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I dropped out of MIT and started a new college in San Francisco, AMA (reddit.com)
68 points by DesaiAshu 21 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 74 comments

For anyone considering this, please know that it would be cheaper in the end to go to an excellent California community college and transfer and pay two years tuition vs. giving up 20% of your income for 5 years or paying $70K.

Anyone who seriously considers this doesn't know how much cheaper alternatives are.

You can graduate with an associates from a community college pretty much anywhere in the country (United States) for $5000. If you're so broke you'd need an income sharing agreement you likely qualify for a Pell Grant so really your associate's would be free.

Let's say you do poorly and can only get into the easiest public university in your state. Using California as an example, UC Merced is about $15K a year. So it would cost you $35K to get a legit bachelors in computer science from UC Merced vs. $70K from a no name. The only way Make School would be cheaper is if 20% of the sum if your income for 5 years is less than $35K. Needless to say that's unlikely.

EDIT: And this is to say nothing of the fact that you can actually take other classes other than computer science and live a more well rounded life.

We actually have a lot of transfers from community colleges, and they're eligible to graduate faster / reduce their tuition burden.

I fully agree that the 2 years of community college + 2 years of UC is one of the most cost effective ways to earn your degree. Though given that 2 years of UCLA (where I went to school) would cost ~$30k in tuition and that you have 2 more years of salary if you graduate from Make School, it ends up being comparable on an ROI basis.

These types of educational programs seem just as a way to tap into Americans' propensity for acquiring debt now with the hopes of a financial payout later. It still seems like the much better deal is with a traditional university, particularly in California where you're talking about the UC and CSU systems.

I'm from the very same demographic, to a T, you claim to be targeting. I've been working long enough in tech that, looking back, there's no way I -- in good conscience -- recommend your program over a traditional university's to others who come from a similar background.

But if you don't make the financial payout, you don't pay for your education or hold obligation to pay or take a hit to your credit. With our tuition model, downside protection is baked into the contract, unlike at the UC system.

I understand your gut reaction, most new colleges have not optimized for student welfare. But it's not fair to bucket us into those when the whole point of creating this college was to build a systemic solutions to exactly those problems.

For the same level of quality and hands-on-ness? Even at more expensive places the quality and one-to-one with professors/teachers is not what it could be. I only assume at places with less at risk the drive to excel (and for teachers to be very one-on-one) is rare

I would argue that someone who would sufficiently take advantage of the "hands-on-ness" of Make School would do well enough in community college to transfer into a much better school, e.g. Berkeley or UCLA. Though, I would argue that education is more about what you take out of it than what is given, but that's another discussion.

The whole point of Make School is to skip the absurdity of a 4-year institution, rerouting that 4 years might be more affordable, but that's like getting a Toyota instead of a Tesla, no? Even a Berkeley PhD doesn't guarantee you a good paying job, whereas Make School only takes a cut when you get decently paid.

I'm sorry, but I don't understand the point you're trying to make. It seems like you're saying you don't like a 4-year program. If that's the case, why even go with Make School? There are boot-camps that are 1 year. Heck, you could just use MIT OpenCourseware and teach yourself everything in 6 months and get a job hypothetically speaking.

In any case, you can get an associates much faster than 2 years if desired - you can do it in 1 year if you take courses during the winter and summer semesters. Then if you transfer to a school that's willing to accept your extra credits you can get a bachelors in the same amount of time as Make School.

An associates degree doesn't offer the same level of education as what Make School offers.

Make School has a fully accredited bachelor's degree, through a collaboration with Dominican college, and it does it in 2-2.5 years.

> you can get a bachelors in the same amount of time as Make School.

But make school is also a bachelors degree...

There's a reason that the majority of student loan debt in the US is from for profit colleges [1].

They are predatory, ill-regulated, and unstable. ITT Tech, WGU, and those all algorithmicly target audiences that are likely to get approved for Federal student loans: veterans, single-mothers, first-in-family to go to college. They get them approved for these loans and the funds go directly to the school whether they graduate or not. There's a very interesting chapter on this in the book "Weapons of Math Destruction." Don't believe their non-sense ads about being the future of education, the incentives just don't align. Go to local community or state public schools if private is not affordable. Either way, both public and private are not-for-profit.

