Being criticized by some of the commentors here and having my inadequacies pointed out to me isn't doing much to help my self-confidence in a difficult degree program. Every company needs computer scientists. And if you scrape a pass that doesn't mean you can't visit the tougher material at the end a second time, and the early material a third. I already have a master's in mathematics, graduated 14 years ago. A master’s degree in computer science typically takes anywhere from two to three years. If they successfully convince you you're not good enough then you definitely will not succeed, regardless of your skills. I enrolled at my current MSc in computer science program last year having never completed a single computer science course in college. Front-end web development quite frankly is nothing like computer science. As a developer, your 10 years experience is far more valuable than a masters in cs. You aren't getting it because you're out of options, because you've always wanted to learn it or because your job demands it. The difference in $ won't be much by theTimeYouRetireSinceYourAlreadyHalfWayThere, @MNRC: A master in math without a bachelor in math, and given that you were not able to complete "algorithms" class? I think it is understandable that you cannot catch up very fast especially you attend only part time. Panshin's "savage review" of World of Ptavvs. Virginia. One strategy I found works for me, is to just focus on learning stuff; just learn anything that's related to the course. The ranking compares the top computer science schools in the U.S. Read more on how this ranking was calculated. Which game is this six-sided die with two sets of runic-looking plus, minus and empty sides from? He/She would know your situation much better than us. As you likely learned by now, it is possible (quite common, actually) to be a terrific programmer and still struggle with fundamental CS topics, such as algorithms. Typically, the place where this sort of logic is most useful is in the backend not the display layer. What prevents a large company with deep pockets from rebranding my MIT project and killing me off? For a programming job in Scheme, I'd probably look and interview carefully before making a decision between someone with a degree in ancient Greek and Arabic or in Computer Science. I'm a working adult and not a kid anymore, so can't go full-time and ask my parents who are retired to support me through graduate school...Yeah, I'm definitely going to talk to my advisor if I fail this algorithms course... @MNRC What restrictions on time/grades do you have? Here are four steps you can take to help you succeed. I'm sure you won't regret it! This means that when I had my algorithms course (following the same book as your course), I hadn't had any discrete math at all. It sounds like you fell into a couple of common traps at the same time. Admission to the program is highly selective; there are many more qualified applicants than there are places in the program. So I was simply in a better position to accept information delivered in a "mathsy" way, which I think CS courses basically are. The question is, what can you do about it? Learning CS can be daunting and I would guess from what you said your job is that you don't realize a fundamental thing about programming, and that's to make it easier for other programmers. A lot of people here are perfectionists and think you ought to know everything, I've even seen someone here suggesting you should know Lagrangian mechanics, I really don't see the relevance of that at all. Why do most Christians eat pork when Deuteronomy says not to? Do PhD students sometimes abandon their original research idea? Don't worry about 'the age thing', worry about if those people help you understand what's going on or not. It is a completely different and new skill set. in Computer Science Online. They are each assigned a faculty advisor, who reaches out early and often to check in on students’ needs, class schedules, and questions. Earning a degree in computer science takes significant time and effort, but students have many options when it comes to structuring their degree programs. A master’s degree in computer science typically takes anywhere from two to three years. a lack of a background in undergraduate computer science, the fact that I am an older student who is nearly 40, Age probably isn't a major factor. Success requires hours of practicing coding, learning theory, networking, and searching for jobs or co-ops. However, your life being full of other stuff is an obstacle to some extent. I'm a CS major, but I started out as a physics undergrad. Students then progress to an object-oriented programming course, which includes a large-scale project using Java, and one in data structures, algorithms, and computer systems applications. You’ll also need a resume that clearly showcases the skills you can bring to a job. I think first you need to start taking the subject seriously. to decide the ISS should be a zero-g station when the massive negative health and quality of life impacts of zero-g were known? @Mehrdad: it's entirely possible I wouldn't have thought of that as my example if the question had been about a PhD. Earn Your M.S. It is much more theoretical so your 10 years won't count anything. By the second week of classes people had dropped CS and half the class was gone. i'm not saying that's a bad reason, but it certainlt isn't helpful in the motivation category. If you are unable to complete algorithms (which is kinda "math in easy mode"), then you will have a, "I had heard that CS is mostly math" - what is generally meant by that is that math appears in many parts of CS. The answer to this question is “Yes.”. In order to do this I had to start from the ground up and delayed my undergrad graduation to take the prereq classes for the Masters. For someone who despises math, it definitely feels like "awfully much math", for someone who is ok with math, it may be a "math here and there" feeling (though those people will possibly select the more math-heavy specializations and thus re-establish their - not discontent - impression that CS is mostly math). Also, don't worry about asking someone 'super clever' for help - you'll actually be doing them a favour by getting them to explain it to you in a way that you can understand. Here’s how Northeastern supports its computer science graduate students throughout their education.