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?