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Old 02-20-2015, 02:50 AM   #426
Barrin6
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Yea when I saw @djsensei it got me confused. It's a name I haven't seen in a long time. I don't know where he is now a days or if he's even active here anymore.
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:40 PM   #427
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

This thread has been a valuable resource. It's been rather interesting starting from the opening post and watching your career transition occur nearly in real time over the years.

I'm currently in my own quandary. I work at a govt position but am very much interested in a career change of my own. My bachelors is in a completely unrelated humanities field, so as you once did, I'm considering either going the BS or MS route for compsci. Both routes have significant ups and downs.

I'm finding that most schools in my state (CA) don't allow for second bachelors. That leaves me with a very limited pool of state schools and a single ranked school (UCI), the latter which seems to be selective with 2nd Baccs.

The MS route would require a lot of pre-reqs. And then you have that pesky GRE. Most people seem to be recommending the former route as it would allow for general education unit transferring and be more gentle for those without STEM BSes. But you seem to apparently be doing quite well for yourself by having gone this route!
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Old 03-01-2015, 09:21 PM   #428
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

I am done in 2 1/2 weeks, then I never have to read this thread again!!!

No but srsly, cant wait. Hope you are still chugging along go_blue
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Old 03-01-2015, 10:14 PM   #429
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

jackcode,

If you finish all the lower prereqs at a local community college, UCI will accept you for a second bachelors easily. I would suggest scheduling a time to talk to a counselor to see what your chances are like.
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Old 03-01-2015, 11:28 PM   #430
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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jackcode,

If you finish all the lower prereqs at a local community college, UCI will accept you for a second bachelors easily. I would suggest scheduling a time to talk to a counselor to see what your chances are like.
Sounds good. A few questions:

What kind of chances are we looking at? Assuming I apply early around November and have a 3.6 GPA from my humanities degree, am I looking in pretty good shape?

Do I need to have all my pre-reqs done before the application deadline November 2015) or is it by September 2016 which is when it was due for the incoming fall 2015 class?

Will my completion of pre-reqs affect my chances?

How the hell do I get letters of recs from my undergrad when I've been out of undergrad for 10 years?
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Old 03-02-2015, 12:25 AM   #431
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

More information can be found here
http://www.ics.uci.edu/ugrad/degrees...cs.php#general

As you can see, if you aren't a former UCI alum, you can only apply for fall admissions.

It be hard to apply by November 2015 since you need your prereqs done before they can review your applications.

I don't think the GPA matters as much as the grades that you get for completing the prereqs for the computer science degree. The minimal to transfer in is Calc 1 & 2 and two CS courses. If you do that, you will come into UCI with 3 more years to go. On the other hand if you go through and complete all the preqreqs you can come in with just two years to go.

As for letter of reqs, you could just get them from the community college professors there after you take their classes. I find them more approachable since it's a smaller class.

I would recommend taking a few classes at your local community college to see if continuing education, whether masters or bachelors is a right choice for you. You might decide that UCI won't be the best choice because of their timing of applications, however you can leverage those courses you taken to apply for other master programs.
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Old 03-02-2015, 12:37 AM   #432
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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Originally Posted by Barrin6 View Post
More information can be found here
http://www.ics.uci.edu/ugrad/degrees...cs.php#general

As you can see, if you aren't a former UCI alum, you can only apply for fall admissions.

It be hard to apply by November 2015 since you need your prereqs done before they can review your applications.

I don't think the GPA matters as much as the grades that you get for completing the prereqs for the computer science degree. The minimal to transfer in is Calc 1 & 2 and two CS courses. If you do that, you will come into UCI with 3 more years to go. On the other hand if you go through and complete all the preqreqs you can come in with just two years to go.

As for letter of reqs, you could just get them from the community college professors there after you take their classes. I find them more approachable since it's a smaller class.

I would recommend taking a few classes at your local community college to see if continuing education, whether masters or bachelors is a right choice for you. You might decide that UCI won't be the best choice because of their timing of applications, however you can leverage those courses you taken to apply for other master programs.
Oh man, that's a lot to take into consideration.

If I'm understanding it correctly, it's more realistic for me to aim for fall 2017 (yikes!). I can take a few beginner courses during the late spring and summer sessions and use those courses to get a better handle on whether programming or web development is for me. It's gonna be tricky trying to get a better handle on what I'm getting myself into using only city college, so it's probably best if I look into online courses, even ones that aren't guaranteed to get me transferable units.

Assuming I decide programming is for me, I should probably take the fall 2015 quarter and subsequent quarters seriously and start aiming for top grades in the pre-reqs. I should be able to get all the pre-reqs done by fall 2017.

One person recommended Coursera. But the problem I is many of those courses simply aren't really recognized. Plus I'm probably going to have to talk to an admissions counselor at UCI to see which courses transfer from say, Fullerton College.

EDIT:

The only two courses I can currently fit into my shedule are Computer Information Systems with a great prof and Python Programming with a prof who's known for being not so great.

