.

Apparently this will initially be offered to Georgia Tech and AT&T affiliates, but will be expanded:

Initial enrollment will be limited to a few hundred students recruited from AT&T and Georgia Tech corporate affiliates. Enrollment is expected to expand gradually over the next three years."

link

I also want to laugh at all of the people that want to extol the virtues of in person and on location degrees. They don't get it and they're going to get a lesson in how the marketplace functions. The truth is that it doesn't f@cking matter what altruistic virtue there exists in being in a classroom in front of a live professor. Everything has it's price! The per student cost of what they're currently doing is $20k+ a year per student. The per student cost of an online environment is only a few hundred dollars. Nobody will pay for the former to satisfy your bull$hit altruistic notions.

And the truth is that it's not the students that are going to 'force' this change. To the professors on here it's going to be your own boss. An additional 10000 students at a cost of the university of a couple hundred dollars and a tuition bill of $10,000 is a 2000%+ mark up. It's far too enticing not to do it and it only takes one major institution's chancellor to do it and then the others have to follow suit. You've already got at least a hundred top universities offering online degrees. It's now just the question of whether or not they're going to grossly change the price for the online program vs. the on location one.

Georgia Tech just did that. More will follow suit. Professors hoping for enrollments at $20k+ a student on location will be competing against their own university offering the same thing on students resume for only $2k a student. Who the hell is going to take the former? The game is over. It's like mortgage broker in 2006 thinking that $500k 2 bedroom houses will continue in perpetuity. All it takes is one crack and the whole thing comes undone. And the universities that wait the longest to run for the cheap online exit are going to be hit the hardest.

Al3xK said:   In a few years, they'll assume I just did it online and cheated lol.

I have a feeling it might be pretty hard to cheat in these things.

Several of my undergrad CS courses had a similar format - video lectures available online and assignments (homework and CS projects) submitted online. The only times I had to go in were midterms and finals - cheating could be prevented (or at least, reduced to the same levels as a B&M school) by proctoring.

I foresee an uptick in proctoring centers.

Its a catch 22. The main value in any "good" school is simply the signalling effect and pre selection of the students. Sure they can open the online floodgates but it will hurt their brand

I think proctoring makes it harder to cheat than regular classes.
When you're proctored, they actually check your ID and segregate you while you take the exam.

You don't need sushi and climbing walls to get a college education.

http://www.npr.org/2013/05/08/181580716/with-gorgeous-dorms-but-...

motuwallet said:   Its a catch 22. The main value in any "good" school is simply the signalling effect and pre selection of the students. Sure they can open the online floodgates but it will hurt their brand

schools that don't have a brand are the ones that will open the floodgates. in contrast, prestigious (or quasi prestigious) institutions will protect their brands through admission standards and rigorous grading.

motuwallet said:   Its a catch 22. The main value in any "good" school is simply the signalling effect and pre selection of the students. Sure they can open the online floodgates but it will hurt their brand

That's the whole point. You're looking at the end point and saying that prestigious colleges don't want that, and that is obvious. But by doing that you're discounting how things really move and change. It's not because Harvard one day decides to be more like University of Phoenix. It's because Harvard one day offers ABC program to XYZ Companies employees as executive MBA program. And then they make an exception for someone else. Then they start admitting a couple thousand foreign students to an online MBA program at a pretty high price. Then they start offering that domestically. Then they start cutting their price due to competition from schools like Stanford and MIT(or whatever schools at that time are carrying the 'cheaper for the same prestigious degree' banner). Each move a smart decision at that time in the short run, but an inevitable erosion of their admission standards piece by piece.

Do you think General Motors got up one day in the 1960s and said, "Hey you know we would probably be better off being known as the cheap 3rd rate automaker and that includes Cadillac"? Of course not, but it happened! Do you think the first airlines thought at the time, "You know if only the industry just price cut each other over and over again so that none of us could really make much of a profit over our cost that would make for a wondrous industry yet that is exactly what they did to each other." Do you think IBM wanted to watch it's entire mainframe business explode into smithereens at the notion of a personal computer for people? Hell no, but once they saw the writing on the wall they knew they had to move.