Â. As the longest-operating campus in Northeastern’s network, Boston offers extensive research opportunities for students to explore.Â, “Beginning students are often challenged with imposter syndrome,” Barry says. If you were me would you quit the program? It's helpful to think of the recurrence relation T(n) as the behavior of the problem. This can be hard to understand because the book doesn't give you an exact recipe for this. For example (sorry, no pictures), the subject of 'linked lists' might decompose into: I'd then look at each of these and ask myself "do I know what each of these is?" Who first called natural satellites "moons"? The belief that Computer Science is one of the hardest fields to learn. You have what it takes, you were right in your assumptions that if you can understand math, you can understand computer science. Your master's program is a marathon which the other students have been building up to. Did you know that the computer and information technology field is expected to grow faster than average in the coming years? Two of those courses must be in the same field—such as data science, software engineering, artificial intelligence, or network security systems—to help students develop a specialization within the general program.Â. The recurrence basically says that the problem starts out as n and then becomes two problems of half size, which the algorithm is then applied to (hence the T). I have seen a few programs that say more than 4 years or two grades less than a B and you are out. How is time measured when a player is late? It's hard to beat Stanford University if you want to pursue computer science as a major. Stanford is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Stanford. I used to major in it my first year at a technical college. For your case, I think studying part-time makes sense, but I don't think you should attribute other people's ability to study full time to them having parents that help with the costs. @MR: To be honest when you say "I am good at math/physics" the impression I get is, @kleineg: What I'm trying to say is that in a field like CS, "I am good at math" carries a certain weight and meaning far. First, talk to your advisor. If explanations that work for your colleagues don't work for you then you might consider one-to-one tutoring. “It’s a lot of weekly and daily practice because you’re learning a new skill.” Â, Unlike some degree programs, there is no difference between the full- and part-time programs at Northeastern, Barry says. 7 Business Careers You Can Pursue with a Global Studies Degree. If I were you I would probably be asking the university (a) whether there's anything else I can work towards with the course credits I have, (b) whether there's an approved means to take the program more slowly, giving more time to fill in any missing background as I go. I found it amusing that you mentioned the Master theorem, given the nature of the question (M.Sc.). Through this master's degree program in computer science, you'll take in a holistic view of the latest innovations and trends with studies in advanced modeling and simulation, artificial intelligence, algorithms, database systems, software engineering and design, advanced computer graphics, and more. A good grade point average. It certainly does. A front-end web developer qualifies you for a computer science degree like typing 100 words per minute qualifies you for a typewriter mechanic. Her winding career has taken her from financial services to full-time freelance writing, and she now spends most of her time asking Northeastern professors for crash courses in their areas of expertise. I found that just having other people to talk about stuff with helped me enormously both in improving my understanding and consolidating my knowledge as well as building my confidence. Go back to 20 year old you in undergrad, what would you do then? On the other hand, in PhD computer science programs, they should pay you to go to grad school. For Mergesort the answer is Theta(n log n) which means that the increase in runtime will be a function of the type f(n) = n log n. You compare runtimes by looking at the steepness of the slopes of these functions. Can the automatic damage from the Witch Bolt spell be repeatedly activated using an Order of Scribes wizard's Manifest Mind feature? I don't think people realize how important it is to have self-confidence when trying to achieve something. Whether you take classes part-time or have never coded before, it’s not impossible to get a computer science degree—it just takes hard work and the right resources. Academia Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for academics and those enrolled in higher education. : If you increase the size n of the problem, how much do you increase the runtime? Personally I wouldn't do anything hasty until I'd at least reached the end of the course once. And you certainly deserve kudos for going back for it, not many people have the courage! Computer science is one of the faster-growing industries in the country, as computers and technology continue to evolve. There is a belief that studying Computer Science is very difficult. If you were me would you quit the program? Computer Science Resume - Samples & How to Guide. That's not a bad thing but as others have pointed out, programming is different than CS. You're going because you think it might help you on paper. Some of today’s most in-demand disciplines—ready for you to plug into anytime, anywhere with the Professional Advancement Network. From what I've seen of many web based programming is that there's a lot of backdoor programming going on. Earning a degree in computer science takes significant time and effort, but students have many options when it comes to structuring their degree programs. If you can do it and can explain how it works, then you understand it. Stack Exchange network consists of 176 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers. The graduate version of that course is likely to be the hardest course you have to deal with and the most unfamiliar to your skill set. Students take it in their second year after having had intro to programming. I even see people with very limited math skills pass hard courses. You would talk to your classmates and teacher to get a better understanding. Example: I assume