[1] https://phys.org/news/2019-06-for-profit-america-student-deb...

Nothing in your cited article provides proof for the claim that majority of student loan debt is from for-profit colleges. Is this even true? 1.5 trillion of student loan debt, and the bulk comes from University of Phoenix and the like?

Doesn't seem plausible, especially after your linked article claims that University of Phoenix spent 400,000 a day on Google in 2012. Their source? A Reuters article that used SpyFu as its source.

This rabbit hole is insane -- is there any true information out there any more?

Here's some real statistics, and there is a relatively small difference between public colleges and private for-profit ones.

80.3% of public college students received aid in 2016-2017, with an average loan amount of $6584.

85.2% of private for-profit college students received aid in 2016-2017, with an average loan amount of $8048.


WGU is nonprofit. I also can't find anything suggesting they are predatory, ill-regulated, or unstable. I also can't find anything suggesting that their students have high debt levels.

Also, unlike ITT Tech and similar schools, WGU is regionally accredited. ITT Tech and the like, if accredited, are usually nationally accredited. That can be confusing, because in most fields national accreditation would be the best, but for colleges the regional accreditation is the one that counts. Check the accreditation of nearly any top school (UC, Stanford, Harvard, MIT, Caltech, and so on) and it is regional, not national.

A couple years ago, the US Department of Education's Federal Student Aid office did ask WGU to repay a bunch of loans, ruling that WGU's distance learning did not meet interaction requirements between faculty and students to be eligible. That was later reversed, with the government concluding that the rules at the time were unclear in regard to distance learning in WGU has been trying to follow them in good faith. The government clarified the rules, and determined that WGU did in fact meet them, and the loans stood.

I don't see how you can put them in the same category as ITT Tech.

Yeah, I apologize for WGU, meant GCU though they changed last year.

WGU is a regionally accredited non-for-profit institution. I am first in my family to attend and complete college. Started in a state university in 95, and dropped out due to costs then and the ability to start earning in the IT field.

WGU offered me the ability to complete my degree and it was not easy, it was however affordable and accredited. I get you have beef with the current system, I think we all do. Speaking for myself, it worked well.

My apologies on WGU, I meant Grand Canyon University. Though, GCU apparently transitioned to non-profit last year. Wonder how transitioning actually changes things.

A few things to clarify here:

1. The degree is granted by a non-profit institution, Dominican University. The for-profit Public Benefit Corporation Make School, is currently providing services to the non-profit institution to run the program. It's also regionally accredited by WASC (far stricter guidelines) rather than nationally accredited like typical for-profits.

2. In contrast to typical for-profits, our students are predominantly 18-25 years old. They are choosing between Make School and traditional universities.

3. In contrast to typical for-profits, our incentives are directly aligned with students. As you state, existing for-profits targeted students to get approved for federal student loans. Our students don't take federal student loans, and they don't pay tuition unless they make >$60k per year. Their tuition is also scaled with their salary.

It's reasonable to discuss the merits of this vs state schools vs non-profit private colleges. It's hard to claim it's a scam when you're completely protected on the downside.

What's the maximum tuition? Your website claims 20% gross income for 5 years, so if a new grad is making $195k/yr like you claim on the site, the full amount owed will be almost $200k or does this income garnishment end after a certain amount.

There's a 2.5x cap, so max is $175k.

Our site should say $95k average not $195k, which page are you seeing $195k?

Ah, the page that says $190k refers to 2 years worth of income, not $190k/yr. We're fixing that now!

It seems it's another "bootcamp" like initiative trying to make a quick buck by treating computer science education as a trade. Naturally, people who end up going to these programs end up working on web stuff or mobile apps. Maybe there's demand for this kind of work, but what people may not realize is that it's also diluting the value of people with a proper engineering education.

