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Aspen University: online Doctorate in Computer Science
#11
I was curious what the requirements look like for some real CS research positions, so I compiled a list here: https://www.degreeforum.net/mybb/Thread-...-positions
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#12
(07-20-2020, 07:25 PM)scorpion Wrote: I was curious what the requirements look like for some real CS research positions, so I compiled a list here: https://www.degreeforum.net/mybb/Thread-...-positions

I'm not sure what your point is. You need to remember that employment is a competition. With all of the companies you have listed, you will be competing with people from around the world - literally. Who's going to land a research position at Google? A graduate from Aspen University or Harvard University or Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute?


UMPI: BLS with Management Information Systems, Project Management, and Management minors - Graduating Spring 2021

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#13
(07-20-2020, 07:46 PM)ss20ts Wrote: I'm not sure what your point is. You need to remember that employment is a competition. With all of the companies you have listed, you will be competing with people from around the world - literally. Who's going to land a research position at Google? A graduate from Aspen University or Harvard University or Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute?

I have an aversion to threads full of people who don't work as CS research engineers, giving opinions about what's good for being a CS research engineer.

Coincidentally, that's exactly what my post said:
(07-20-2020, 07:23 PM)scorpion Wrote: Remember, just like applying to competitive academic programs, applying to competitive companies requires quite a bit more finesse than just meeting the minimum requirements. 

After finding a team that you'd like to work for, you should figure out the kind of qualifications that people who were hired came in with. Check LinkedIn profiles, read Blind, look at CS career subreddits, etc.


From a brief look, here's some finds:
  • Nobody has a hard requirement for NA/RA PhDs, but that's largely irrelevant because...
  • The standard rules for: top school / top program / top impact still apply. Every position here requires deep, provable expertise, through some combination of graduate credentials, work experience, or published research.
  • Expectations for academic credentials vary by discipline and by company. Working on problems in hard engineering, robotics, or AI/ML? Expect to have a RA PhD with published research. Working in analytics or UX? A masters or even bachelor's is fine, but you'll need a very strong stats background, ideally with published work.
  • A common sight at big N research is plenty of PhD dropouts and ABDs. It seems like most folks get deep enough to learn their field, and then go into industry to make bank.

Will this convince the OP that getting a NA PhD is a good idea? I don't know. But if you're going to plan around the state of the industry, you should do some research on what the industry's like.
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#14
(07-21-2020, 08:26 AM)scorpion Wrote:
(07-20-2020, 07:46 PM)ss20ts Wrote: I'm not sure what your point is. You need to remember that employment is a competition. With all of the companies you have listed, you will be competing with people from around the world - literally. Who's going to land a research position at Google? A graduate from Aspen University or Harvard University or Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute?

I have an aversion to threads full of people who don't work as CS research engineers, giving opinions about what's good for being a CS research engineer.

Coincidentally, that's exactly what my post said:
(07-20-2020, 07:23 PM)scorpion Wrote: Remember, just like applying to competitive academic programs, applying to competitive companies requires quite a bit more finesse than just meeting the minimum requirements. 

After finding a team that you'd like to work for, you should figure out the kind of qualifications that people who were hired came in with. Check LinkedIn profiles, read Blind, look at CS career subreddits, etc.


From a brief look, here's some finds:
  • Nobody has a hard requirement for NA/RA PhDs, but that's largely irrelevant because...
  • The standard rules for: top school / top program / top impact still apply. Every position here requires deep, provable expertise, through some combination of graduate credentials, work experience, or published research.
  • Expectations for academic credentials vary by discipline and by company. Working on problems in hard engineering, robotics, or AI/ML? Expect to have a RA PhD with published research. Working in analytics or UX? A masters or even bachelor's is fine, but you'll need a very strong stats background, ideally with published work.
  • A common sight at big N research is plenty of PhD dropouts and ABDs. It seems like most folks get deep enough to learn their field, and then go into industry to make bank.

Will this convince the OP that getting a NA PhD is a good idea? I don't know. But if you're going to plan around the state of the industry, you should do some research on what the industry's like.

Employment ads never say RA or NA. Where your degree is from is HUGE in research. My husband has worked in IT for decades so I do have some clue about what I'm talking about.


UMPI: BLS with Management Information Systems, Project Management, and Management minors - Graduating Spring 2021

Community College: AS Individual Studies
Community College: AAS Business Administration

Sophia: Environmental Science, Developing Effective Teams, The Essentials of Managing Conflict, College Algebra, Visual Communication, Microeconomics, Introduction to Information Technology, Introduction to Statistics, Human Biology
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#15
(07-21-2020, 10:44 AM)ss20ts Wrote: Employment ads never say RA or NA.

I've seen quite a few that have, and they always say something under requirements like "Masters degree from a regionally accredited university". The majority of the ads I've seen have been for city and university jobs.
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#16
I think the issue with OP’s initial post is that it seems built upon a flawed assumption that the option is this one NA school or a couple of $60,000+ RA programs. There are lots of other Computer Engineering/ECE/CS PhD programs available online that are both better respected than the NA school and less expensive than the RA schools cited. Mississippi State University, for instance, offers PhDs in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computational Engineering. I grant you, those are not CS, but tuition is ~$500/credit for degree programs that are ~70 credits, e.g., ~$35,000, assuming no scholarship, assistantship, research placement, veterans benefits, or employer’s tuition reimbursement. University of South Carolina offers a CS program that is in the same price range.