you're familiar with Mergesort. If you're anything like me, you have to some extent forgotten how to operate in the necessary mode, it no longer comes naturally. degree might imply. T(n)=log(n)+O(1) from an algorithm. It's not just the content of the course (most of mathematics is irrelevant to CS), it's the mindset of "being a mathematician" and "doing mathematics formally" that's similar to the formality required in your course, but is mostly absent from everyday apps programming. The M.S. Had to leave a separate answer because I don't have enough rep to put it as a comment on @Lacoppidan's answer. In some cases, a master’s might be the only way to break into a specific field. What/how did you program? If you're in this program because you want to learn more for your own sake, that's great you will get out of it what you put into it. Where a bachelor’s degree is typically around 120 semester credit hours to finish, master’s degrees usually require around 36 semester credit hours to complete the degree. Firstly, you may have not taken into account that master-level CS courses are, well, for students on master-level. Even with an "open book" to look up definitions you don't recall? You need to set your mind to something and just get it done, no matter the effort. Do you just sit there hopelessly but afraid that everyone knows more than you? Use things like dry-running (something that I don't think is taught much these days, but it's still a fantastic tool, particularly for learning DS&A) and/or interactive debugging to step through your execution. Should hardwood floors go all the way to wall under kitchen cabinets? What's the best way for EU citizens to enter the UK if they're worried they might be refused entry at the UK border? Why is a third body needed in the recombination of two hydrogen atoms? Many students, particularly those who do not currently work in tech, choose to study part-time and transition to a full-time schedule before they take on their first co-op.Â, This versatility allows students to balance their jobs, families, and other responsibilities while earning their degrees and advancing their careers.Â, for more information about earning your master’s in computer science. Â. degree in Computer Science is intended as a terminal professional degree and does not lead to the Ph.D. degree. No doubt there's material out there specifically intended for part-time students, that could help you attain and maintain "the zone". One thing I definitely didn't do enough of as an undergrad, was write enough code. degree might imply. At Northeastern, faculty and students collaborate in our more than 30 federally funded research centers, tackling some of the biggest challenges in health, security, and sustainability. Then you WILL succeed :-). I enrolled at my current MSc in computer science program last year having never completed a single computer science course in college. What makes a MSc in Computer Science difficult for someone who has no specific background but 10 years of experience as a programmer? So if you are going to try doing a CS degree, don not make it about getting a degree. Samantha Costanzo Carleton is a reporter and content marketing writer who treats every story like it’s her latest big scoop. Sounds strange, I know, but having to explain something to someone (who may or may not be as clever as you), forces you to understand your subject better; to organise your own thoughts. They assume a strong command of the basics, which, by the sound of it, you lack. The problem is the input to the algorithm and is expressed in terms of n - the size of the problem. I am good at front-end web development, I am surely good at computer science as well. Here is a list of some of these indicators. and Students who complete the MSCS degree may file a letter of intent requesting admission to the Ph.D. program. It's something that I've struggled with many times. What courses should be included as “Course Highlight” in Resume for Master's application? The best approach is to have a study plan with only the essential stuff and not to get overwhelmed by anything else. As a test, take a look now at the harder mathematics and physics problems from the courses you took. If so, how do they cope with it? If so, stop that. He was right! But 10 years is long enough to forget even what you had, quite aside from the fact that what you had was a few courses rather than the syllabus of a mathematics major. “They start off with a two-semester sequence that gives them the foundational skills they would have received through an undergraduate degree.”Â, This accelerated program begins with introductory courses in programming using Python and discrete math theory. That said, I'm confused that you have troubles with algorithms; that's typically the topic that comes most easy to programmers (well, sans the formal analysis). The challenge for the College every year is to select a class from a highly qualified pool. Focus on the stuff that you find interesting. I've known a lot of people getting their BS in CS and they suck at it. Determine how a master’s in computer science aligns with your career aspirations. Now, it's been over a year since my program started (I attend part-time). Is a computer science degree hard? Worrying about succeeding or not will always hold you back. You won't keep up with any amount of effort unless you build some foundations (and you can do that either by taking the undergrad courses you need, or by buying the best CS theory books out there and pushing yourself independently). /* Add your own Mailchimp form style overrides in your site stylesheet or in this style block. If you need to take some graduate level courses at the same time, take some soft subjects like software engineering which will likely be much more familiar to you. “You really want to commit to it,” Barry says. I picked up all these things during my algorithms course. Explore Northeastern’s first international campus in Canada’s high-tech hub. Interesting reflections. They must have thought you could get up to speed. rev 2020.12.2.38097, The best answers are voted up and rise to the top, Academia Stack Exchange works best with JavaScript enabled, Start here for a quick overview of the site, Detailed answers to any questions you might have, Discuss the workings and policies of this site, Learn more about Stack Overflow the company, Learn