OT: Masters in Computer Science for $6K from top 10 program

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Submitted by livinincali on September 4, 2013 - 8:00am

Do you think this will work and/or drive the price of universities down? Seems like it has some potential, finally getting credit for a MOOCs at a reasonable cost.


Submitted by barnaby33 on September 7, 2013 - 9:37am.

I think it will do so much more when our society de-couples a college education from the college experience.

I had this discussion with a co-worker today about this very subject:

Exactly…so you’re a certification customer. Finding an online CS master’s shouldn’t be too hard. But you know, if you want to teach at the end of your career…just wait and get a doctorate. You’ll be supported by any decent department, can consult to supplement income if necessary, and can then get a wonderful teaching job. Of course, if you want to learn NOW I totally understand the impulse J

From: Josh
Sent: Wednesday, September 04, 2013 11:17 AM

My interest isn't so much in the network effect as in teaching JC at the end of my career and a masters is required. UC Palomar probably wouldn't demand one from Harvard/MIT/Carnegie Mellon. I signed up the mailing list to follow what is happening. If there are other similar programs that others know of, I'd like to hear about them.

From: Troy

As a former academic whose life partner is a tenured professor at Towson (Maryland State, for you non-locals), I’ve been following this issue with some interest.

How this stuff gets priced is fascinating. Most traditional Ivy MBAs cost so much because their signaling and network effects are so valuable. In fact, a traditional Harvard MBA is probably underpriced, all things considered…it’s just that it would probably be too difficult for the target market to arrange to pay much more.

For an online degree, realistically the signaling and network effects are much less valuable and so the degree focuses on skill acquisition. All that’s really valuable is certification, so that’s why Tech is charging $7000 and so many others are just putting the material out there for free. In this way, they protect and even strengthen the value of the traditional degree, while cutting off a lot of potential disruptors before they can get started.

From: Josh

As to graduation rates, they will always be lower where all the motivation has to come from within. One of the things that helped me get my undergrad degree in CS was the shared suffering with others. I also went to a really cheap public school.

Many schools allow you to take courses online, but to be able to get your masters in CS, so affordably is in my opinion quite the breakthrough. I was looking at a masters program 7 years ago. It too was mostly online. It was prestigious, but 60k. This looks like it would have the payback to actually be worthwhile.

From: Chad

I heard on NPR that Rice University is offering up theirs for free. I vaguely remember some of the stats – something like over 90,000 students applied to the computer programming Moocs and about 3-5% finish.

IMHO, it makes me think that even if a lot of great educations are going up online for free that the fiscal attachment will always drive students to completion. But seriously, if I had the time, I would study all these courses.

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