If a proper engineering education can't compete or find a niche against people with a tradesman-style education, what's the value that a proper engineer education (or people who have one) brings to the table? What's the benefit in holding people back because they didn't go to school as long as you if they can do the job sufficiently well?

You have a point tbh. There are simply way more jobs for people to do simple web programming and making UIs that are essentially just DB interfaces for people who can't write SQL statements. It's boring, but it can still be hugely profitable for small/medium sized business who do everything with Excel or by hand currently. These businesses often have a huge need for relatively simple automation tasks. And they simply don't need someone who can write that in C++21 with intrinsics for absolute maximum performance - because even a badly written php script on a normal desktop PC chews through the few thousand database entries they have in 150 ms. But of course a human would need days for that, if not weeks.

Do you get payed significantly more if you're in some sort of super high performance or embedded field and you constantly need to re-invent the wheel to squeeze out every bit of latency you can, plus you can spend an hour on every line of code to make sure it absolutely never fails, ever? Or if you're working as what is almost more of a mathematician on ground breaking ML algorithms? Sure. But there are also way less jobs like that. Also if everyone had the education for those jobs, it'd probably not be a healthy industry anymore.

I think we also need to get away from the idea that the only reason there are people excelling at squeezing every bit of latency out of an embedded system is because they went to a 4-year school. There are so many people who go get an associates because their career isn't going anywhere. So they go get a bachelor's because their career isn't going anywhere. Then they go get an MBA because their career isn't going anywhere. And then they're posting on LinkedIn looking for better offers, covered in debt, and think we should make degrees appear to be a costless decision. A degree doesn't change your personality, and sometimes that's the problem. We think too highly of degrees in too broad a context and think degrees === qualifications.

But most employers don't care about having a "proper engineer". They want someone who knows $LATEST_HOT_FRAMEWORK which a trades education can provide.

I've been in the trade professionally for 30 years. In only one interview have I been asked about how I would design something or (Linux) computer fundamentals. Every other interview was about how well I knew a specific technology.

Well that's my point: I'm usually asked design questions, so it's a good thing (or it's the cause) that I have an engineering-focused degree.

But for other jobs, if people can learn how to make business applications like it's a trade, and it eliminates unreasonable costs and even eliminates a bunch of biases, how is that bad? There's no reason for me to try and compete head-to-head for those jobs. It's a different niche.

Software engineering for a large portion of open positions is a trade, it's not computer science. Bootcamps make a lot of sense (when done well). Trying to pass off "web stuff" or "mobile apps" as work that is beneath someone with a "proper engineering education" is extremely elitist and just ridiculous. What the market is showing is that to get a developer who can contribute and make meaningful additions to add value to the company and codebase, a computer science degree is not a requirement. This has always been the case, there have always been people who self studied and got jobs. It largely depends on how motivated you are to pick up new things.

A traditional cs education is still a great thing that holds a lot of value. What you learn there will give you a leg up when trying to learn new things throughout your career and if you just go to a bootcamp, you'll probably want to study a lot of those concepts in your career.

Comp sci grads need to get off their high horse if they believe what you say. You're not special. What you learned can be learned by a lot of people and it is. It's not a wall gardened career of "nerds" who are separate and unique to the rest of the population.

What Make School seems to be offering is a career focused education that is done at a accelerated pace. I'm not saying it competes with a top cs education, but with the many colleges and universities where people don't focus as much and don't have to apply themselves that hard. What I saw (and did) at school was not work that hard and get along just fine with the coursework I was given. Even when I started pushing myself harder, the school work just wasn't that hard. It wasn't until I went to a bootcamp, surrounded by students who were actually really interested in learning and being there, was I pushed as a student.

Sure, there are a lot of bootcamps that do not turn out good students. Many of them have turned into cash grabs and it shows as there students can't get jobs and the schools are going under. But that does not mean all of them are bad and all the schools were useless. There are bootcamp grads at probably every company you can think of, contributing in a broad spectrum of languages across all ranges of products. People who are interested in learning and willing to push themselves will succeed (given circumstances) and bootcamps were just a way to get started.

