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Old 09-18-2012, 08:54 PM   #126
Go_Blue
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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Originally Posted by iamudit View Post

I have couple of questions regarding the pre-reqs exam you're taking.

How soon will you be done with all the subjects(fall to spring) before applying for MS?
Does DePaul have online classes for international students?
Should I follow your path to prepare myself for MS or some other path?

Any help will be greatly appreciated!

Regards,
Udit
Hey- thanks for reaching out. I will be done with my pre-reqs by the end of winter quarter. I'm not sure if Depaul has online classes for international students; the issue would be having somewhere they approve of to take tests.

In terms of whether you should follow my path, that really depends on you and your life. I would start by taking a programming class just to see how comfortable you are with struggling to figure things out. You really need to enjoy struggling through problems and believe in yourself enough to not give up on getting to the answer.

Give it a shot and see what happens. I am by no means an expert on what path to take--I'm still waiting to see if mine will pay off.
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:37 PM   #127
iamudit
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Go_Blue, thank you very much for extra help you're giving.
Most of the universities conduct test in front of a proctor or at nearest US consulate for international students. I enjoy programming and I've been learning C++ since fall 2011.

I have some questions for you.
Do most of the universities accept transcripts or credits for the courses taken at other university?

What do you think about getting admission in one of top 30 universities after completion of pre-reqs courses? Basically, what are your chances of getting admission in one of the reputed uni if you get grade c or better?

How do you cope up with different subjects as each university has its own pre-reqs for their program?
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:03 PM   #128
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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Originally Posted by iamudit View Post
Go_Blue, thank you very much for extra help you're giving.
Most of the universities conduct test in front of a proctor or at nearest US consulate for international students. I enjoy programming and I've been learning C++ since fall 2011.

I have some questions for you.
Do most of the universities accept transcripts or credits for the courses taken at other university?

What do you think about getting admission in one of top 30 universities after completion of pre-reqs courses? Basically, what are your chances of getting admission in one of the reputed uni if you get grade c or better?

How do you cope up with different subjects as each university has its own pre-reqs for their program?
Your questions likely depend on the university. You should pick a few that interest you and then research them.

A C in a class is not a good grade. You'd likely need to get A- or better to have a chance at a top 30 school. Also, most top 30 schools have a lot of pre-req requirements that are not programming related. As for me, I know I can get into the U of Chicago which is top 40, but from all of the research I've done, if you can program and you're smart, school name doesn't matter all that much. There are a lot of advantages in going to Depaul for me, and that's why despite its lower ranking, it is far and away my best choice. For you, who knows?

In terms of coping with different subjects, I'm not sure if I'm clear on what you're asking; but, I chose this path with the understanding that I'd be trying to catch up to everyone else. For that reason, I'm doing what is necessary to succeed with the new material ( a lot of independent learning).
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:35 PM   #129
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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Originally Posted by iamudit View Post
Go_Blue, thank you very much for extra help you're giving.
Most of the universities conduct test in front of a proctor or at nearest US consulate for international students. I enjoy programming and I've been learning C++ since fall 2011.

I have some questions for you.
Do most of the universities accept transcripts or credits for the courses taken at other university?

What do you think about getting admission in one of top 30 universities after completion of pre-reqs courses? Basically, what are your chances of getting admission in one of the reputed uni if you get grade c or better?

How do you cope up with different subjects as each university has its own pre-reqs for their program?
At my school the pre-req could be taken anywhere, they even allowed you to test out. In California they have assist.org to tell which class count for what other states may have similar web sites.
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:59 AM   #130
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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Originally Posted by Go_Blue View Post
In terms of coping with different subjects, I'm not sure if I'm clear on what you're asking; but, I chose this path with the understanding that I'd be trying to catch up to everyone else. For that reason, I'm doing what is necessary to succeed with the new material ( a lot of independent learning).
I mean how do you decide which subject is important as no two universities have same pre-reqs. Some require more and some require less courses.
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:45 AM   #131
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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I mean how do you decide which subject is important as no two universities have same pre-reqs. Some require more and some require less courses.
Oh, well I decided on Depaul because I like their pre-req phase, so I will likely continue going there once I complete it. Really the only differences that I've seen are many schools want you to have taken Calculus (which I am learning on my own).