more about hiring developers or posting ads with us. Doing OK in maths and physics at undergraduate level might have prepared you somewhat for a CS master's (although like everyone says, it's by no means guaranteed to be enough). While computer science doesn’t have a reading list, it has some of the highest contact hours and toughest exams – there’s much more to a computer science degree than people realise. How is the Q and Q' determined the first time in JK flip flop? Learn what hard and soft skills are great to put on your computer science resume. site design / logo © 2020 Stack Exchange Inc; user contributions licensed under cc by-sa. Launch your career today. I don't have a mathematics A level how hard is it to get by? Many choose to complete their degree by studying part-time. “You really want to commit to it,” Barry says. Northeastern offers both a direct-entry master’s in computer science program, designed for students with a background in computer science, and the Align program, which students who are new to computer science complete before entering the traditional master’s track.Â, “Align students come from very diverse backgrounds,” says Meg Barry, director of the Align program. @user3912481 I'll go out on a limb here and say that the master of maths is also not going to go so well without having a math-heavy undergrad under your belt (or having done some serious self-studying). I think the lack of background is a huge factor. I'm certain I couldn't do a master's in mathematics now without going back over undergraduate material first. Each campus features top-tier faculty who are experts in their fields with years of industry experience that informs their teaching. The relation is then solved by either the master theorem or the substitution method or gleaned from drawing a graph of the recursions (recursion tree) and then proved rigorously with the substitution method. This is the answer you're looking for when you construct the recurrence. To subscribe to this RSS feed, copy and paste this URL into your RSS reader. If not, then you're less prepared for CS now than you were then, and like everyone says you weren't fully prepared then. Faculty members understand that their students may be working full time, have different levels of math abilities, and come from diverse industries. A mid-Atlantic state known as the Old Dominion because of its loyalty to the British crown … The master's in computational science and engineering (CSE) develops computer scientists skilled in the use of mathematical techniques for modeling; parallel programming and software development; and organizing, visualizing, and analyzing large data sets. If Jedi weren't allowed to maintain romantic relationships, why is it stressed so much that the Force runs strong in the Skywalker family? This should be where your broader experience comes in; you've got 10 years experience of writing code, so you've no doubt picked up lots of techniques and skills that will help you. It feels like everyone is doing much better than me and can solve problems faster and more accurately. At the undergraduate level, "Data Structures and Algorithms" is typically the weed out course for our department. (I've had classes where just scrapping by is considered an achievment as there is a tramendious failure rate). Students have the opportunity to advance their careers, specialize in emerging technologies and gain analytic and strategic thinking skills. The College looks for compelling reasons to admit candidates, and the statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, test scores and GPA are all reviewed carefully. First, I salute you on your attempts to become a proper programmer ;). To anyone starting graduate school in computer science--never underestimate the importance of recursion! But doesn't everyone go to University for the diploma? To this end, most professors create a scaffolded model within their classes to support students at all levels of experience.Â, In addition to faculty support, students in the Align and direct-entry programs have access to a range of academic resources. 4 Steps to Earning a Master’s in Computer Science for Non-CS Majors 1. Once I was able to understand and (more importantly) correctly apply recursion to everything from Towers of Hanoi to dynamic programming the algorithms course got much easier. If you still cannot do them very well, then consider to quit. Getting a computer science degree from WGU is the first step towards a new future. I had taken several math and physics courses in college and did well, so I figured a computer science degree could be manageable. While the skills in doing detailed calculations for sure have almost completely eroded, I feel that my overall level of conceptual thinking has not diminished. They don't call it that, because they are completely oblivious of late they are to the party. Did you start out your program by taking undergraduate-level CS courses to bring yourself up to speed, or did you dive straight in to graduate-level coursework? CS (the science) and programming (the craft) have little to do with each other (even though either can profit from the other). I had the kind of courses you're talking about, multivariate calculus etc. degree might imply. Stay up to date on our latest posts and university events. If you have not already, I recommend taking the undergraduate discrete math, undergraduate data structures and algorithms, and undergraduate formal languages courses before continuing with the hard subjects in computer science. Oh, one last thing, are you afraid to ask questions being a more senior member of the class? While there are no hard and fast rules that guarantee you have the background and skills required to complete a thesis in Computer Science, there are some indicators. This turned into a much longer answer than I'd intended, but I do hope you find it useful. I'm fairly sure that revisiting that material would take rather more than just the spare time that I have left over after doing a master's in the spare time from my job. I did decent in (undergrad) maths and physics courses, surely those (master) CS courses will be ok. Can you site down and do them now with anything like the ease you did then? 360 Huntington Ave., Boston, Massachusetts 02115 | 617.373.2000 | TTY 617.373.3768 | Emergency Information© 2019  Northeastern University | MyNortheastern. By