Your perspective highlights one of the biggest false choices of traditional education - that you can either get a well rounded education or learn vocational skills (but not both).

124 units that make up an accredited bachelors degree is a LOT of time to learn, and you can divide this across a mix of modern technologies, computer science theory and "proper engineering", liberal arts courses, and soft skills.

Just because we have some courses that help you get a day one job doesn't make us a trade school.

A lot more on this, and our origins here - https://www.makeschool.com/vision

Also, it's worth considering that the negative perspectives on more vocational focused institutions are propagating classism in the US.

In many countries in Europe, it's common to go to a vocational school for undergrad then a research university for grad school. The system is built for mobility.

In the US, you're tracked at age 18 (largely based on what you accomplished at age 16), locked into that system, and more or less judged for life. It's not particularly surprising that so many Americans detest well-educated coastal elites.

Isn't more the opposite? In Europe (well at least Germany, Europe is big) don't students get split up between a vocational track and university track pretty early in their educations? Even going to different kinds of high schools. Then for the university track people education is free but few vocational trackers end up going to university at all?

Students in the US can only go in the institutions that admit them, but the vast majority of students can get admitted to their state school and get a decent degree.

I agree tradesman are looked down upon by degreed workers, but thats more based around having/not having an education, not the pipeline that leads people there. (Also money talks in the US, and plenty of tradespeople make way more than those with useless degrees, and therefore end up with a good social standing later in life)


What people miss is that the value of education isn't the job you get right after college, it's the job you get 10 to 15 years after college. A good education gives you fundamental knowledge to can leverage your whole life.

Let's check back in with these trade programs in a few years and see how their people are doing then.

To be clear, this is not a trade program. A bachelors degree is required (and screened by accreditors) to have a broad based education encompassing liberal arts and theoretical education.

> is that it's also diluting the value of people with a proper engineering education.

Ehh, so what? CS majors are rich. I don't particularly care if their value is diluted a bit.

Some bits of this are interesting. The numbers on the accelerated program seem unrealistically ambitious though. In the Q&A, they say they teach a fully accredited 124-credit-hour degree in 2-2.5 yrs. That seems pretty difficult, at least under the official accreditation standards!

A standardized definition most accreditation agencies have settled on for a "credit-hour" is approximately 45 hours of work total (so e.g. a 3-credit course requires 135 hours over the semester). Originally that came from an assumption that an N-credit class met for N hours a week, plus 2N hours of homework per week, for a 14-week semester plus a 15th exam or final-project week. But any split is ok under current standards as long as it adds up to about the same (different semester lengths, no-lecture classes purely based on videos, fully in-person lab-style classes, etc.). Either way though, a 124-credit-hour degree would end up at around 5580 hours of work. To do it in 2 calendar years, you'd need to average 54 hours/wk, with no vacations. Not physically impossible, but...

According to their FAQ their accreditation seems to be some sort of "incubation program". https://www.makeschool.com/computer-science-degree/faq

It seems like much of what I would call fundamental in a CS degree is integrated into projects in their curriculum. I mean I get that they call it "applied" but a CS major with a data science specialization that doesn't seem to have dedicated statistics courses for example? I'm really wondering what kind of graduate that produces.

Aside: Is this weird income share agreement model common in the US at this point?

Edit: found a seemingly non-ad interview on the accreditation and incubation period https://www.wscuc.org/news/wscuc-incubation-policy-supports

> Aside: Is this weird income share agreement model common in the US at this point?

No, rather radical, and a key point of this school.

What is common in the US is debilitating levels of student debt upon graduation.

edit: typoos

WASC (which accredits Stanford, UC Berkeley, etc) approved the 2 and 2.5 year degree plans totaling 124 credit hours. It's do-able, just took some creative problem solving :)

We don't have a traditional summer break, so that's a big part. And we have course material that enables students to get credit during their internship or first job (which some students will do after completing all other courses).

> We don't have a traditional summer break, so that's a big part.

My personal feelings on the curriculum aside, the website and sentences like this make it seem like an intense program. How do you avoid producing a bunch of burnt out at 23 interns / handle mental health of your students? I see you're hiring counselors through Angellist, is that an integral part of the organisation?

