Getting an associates degree after a bachelors: does it look bad?

CambiataCambiata Commander ShepardThe likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
edited July 2017 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey guys. One of the advantages I'm extremely privileged to get from my place of work is free paid tuition. I have been taking advantage of this benefit for the last few years and have finally decided to go for the gold and get a bachelors degree in computer science. I currently already have a bachelor of arts in music performance, achieved in the halcyon days of 2005, and even then I knew I wouldn't be using the skills that degree offered, I was just so close to finishing I thought it best to graduate with what I had rather than start over.

When I first began contemplating the idea of a CS degree, I immediately applied to the local college I want to attend, The University of Texas at Dallas. My application was rejected, and it's not surprising, really. My grades towards the end of my music degree were pretty bad, because once I discovered I didn't want music as a career I tried several different classes for different degrees trying to see if they interested me, but I was already burned out from school and didn't apply myself enough to those classes, getting low or even failing grades in them.

What I found out in time is that UTD has a partnership with one of the community colleges here. Using that partnership, I only need to get a certain amount of credits from the community college, maintain a fairly easy grade point average, and I am allowed guaranteed entry to UTD. I have in fact achieved those things, I could apply to UTD when I like.

Here's the thing: I'd sort of like to do an associate's degree in science with emphasis in CS at the community college. Because of the partnership, all of those credits would be transferred successfully to UTD. The reason I'd like to do this is:

1) Some of the jobs I've been applying to lately, that I fully believe I already have the experience to perform at successfully, require "an engineering degree" or even just "a technical degree." Some of them require that degree to be a bachelors, but many do not.
2) My workplace does have a cap on tuition: getting as many credits from Community college as possible is sensible, since the tuition cost there is so low.
3) I don't know how many years it's really going to take me to get a full engineering bachelor's degree. While working 40 hours a week I find it very difficult to do more than one class at a time. Maybe in time I could try to manage two but so far it's a no go. If I get an associates first, I'll be able to have that certificate so much sooner, and having that achievement would feel nice, i think.

My question is, is it going to look weird, perhaps even negative, for me to have an associates after having already achieved a bachelors? Will that come across if I'm regressing instead of moving forward? Especially, if I never end up getting the full bachelors, will it look like a lack of commitment?

Cambiata on

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  • So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User regular
    Assume you meant this to go to H+A, not D+D

    Cambiata
  • Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
    edited July 2017
    More degrees are never bad! You never know where life will take you.

    Magus` on
    CambiataGnizmoElvenshaezepherinMrVyngaardSmrtnikNightslyr
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    So It Goes wrote: »
    Assume you meant this to go to H+A, not D+D

    Yes, god I feel dumb.

  • LeptonLepton Registered User regular
    I think that the only thing that your associate's degree will signal is that you're trying to change careers.

    LostNinjaCambiatatynicGnizmoElvenshaeTheBlackWindEncSkeithNightslyr
  • Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
    Yeah, what is it that you do? Cause this seems like an easy question.

  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    edited July 2017
    I have worked at a telecom* for the last 10 years. So it's not so much a career change as an advancement in my career of choice.

    *to be more specific, I started off as tech support, pretty early on got moved to a special project involving switch programming and other provisioning skills that taught me a lot about the fiber network, and very recently got put back in tech support for the foreseeable future. Tech support is deadly dull, though it's easy and at my current company more lucrative than you would expect.

    Cambiata on
  • LeptonLepton Registered User regular
    Cambiata wrote: »
    I have worked at a telecom* for the last 10 years. So it's not so much a career change as an advancement in my career of choice.

    *to be more specific, I started off as tech support, pretty early on got moved to a special project involving switch programming and other provisioning skills that taught me a lot about the fiber network, and am now back in tech support for the foreseeable future. Tech support is deadly dull.

    Getting another degree while working full time is rarely a bad look.

