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I'm new here, so I apologize if I ask too many questions! Basically, I'm currently a senior at NYU and in May I'll be graduating with a B.A. in Math and Psychology. Going into my senior year, I had been planning on applying to several Ph.D. programs in Data Science and Statistics and my career goal was to be a data scientist. However, upon meeting with the professor whose lab I do research in, he stated that it would be very difficult for me to get into any Ph.D. program with only a year of undergraduate research experience. So, I applied to 6 Masters programs and the Ph.D. in Data Science program at NYU (this has been my top choice since sophomore year so no way I wasn't going to give it a shot!).

Fast forward to now, I made it up to the interview for the Ph.D. program, but yesterday I got an email saying I was offered admission into the Master's program in the Center for Data Science, and that I am not eligible for any scholarships. I have also been admitted to the Master's of Engineering in Computer Science program at Cornell Tech, as well as a couple of other M.S. programs at NYU, and I'm waiting to hear back from the three other programs.

Here's where my questions come up. As I think about it more and more, the program at Cornell Tech becomes more appealing. For one thing, I think it's a more versatile degree. They have data science courses I could take, and with the degree itself I'd be a candidate for software engineer positions. As such, after completing the degree I'd likely be able to go down either route, albeit the data science route would be a bit tougher with this degree than with the M.S. in Data Science. However, I've also found jobs in software engineering to be more appealing lately. I think around my junior year of college I started to realize a software engineer career seemed like a good fit for my interests, but by that point I thought it was too late in the game to switch routes unless I got another Bachelor's in Comp Sci - who knew!

Also, I've been completely lost at where to look for scholarships. I applied to one that Cornell Tech sent out the application to, but I haven't received any merit scholarships from the programs I've been admitted to. That being said, even without scholarships, the Cornell Tech degree would be approximately $8,000 less right off the bat. Additionally, it's a one year program, as opposed to the one at NYU which is a two year program. Is it presumptuous of me to think it'd be reasonable to take out $40-50k in loans, with the expectation that with the Computer Science engineering degree I'll likely be able to make decent money as a software engineer in NYC not long after graduating next spring? If it helps, I'll be graduating from undergrad with about $10,500 in loans, and if I do get a well-paying job after grad school my plan is to live as if I'm making $40k a year until my loans are paid off. I'm the first in my family to go to college, let alone grad school, so any advice is greatly appreciated!

I've heard that some companies will pay for you to get a M.Eng., but honestly at this point I'd rather get the degree first since I don't think I'm qualified for many tech jobs currently.

 

As a recap, my two main questions are:

1. Is it a smart decision to do a Master of Engineering in C.S. at Cornell Tech when I'm open to becoming either a software engineer or data scientist?

2. Is it reasonable to assume I'll be able to get a decent job with a M.Eng. degree in C.S. and that I'd be able to pay of ~$60k in loans in a reasonable amount of time?

 

Thank you!

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Yes, pick cornell tech. I wish that I had applied to Cornell Tech when I was considering Grad school. They have an amazing hands on curricula and the 1 year for a MEng is a great value.

 

Also nobody in industry distinguishes between a MEng vs MS. Also Cornell has much better name in CS than NYU.

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