Joe42424
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Hi all

I am looking to do one of the online computer science degrees which are now available. I graduated from Oxford in an arts subject some years ago and now work as an auditor but want to pursue my passion in computing.

I work full time so campus study is not an option.

The new online BSc offered by UoL (Goldsmiths) is appealing because it sounds pretty comprehensive in terms of course content. Less appealing is the fact that it takes six years part time, and also the fact that Goldmsiths’ rankings for this subject are relatively low (around 68th in the UK, with poor graduate graduate prospects according to one list).

Much more highly ranked unis (Bath and York) offer online MScs which can be completed in 2-3 years part time. The course content seems less interesting than on the bsc, with fewer programming modules and no dedicated maths modules. I guess this comes with the territory of 180 credit courses versus 360. These masters programmes do not generally have exams, but seem to be assessed by coursework/dissertation.

Does anybody have any knowledge of these courses? What is the quality of teaching like? How would job prospects compare for graduates of these degrees? Would online MScs allow entry to “real” (non conversion) masters or PhD programmes?

Any idea on how employers would view the goldsmiths BSc versus Bath/York MSc?

Any help from current/former students or those with experience of the job market would be most appreciated.

Cheers

Joe
Last edited by Joe42424; 1 year ago
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winterscoming
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I have no experience of any of those courses or universities, but as someone who been working as a software engineer for having been self-taught (started a degree but had no need to finish it), I'd suggest you focus on the skills you'll be learning and don't worry about things like the reputation of the university or the qualification/certificate at the end - in around 95% of cases, it'll be those skills which will actually get you a job.

The reputation of the university is an indicator of things like the quality of the course and the teaching, but if you're doing distance learning then that kind of thing is much less important since you're not going to be in any lectures/seminars/workshops/etc - you probably won't have much contact with the teaching staff and you'll need to use the internet a lot more for self-help. The internet is a goldmine filled with a massive quantity of learning resources anyway. For example, you can get some excellent quality material for free from top universities like Harvard and MIT:
https://online-learning.harvard.edu/...mputer-science
https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electric...puter-science/
(Not all of them are free, but a lot of them are - all the free ones usually have the whole lot available on the edX website, including full lecture videos, reading material, assignments, etc. You can ignore any of the 'paid' certificate options on EdX/Coursera by auditing a course).

There's also Udacity, which has some free material, and also some paid-for courses from top tech companies and top universities. (they also offer "nanodegrees" in various technical subjects)

The majority of employers are more than happy to hire people into technical IT jobs who have never studied the subject formally at university or in any other setting whenever it's clear to the employer that they have a candidate who has put a lot of effort into self-teaching and that they clearly possess the necessary analytical, technical and problem-solving skills. Realistically there are a lot of people working in all kinds of IT fields who started out being self-taught then progressed through their career off the back of that. Typically, being self-taught can feel more difficult than learning on a course; it's less structured and involves investing time building up at least one or two large, non-trivial showcase projects hosted on sites like GitHub to practice as well as demonstrate technical ability - particularly for jobs related to software engineering/programming.

For jobs related to networking/security/cloud, it's important to have industry-recognised certification from Cisco/CompTIA/Oracle/Microsoft/Amazon/etc. (you won't be able to get those for free, but they're not really too expensive either). Actually, cloud certification from either Microsoft (Azure) or Amazon (AWS) is generally valuable.


Online learning for computer science, especially when you've got sites like EdX, Coursera and Udacity available means that you should be able to learn everything that an online degree would teach you (and StackExchange/StackOverflow are a goldmine too), while also being able to choose the modules that are relevant to the kind of work you'd like to do (or just those that interest you), without needing to pay for any of it, but also being able to complete the whole lot in a much shorter period of time (Obviously depending how many hours per week you have to dedicate to it). As a "rule of thumb" you'd be looking at a couple of thousand hours of solid, focused learning in total, because that's roughly equivalent to the amount of time that most graduates have probably spent learning at university.
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Joe42424
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Thanks for the detailed reply winteriscoming, that's interesting. It sounds like it's perfectly possible to get developer jobs without formal qualifications, so I should probably give that more consideration.

However I would like at least the option of doing a PhD later. Does anyone know whether that is possible, particularly with the conversion MScs?
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levibad11
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imagine have a art degree














beta alert
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elideli
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@levibad11 What a miserable human being you are...

@Joe42424 A conversion MSc in Computer Science does allow you to apply for a PhD. I'm starting the online MSc at York in April if you have any question.
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Joe42424
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Hi elideli - thanks, it would be great to hear how you get on (I am considering it for September), so may pm you over summer. Good luck!
(Original post by elideli)
@levibad11 What a miserable human being you are...