Python seems to be more relevant to my interests, but I'm always open to a beginner's course like CIS exposing me to other fields.

Last edited by jackcode; 03-02-2015 at 12:48 AM.
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Old 03-02-2015, 01:07 AM   #433
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Check out assist.org
Depending on where you are located, it might be best to look at other programs. If you just want web development, I would recommend a bootcamp in SF
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Old 03-02-2015, 01:24 AM   #434
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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Check out assist.org
Depending on where you are located, it might be best to look at other programs. If you just want web development, I would recommend a bootcamp in SF
I dunno too much about bootcamps. Aren't they pretty selective with who they take? I seem to recall others in this thread reporting that they had to have prior examples of programming experience on hand ready to show the interviewer.

I've used Assist to nail down the required courses. I'm really going to have to plan things a year in advance and make sure I'm registered for some of the courses the quarter they're ready. What I'm a bit worried about is the math. I did Calculus AB and BC in high school. But I'm 100% sure that I'm going to be unprepared for whatever higher level Calc courses are required. I may have to start from the bare basics again and see about having the required knowledge for Math 2A and 2B.
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Old 03-02-2015, 02:30 AM   #435
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Yea some of the good bootcamps are selective. If you really just want to do web dev, then I wouldn't go through the school route. Instead I would just self-study, build a couple of websites and apply for the bootcamps.

If that's not your thing and you want to be more well rounded, then you will need to brush up on your math. Right now I find that math takes up more time than me programming. Though oddly, I'm finding that I really like math. If you already taken Calculus in high school, you should be fine after a bit of self study. Just buy a calculus book old edition for $12 and go through the problems. Find the solutions manual somewhere online and compare your answers. Any problems, you will just have to use google or some math forums.

I last took pre-calc honors in high school many years ago. Bought a pre-calc for dummies book and did some problems there. Then signed up for an online course for pre-calc and then another online calc 1 course. I would not recommend the online calc 1 course since it was watered down and did not prep me well for calc 2. Which is why I am doing some catch up work right now for calc 2.
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Old 03-02-2015, 05:28 AM   #436
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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Originally Posted by Barrin6 View Post
Yea some of the good bootcamps are selective. If you really just want to do web dev, then I wouldn't go through the school route. Instead I would just self-study, build a couple of websites and apply for the bootcamps.

If that's not your thing and you want to be more well rounded, then you will need to brush up on your math. Right now I find that math takes up more time than me programming. Though oddly, I'm finding that I really like math. If you already taken Calculus in high school, you should be fine after a bit of self study. Just buy a calculus book old edition for $12 and go through the problems. Find the solutions manual somewhere online and compare your answers. Any problems, you will just have to use google or some math forums.

I last took pre-calc honors in high school many years ago. Bought a pre-calc for dummies book and did some problems there. Then signed up for an online course for pre-calc and then another online calc 1 course. I would not recommend the online calc 1 course since it was watered down and did not prep me well for calc 2. Which is why I am doing some catch up work right now for calc 2.

Looks like I have a lot of prep work to do to get caught up on math.

Final question:

So say I plan to apply at around October 2016. That leaves me just over a year to get my pre-reqs done. Should I plan on getting all my math courses in first while working and quit my job (assuming I've 100% committed myself) to finish out whatever's needed in the last 2-3 semesters? I can see it being very time-consuming to finish out all my math by then as I'll have to go over all the fundamentals from scratch.

After applications and before matriculation at whatever uni I end up at, I can always save on future tuition by taking more courses.
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Old 03-02-2015, 01:42 PM   #437
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Here's how I would do it if I was in your shoes assuming working full time and taking part time classes.

Summer 2015:
pre-calc
Java Programming 1 or Python

Fall 2015 - You will need 3 in order to get the prereqs done in time.
Calc 1
Python 1 or Java Programming
Software Engineering or some other CS prereq course

Spring 2016
Calc 2
C++ 1

Fall 2016 Apply during this time since you have minimal prereqs to apply
C++ 2
some other CS course

Spring 2017
Data Structures
Some other CS Course

Summer 2017
Linear Algebra (optional)

By then you should have enough to transfer in with 2 more years to go. You should be able to do this while working full time. Assuming you work the normal 40-hr week. It will suck though.
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Old 03-02-2015, 11:21 PM   #438
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrin6 View Post
Here's how I would do it if I was in your shoes assuming working full time and taking part time classes.

Summer 2015:
pre-calc
Java Programming 1 or Python

Fall 2015 - You will need 3 in order to get the prereqs done in time.
Calc 1
Python 1 or Java Programming
Software Engineering or some other CS prereq course

Spring 2016
Calc 2
C++ 1

Fall 2016 Apply during this time since you have minimal prereqs to apply
C++ 2
some other CS course

Spring 2017
Data Structures
Some other CS Course

Summer 2017
Linear Algebra (optional)

By then you should have enough to transfer in with 2 more years to go. You should be able to do this while working full time. Assuming you work the normal 40-hr week. It will suck though.
Dude, wish this site had a rep system. You've been awesome!

