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I've been looking at online master's degree programs in software engineering. Have you completed a master's program online? If so, where? Did you like it? Was it relevant or out of date?

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I am not a hiring manager so I will leave this as a comment, but as far as I am aware a master's degree is not much of a benefit for a software developer unless it is in a highly specialized, perhaps research oriented position. On top of that, an online master's degree will probably not be thought of too highly. –  Ed S. Apr 9 '11 at 20:03
@Ed - You know, some people get a Master's 'cause they like to learn :) –  Jetti Apr 9 '11 at 20:59
@Jetti: Sure, of course. I guess I just always jump to self teaching when I just want to learn something new. –  Ed S. Apr 9 '11 at 23:24
Some answers on this question might be useful: programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/42839/… –  Vitor Apr 9 '11 at 23:41
@Ed: I was of a similar opinion, but my Master's made me work on programs which I wouldn't have otherwise. Not many industry jobs can lead you to delve in compilers, operating systems and networks simultaneously. Grate way to find and explore your interests (and meet other hackers) –  Amit Wadhwa Apr 10 '11 at 0:07

5 Answers 5

Depaul University in Chicago offers completely online degrees and they are pretty much the same as the in class degree because you actually watch the lecture real time on a video feed. The software you use for watching the lectures allows you to raise your hand and ask questions as well as collaborate with classmates. The various degrees can be taken both online and on campus and you can mix and match or do one or the other if you please.

Check the program out here:


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Thanks for sharing that, I wasn't aware. –  ybakos Apr 10 '11 at 22:43
No problem man, another cool thing is they have like 23 different degrees. You can get really specialized or receive a more broad education, its all very customizable. –  hockfan86 Apr 11 '11 at 3:39

What's your goal with the Master's degree. Some goals I can think of are:
1. To learn
2. To get a degree (to show to employers)
3. Network with other hackers

Most of the current popular online program would offer only 2) and the value of the programs is dubious at best. I would suggest to go for a reputed B&M university if you aim to accomplish the above three.

In case you can't and your goal is 1) I would go scrouge details of MS programs of some universities and try to find online lectures for those courses. MIT, Stanford and UCB are leading the way and making video lectures available for lot of classes. Also, remember doing the assignments are more important than actually watching the lectures

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I'm asking on behalf of my students, so the purpose is not determined. –  ybakos Apr 10 '11 at 22:44
I would like to add Coursera to your list –  Anthony Aug 4 '12 at 4:24

Masters in Software Engineering - Carnegie Mellon

An excellent institute to learn software development.

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Ah, that's a good one that I was aware of. –  ybakos Apr 10 '11 at 22:44
@ybakos : its been a dream for some time now –  Imran Omar Bukhsh Apr 11 '11 at 6:41
+1 @Imran The MSE looks great. –  Anthony Aug 4 '12 at 4:22
would you mind explaining more on what it does and why do you recommend it as answering the question asked? "Link-only answers" are not quite welcome at Stack Exchange –  gnat Sep 11 '13 at 3:37

Well, I would stay away from Online (only) Schools as many have a reputation of diploma mills. That being said, there are many reputable brick-and-mortar schools (aka traditional schools) that are offering online degrees. Now some of those schools make a distinction on the diploma that you went to school online but it seems that there are many who don't make such distinction. I'm not sure where you're from, but doing online programs also gives you a chance to study from a foreign university without leaving home (while choosing my program I did look at some UK Universities).

EDIT: If you do look at established Brick & Mortar schools that have online programs, make sure to look to see if they require you to be on campus at all. I remember when looking, there were a few that required a visit (or had a required class that was on-campus only).

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Thanks for sharing your opinion. I agree that true physical attendance at a university is critical. But that's not what this question asks. –  ybakos Apr 10 '11 at 22:45
@ybakos - I know you were wanting online classes. Maybe, my point was missed. There are established "traditional" schools that offer online programs so that you have a Masters from a school that may have a better reputation than the online only schools. –  Jetti Apr 11 '11 at 1:42

I think there are a number of universities with good online programs. However, I think you need to go the extra mile to learn on your own. It is important to get a degree to show employers and get yourself in the door, but you also need to be motivated and learn on your own. You need to become skilled all around because once you get in those doors you will need to show the employers what you are capable of.

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Self education, of course... but that's not what this question asks. –  ybakos Apr 10 '11 at 22:44

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