providing us with your email, you agree to the terms of our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. I used it as a way to fill the gaps in my knowledge, by breaking a topic into its constituent parts, exploring the things I didn't understand and then return to the parent topic while this new knowledge was fresh in my mind. If the latter, then I think that you should first enroll in the necessary undergraduate prerequisite courses. ;) ) - the most valuable resource you have at university are your peers. It's very common for Graduate students arriving from other disciplines or universities that did not cover this well to have trouble with this course. I am mildly confused about where you started with your Masters? What led NASA et al. I can't understand recursive equations like how you construct So as you can see, the recurrence relation is gleaned from looking at the algorithm. You have working experience and if you had just an undergrad could very easily find a job, at this point I don't even think a masters would be worth it even if you can stick it through. How to avoid boats on a mainly oceanic world? True, it may not help you pass your course, but chances are, it will, because when you've got back into the habit of just learning stuff, you'll find it easier to learn the stuff you need to pass. There was one undergraduate course that I repeated (informally: my problems weren't being graded the second time) even after completing it the first time to what would have been a passing standard if my university worked that way (not in the US). I initially struggled hard to connect everything that I had learned/experienced since college to why I was applying to graduate programs in computer science. This usually means that they will pay all your tuition, sometimes the additional fees, and a monthly stipend. I'm not sure if it is: Any thoughts from others in computer science, engineering, and mathematical sciences would be much appreciated. Is a Computer Science degree hard? No other field combines the advancement of science with the creation of practical applications for the market in quite the same way.. Computer Science graduates can have a myriad of careers.,,, “Question closed” notifications experiment results and graduation, MAINTENANCE WARNING: Possible downtime early morning Dec 2, 4, and 9 UTC…. 'Introduction to algorithms' is a very comprehensive book and there's a lot of stuff in there you don't need. Aligning and setting the spacing of unit with their parameter in table. If the runtime is Theta(2^n) then the slope will be extremely steep, and the time it takes to run the algorithm will increase very fast, so the algorithm is said to be very slow. Next: View Schools Created with Sketch. As a rapidly-growing field with more than, predicted by 2028, computer science offers an exciting career path for people who want to use their problem-solving skills in the tech industry. EdD vs. PhD in Education: What’s the Difference? If the answer is 'yes', then I move on, if 'maybe', I check my knowledge against Google, if 'no', then I create a separate sheet and work on it until I do (decomposing further as necessary). I did meet, however, a few that had families (including more than one children to support) and yet were able to study full time, as most get assistantships with stipends. Most students planning to obtain the Ph.D. degree should apply directly for admission to the Ph.D. program. Public Health Careers: What Can You Do With a Master’s Degree? This allows more students to pursue their degrees without having to uproot their existing lives with a move.Â, “There’s a lot of momentum around networking with employers, doing personal projects, and connecting with each other,” Barry says of the campus communities. “They’re both master’s in computer science degrees, so they carry the same weight and reputation.”Â, Students build a general foundation in computer science with classes in programming, algorithms, and theory, and then choose five electives in an area of interest. Yes, neuroplasticity drops as you get older, but all that means is that you need to work harder, know what a linked list is and how it works; or, have a good set of notes that I can quickly use to refresh my memory. It's also one of the few places where a firm understanding of discrete math is going to be very helpful. And finally: don't despair, it might seem very difficult at times, but you'll probably be closer to understanding than you think. Another thing, people seem to take a swing at you for wanting a Master's diploma. To be honest, this sounds like a personal choice and not really heavy on pros and cons that aren't personal. What Are the Top-Paying Cybersecurity Careers? A Best Colleges rank of 6 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Stanford is a great college overall. Now here's the thing for anyone: getting into CS late in the game is hard. No amount of work experience in any field will force you to acquire the (impractical and almost never applied) theory on your own. And write lots of code. Not to mention the video on youtube in which facebook people congratulate themselves on creating a transaction manager that uses queues to serialise concurrent updates. More generally, my advice to anyone starting out in computer science is to figure out what it is you are weak at and work to get stronger in it. I'm already wavering about whether or not I should stay in the program. Plausibility of an Implausible First Contact. #mc_embed_signup{background:#fff; clear:left; font:14px Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; } I'll put in 3-5 hours a day towards the course but preferably i would like to study an hour in the morning and an hour at night. Computer Science is a particularly fascinating field because of its wide variety of applications. I would not assume that you are just "not good enough", and the age shouldn't really be an issue either. Btw, I did take a one year Intro to CS course for students without engineering/math backgrounds, but it mostly focused on object-oriented programming and glossed over recursion. Yes, you'll need your running. Select a Sustainable Career: Employment in all computer occupations is expected to increase by 22 … We offer a variety of resources, including scholarships and assistantships. I have an undergrad degree in Political Science but wanted to pursue a