I mean, at top tech schools, lots of students do similar levels of work load.

The program might be "intense" compared to the average college students workload, but I doubt it is outside the norm of someone taking a difficult degree at a good college.

The syllabus details the hours involved: https://github.com/Make-School-Courses/CS-1.2-How-Data-Struc...

This one claims: Total Seat Hours: 37.5 hours, Total Out-of-Class Hours: 75 hours in 7 weeks to completion.

First many students start collage with a significant number of AP credits. So, I think it’s more 124/8 in 2.5 years.

Second, I pulled 23 credit hours at a regular collage in a normal semester. Keeping that pace for 2 years without break would have caused burnout, but 20 credit semesters * 5 + 12 over summer break * 2 = 124 in 2.5 years.

Thus, doing this at a normal collage is viable assuming schedules work out.

PS: I kind of felt like a slacker at the time because a friend was pulling 18, while keeping a full time job.

> I pulled 23 credit hours at a regular collage in a normal semester.

Good for you. But that's not "viable" for most students in the first place – 18 is probably pushing it.

No need to design a school for most students. Many people regularly pull 18 credit hours with a job. If they don’t need to work a meaningless job then bumping that to 20 seems extremely reasonable.

Really, an elite admittance process coupled with a school that focuses on getting people out quickly vs ramping up course difficult seems like a viable tradeoff. The biggest issue with early graduation is often a few rare required classes. Design the schedule to avid that issue and you have a huge advantage.

I agree it's definitely possible for some students. There are students who finish standard 4-year CS degrees ahead of schedule by taking overloads every semester (which sounds like your case), even at programs considered rigorous. But designing a normal/median path is different thing than saying a handful of top students can breeze through this faster than normal. If you just took the current UT-Austin CS curriculum but made 21-credit-hour semesters standard so you could advertise it as a 3-year time-to-completion, I'm pretty sure it'd be a mess, with some students finishing faster, but also a big spike in dropout/failure rates.

So engineering colleges no longer tell incoming freshmen "look to your right, look to your left - only one of you three will be here four years from now"?

I think he answered with his take on the reddit thread. He thinks that current universities don't push the students far enough and this workload is similar to what they will experience in their first job. Seemed convincing to me.

You probably missed out on a lot of drinking and sporting events.

I don't know, feels like an airline trying to differentiate itself. It feels just like any other random university, maybe worse because the name sounds like a bootcamp. and it kinda feels like it is anyway. I would take the founder's former university (MIT) any day over "Make School" lol.

Based on reputation it's tough for us to compete for students who are considering MIT, Stanford, or Ivy's. We have a few students who transfer from those schools because they want a more hands on education, but it's not the norm.

Our outcomes set us apart from the next tier of universities. Average starting salary is north of $100k (on par or higher than any other CS degree) with strong placements at name brand companies. Unlike top universities with comparable outcomes, we draw from a much more diverse socio-economic range.

We have struggled with the name a bit. On one hand we like that it sounds much more humble than trying to pick a "prestigious" sounding university name (and we don't like the ego involved with naming it after a person), but on the other many people don't grok that it's a proper college on first glance. Sticking with it for now...

I feel like MIT wouldn’t be MIT if it was named Maker School

Just like Stripe and dev/payments

Also, idk AFAIK the prestige is built upon exclusion + top notch research + beautiful place

When you don’t have that, it’s hard to sell someone on “a more hands on experience and same salary prospects” imo

But it’s probably me, I’m such a school snob

IIRC the degrees are awarded by the Dominican University of California, not by Make School.

Your comment about 'any other random university' just highlights the time and effort required to build up name recognition and a reputation.

Any new institution, regardless of merit, would face the same challenge, unless it had a famous name attached (e.g. Gates, Musk, Grove).