In regards to Top 30 schools, pretty much every one I've looked at says "3.5 GPA from an ACCREDITED school," which means you wouldn't be able to do the pre-reqs anywhere.

Anyway, good luck to you.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:46 PM   #132
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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in my experience a bachelors in something non-technical with a masters in CS is valued just as highly as a bachelors in CS and a masters in CS. the required coursework for a masters is just a condensed and highly advanced form of the CS undergrad curriculum and then they build on top of it.
I've looked for masters in CS for people with non-technical bachelors, and I couldn't find any. Does anyone know any specific programs I could look at?
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:38 AM   #133
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Go_Blue was saying UChicago but that requires at least *some* degree of mathematical sophistication. Where do you fall on that spectrum?
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:58 PM   #134
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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I've looked for masters in CS for people with non-technical bachelors, and I couldn't find any. Does anyone know any specific programs I could look at?
You couldn't have spent much time researching...in Chicago alone there is U of Chicago, IIT, and Depaul. If you spend a few hours looking into it Im, sure you'll find a bunch. For example, I know U Penn has a program.

You'll get a good education wherever you go. It's mostly about the effort you put into it.
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:28 PM   #135
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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Originally Posted by Mariogs37 View Post
Go_Blue was saying UChicago but that requires at least *some* degree of mathematical sophistication. Where do you fall on that spectrum?
I was only a few classes short of a math major, so I think I should be good on that end.

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Originally Posted by Go_Blue View Post
You couldn't have spent much time researching...in Chicago alone there is U of Chicago, IIT, and Depaul. If you spend a few hours looking into it Im, sure you'll find a bunch. For example, I know U Penn has a program.

You'll get a good education wherever you go. It's mostly about the effort you put into it.
Thanks for the specific programs, I will definitely check those out. Honestly, I did look in the past and didn't find any, but maybe I was choosing bad search-terms so I'll take another stab at it.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:38 PM   #136
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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I've looked for masters in CS for people with non-technical bachelors, and I couldn't find any. Does anyone know any specific programs I could look at?
CSU, Long Beach

http://www.csulb.edu/colleges/coe/ce...ad/ms_cs.shtml

"A student lacking a Bachelor's degree in computer science may be required to take undergraduate prerequisite courses."

Most CSU had similar programs. You have to take ~11 (33 units) semester classes of prerequisite, about half can be taken at community college.
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:40 PM   #137
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

An acquaintance reached out to me on LinkedIn regarding my Master's in Computer Science and explained that he may have some good opportunities for me. Anyway, I met with him today and I was upfront and about how I started programming in March and am working very hard at becoming great at it, but am by no means an expect yet. We talked for about 45 minutes and he told me to get back in touch in the Winter or Spring.

If I'm going to try to get an internship somewhere, I wonder if I should come off more confidently. I'll need to come up with a good strategy to get an internship as I think it's essential for my development as a programmer.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:13 AM   #138
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Dude, this industry is all about what you can produce in a day. Try to get someone to give you an opportunity to prove yourself, and skip the degree. Once you get your foot in the door, you'll find out what software is all about. In my brief experience, what you learn in class, and what's being built out in industry is completely different.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:04 PM   #139
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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Dude, this industry is all about what you can produce in a day. Try to get someone to give you an opportunity to prove yourself, and skip the degree. Once you get your foot in the door, you'll find out what software is all about. In my brief experience, what you learn in class, and what's being built out in industry is completely different.
haha first of all, nice name. The degree so far has been useful in that I can now pick up a book for any language and learn it. Without some of my classes I would have had a much harder time doing that. To get to that point I spent 10k, but that 10k got me a lot of value.

