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Ask HN: Anyone Done Virginia Tech's Online Master of IT?
19 points by alangibson 12 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments
Has anyone done the Virginia Tech Online Master of Information Technology? If so, how did you like it and why did you choose it over others, like Georgia Tech's Online Master of Science Computer Science?

I'm attracted to the interdiciplinary angle of the VT program, but it has less name recognition (I can't even find a single mention in HN search) than some others. Plus, at 30K, it's several times more expensive than the Georgia Tech program.

I'm finishing up my final semester in the program. As with anything, you get out of it what you put in to it. I felt it was possible to get an A in any course with just a surface understanding of the material. However, there is a lot to learn if you put the effort in.

I really enjoyed the courses on Machine Learning (CS 5644) and Social Media analytics (CS 5664). The Computer Fundamentals (ECE 5484) was an interesting course for someone with a non-CS background. The database courses (ACIS 5504, ACIS 5524) were fairly in depth, though it's a very large space to fit in to two courses. The BIT courses were too nontechnical for my liking.

The course Web Development (CS 5244) is good only if you want to learn JSP. The material presented on Javascript is from W3Schools. The course also misses a great opportunity to shine by enforcing the use of a VCS system over the dozen or so iterations of the course project. The program badly needs a course dedicated to front-end web development.

If you expect Coursera quality lectures you'll be disappointed. Expect little more than uploaded videos and pdf downloads. I'm happy with what I've learned from the program, but wish I would have gone with GT and kept the $20k.

Thanks for the info. I expected it to be way more interactive than videos and pdfs.

"If you expect Coursera quality lectures you'll be disappointed." That's frightening because I'm doing a Coursera mini-specialty now and, with a couple of exceptions, I find the lectures seriously unimpressive.

"Javascript is from W3Schools." No, just no.

To clarify, the only Coursera courses I've taken are the algorithm courses by Tim Roughgarden from Stanford. They may be an outlier in quality, but I found them fantastic.

Personally, even without looking at course content, I wouldn't do an online MS in IT course if it costs 30k. That's getting close to the cost of a decent in-campus program. Any reason you cannot do the gatech one?

Honestly, the main reason I'm looking at Virginia Tech is because I've got an unexpected chunk of free time coming up, and I want to get moving soon. The next GATech semester I could get into doesn't start for 10 months.

Ah, I see. Well good luck with whatever you end up doing!

I find it hard to imagine you couldn't get a better ROI from just sitting down with "Cracking the Coding Interview" and tediously completing each exercise.

If I still lived in the USA, I would do this. However, since moving to Austria, I've found that by far the most important thing here is academic credentials. They're still really old school that way. I've watched less experienced, dimmer candidates get picked because they had a better title.

Without more letters next to your name, you hit a wall. Simple as that.

Is cracking the coding interview useful for learning comp sci topics or is it more of a cramming tool for interviews at big tech companies?

I'm looking at a copy of it right now. It's really a cramming tool, but it is good as a jumping off point to see what you need to backfill. See also: geeksforgeeks.org

Yes. Do this first and do the online course while working.

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