"Any new institution, regardless of merit, would face the same challenge"

This! It's proving to be a LOT harder to build reputation in this world than it is for most startups. Higher Ed brands are societally entrenched in a way that some people define their entire social hierarchy around it (which we don't feel is particularly progressive of a worldview). This is partly why there's been limited pressure to innovate in higher ed, in order to build a new school you first need a lot of capital, then work to get accredited, then build a strong reputation. Some of the strongest barriers to entry of any industry.

I think if you ask: “How much money does it take to go from zero to high repute in 5 years?”. There is one data point: Olin College of Engineering, half a billion dollars.

I’d be interested in hearing if you looked at the Olin model and what you learned from that.

We definitely look to them as inspiration! We've read a decent amount of how they were started. It's more or less the only new prestigious institution founded in the last 50 years. A lot of their classroom pedagogy also aligns with the direction we've been going, more project based and applied. And they've done a great job of sharing learnings back out to other institutions.

They sit more squarely in the research university category, whereas we're closer to a teaching college (where faculty are dedicated to students rather than publishing research). And it's been a capital intensive way to build a college, since they build out a big campus, research facilities, etc.

We've been meaning to build a closer relationship with them to share learnings on the education side, good reminder to reconnect with the folks we know there :)

Reminds me of my alma matter, South Harmon Institute of Technology.

Watching Accepted all those years ago, would anyone have guessed that within the next decade Jonah Hill would be twice Academy nominated for dramatic work? That's motivational, anything is possible.

$70K for 2 years? No, thanks.

Community college for 2 years ~ 20-25K tuition, then "learning your heart out" for those 2 years and transfer to a proper university with scholarship seems far more plausible to me.

Classical CS education with high standards is a proper way to go, otherwise you'll spend first 10 years your programming career "wishing you had known that before", and you might never step into the depth of career, especially into ML/AI field, without that prior knowledge of the theory.

Actually, such "new kind of school" done better is https://www.42.fr

Talking with my 7+ years of software/data engineering experience, last couple of years spent in DS{ML/DL}.

Scholarships for traditional universities are pretty hard to get unless you have really strong academics. And generally the odds are stacked against you to go to a top tier university if you're coming from a low income background.

Keep in mind that if you graduate from Make School in 2-2.5 years, you'll start earning earlier. So the ROI on the $70k is really strong!

Research Universities are definitely the way to go if you want to go into the research focused ML/AI side of things. We're being explicit that this is an Applied CS degree for that reason. But for most tech careers the traditional CS degrees aren't as relevant, including for Data Science jobs (we have a few recent alums making north of $150k as Data Scientists). And you can always go back for a masters if you feel you need it.

Have you visited 42 or been through their curriculum? What parts do you feel are better?

The description confuses innovation with effectiveness:

> The tech industry was rapidly evolving and yet college curriculum was frozen in time. My high school CS teacher had been more innovative in offering a project-based education than my MIT professors were.

Project-based learning isn't new. What makes it valuable is that it works -- in particular, at developing skills useful for work and life more than lecture-based and other mainstream university pedagogy for most fields.

"Project-based learning isn't new."

This! Research has shown it's more effective for 50 years or so, but few educational environments have adopted it (except for Montessori schools, some charter schools, and new age private schools like the one we went to). It's ironic that most of this research originates in universities, and then somehow it doesn't make it across campus...

Our high school teachers (Jeremy and I went to school together) were pretty progressive and innovative in the ways they taught, and the types of projects they had us undertake - but yes, project-based on it's own isn't a new innovation.

On hands-on versus math, how do you approach finding the magic balance?

For context: Let's agree that MIT and Olin are both great engineering schools. One former coworker of mine is a senior Mech E who graduated from MIT, who once said something along the lines: "I've never hired an MIT grad who could not do the math, but sometimes they needed to learn good bench skills on the job. I've never hired an Olin grad who didn't hit the ground running in the lab on day 1, but sometimes they hit resistance with the math." So even with four years and a demanding pace, it is still hard to do both well. What grounds your thinking on this topic?

Good question! We're definitely leaning stronger on the hands on right now, but are looking to build out more on the math side. Our Dean actually has a PhD in Applied Math rather than CS, so it's in our wheelhouse. It's probably still going to feel closer to Olin than MIT.

