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Value of Penn's MCIT program


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I studied Sociology as an undergraduate and have had a horrible time with the job market. A big problem for me is that I have borderline aspergers and very poor social skills. I have some GIS experience, and have begun to become interested in the programming side of things. I have a romanticized image of working for a tech startup or one of the big GIS companies some day as a programmer.


Would this degree get me there? does it carry the same weight as a true "CS" degree or would it be a waste of time and money?


This applies for Chicago's Master of computer science program geared towards non-cs majors as well.

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Hi Owego,


My 2 cents: I don't really know if the program is "prestigious" and what weight it carries with employers. However, Penn is a great university (not quite sure how strong they are in CS though) and I took a look at the course requirements for the program; they are essentially the core CS classes for an undergraduate degree in CS. In fact, I believe if you master the material you shouldn't find trouble finding a job in the software world (in my experience so far software companies really care more about if you can actually code than where you got your degree from; the most the degree can do for you is get you to the interview stage).


Hope that helps.

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  • 1 month later...

Owego, I agree with the above, but I would add the comment to choose Chicago over Penn if you had the choice. I studied at Penn in the CIS department and it wasn't a particularly big or active part of Penn (facilities were also surprisingly poor - often had to sit on the floor). There are many state and private universities with more active/well known CS departments than Penn, and I'd say Chicago is one of them. 

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I'm a little shocked about moolriaz's experience.  I always thought that Penn's comp. sci. dept. was well-regarded (more than Chicago's).  

I did not attend the program, but I did consider it.  The general consensus is that the MCIT, like most degrees, is what you make of it.  For those without a CS background, it pulls them up to speed.  But, the price is quite high (particularly for a field that isn't super-stringent about degrees) and it is not as rigorous as a standard CS MS (obviously). 

I decided against it, but it will probably open more doors than a sociology degree does.      

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