Now, I am a business/accounting person, so I am not claiming to be an expert in CS and the hiring practices of universities and big companies looking for computer people. That said, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or a computer scientist) to figure out that, all other things being equal, a PhD from a flagship state university with a huge alumni base and real, academic research (like Miss State or South Carolina) is going to get you much farther in life than a degree from an online school that nobody has ever heard of and is NA.
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#17
Personally wouldn't touch a NA school with a 10 foot pole. If an organization is accepting of a NA degree I'd be willing to put money on that degree not being a requirement for the position.
TESU March 2020 Graduation
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--BA Computer Science

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I started this journey in the summer of 2016.  I hoped to be done sooner, but I am still proud of the rate at which I have gotten my schooling done with respect to the many months of military training and deployments I have undergone.  


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#18
NA schools get a bad rap but not all of them deserve it. Especially at the highest levels of academia. While the original intention of NA colleges was to prepare students for applied, career-based degrees rather than liberal arts or pure academic degrees, there are plenty of NA colleges out there with a strong academic focus. This is particularly the case at the doctoral level. These schools are only NA in name and appear to be biding their time to earn RA accreditation since that is an expensive, multi-year process with lots of milestones along the way that they need to hit.

Ultimately, it depends on what you want to do with your doctoral degree?
  • If you want the degree to do independent research, or for personal reasons, then it doesn't matter where you get it really.
  • If it is for professional advancement or status purposes, a NA degree is probably just fine. Particularly if it comes from a school with a good reputation (or at least without a bad one). That can also depend on the company and academic or professional field.
  • If your intention is to go into research working for someone else, it may depend on a combination of the school and your academic mentor/supervisor's credentials in the field. People working in research in a specific field tend to all know each other, or at least they probably have mutual contacts.
  • If your intention is to teach, then it will depend on where you want to teach. Most RA schools require their teaching faculty to have RA graduate degrees. But this tends to be less important at community colleges, private colleges, and for-profit colleges. That said, I'd say if you want to be a full-time tenured professor and teach at the highest levels, the gold standard is an RA Ph.D. from a top university known for research in your field. Your Ph.D. mentor/supervisor will also factor into this like above.
Also keep in mind that the best degree is the one you finish. This applies to doctoral degrees in that one of the most important aspects of college selection is finding a school and mentor that is a good match for your research interests and that you "click with". The mentor is particularly important since they will influence your research quite a bit and you'll be working closely together for several years. A high percentage of doctoral students drop out before completing their degree, and much of that happens because of bad choices in college/mentor selection.

So it is very important to create a diverse list of colleges that meet your academic goals and do research. Try to get on a phone call or video chat with the program coordinators or prospective mentors to ask questions.

For anyone considering a doctoral program, also keep in mind that it is super important to apply broadly since you're unlikely to be selected for every program you apply to. Even the less competitive programs only have so many slots available each year, so it may be that you cannot get into any of your top choices. So an NA school may be your best option outside of waiting another year, changing research focus, or giving up.
Working on: Researching doctoral programs for a potential 2021-22 start

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#19
(07-22-2020, 02:55 AM)Merlin Wrote: NA schools get a bad rap but not all of them deserve it. Especially at the highest levels of academia. While the original intention of NA colleges was to prepare students for applied, career-based degrees rather than liberal arts or pure academic degrees, there are plenty of NA colleges out there with a strong academic focus. This is particularly the case at the doctoral level. These schools are only NA in name and appear to be biding their time to earn RA accreditation since that is an expensive, multi-year process with lots of milestones along the way that they need to hit.

Which is why when people say things like this:

(07-22-2020, 12:00 AM)Zachcleigh Wrote: Personally wouldn't touch a NA school with a 10 foot pole. If an organization is accepting of a NA degree I'd be willing to put money on that degree not being a requirement for the position.

I remember that most who say it are saying it on reflex and (mis)perception without examination. For instance, there are tons of NA Nursing programs, surgical tech programs, vet tech programs, technology programs, and many others, all of which require the degree for their respective positions.

Over on another forum, it was funny watching people trash NA school after NA school over the years (none of them having attended the NA schools they were trashing mind you), only to suddenly speak highly of those same schools when they got RA accreditation. It was particularly hilarious watching them trash one that wound up getting ABET accreditation which is something most RA schools couldn't manage to achieve. If all of those once-NA schools were able to do that, clearly they weren't bad schools.

WGU had national accreditation at one time, but how many here trash WGU? I haven't seen any, and their system is no different today as an RA-only program than it was when it carried NA accreditation. The University of Arkansas system got NA accreditation for its eVersity program, should we say that the group of highly educated people who know the educational system better than most made a mistake? Or, does it stand to reason that they know NA has value and are in a much better position to make that assessment than the average detractor we find on the internet?

Bottom line, and I say this from a place of deep experience: the quality of a school comes down to its administration, not its accreditation or its profit status. America seems to be the one country of people still struggling to understand this.
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#20
(07-21-2020, 12:56 PM)freeloader Wrote: There are lots of other Computer Engineering/ECE/CS PhD programs available online that are both better respected than the NA school and less expensive than the RA schools cited. Mississippi State University, for instance, offers PhDs in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computational Engineering.
University of South Carolina offers a CS program that is in the same price range.

I will be definitely checking out those programs. Although, besides these that you listed and the ones I found before, I could not find any others. Do you know of any others?

(07-22-2020, 02:55 AM)Merlin Wrote: Ultimately, it depends on what you want to do with your doctoral degree?
  • If it is for professional advancement or status purposes, a NA degree is probably just fine. Particularly if it comes from a school with a good reputation (or at least without a bad one). That can also depend on the company and academic or professional field.
  • If your intention is to go into research working for someone else, it may depend on a combination of the school and your academic mentor/supervisor's credentials in the field. People working in research in a specific field tend to all know each other, or at least they probably have mutual contacts.
My goals are both professional advancement and status purposes along with getting a research position.
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