    CambiataGnizmoShadowfireDidgeridooMrVyngaardSkeithSmrtnikTOGSolidJuliusNightslyrJaysonFourCowSharkStabbity Style
  • NewblarNewblar Registered User regular
    A completely different area of study separated by years of employment indicate you want a change in career. A lower level education for this doesn't indicate regression, it indicates you don't have the time or money to pick up a four year degree. If you're worried about it don't include your music degree in your resume. Generally people in a technical field don't care about an art degree especially one like music (should they value it is another discussion).

    Considering you're well on your way to picking up the associates you likely should for all the reasons you mentioned and because you can more easily complete it. Life happens and sometimes we can't complete goals that are several years long for a million different reasons. The only real drawbacks are that the associates will not prepare you as well for more advanced classes than taking bachelor courses as soon as possible and your networking opportunities might be more limited the longer you delay transferring (somewhat offset if many people transfer and wait for completing the associates).

    How will anyone know that you never got the full bachelors degree? It would 100 percent look bad to put on a resume that you only completed part of a degree but quit, however how would they know this? In a current employer it could look a little bad but only so many people are likely to remember you're pursuing it and they would primarily judge you on your work.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Cambiata
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    Thanks for the advice, guys. I think I was too influenced by my dad telling me long ago that I'm better off getting an advanced degree, it kinda stuck with me I guess. I'd love to go straight into an engineering masters program but I don't have the background for that by a long shot!

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    From an employment perspective - 2 things:
    1. They only know what you tell them. If you try it and don't like it or fail, you don't have to put it on the resume.
    2. Use the reimbursements and get that degree. I've never seen anyone sneer at education of ANY type, especially technology related.

    CambiataElvenshaetynicSkeith
  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    just make sure you get reimbursed for a cc and not just for a 4-year school/masters

    camo_sig.png
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    My buddy got an associates after his masters to take an internship. It was a good move cause it led to a six figure job. He lists it on his resume.

    Cambiata
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    mts wrote: »
    just make sure you get reimbursed for a cc and not just for a 4-year school/masters

    Luckily it's not reimbursements. After I register for a class, from any accredited school, my company gives me a letter of credit which I give to the school for payment. The school then charges the appropriate amount to the corporation. The only thing I have to pay on upfront is my textbooks, but those I get a reimbursement on after I complete the class with a sufficient grade.

  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    Cambiata wrote: »
    mts wrote: »
    just make sure you get reimbursed for a cc and not just for a 4-year school/masters

    Luckily it's not reimbursements. After I register for a class, from any accredited school, my company gives me a letter of credit which I give to the school for payment. The school then charges the appropriate amount to the corporation. The only thing I have to pay on upfront is my textbooks, but those I get a reimbursement on after I complete the class with a sufficient grade.

    I think the point is still valid.

    camo_sig.png
  • noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    Not much that I can add to your question, but as a UTD graduate (education field though), I can tell you that A) Always heard they have a great computer science program, and B) That campus has CHANGED in the last five-ten years.

    Darklyre
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited July 2017
    @Cambiata

    Sorry it took so long to notice this!

    Ok, so there is a bunch to unpack here. Texas works off of a paired districts system akin to Florida's Direct Connect, so an AS* or AA likely guarantees acceptance for newly enrolled students. As second degree, this may not apply to you and this may prove more of a setback than a boon. You will want to verify this with the University, not the community college (which has incentives to tell you anything to get you enrolled, while the University will not in this scenario and just wants accurate policy reflected).

    When you applied to UTD did you apply as a new student, non-degree, second-degree or graduate student status? If you applied for the wrong status you may have been initially denied as a perfunctory thing. Second degree status would be what you want, and you may qualify for differed enrollment if not automatically accepted (If it was your alma-mater, or another Texas university was, they usually accept you right then and there as second degree unless they have enrollment caps). If they aren't able to accept you right then, you may qualify for differed enrollment (which means they wont accept you for Fall, but will accept you for Spring). Alternatively, many (most) public universities have open enrollment day the weekend right before classes where you can apply in person and, if they aren't meeting their enrollment expectations for the state, they start rubber-stamping folks that friday before classes. You will have to check with UDT to see if this applies.