I am going to work on getting my foot in the door somewhere. As mentioned in my previous post, I need to come up with a plan to do this, execute it, and then reassess if it doesn't work.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:03 PM   #140
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Should not be difficult to get an internship as a master's student. IIRC you are in one of the Chicago schools? So it is prob well respected, at least locally. And it is a big city!

First job you will do stuff like source control/build management, script writing, fixing small bugs, testing, etc. This stuff is not very sexy but someone has to do it and interns are a good candidate. Show that you're willing to learn and do grunt work.
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:47 PM   #141
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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Originally Posted by Go_Blue View Post
An acquaintance reached out to me on LinkedIn regarding my Master's in Computer Science and explained that he may have some good opportunities for me. Anyway, I met with him today and I was upfront and about how I started programming in March and am working very hard at becoming great at it, but am by no means an expect yet. We talked for about 45 minutes and he told me to get back in touch in the Winter or Spring.

If I'm going to try to get an internship somewhere, I wonder if I should come off more confidently. I'll need to come up with a good strategy to get an internship as I think it's essential for my development as a programmer.
In my experience (which is outside of CS), being a little over-confident in interviews doesn't hurt (as long as you don't come off arrogant). In my early interviews, I would try to be completely honest and qualify the stuff I didn't know / didn't have experience with. In later interviews, I slightly erred in the opposite direction, and I think it helped. I'd act like I had more experience with certain software and statistical techniques than I really did, because I figured that I could always quickly learn them on the job. Anyway, that's just my 2 cents.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:44 PM   #142
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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Originally Posted by muttiah View Post
Should not be difficult to get an internship as a master's student. IIRC you are in one of the Chicago schools? So it is prob well respected, at least locally. And it is a big city!

First job you will do stuff like source control/build management, script writing, fixing small bugs, testing, etc. This stuff is not very sexy but someone has to do it and interns are a good candidate. Show that you're willing to learn and do grunt work.
Cool, ya I am not going to have high standards for my first job; I just want to keep developing my skill set and add value to whatever company I join.

In my previous job (the data capture technology job I described earlier in the year), I had to make mass outbound phone calls every day. Any time we didn't hit 50 calls in a day, our name was sent out in red to the entire company, and we had to have at least one meeting with a manager about why we had 47 calls instead of 50 calls. There were some mornings where I sat on the edge of my bed wondering how on earth I was going to go in and make the 50 calls. I came up with a couple of cool strategies that allowed me to make a lot of money for them, but the job itself was a huge challenge psychologically. My cubicle was covered in pictures of the wedding I was paying for so that I could remain constantly motivated.

Basically what I'm getting at is after experiencing that job, every other job will seem awesome in comparison. Jobs that would seem overly-boring/tedious to others will not be a problem for me.
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:37 PM   #143
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Thanks so much for this thread. I've been accepted into Depaul's Masters in Computer Science for fall 2013 and was going back and forth whether to attend. It's been really great to read the experience of someone going through the program themselves. My biggest fear is the price tag and whether the degree would be worth it, but it sunds like you are really learning alot and challenged.
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:03 PM   #144
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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Thanks so much for this thread. I've been accepted into Depaul's Masters in Computer Science for fall 2013 and was going back and forth whether to attend. It's been really great to read the experience of someone going through the program themselves. My biggest fear is the price tag and whether the degree would be worth it, but it sunds like you are really learning alot and challenged.
In regards to the price tag, I wouldn't focus on the full 50k investment. I would focus on the first 10k in the pre-req phase and then re-assess once that phase is over. I would ask yourself "Is this 10k investment worth it to get a solid programming foundation, or could I do just as well on my own?"

In terms of whether the degree is worth it, that will differ for everyone. Write out your reasons for wanting the degree and then go point by point and decide if this degree will accomplish what you want.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:08 PM   #145
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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Originally Posted by Go_Blue View Post
In regards to the price tag, I wouldn't focus on the full 50k investment. I would focus on the first 10k in the pre-req phase and then re-assess once that phase is over. I would ask yourself "Is this 10k investment worth it to get a solid programming foundation, or could I do just as well on my own?"