It's the same thing here. Admissions standards are going to crash in the name of short term revenue for these institutions. It's what is going to happen. If they want to keep their name the only option they'll have is just to make it a lot harder to pass.

koans said:   motuwallet said:   Its a catch 22. The main value in any "good" school is simply the signalling effect and pre selection of the students. Sure they can open the online floodgates but it will hurt their brand

schools that don't have a brand are the ones that will open the floodgates. in contrast, prestigious (or quasi prestigious) institutions will protect their brands through admission standards and rigorous grading.


Prestigious universities have already opened the floodgates piece by piece. A lot of the top 100 grad schools in the country already have online programs. It's not some podunk school out in some unincorporated Wyoming town that is going to open the floodgates. It's going to be the heart of some of the best institutions who just think "What's 100 more students; that wont hurt our brand." It's just going to take time.

Georgia Tech isn't some podunk university. It's actually a pretty decent school.

misterspaghetti said:   Are employers truly looking to hire people with a certain skill set or do they just use a degree as a benchmark of employee "quality?" My engineering degree got me job offers in multiple fields that were only (very) peripherally related to anything that I studied. I came in knowing no more than I would have out of high school, maybe before. If it's just a benchmark of employee quality, I wonder if employers will still be looking for attributes that one that goes to the campus itself will have (or acquire) as part of that life event.

Good question, but I can say from experience that just an IT degree doesn't prove you're the person for the job. Where I work there is a paid internship program. We had two interns who both had computer science degrees from the same University of California campus. One was very sharp which any employer would be glad to have. The other, for me to put it mildly, knew nothing. No computer skills, and worse yet, no social skills. I wondered how he managed to get his cs degree, but he did.

IMHO a graduate degree is an ideal choice for a university to start an online program. No offense to the undergrads, it's just that looking back on my undergrad years, I would've been hard pressed to be disciplined enough to complete a 4-year degree through online courses alone. Graduate students have already gone through the undergrad experience (plus possibly work experience) and are generally mature enough to take the coursework seriously.

dshibb said:   Georgia Tech isn't some podunk university. It's actually a pretty decent school.Top 5 in engineering overall, with some programs in the top 1 or 2.

burgerwars said:   We had two interns who both had computer science degrees from the same University of California campus. One was very sharp which any employer would be glad to have. The other, for me to put it mildly, knew nothing. No computer skills, and worse yet, no social skills. I wondered how he managed to get his cs degree, but he did.A+ vs C- student?

peas said:   IMHO a graduate degree is an ideal choice for a university to start an online program. No offense to the undergrads, it's just that looking back on my undergrad years, I would've been hard pressed to be disciplined enough to complete a 4-year degree through online courses alone. Graduate students have already gone through the undergrad experience (plus possibly work experience) and are generally mature enough to take the coursework seriously.

Agreed. I will say that although I don't have a particularly strong prediction of how undergrad will move forward it has for some time now been my guess that on location is just going to hollow out to save costs. You'll go to the university and stay there with the students, but to cut costs they start shifting most of the classwork online, they start forcing more classes to share the same rooms with less time there, they start laying off faculty and *administrators* to cut costs, gut the research budgets, and then try to buy student accountability some other way than paying a professor $100k a year to do a poor job of doing it. If the key reason why an 18 year old's can't yet move to an online program is accountability then the schools just might have to hollow everything out to compete and then get TAs, 'advisors', or something that get assigned to make sure they're on top of their work. Again I don't know, but yet again $20k+ a year per student is a lot to pay to hire a professor to take attendance if that is the reason why undergrad's not ready. The market will figure out a solution to that because there is no way that price is justified.