I'll def keep this schedule in mind. I'll probably have to keep an eye on at least 3 different city colleges in my area for class availability.

We'll probably find out if I'm still committed to this path within a few months. If I'm not crying my tears out over the difficulty that is math or programming, it'll be a good start.

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Old 03-03-2015, 12:36 AM   #439
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

No problem! Just make sure to keep us updated. And as always, make sure to look into other schools as well. You might find something that fits your goals better than UCI.
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Old 03-03-2015, 01:20 AM   #440
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Minor issue I've run into is that the Python course that's available at my local city college and about to start in 2-3 weeks for some odd reason isn't showing as transferable to UCI. I think I may be best off hitting the books fast and hard and making as much progress as I can toward getting to pre-calc level before summer rolls around. I've got a couple of months, might as well make the best of it.

Probably hunt down some cheap books on amazon, focus on nailing Algebra 1 & 2 and at least getting started on pre-calc, then take the city college placement test come summer to qualify for a pre-calc class. Not the worst place to be in.

Last edited by jackcode; 03-03-2015 at 01:36 AM.
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Old 03-03-2015, 02:48 AM   #441
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

BTW, I noticed that the city colleges I'm looking at for taking my courses aren't always consistent in offering certain courses each semester. Sometimes they offer Math 150 (Precalc) and other times they won't. Are any units I take at another city college able to be substituted, or do I need to take them all at one school?
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Old 03-03-2015, 03:51 AM   #442
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

That depends on school policy but I don't see why pre-calc at one community college would not satisfy the requirements for calc 1 at another school.

But then again, really depends on the school's policy.
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Old 03-03-2015, 05:43 PM   #443
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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Originally Posted by PJo336 View Post
I am done in 2 1/2 weeks, then I never have to read this thread again!!!

No but srsly, cant wait. Hope you are still chugging along go_blue
haha i think checking this thread daily has become an addiction for me--i'm screwed. It would be interesting to see what path this thread would have taken if I had never mentioned the school I chose to attend.

I am still chugging along! I've taken a hiatus from Depaul, but will likely finish sooner or later. Congratulations on graduating!
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Old 03-07-2015, 03:49 PM   #444
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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BTW, I noticed that the city colleges I'm looking at for taking my courses aren't always consistent in offering certain courses each semester. Sometimes they offer Math 150 (Precalc) and other times they won't. Are any units I take at another city college able to be substituted, or do I need to take them all at one school?
Check with the school you're interested in going to. One I was looking at had a whole list online of local community colleges and what the equivalent transfer courses were.
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Old 05-19-2015, 04:32 AM   #445
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

This thread is amazing!!! and helpful!!! I couldn't even stop myself from reading the whole 30 pages!
I'm now actually in the same place as op three years ago. The only difference guess is I have no working experience at all except internships and I want to stay in the west coast. I'm now in OR doing my master's in history and trying to apply for PSU's CS program after graduation. Does anyone happen to know this program and how the IT job market of Portland look like? I know there are intel and several other companies, but still worry about finding a proper job with a BS from PSU. I really want to make sure I won't waste my money since I can't work full time, the cost would be a huge burden.
I also did some research on colleges in CA, but didn't see any schools providing similar program that allow students to take pre-reqs after admission. Seems I have to finish all pre-reqs in community college before I can apply for BS programs. Anyone here looked into possible programs in CA?
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Old 05-20-2015, 12:23 AM   #446
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Not sure what program you are looking for in California but most programs expect you take some of not all the lower prereqs in CS from a community college. Not only is it cheaper for you but it also allows the universities a chance to gauge whether or not you are fully committed.

You should look into Cal states if you are looking for second bs or masters in CS since the requirements are pretty low. I know OSU has an online program as well.
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Old 05-20-2015, 12:47 PM   #447
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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Does anyone happen to know this program and how the IT job market of Portland look like? I know there are intel and several other companies, but still worry about finding a proper job with a BS from PSU.
If you have the programming skills and know how to market yourself, there will be plenty of job opportunities available in Portland or any other major city. But first you have to develop those skills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sybilibili View Post
I really want to make sure I won't waste my money since I can't work full time, the cost would be a huge burden.
That's a valid concern. In addition to the financial cost, you should also consider the large time investment that's required. Are you sure you even like programming? I'd suggest spending a few hundred hours teaching yourself to code before even considering a masters or second bachelors in computer science.

If you play your cards right, you can even get a job after a few hundred hours of self-study. Then you'd save yourself thousands of dollars and a couple years.
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Old 05-20-2015, 05:20 PM   #448
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

"Know how to market yourself" - what is this referring to? Good Resume/Projects/Github?
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:18 AM   #449
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

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"Know how to market yourself" - what is this referring to? Good Resume/Projects/Github?
I was mainly talking about solid interview skills, resume, etc. But yeah, projects can be a huge help in marketing yourself as well.
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Old 06-02-2015, 10:45 PM   #450
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Re: Masters In Comp Sci With No Prior Experience

Heisenbugs are by far the most tilting thing about programming
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