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Some background

I've started programming when I was about 10 years old and truly loved it ever since.

This year I've graduated from a mediocre university with a CS degree in Eastern Europe and two months later got a job offer at Google in Mountain View as a software engineer.

The problem

The problem is with my education - when I went through any curriculum from the top 10 US universities (an a lot of my co-workers are from such universities), and watched some of the online-available video lectures from these universities and the assignments that their students had during their studies, I've noticed that my university does not even come close to their level. I just feel that I was wasting time at my university, when I see that others got incomparably better training in CS.

I would say that the courses at my university covered at most 30% of what the top-10 universities did - despite having identical classes. They just have better teachers, better curriculum, harder projects, better resources and they go more in-depth.

Now, I feel quite comfortable with solving algorithmic problems, with programming in general, but still - each time I look at any of the undergraduate courses in these universities I find a lot of nuances that weren't covered in my classes. Some of them are significant, other less.

The question

Now being in the US, being financially and legally able to afford paying for an undergraduate CS course - is it worth going to one of the top 10 US universities and complete a second CS bachelor degree to fill in the gaps left over my first degree?

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closed as off-topic by MichaelT, GlenH7, Simon, Kilian Foth, Glenn Nelson Dec 17 '13 at 12:13

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I feel yoru time, energy and money might be better used on a graduate degree instead of repeating an undergrad. –  Tyanna Aug 30 '11 at 23:49
Wait, you've got a job with google and your thinking of leaving? Shame on you! –  Raynos Aug 31 '11 at 0:03
Not thinking of leaving but doing both simultaneously. –  user35648 Aug 31 '11 at 0:05
If Google finds you good enough, i don't see any reason to do another under grad course. You can checkout MIT courses over here, ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science –  Srisa Aug 31 '11 at 8:17
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4 Answers

Definitely not

Going through the degree again is probably a waste of your time. Instead:

  • Pick some interesting 4th year or graduate level courses from a university you can attend. Take those
  • Look into free online courses. Work your way through the materials at your own pace
  • YOU'RE AT GOOGLE Your coworkers TOOK THOSE COURSES ALREADY. Learn from your coworkers! It's much more efficient....

The schooling you get is important, but, the kind of person who will have excelled at a top university, is capable of excelling on his own. They are the kinds of students which universities look to convince to come to them, rather than the ones who try to convince universities to let them in. Most of the advantage of being at a top university comes from the pre-selection which universities do on admission; they select students which are capable of succeeding, no matter where they attend school, and employers look to that.

The tools, resources, support networks and mentors, instructors and other materials are available to you right now, without attending school. Use them to your advantage; the bonus of having been pre-selected by a good school is already wasted on you, your position at Google already gives you that.

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I would spend a year working and reading interesting textbooks.

Then - if you have no social life, nor desire one, nor have hobbies, nor desire hobbies - then, I would recommend a part-time graduate degree for you.

Otherwise, do graduate school or work full-time.

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If you were able to get an offer from Google, I'd say you are ahead of the game (or at least on par with). Google has a pretty stringent hiring process. Even so, if you're slightly behind when you first start, it's not a big deal as you'll learn a TON while working, so I wouldn't worry about it.

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Go get a masters of science in CS. It will focus entirely on the subject, whereas a bachelors degree at most universities in the US would require you to take a lot of courses which would be unrelated to CS.

Unless, of course, that's what you want to do.

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