@Joe42424 A conversion MSc in Computer Science does allow you to apply for a PhD. I'm starting the online MSc at York in April if you have any question.
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reyjusuf
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In Coursera, Illinois and Arizona State offer online Masters of Computer Science. You might want to look into it.
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RMG2020
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I have exactly the same questions.I have an offer for Bath York and goldsmiths and have the same question about content. Love the coursera content from London too. What did you decide in the end?Any advice?I'm starting one of the JanuaryThanks
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*tj_nova*
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The online MSc from York is absolute trash. I've completed 4 modules, but dropped the course because it is so bloody awful. If I were in the UK (I'm in Canada) I would sue the University of York for breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation due to how poor both the materials and quality of instruction were. So, yeah, don't do that one.

With your degree from Oxford I would recommend applying to one of the better American online programs, such as Penn or GeorgiaTech.

My impression of UK universities now is that anything outside of Oxbridge is garbage, so I wouldn't consider any of the other UK offerings either, but as you can see my opinion is somewhat biased by my experience with York, because it was a total waste of time and money.
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Alexiya1
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Web designing takes about 3 days to learn.

You get a book from a bookstore and hunker down and learn it.

Ask ANYONE.

It's not rocket science.

Computer science will actually land you a job.

Ask any math or science student at a college- they know web design.

Know that computer science is not a walk in the park.

Are you smart enough? Did you ever take programming classes in high school?

There is a reason salaries start out at 50K a year for programmers.

Vs, web designers that struggle to find jobs that pay 20 K a year. And now I work at https://danavero.com/
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Supersaiyan12345
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Hi,I am currently studying the BSc in Computer Science (online) at Goldsmiths, uni of London. I previously have multiple degrees and I must say, I am really enjoying the course. I was a part of the first cohort of students and I have been on the course for over a year. Don’t waste your time with those conversion Masters degrees. I know a few people that have done them, and they are not good. You just won’t cover enough and it will only cover things at a high level. Even though I previously have technical degrees, I have learnt a lot. All of the students chat to eat other on slack channels, and everyone is great. I highly recommend it.
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Shaf--^_^
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(Original post by *tj_nova*)
The online MSc from York is absolute trash. I've completed 4 modules, but dropped the course because it is so bloody awful. If I were in the UK (I'm in Canada) I would sue the University of York for breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation due to how poor both the materials and quality of instruction were. So, yeah, don't do that one.

With your degree from Oxford I would recommend applying to one of the better American online programs, such as Penn or GeorgiaTech.

My impression of UK universities now is that anything outside of Oxbridge is garbage, so I wouldn't consider any of the other UK offerings either, but as you can see my opinion is somewhat biased by my experience with York, because it was a total waste of time and money.
Hi, I’m withdrawing my application from University of York based on the poor reviews (including your comments) from the main York MSc CS with Data Analytics thread.

At the moment I’m thinking of applying to Arizona State, University of Texas at Austin and I have already spoken to the Team at University of Bath.

If you don’t mind me asking, what are your plans now, are you able to use those credits from York University towards a Masters with a different University?

Cheers,

Shaf
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*tj_nova*
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(Original post by Shaf--^_^)
Hi, I’m withdrawing my application from University of York based on the poor reviews (including your comments) from the main York MSc CS with Data Analytics thread.

At the moment I’m thinking of applying to Arizona State, University of Texas at Austin and I have already spoken to the Team at University of Bath.

If you don’t mind me asking, what are your plans now, are you able to use those credits from York University towards a Masters with a different University?

Cheers,

Shaf
I've been admitted to the Master of Applied Data Science at the University of Michigan. However, the tuition costs is quite high and I am struggling to find funding. I will likely end up applying to the Analytics program at GeorgiaTech for January. It's almost as highly ranked as UMich and the tuition is very reasonable (about $10K US I think). I rather doubt any of my York credits will transfer.

I think you made a very wise decision to pass on York. U of T Austin is one of the best public schools in the US. AZ would probably be good too, but I'd go for UM, UT or GeorgiaTech before I'd go there. I have only heard things anecdotally about Bath's program, but I do have a friend that did a totally different Master's there and loved it.
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carlosmart101
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(Original post by Supersaiyan12345)
Hi,I am currently studying the BSc in Computer Science (online) at Goldsmiths, uni of London. I previously have multiple degrees and I must say, I am really enjoying the course. I was a part of the first cohort of students and I have been on the course for over a year. Don’t waste your time with those conversion Masters degrees. I know a few people that have done them, and they are not good. You just won’t cover enough and it will only cover things at a high level. Even though I previously have technical degrees, I have learnt a lot. All of the students chat to eat other on slack channels, and everyone is great. I highly recommend it.
Hello. Is it possible for you to share the slack channel of the BSc in Computer Science (online) at Goldsmiths, University of London? Thank you very much.
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