    As a second degree student you will likely** not have to redo any of your General Education Program, nor will you have to qualify for the AA or AS by taking the filler courses needed for those degrees (as you will have met them with your first degree, regardless of grades, if you were certified with your Bachelors). This will save you time and money over going the CC route.

    Reimbursement vouchers can take several months to get set up, so if thats the route you are going as soon as you have an acceptance letter wherever you go: be at the Financial Aid office that day.

    The only real benefit of an AA or AS on your transcript is going to be the courses you took that you didn't otherwise have. Employers typically don't care about the lower degrees, only your highest ranking one. The folks saying it will show you are trying to change careers have the right of it from my experience and studies.

    There is a whole lot more to this, but it mostly involves knowing the above questions to move forward.

    *Sometimes an AS will not qualify for direct connect systems while an AA will. Verify the program you are going into qualifies (once again, with the University). There should be a permanent University representative running the program on every CC campus that qualifies.
    **I don't work in Texas, but they imitate Florida in most of their 2-4 year transition policies.

    Enc on
  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    Cambiata wrote: »
    Thanks for the advice, guys. I think I was too influenced by my dad telling me long ago that I'm better off getting an advanced degree, it kinda stuck with me I guess. I'd love to go straight into an engineering masters program but I don't have the background for that by a long shot!

    You might be surprised. A lot of masters programs will weight experience pretty highly in determining eligibility for those who have been in the workforce for awhile rather than coming right out of undergrad. I recently did a Stats masters and there were a lot of people in the program who were coming from non-STEM backgrounds but who had been working in analysis positions for years. From a very different background like Music, there might be some baseline courses you'd need to complete prior to enrollment in the program, but probably not as many as a full Associate's degree.

  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    Enc, glad to have your expertise here, thank you for replying!
    Enc wrote: »
    Cambiata

    Sorry it took so long to notice this!

    Ok, so there is a bunch to unpack here. Texas works off of a paired districts system akin to Florida's Direct Connect, so an AS* or AA likely guarantees acceptance for newly enrolled students. As second degree, this may not apply to you and this may prove more of a setback than a boon. You will want to verify this with the University, not the community college (which has incentives to tell you anything to get you enrolled, while the University will not in this scenario and just wants accurate policy reflected).

    The name of the program is "Comet Connection", and it's spelled out on UTD's website here:

    http://www.utdallas.edu/enroll/transfer/comet-connection/

    One thing it mentions there that I just noticed is that I can transfer credit back to the CC, after I transfer to UTD, to allow me to complete my AS degree. But the CC does require that I do at least 25% of the degree with them to be able to get the AS, so I can't transfer just yet.

    In any case, I'm not sure how to tell for sure if there would be a restriction applying to second degree, or if this program only works if you're a new freshman. The wording on UTD is exactly the same as it is at the cc, Richland College. I sent in my paperwork for comet connection about two weeks ago, I haven't recieved my confirmation letter yet. Besides waiting for my confirmation letter, should I try contacting an advisor from UTD? I do recall some time ago, at least 5 years, I originally talked to an advisor during an open house day at UTD and it was that advisor that directed me towards their partnership with Richland College to work on my grades and my math level. It's been a while though and don't remember all the details.

    When you applied to UTD did you apply as a new student, non-degree, second-degree or graduate student status? If you applied for the wrong status you may have been initially denied as a perfunctory thing. Second degree status would be what you want, and you may qualify for differed enrollment if not automatically accepted

    I applied as a transfer student at the time, but as I recall (and the time gap from when I last applied has been even longer than when I spoke to the advisor - I think I last tried to apply there in 2011 or even 2009) the only choices for undergraduate degree were freshman, transfer, and foreign transfer student. I see from the application now that there are more choices:

    http://www.utdallas.edu/enroll/apply-now/

    But I could swear that "second bachelor's degree" did not exist back then, as that would have made my application a lot less confusing and I would have selected it immediately.
    (If it was your alma-mater, or another Texas university was, they usually accept you right then and there as second degree unless they have enrollment caps). If they aren't able to accept you right then, you may qualify for differed enrollment (which means they wont accept you for Fall, but will accept you for Spring). Alternatively, many (most) public universities have open enrollment day the weekend right before classes where you can apply in person and, if they aren't meeting their enrollment expectations for the state, they start rubber-stamping folks that friday before classes. You will have to check with UDT to see if this applies.

