Observations of Starting Graduate School (September 18, 2010)

Posted: September 18, 2010 by Mike Hubbartt in Academia
Tags: , , , , ,

By Mike Hubbartt, © Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved.

It’s Fall and school finally started. I’m enrolled in the St. Thomas GPS (Graduate Programs in Software) program, where I’m working on my MS in SE (Software Engineering) degree. I have wanted to go to grad school for a long time and this economy made this an easy decision. I feel that advanced degrees, undergrad as well as graduate level, will be necessary to stand out from the crowd of developers in the near future.  Most of the recruiters I’ve spoken with agreed and were enthusiastic I made this career move.

I am enrolled in two classes: Software Engineering, taught by Dr. Chih Lai, and Web Design, taught by Marius Tegomoh. I’ve been to one Software Engineering class and two Web Design classes so far and I’m loving it. The St. Thomas campus and facilities are very nice, the staff seem very polite and considerate, and the chance to finally study computer science at the graduate level is fantastic. Several of the professors have mentioned that there are opportunities to do research projects, which has a lot of appeal but something I’ll postpone until at least one year in school. I am interested in researching the fastest way to transport large quantities of data via the internet, so I have a good reason to try to excel in all of my DB courses.

The first night of class was for my Web Design class, and the room was packed. There were computers for the students to use and the lecture was interesting to me, even though I’ve been working with the web since the mid-1990s. It is always fun to learn how to use new tools to do development and this class promises to be interesting for students of all levels of internet experience. The second day of class was for the Software Engineering class, and it too was packed. The material is so appropriate for people working as developers in the industry, and I had no problem following along as I’d read ahead. One thing Dr. Lai required for SE was that we sign up for a Twitter account, which I’ve never used. I already have 2 blogs plus I’m working on a new website with a friend, so I just don’t have the time to spare on something else, but I went ahead and signed up. I’ll try to write about the experience in this blog over the course of the semester.

What about your education experience? Did you take some college classes, complete your undergrad degree, take some grad school classes, complete a graduate degree, or none of the above? Do you think it would help or harm your career? If you’re considering grad school, look at those with programs for working students, because you can go to school while working and raising a family.

That’s all for now.

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