Master's in CS. But man are they still sticking with it (for better or worse, who really knows). I'd hoped to do well this summer, but it looks like if I pass I'd be just barely scraping by. Until you deal with the lack of background I don't think there's any way to tell whether you lack aptitude. The Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) is a research degree. It may open up some new opportunities for back-end work, however if that's your interest the certificate route might be a lot cheaper and faster for you. All the programming I had done in the past was iterative. Further, doing ok in maths and physics is a good indicator that you'll do well in maths and physics, it by no means qualifies you directly for a CS master. Many choose to … This is particularly important for stuff like DS&A - the only way to get really familiar with an algorithm or with things like pointer manipulation, is to do it. I've aced several classes without even showing up for the lectures. Many students, particularly those who do not currently work in tech, choose to study part-time and transition to a full-time schedule before they take on their first co-op. This versatility allows students to balance their jobs, families, and other responsibilities while earning their degrees and advancing their careers.Â, In their commitment to flexibility, Northeastern offers its Align and direct-entry master’s programs at multiple campuses across the U.S., each with its own unique mix of student groups, co-op and internship opportunities, and networking possibilities. Survival guide from someone who's been in your situation. Although presumably if you wanted to be re-graded you'd have to formally enroll in the class yet again? (You might notice then, that the recurrence relations are only applied to recursive algorithms). Earning a degree in computer science takes significant time and effort, but students have many options when it comes to structuring their degree programs. You seem very flip-floppy MNRC. Here are some ways to master how to earn your degree in this growing field. Learn more about Northeastern University graduate programs. I would like to know how hard Computer Science will be. If I, like you, had asked people whether I should quit because I had zero knowledge of graphs and trees prior to taking the course, I would probably have received discouraging comments as you do now. This indicates that you have basic academic skills. Computer science is so sought-after on certain college campuses that students like Aafia Ahmad, a sophomore and computer science major at the University … Frequently the solution is to have them audit the undergraduate course first. With optimistic growth projections and high salaries, it’s hard to find a more promising field than computer science. reports that there more than 475,000 open computing jobs nationwide (as of January 2019), and less than 50,000 computer science students graduated into the workforce last year. You probably should take lower level courses (probably undergrad level) to refresh the knowledge you acquired 10 years ago. Your goals also seem to be out of whack, doing it more for the title than for the experience learned. I certainly know I do, I could learn every bit of this stuff on my own by just reading the books and looking online. Use of nous when moi is used in the subject. No, it does not at all save you from training like the others. The more code you write and have to debug, the better you'll get to understanding what's going on. Where to continue my research-oriented studies after Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science? Is an MS in computer science helpful in improving programming skills? A very good tool for me was to watch the lectures on algorithms and datastructures from the MIT opencourseware. A thesis and final examination (thesis defense) are required. Fortunately, most master’s degree programs in computer science can be completed in much less time than it takes to finish a bachelor’s degree. By focusing on just learning you'll get much more out of the time you put in and you'll be more satisfied with what you've learnt. Whether you have a technical or non-technical background, here’s what you need to know. Sometimes, being. One of my CS instructors told us "To look around the classroom and by the second week you won't see half of your classmates." Computer Science is very hard. You're very welcome. Computing and IT, As a rapidly-growing field with more than 550,000 new jobs predicted by 2028, computer science offers an exciting career path for people who want to use their problem-solving skills in the tech industry. If you don't, then focusing on management relevant courses like software engineering may be interesting to you. Even if you think you understand it, test yourself with other students to make sure your understanding is solid! Advisors track students’ progress throughout their early studies and recommend tutoring, meetings with teachers’ assistants, and follow-up meetings to promote a smooth transition to the traditional master’s program.Â, Thanks to the robust resources available in many computer science programs, anyone can earn an advanced degree in this field.Â, “There’s a place for so many different kinds of people in tech,” Barry says. @MNRC I've never met an MS in CS student in a top 25 program in the US that was supported by his/her parents. @user3912481 Undergraduate CS typically consists of ~2 years of rigorous theory and ~6 months of practice. Thank you, your answer has been the most supportive (and realistic) one here! Nobody but you can tell whether you should quit, but given the information, I would re-evaluate whether (a) a master is achievable for you, and (b) whether getting a master's degree is actually worth it for you. I find this statement very concerning, as it seems you are more interested in getting a degree than in learning CS. Also, while the coursework for algorithms is fairly well defined, not all books are equal. It definitely sounds like you are lacking background, and the fact that you are doing the master part-time surely isn't helping either. (Georgetown Center on Education). This is a combination of multiple fallacies I have seen. “We work with them on maintaining their confidence because it might not be easy to develop these skills right off the bat.”