    It's not my alma mater, I'd have to go back to (shudder) Lubbock, TX for that, and I'd have to be in dire circumstances indeed to even consider that step.

    The hard part about trying to talk to advisors at UTD is that they only seem to have office hours while I'm at work.
    As a second degree student you will likely** not have to redo any of your General Education Program, nor will you have to qualify for the AA or AS by taking the filler courses needed for those degrees (as you will have met them with your first degree, regardless of grades, if you were certified with your Bachelors). This will save you time and money over going the CC route.

    The CC schools in my county have pretty classy degree planning software on the student website, so I can easily see from my study plan that a lot of the core stuff is taken care of and accepted as not needing to be taken again. What I'm missing is some government classes that apparently weren't part of the requirement when I originally graduated in 2005, I can't get out of those, right? There's a course about the federal government and a course about Texas government, both required by the State of Texas I believe. When I took my first bachelors only a couple of history courses were required and they show on my degree plan as applying successfully to the AS degree.

    Everything else that could be considered "core" is a calculus course and some physics courses, things I didn't need for a music degree that I absolutely do need for an engineering degree.
    Reimbursement vouchers can take several months to get set up, so if thats the route you are going as soon as you have an acceptance letter wherever you go: be at the Financial Aid office that day.

    Sorry I don't understand the reference to reimbursement vouchers. My workplace covers my school tuition and expenses on a class-by-class basis. I register for a course, I put in the course information on my workplace's tuition assistance website, the application gets approved by my supervisor and a manager, I send a letter of credit to the university and take the class. Easy peasy. I can do this indefinitely with as many classes as I want to take at any university that will have me, as long as I stay under the $8525 cap for the year. The only problem is if I get a grade below a C on a class, then I have to pay the assistance back, the same as with any financial aid. Masters degrees do require a higher level sign off within the company, I think director level, but I've never yet heard of anyone being declined from going after their masters. Tuition assistance is pretty much rubber stamped.
    The only real benefit of an AA or AS on your transcript is going to be the courses you took that you didn't otherwise have. Employers typically don't care about the lower degrees, only your highest ranking one. The folks saying it will show you are trying to change careers have the right of it from my experience and studies.

    Ok this comment confuses me. Are you saying it's a mistake for me to get the AS because employers won't care about it?
    There is a whole lot more to this, but it mostly involves knowing the above questions to move forward.

    You're the best, I eagerly await your wealth of information on the topic!

  • ThroThro [email protected] Registered User regular
    mts wrote: »
    Cambiata wrote: »
    mts wrote: »
    just make sure you get reimbursed for a cc and not just for a 4-year school/masters

    Luckily it's not reimbursements. After I register for a class, from any accredited school, my company gives me a letter of credit which I give to the school for payment. The school then charges the appropriate amount to the corporation. The only thing I have to pay on upfront is my textbooks, but those I get a reimbursement on after I complete the class with a sufficient grade.

    I think the point is still valid.

    Yeah, one place I was at paid directly to the school, I never even knew how much it was. However, after the first three classes, you had to be in a 'degree seeking program', i.e. a registered major for a B.S. degree, to get more paid for.

    Are you completely locked in to UTD? I had a good experience doing online distance learning for my masters while working full time. Classes recorded the previous day to be viewed whenever I wanted made scheduling around work as good as it could be. CS is one of the majors that has made the transition in several colleges to also be available online.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Not much time ATM, but some quick topics:

    You probably want to call the registrar's office at the school for second-degree enrollment, it wouldn't be on the main recruitment site or through that system, most likely.