In terms of whether the degree is worth it, that will differ for everyone. Write out your reasons for wanting the degree and then go point by point and decide if this degree will accomplish what you want.
Thanks this is great advice. I've been thinking along those lines. I can always do the prereq phase and transfer to a less expensive school once I have the solid foundation in programming.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:35 PM   #146
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

My machine programming class is very cool. One of our assignments is to diffuse 6 different phases of a bomb by figuring what the password is for each phase. I'm just amazed that what started out looking like complete gibberish now makes a lot of sense to me.

I got a huge rush from solving phase_2. There's no better feeling than struggling through a problem and eventually solving it.

This is what the assembler code looked like for phase_2:

Code:
Dump of assembler code for function phase_2:
0x08048b44 <phase_2+0>: push   %ebp
0x08048b45 <phase_2+1>: mov    %esp,%ebp
0x08048b47 <phase_2+3>: sub    $0x28,%esp
0x08048b4a <phase_2+6>: lea    -0x1c(%ebp),%eax
0x08048b4d <phase_2+9>: mov    %eax,0x4(%esp)
0x08048b51 <phase_2+13>:        mov    0x8(%ebp),%eax
0x08048b54 <phase_2+16>:        mov    %eax,(%esp)
0x08048b57 <phase_2+19>:        call   0x8048fcc <read_six_numbers>
0x08048b5c <phase_2+24>:        mov    -0x1c(%ebp),%eax
0x08048b5f <phase_2+27>:        cmp    $0x1,%eax
0x08048b62 <phase_2+30>:        je     0x8048b69 <phase_2+37>
0x08048b64 <phase_2+32>:        call   0x8049635 <explode_bomb>
0x08048b69 <phase_2+37>:        movl   $0x1,-0x4(%ebp)
0x08048b70 <phase_2+44>:        jmp    0x8048b99 <phase_2+85>
0x08048b72 <phase_2+46>:        mov    -0x4(%ebp),%eax
0x08048b75 <phase_2+49>:        mov    -0x1c(%ebp,%eax,4),%ecx
0x08048b79 <phase_2+53>:        mov    -0x4(%ebp),%eax
0x08048b7c <phase_2+56>:        sub    $0x1,%eax
0x08048b7f <phase_2+59>:        mov    -0x1c(%ebp,%eax,4),%edx
0x08048b83 <phase_2+63>:        mov    -0x4(%ebp),%eax
0x08048b86 <phase_2+66>:        add    $0x1,%eax
0x08048b89 <phase_2+69>:        imul   %edx,%eax
0x08048b8c <phase_2+72>:        cmp    %eax,%ecx
0x08048b8e <phase_2+74>:        je     0x8048b95 <phase_2+81>
0x08048b90 <phase_2+76>:        call   0x8049635 <explode_bomb>
0x08048b95 <phase_2+81>:        addl   $0x1,-0x4(%ebp)
0x08048b99 <phase_2+85>:        cmpl   $0x5,-0x4(%ebp)
0x08048b9d <phase_2+89>:        jle    0x8048b72 <phase_2+46>
0x08048b9f <phase_2****>:        leave
0x08048ba0 <phase_2+92>:        ret
For those who don't understand assembler, I'd be happy to explain what is happening. Let me know.

Onto phase 3...
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:28 AM   #147
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Yeah loved this kind of stuff. I linked to a pretty cool site you might enjoy in this thread:
http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/19.../#post35395855
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:58 PM   #148
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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For those who don't understand assembler, I'd be happy to explain what is happening. Let me know.
Please, do explain.
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Old 11-02-2012, 05:10 AM   #149
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Have you learned how to use a debugger?
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:07 AM   #150
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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Have you learned how to use a debugger?
If he completed the bomb lab, probably.
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