Â, Northeastern’s extensive faculty and academic support resources are essential in helping students build this confidence, particularly in the Align program. The third technique I found really helpful is mind-mapping. Industry Advice Getting a, can be the perfect way to gain the other skills you’ll need to advance.Â, , designed for students with a background in computer science, and the, , which students who are new to computer science complete before entering the traditional master’s track.Â, take the class in object-oriented programming instead of an introduction to programming course as part of their bridge to the traditional master’s program but graduate with the same degree.Â, A master’s degree in computer science typically takes anywhere from. Only then are you in a situation to judge whether the effort is feasible/possible for you and worth it. Many concepts in my basic algorithms course requires a good grasp of recursion, which I didn't have before entering the program. I would add that, I am surprised that at least some of this was not already discussed during your enrollment into the Masters program with your advisor. [I] figured it would be great to have a degree so as to look like a more legitimate programmer than what my anthropology B.A. With the algorithm Mergesort you take the problem n and divide it into two equally large problems (you can tell from looking at the algorithm). Proof techniques from discrete math helps you understand the correctness and runtime complexity of an algorithm. I'm sure you know from your real-world experience, that being 'good' and 'clever' isn't enough - you have to be able to communicate your ideas to others and work collaboratively, because interesting software is non-trivial and non-trivial software is too big & complex for one person to do on their own. I decided to apply because 10 years after college I had a fairly successful career as a front-end web developer and figured it would be great to have a degree so as to look like a more legitimate programmer than what my anthropology B.A. Check with your professors whether you've done the sorts of things they think you would have to do to prepare, and whether that preparation is feasible on your schedule. Find out the steps you need to take to apply to your desired program. Part of the reason I was much better at mathematics 15 years ago than I am now, is that 15 years ago I did it every day, usually for several hours. I recommend So, my #1 tip to anyone undertaking a university-level course is: find people on your course(s) that you get along with and build relationships with them around the work. Tips for Taking Online Classes: 8 Strategies for Success. Because everyone knows it to be a prerequisite. The O(n) expresses the linear cost it takes to merge the two problems together once they have been solved (because we know this is performed by the subroutine Merge). I'm not sure if it is a lack of a background in undergraduate computer science, the fact that I am an older student who is nearly 40, or a lack of aptitude for this subject. They don't know more than you and quite possibly don't get it even worse. These problems are half the size of the original problem, so you get a recurrence that says. It also explains a great deal about the database structures I see in the wild and the foolish enthusiasm for "post" relational databases (shouldn't it be "pre"?). Not having a background in computer science shouldn’t deter you from pursuing a master’s degree in the field, Hescott says. This step is not recursive, as it is performed after the problem has "come back" from being recursively solved. For a programming job, a CS degree is of somewhat marginal value. It's more, is it really worth the effort for you at the end of the day? Another strategy is to write more code. You can find average salaries for popular courses according to sex, Canadian city, and top companies, below. There may have been a time when programming was really applied algorithms, but today the skills required to write your average web application is relatively disjoint from what you learn in CS 101. I think your best source of information is whoever decided you were qualified for the course. Computer Science is a difficult field to study and learn for a number of reasons. A master’s degree in CS typically involves the standard data structure, algorithms and computer architecture curriculum (albeit at a deeper level than you might get as an undergrad), plus a specialty in some area, such as machine learning. Students who are particularly interested in research, however, may want to consider studying at Northeastern’s flagship campus in Boston. "A CS degree makes me (look like) a legitimate programmer" -- that might be the core fallacy right there. Read for the sheer hell of it! Thanks also for the explanation of recurrence equations--it helped a lot! If that is the case, you should seriously reconsider whether the degree is actually worth the trouble. I know what I need to know, I just applied to the master because I need a better degree. “It’s a lot of weekly and daily practice because you’re learning a new skill.” Â, Unlike some degree programs, there is no difference between the full- and part-time programs at Northeastern, Barry says. The discrete math helps you understand the data structures. There are several degrees in computer science including Bachelor of Science (BS / BSc) in Computer Science, Master of Computer Science (MCS), and Master of Applied Computer Science (MACS) degrees. If you want to work in your current profession, you might not even be able to put it to much use. If you do this already then good for you, but if not, you might just be surprised about where you actually stand in the class. Getting a master’s degree in computer science can be the perfect way to gain the other skills you’ll need to advance.Â, For many professionals, however, pursuing a degree in computer science can feel like a daunting endeavor. EDIT: It's been 7 months since I posted this and I've realized the problem. Frankly, for most programming houses I am in contact with, 10 years of experience count for more than a master's degree anyway. Students who don’t already have a computer science background may feel the added stress of learning a completely new skillset.