You're right that it's impossible to do both at sufficient depth. Ideally we offer students flexibility to push in the direction they want to go. Eventually we'll be working with students who want to go deeper in AI/ML, or potentially other computational STEM fields - they may need stronger math. While others may want to stay closer to product development.

Either way, it's most important to equip students with the mindset and resources to keep learning. Learning should not stop in college, there's no concrete reason why either the math or bench skills can't be picked up later in life - apart from societal bias that tells us to stop learning.

I notice some comments about likely astroturfing on the post. I'm curious, what are Hacker News's opinions on it? Is it just a necessary evil of using the platform, or a plague that should be fought against?

I've been helping PM the AMA on our side. We've had multiple team members support answering the questions but I explicitly asked people not to ask questions.

We have a lot of students and alumni who see these posts and want to be supportive, so usually there end up being comments or questions that feel canned or overly enthusiastic. Not much we can do here :)

I understand. I'm not bashing you or saying it is definitely astroturfing, I was just curious on how other people here view it. Many users on this site are very pragmatic, others are idealistic. That dichotomy leads to interesting conversations sometimes.

What's interesting about this school: Entire curriculum is open not hidden, ability to get a real regionally accredited degree in just 2 years, no up front tuition

What's bad about this school: Almost entirely web frameworks, the algorithms slides are way too brief, heavily relies on Hackerank type resources, not to mention possible mistakes in the slides, like describing 'THE upper bound' when you can find another upper bound. No math so gradschool is going to be difficult. Entirely imperative/OOP. Edit: You will owe them $100k https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18548001 and it's not clear on their site if there's a maximum level of gross income deduction

Still can't beat that 2 years to official Bachelor's piece of paper for no up front costs

We're starting to build out more math and deeper on algorithms, particularly for people who want to go the AI/ML route or grad school. Currently if you're keen on grad school it's probably better to go to a well ranked research university.

On average you'll pay $100k, but it's a sliding scale based on your income so we ensure it's affordable / there is downside protection. Given that you have 2 more years of earning than a traditional university you'll usually come out well ahead.

Kinda off-topic, but an interesting comment in response to a particularly engaging thread:

"Usually AMA subjects ignore questions that aren't softballs. Props to you for actually going through and answering. Thanks!"

Yeah, that's a really low bar. And sums up why I stopped paying attention to AMAs a while back. It's mostly just fluff and PR with an occassional Snoop Dogg gem.

I attend the summer academy (bootcamp) for iOS Development a few years ago. I was thinking about going to the full program but I don't care for web development nor iOS development. I hope they add a DevOps track because I think there's a lot of people like myself who enjoy building systems/standing up servers but not strictly programming per se.

Nice to hear from you and thanks for the feedback. I'll share this with our Dean and instructional team as they consider more specializations to add!

I think I have a somewhat unpopular and romantic opinion: a tertiary education is important not only for what you can learn in regular classes (or the prospects this learning may give you), but the knowledge you can gain outside of them if you are interested in doing so. I studied at a fairly big public university in the third world, not very special by any standards, but the experience of being inside an academic center, with access to people from a myriad of backgrounds studying very different disciplines opened my mind irrevocably. And, I believe, made me a much better engineer.

I recognise that very few people have an opportunity like the one I had and a two year degree with an extreme focus is more suitable for some folks, mainly because of the absurd tuition costs in the US (I studied for free). But it seems the concept of the university serving as a knowledge hub is fading away and giving way to a hyper capitalistic vision where only your future paychecks matter thanks to a kind of social anxiety.

Ask a teen

Congrats! Wondering if you are considering an online component? Model I am thinking of is something like Qwiklabs which provides hands on cloud training, on real world data and infra. It appears they are generating serious revenue at the scale of 10,000s trainees ;)


We're not considering an online only program, though we are making more and more of our resources available online for free.

For a full degree program - given that it takes 2-2.5 years of full time work to complete - it's not super feasible to expect people to get through it without a strong social learning environment.

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