    The AS is useful for getting the courses, but most employers are going to focus on your Bachelors and not care about the AA or AS, regardless of the order. Having the skills from the courses is fine though.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Sorry I don't understand the reference to reimbursement vouchers. My workplace covers my school tuition and expenses on a class-by-class basis. I register for a course, I put in the course information on my workplace's tuition assistance website, the application gets approved by my supervisor and a manager, I send a letter of credit to the university and take the class. Easy peasy. I can do this indefinitely with as many classes as I want to take at any university that will have me, as long as I stay under the $8525 cap for the year. The only problem is if I get a grade below a C on a class, then I have to pay the assistance back, the same as with any financial aid. Masters degrees do require a higher level sign off within the company, I think director level, but I've never yet heard of anyone being declined from going after their masters. Tuition assistance is pretty much rubber stamped.

    So, on the school's financial side of things it rarely works that smoothly. Usually you will have to pay out of pocket and the reimbursement won't be actually processed until midway through the semester (while fees are due several weeks earlier). The timing of these things are critical, which is why you need to get to the school's finaid office asap once you are admitted wherever you end up to get this set up with minimal impact to your finances.
    Second degree status stuff from UDT:

    Eligibility

    Coursework is subject to availability, and applicants are encouraged to contact the advising department for the School they are hoping to take classes in for additional information.
    Students pursuing coursework within Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) should contact the Office of Admission and Enrollmentt.
    How to Apply

    Contact the academic department to which you are applying for more information.
    Students pursuing coursework within NSM should contact the Office of Admission and Enrollment.
    Upon acknowledgement from the academic department, complete the ApplyTexas Application for transfer students, selecting the program you want to pursue, and list your academic history reflecting completion of an undergraduate program.
    Submit official college transcripts for every institution attended, including one reflecting degree conferral.
    Submit an essay detailing the coursework you wish to complete at UT Dallas.
    Pay the $50 application fee.

    So to break down this:
    • You have to contact the department advisors/complete that essay because they wan't to know why you want to get a second degree. Talking about changing careers and how specifically you want to do [this career] with the department and how the courses will help you break into that career are what they are looking for. Take agency in your essay and interview, talk about what has changed since last time. (I'd be happy to look over your essay if you need it). Bringing up employer support for the degree is huge and should be mentioned.
    • They need your transcripts for every institution and will ALSO need to evaluate them for course equivalency (English 1 in state A is not necessarily English 1 in state B). Since you are starting from scratch with most of the prerequisites this will likely not be too big a deal and they will just check off your General Education and have you start with major prereqs.

    It may be that they turn you down with recommendations (this is common). Usually those recs are suited to your purpose anyway (for instance, a common one I used to issue was: go take the prereq courses at a community college as non-degree so you can prove you can keep up with coursework and also knock out the course for a bit less money).

    That may be what the advisor said way back when, but I would start by contacting the department of the program, and then go see someone face to face to talk about it. Dress professionally, and discuss what you need for your career and how their program can get it for you. Then they should detail out what your options are and you follow through from there.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Advisors usually work 8-5, which sucks for working folks. But being able to get off work and having work support for entering the degree shows a great deal of good signs and checkboxes advisors are looking for for this sort of admission. Essentially, if the school is going to invest in enrolling you directly to their degree program content they want to ensure you will, in fact, complete the degree and not be a negative against their persistence and graduation rates. So showing you have backers, a specific purpose, and a realistic plan forward for reaching degree completion is the way to go.

  • MadpoetMadpoet Registered User regular
    Lots of good info, so just quick personal experience:
    When I went back and got my degree, almost the entire associate degree was required to progress in the bachelor's. IIRC, there was a year each of Calc and Physics, a couple tracks of programming classes, some logic... you may not be able to avoid getting it.
    As for desirability, I've only had to hire one person, but I'd probably take any CS degree over any Music degree. I started at a CC as a music major and finished my associate there before transferring to a state college for my bachelor's, and I don't think it's hurt me any.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Yeah, to be clear. Having a second bachelors in a new field will open doors. Just having a second degree at the AA / AS level will likely not do you any favors as the market is flooded with folks with bachelors degrees.