Â, A comprehensive and supportive computer science degree program can provide the right framework for students of any background. The Best Colleges for Computer Science ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. I wish some people would try to imagine themselves in someone else's shoes first before putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). In-Demand Biotechnology Careers Shaping Our Future, The Benefits of Online Learning: 7 Advantages of Online Degrees, How to Write a Statement of Purpose for Graduate School, Online Learning Tips, Strategies & Advice, How to Stay Updated on Regulatory Changes, 360 Huntington Ave., Boston, Massachusetts 02115. This is not a physics course. “Companies are attracted to having students who can think about problem-solving in a new way.”Â, No matter your background, Northeastern provides comprehensive support throughout your education. Chances are that the former is so much better at thinking analytically and out of the box and not being scared of challenges that coming from an entirely different discipline is causing him less trouble than being schooled in a different programming language paradigm does the other. That's like "I had heard that basketball is mostly running, so was under the (mistaken) impression that doing well in running means doing well in basketball". Second, I want to scotch some of the BS that other's have written: It smells to me like you've got two separate things working against you: Part-time is ++hard (see what I did there? All in all, that does not make for very favorable conditions. If I know one thing, then that a master in math is much harder than a CS master. Which of the four inner planets has the strongest magnetic field, Mars, Mercury, Venus, or Earth? I decided to apply because 10 years after college I had a fairly successful career as a front-end web developer and figured it would be great to have a degree so as to look like a more legitimate programmer than what my anthropology B.A. */. You've seen some of this course twice, but some of it not at all (since you dropped it the first time and haven't reached the end this time). Also ensure you are familiar with resources available for mature students, and don't let your age interfere from working / studying with your class mates when appropriate. I rehearsed every single proof in the syllabus (mine was an oral exam). In your shoes I would either stick it through and do my best or forget the masters and just get an undergrad in CS. "it's very possible to work in front end web development without encountering [data structures and algorithms" -- maybe that's why so many web "applications" are hogging CPU like there's no tomorrow?. If you're in this program for career advancement, this degree might help you land management level positions but will have little or no effect on your ability to find developer level positions for frontend work. We recommend moving this block and the preceding CSS link to the HEAD of your HTML file. Is it weird to have a one-year, master's level “general studies” program? But here's my experience as someone in similar shoes. Age shouldn't inherently be a problem, since people take degrees in all subjects at all ages. Thus, when you are accepted, they will usually offer you some form of financial package. Popular Degrees in Computer Science. Having a strong undergraduate background in computer … I did a PhD in theoretical physics 12 years ago and my experience is a bit mixed. You’ll work with expert faculty, network with like-minded peers, and benefit from the university’s strong partnerships with tech companies around the world.Â, Download our ebook here for more information about earning your master’s in computer science. Â, Computer science professionals see an average $30,000 salary increase after earning a master's degree. An online Master in Computer Science program is a virtual learning experience that results in an advanced degree. Naturally that's extremely expensive, but if the class hears "and then throw the Master theorem at it" and knows what that means and how to fill in the details, and you don't, then clearly they have background you don't and so you need things filled in that they don't. I want the diploma as hard proof of my quantitative skills, and so do you, nothing wrong with that. I think you're getting many discouraging comments here which doesn't help you a lot. Seriously. Before quitting, it might be worth checking what it would take to start for real. If you were me would you quit the program? Use them! “There are opportunities to be a leader and connect with your peers.”Â, From an academic standpoint, students can generally expect the same experience no matter where they study. This is a valid observation, but it doesn’t explain behaviors on the margin. Plus receive relevant career tips and grad school advice. It only takes a minute to sign up. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Service. You have had no experience whereas others have had ample (as so many are coming from either being self taught or seeing it in high school). A master's degree in computer science is a great way to start or advance a career, and it can also provide an educational foundation for future studies. Of course mathematics isn't the same as CS, but I think the same consideration would apply. While learning Computer Science is challenging, it’s not impossible. If you’re drawn to the idea of working in tech, now is a great time to start asking questions about what it would look like to actually earn a degree in technology. Computer science is hard. I don't know what type of exam you're up against, but I suggest you narrow down the syllabus as much as possible, and concentrate only on what you're supposed to know that will get you to pass. Students also participate in online seminars, workshops, and other programs to prepare for co-ops and their job search.Â, Align students benefit from a comprehensive academic standing program in addition to these resources. I dropped a core class in basic algorithms in my first semester because I couldn't understand algorithms and decided to enroll in the same course offered this summer. As it happens, I got a perfect score for the course because I studied hard at exactly what the exam demanded. As for whether you should continue, If you find that after some experience you are interested in "data structures and algorithms" and "formal languages and automata", then a theory focused computer science degree may be interesting to you.