Thanks for the information..

This program seems pretty interesting, financially speak. It's only $7K? Worth a shot.

thanks,

hell ya, education is important for helping people get jobs (and helping employers find qualified candidates). but education is more important for educating people. uneducated people act stupid and vote stupid. educated people act smart and vote smart (i hope anyway). living in an educated society has its benefits, and therefrom all good things follow, including employment. too often do i come across people who don't understand why its important to be educated, they speak of the value of education strictly in the vocational context. when i come across these people, i feel its my duty to educate them of the true value of education. hope yall are cool with this semi-off topic point of order my friends, but if u must red me, i understand.

As for the online/oncampus discussion, it really just depends on what field you're dealing with. Good luck doing your organic chemistry lab online.

I've written on this elsewhere (not on here under this pseudonym) but very soon I think we're going to see a reasonably well-known university come out an offer a completely online BA (or a bunch of them) for free, or for some nominal cost ($1 to $100 dollars). If someone asked me to become the president of a university, this is one of the first things I'd do. Almost overnight, it'd put most of the for-profit universities and many of the crappy second and third-tier universities out of business.

Why would a university do this? Because they don't care. If the president and trustees at a school like like Harvard, for example, woke up tomorrow with a particular aim towards "social justice," they could implement something and completely change the landscape of higher education within 3-6 months. You're going to tell me that you're going to give preference to the student with the degree from [insert directional state school here] because s/he lived on campus for 4 years over the person who completed the Harvard program in 1/3rd of the time from her house? Yeah right.

"But, KS, Harvard doesn't have an economic interest in doing this!" I disagree. There are lots of reasons why this would be in their financial interest, but here's my favorite. Harvard runs their endowment like a hedge fund. Imagine if the managers of the endowment go to the president of the university and say, "Hey, so you want to make a killing? How about 3 months from now you offer BAs for free over the internet to anyone who wants them and is able to complete the work. Between now and then, we're going to start shorting CPLA, APOL, BPI, ITT, etc." Oh, and they don't do it by shorting the stocks, they do it by buying puts since they know when these stocks are going to tank. Think of how much money could be made. It'd be brilliant.

Anyway, this is the direction that higher education is going, and it's probably for the better. $40k+ per year for vocational training is absurd. Up until the last 50 years, the function of universities has been to act as the place where advanced work in the arts, sciences, an humanities gets done. That's not what is happening now. It's about time that we return our universities to their proper function.

in for 2, thanks op

Meanwhile, there are schools that have rigorous programs that are highly cost competitive: the in-person curricula are cheaper than many online programs.

For some STEM majors and graduate programs (e.g. physical sciences, some engineering), in-person learning environments will -for the foreseeable future- be much more effective than online. It will still be a while, if ever, before telepresence/online technologies can overcome this current reality in some fields.

Agreed that a huge and omnipresent barrier to cost competitiveness in post secondary education is the bloated administration.

CM, I agree with the statement above. If you follow my posts, I'm a philosophy professor. You can't do philosophy online (at least when you run classes dialectically like I do). Sure, you can read texts and have message board discussions, but you cannot do online what I do in the classroom. I'm also very accessible to my students. My thesis students have my cell, come over to my house frequently and have dinner with me and my wife, etc. It's a very different experience. I'm not saying that's for everyone (or even for most people), but I'm not providing vocational training either.

A real problem is that the costs seem to be out of control, and very little of that money has gone to faculty salaries. Now, unlike most of my colleagues around the country, I'm not bitching about my salary. For what I do and the life I live, I believe that what I'm being paid is fair (or at least something within my range). But I have no idea where all of the money is going. I think the biggest problem is that the folks running most universities have no idea what they're doing. Most of them now have some background in finance, not academia. And they all want to run these universities like businesses. But they're not businesses. Our mission is not to make money. And, more importantly, if these guys could actually run businesses, they'd be running real businesses and not universities.