  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    So, on the school's financial side of things it rarely works that smoothly. Usually you will have to pay out of pocket and the reimbursement won't be actually processed until midway through the semester (while fees are due several weeks earlier). The timing of these things are critical, which is why you need to get to the school's finaid office asap once you are admitted wherever you end up to get this set up with minimal impact to your finances.

    Ok so this is the kind of thing that sends my head spinning, because it's the exact opposite of all my documentation and I have no idea how to reconcile that. Actually, forget head spinning, I am trying not to let the panic rise. You're far more experienced than I am in this area so I trust your judgement, but my contract says this:
    When a tuition assistance application is approved, a Letter of Credit will be issued and returned to the employee who will then present it to his or her school in lieu of payment at registration time. The school should send its bill directly to the Plan Administration office. [Company] will pay bills for all approved tuition and fees directly to the schools. There is no reimbursement.

    Direct payment to schools is designed to reduce financial obstacles to employee participation. However, for the process to work, employees must submit their tuition assistance application for each course in sufficient time for it to be processed (at least two to three weeks before scheduled registration date) so that they may receive their approved authorization form to present at the
    time of registration. The form certifies to the accredited institution that [the company] will, upon receipt of the bill, pay the approved tuition costs and fees as indicated on the form, directly to the institution within approximately 30 days of receipt of the invoice.

    You're saying this would not work the same with a bursar's office as it's been working with the community college cashiers' offices? But my contract literally forbids me from paying anything in advance if I want my tuition assistance applications to actually go through without being rejected. As for any other financial aid I might get, there's this from the contract:
    If a [company] employee is eligible for reimbursement from any other source (i.e. Department of Veterans Affairs, other educational assistance program, or financial eligibility under Pell and other types of grants, scholarships, and the like) [company]’s plan will pay any remaining amounts not covered by the preceding.

    So if I get financial aid, that is not to be covered by my company at all, whether it's a loan or a scholarship. Only those items not covered by other financial aid would be covered by my tuition assistance.
    That may be what the advisor said way back when, but I would start by contacting the department of the program, and then go see someone face to face to talk about it. Dress professionally, and discuss what you need for your career and how their program can get it for you. Then they should detail out what your options are and you follow through from there.

    Gah. Face to face meetings are going to be next to impossible for the rest of this year. I did call comet connection at UTD and they told me it does apply to a second degree student, so there's that at least, but the person answering the phone sounded like a student, not an advisor, so I'm going to try to get a better confirmation.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited July 2017
    You're saying this would not work the same with a bursar's office as it's been working with the community college cashiers' offices? But my contract literally forbids me from paying anything in advance if I want my tuition assistance applications to actually go through without being rejected. As for any other financial aid I might get, there's this from the contract:

    Not quite. What I'm saying is for that to occur as written with take several months of time to ensure it is processed the way your company wants, so if you don't jump on it asap you may end up in a reimbursement scenario due to the delays involved in processing thousands of student records. Once accepted, go that day to financial aid to set things up.

    If there is no way to get out in person, I would try to schedule a formal phone appointment with an actual professional or faculty advisor with the program at UDT to talk about your plan and if the CC route is the right one for your field.

    Edit: more on the financial thing. 90% of students wait until the friday before classes or after to look into their financial aid, if not on the week of. If you start preparing early, and can register early, they can pre-prep some of your aid package before the end of the add/drop/enroll period. Keep in mind that financial aid offices cant actually finalize pay until after registration closes, but generally the first folk processed are those who were pre-prepared with no changes since preparation.

