Hi! Thank you very much for your detailed and honest response. This is extremely helpful, and exactly the sort of questions I should be thinking about.
I estimated my work experience at 2 years on my CMU app, but its really sort of hard to estimate. I worked 30ish hours a week throughout all of my undergrad (at nonprofits and then at my current company as an intern) as a graphic designer and in communications. I've now been working as a front-end developer and UI designer for one year on an Agile team.
1. I think of my portfolio as pretty developed, but perhaps I've been overly optimistic. I will PM the link to you if you don't mind. But the timeframe is absolutely something to think about. I plan on working at my current company remotely and attending CMU part-time, so I would actually be doing a minimum of two years either way, unless I change my mind. I've been thinking of it as an advantage that CMU is a shorter program, because it means I'll be making a salary again sooner. However the portfolio development is certainly a factor.
2. In regards to curriculum, I meant that I think I will enjoy my education significantly more at CMU. I hadn't put a lot of thought into how recruiters would regard the curriculum. Again, I'm potentially being overly optimistic-- I should be thinking more long-term.
4. I want to continue working as a developer. Ideally I would end up with a job title like "UX Developer" or "UI Developer" and be involved in all stages of product development, from prototyping to implementation. I particularly like working with Angular. However, I also like working with users and the planning process of crating a new system, so I suppose I am somewhat interested in research.
5. This is a great idea. I really need to calculate ROI on all three programs, factoring for the time I spend in school not working, tuition, living expenses, etc.
Thanks again for your time.