It goes two way

1. It's just like in-class, you study your ass off and you graduate with the reasonable degree. Not sure if this is as recognized as normal degree
2. It's easier than normal, you graduate with not much real life qualification
3. It's just like in-class, you can't keep up, drop out, and waste all your money.

Expect the first one. Do it at the university. 100k+ easy

kantscholar said:   CM, I agree with the statement above. If you follow my posts, I'm a philosophy professor. You can't do philosophy online (at least when you run classes dialectically like I do). Sure, you can read texts and have message board discussions, but you cannot do online what I do in the classroom. I'm also very accessible to my students. My thesis students have my cell, come over to my house frequently and have dinner with me and my wife, etc. It's a very different experience. I'm not saying that's for everyone (or even for most people), but I'm not providing vocational training either.

A real problem is that the costs seem to be out of control, and very little of that money has gone to faculty salaries. Now, unlike most of my colleagues around the country, I'm not bitching about my salary. For what I do and the life I live, I believe that what I'm being paid is fair (or at least something within my range). But I have no idea where all of the money is going. I think the biggest problem is that the folks running most universities have no idea what they're doing. Most of them now have some background in finance, not academia. And they all want to run these universities like businesses. But they're not businesses. Our mission is not to make money. And, more importantly, if these guys could actually run businesses, they'd be running real businesses and not universities.


Wait, wait, wait! University chancellors and presidents and their subordinate provosts and deans are like the equivalent to a C-Level executives in the university system. They are like the only institution in the country that doesn't have significant backgrounds in finance, management, consulting, accounting, etc. Universities get their heads from near 100% from faculty via professor--> chairman of department--> to dean of a school--> Provost--> Chancellor/president of a university. They don't run their universities like businesses and they should. The students are the customers and indirectly the businesses that employ them. Revenue needs to meet or exceed costs no matter what. There isn't some super happy fun money that just floats over to cover short falls.

The reason why Universities are run like they're retards is because the Universities system for appointing administrators will often times involve hiring a dean of arts college to run an entire university when their previous experience was effectively teaching the students how to finger paint. They have no business running a university. They make stupid decisions because they have never appropriated, budgeted, or managed anything before in their lives. Consultants come in and f@ck them on a regular basis because they're idiots. Quite likely that the only dumber group of people budgeting decent sums of capital besides government entities is churches, but even that might be a stretch.


Kant I don't know about your university, but pretty much every Chancellor/President I've ever seen has come through university ranks and very rarely from the business school. And from what I've seen is administrators that don't understand the value of money and are great at blowing it on the dumbest $hit you've ever seen because they don't have a background in any of the business disciplines. Oh and the other new trend I've been seeing is people with backgrounds in politics. Undersecretary of blah, blah is now running a university because that is just a great idea(rolls eyes).

one of my philosophy professors had a greater impact on my life than anyone else. thank you for being a philosophy professor, my friend.

Skipping 88 Messages...
calwatch said:   
There are doctorates issued this way. Valdosta State's Doctorate in Public Administration program has gotten popular on the degree forums because of that. Two weekend residencies a year and the rest online coursework and email back and forth on the dissertation. http://ww2.valdosta.edu/pa/mpa/DPAProgramDescription.shtml


I know this was posted a while ago but I'm just now seeing it. My PhD program is in this area so, just to be clear, this DPA is **not** a degree that will be taken seriously by most public policy/political science/public administration programs - so if you want to work in academia, this will just about guarantee never getting a job. Its really only filling a very small niche that won't apply to most people - top level public sector positions where you need a doctorate because everyone else has one due to credentials inflation. And even then I would say its still not worth it assuming you did your MPA from a good (top 20) school.


That tends to be the problem with these sort of online degrees...they aren't taken as seriously as everyone thinks. People in the field are aware of them and - in the case of the Valdosta State DPA, at least - will hire nearly anyone from a traditional PhD program over you.



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