    Enc on
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    Oh, I don't wait until the class starts to get my letter of credit. I mean just as an example, I started a trig class two weeks ago. I signed up for the class in April and I actually tried to get my LOC then. The reason it failed is that the system won't let me apply for assistance more than 90 days before the start of class. I waited until the start of June and put in my application. Once it was approved I got the appropriate email address and emailed the signed LOC to the cashier's office. Later I called the cashier's office to make sure they had actually received it. Everything was 100% cleared over a month before class even started. If you're telling me that same process won't work with the bursar then I'm in trouble, but I gather you're just saying don't drag your feet.

    Wait until the last Friday before class indeed. pfft. What do you take me for, sir?

  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    edited July 2017
    Madpoet wrote: »
    Lots of good info, so just quick personal experience:
    When I went back and got my degree, almost the entire associate degree was required to progress in the bachelor's. IIRC, there was a year each of Calc and Physics, a couple tracks of programming classes, some logic... you may not be able to avoid getting it.
    As for desirability, I've only had to hire one person, but I'd probably take any CS degree over any Music degree. I started at a CC as a music major and finished my associate there before transferring to a state college for my bachelor's, and I don't think it's hurt me any.

    Yes this is part of why I figured I might as well get the AS: Everything in the degree can be directly applied to the bachelor's degree. No credit is wasted, they're all a two-fer. The only thing I feared was that an employer would like at an AS as a distinct negative.

    Cambiata on
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    More credentials won't be a negative, it just won't really be much of a positive.

  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    Daenris wrote: »
    Cambiata wrote: »
    Thanks for the advice, guys. I think I was too influenced by my dad telling me long ago that I'm better off getting an advanced degree, it kinda stuck with me I guess. I'd love to go straight into an engineering masters program but I don't have the background for that by a long shot!

    You might be surprised. A lot of masters programs will weight experience pretty highly in determining eligibility for those who have been in the workforce for awhile rather than coming right out of undergrad. I recently did a Stats masters and there were a lot of people in the program who were coming from non-STEM backgrounds but who had been working in analysis positions for years. From a very different background like Music, there might be some baseline courses you'd need to complete prior to enrollment in the program, but probably not as many as a full Associate's degree.

    I see people say this sort of thing a lot, but without the high level math and science any science graduate degree is impossible for me. If I had been doing high level math as part of my career, then sure I might be able to work something out, but that isn't the case. I work in a technical field in the sense of routing and switching, computers and electronics technicality, not in the sense of differential equations technicality.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Cambiata wrote: »
    Daenris wrote: »
    Cambiata wrote: »
    Thanks for the advice, guys. I think I was too influenced by my dad telling me long ago that I'm better off getting an advanced degree, it kinda stuck with me I guess. I'd love to go straight into an engineering masters program but I don't have the background for that by a long shot!

    You might be surprised. A lot of masters programs will weight experience pretty highly in determining eligibility for those who have been in the workforce for awhile rather than coming right out of undergrad. I recently did a Stats masters and there were a lot of people in the program who were coming from non-STEM backgrounds but who had been working in analysis positions for years. From a very different background like Music, there might be some baseline courses you'd need to complete prior to enrollment in the program, but probably not as many as a full Associate's degree.

    I see people say this sort of thing a lot, but without the high level math and science any science graduate degree is impossible for me. If I had been doing high level math as part of my career, then sure I might be able to work something out, but that isn't the case. I work in a technical field in the sense of routing and switching, computers and electronics technicality, not in the sense of differential equations technicality.

    This is not untrue, but there are plenty of programs which will give you a shopping list of undergrad prerequisites to go at before you apply, lowering the total number of classes you have to take as non-degree.

    My main recommendation here would be to get into the faculty folks that do your field and talk with them about what the best path is.

    Cambiata
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    Cambiata wrote: »
    Daenris wrote: »
    Cambiata wrote: »
    Thanks for the advice, guys. I think I was too influenced by my dad telling me long ago that I'm better off getting an advanced degree, it kinda stuck with me I guess. I'd love to go straight into an engineering masters program but I don't have the background for that by a long shot!

    You might be surprised. A lot of masters programs will weight experience pretty highly in determining eligibility for those who have been in the workforce for awhile rather than coming right out of undergrad. I recently did a Stats masters and there were a lot of people in the program who were coming from non-STEM backgrounds but who had been working in analysis positions for years. From a very different background like Music, there might be some baseline courses you'd need to complete prior to enrollment in the program, but probably not as many as a full Associate's degree.

    I see people say this sort of thing a lot, but without the high level math and science any science graduate degree is impossible for me. If I had been doing high level math as part of my career, then sure I might be able to work something out, but that isn't the case. I work in a technical field in the sense of routing and switching, computers and electronics technicality, not in the sense of differential equations technicality.

    This is not untrue, but there are plenty of programs which will give you a shopping list of undergrad prerequisites to go at before you apply, lowering the total number of classes you have to take as non-degree.

    My main recommendation here would be to get into the faculty folks that do your field and talk with them about what the best path is.

    I'll see what I can manage. I wish advisors worked on weekends though. :(

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    As a former one, it was something I actually lobbied for (have us work later hours and be open till 7, or have minor sat hours). For obvious reasons most of my peers liked their 9-5ish hours that they showed up from 1030-4 for.

    Thats staff advisors, though. Faculty are usually flexible.

  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    Man @Enc you have me rethinking, but I hate having to choose. I really wanted to get a CS degree, but the requirement says right at the college of engineering that you have to have an engineering bachelor's to go into the masters program. I don't have an engineering bachelors, it's another bachelors if I want an engineering degree, and I really want an engineering degree. But on the other hand, I can go straight into an IT masters at the business school with just my current degree and a good GRE score. So do I stick with a bachelors and get to call myself an engineer like I dreamed, or do I go for a Masters and be able to say I achieved that level of education? The masters gives me the added bonus of possibly getting an online teaching job on the side at the community college. I still haven't had the chance to speak with the engineering school adviser because of the limits of my time, though I have emailed him. And now I've also emailed the adviser for the business school as well. Sigh.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Cambiata wrote: »
    Man @Enc you have me rethinking, but I hate having to choose. I really wanted to get a CS degree, but the requirement says right at the college of engineering that you have to have an engineering bachelor's to go into the masters program. I don't have an engineering bachelors, it's another bachelors if I want an engineering degree, and I really want an engineering degree. But on the other hand, I can go straight into an IT masters at the business school with just my current degree and a good GRE score. So do I stick with a bachelors and get to call myself an engineer like I dreamed, or do I go for a Masters and be able to say I achieved that level of education? The masters gives me the added bonus of possibly getting an online teaching job on the side at the community college. I still haven't had the chance to speak with the engineering school adviser because of the limits of my time, though I have emailed him. And now I've also emailed the adviser for the business school as well. Sigh.

    Did you talk with a person about the "must be from XYZ bachelor's degree" requirement? Usually those aren't as hard of rules as the websites require, and instead they may have out-of-field applicants take a handful of core classes rather than go back and complete a full bachelor's degree.

    Though coming from a humanities degree, you likely will need to take math through calculus at minimum for CS (or demonstrate proficiency).

    tynic
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Also, it may be worth it to talk with local employers in your desired field to see how viable those two options actually are. Some folk in IT here might be able to give some advice as well. But do find someone who does the job you would want 5 years from now and give them a ring to discuss your plans.

  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    I called the engineering graduate adviser but he couldn't talk when I called and my lunch breaks are only 30 min long. He asked me to email him my phone number and he'll call me back after I explained the only times during the day I can actually make or receive calls. So I guess we'll see.

  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    edited August 2017
    when applying for grad type programs a rule of thumb is prerequisites will trump a required degree. I do pre-med advising and have had fine arts people go for med school. yes its harder on them but if you have the right classes they will still take you

    mts on
    camo_sig.png
    Enc
  • MillMill Registered User regular
    List an associates degree that you earned after getting a bachelors shouldn't get viewed as a demerit. At the very least it shows that you're willing do do personal develop on your own hours and any sane company will won't people that are willing to improve themselves. It can really help if it has a better relation to the field, the job is in, than the bachelors.

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