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CU Boulder Masters on Coursera
#1
I just started the Master of Engineering in Engineering Management (ME-EM) on Coursera with CU Boulder.  There have been a few people interested in the MSDS, forthcoming MSCS, and maybe some for the MSEE.  Here are my thoughts so far:

First, the onboarding.  For some reason I thought I was just going to be able to register pay and start.  It takes about a half day to start getting the automated e-mails to set up your CU stuff.  I registered on a Friday and by Monday there was still no e-mail to link my degree plan with Coursera.  I e-mailed the program and within an hour I had the e-mail.  It actually sent twice, so I think somehow my original e-mail got 'stuck'.  At any rate, I recommend registering before the session begins to work out the kinks as quickly as possible.  After the onboarding course was complete, it took a few hours for the "for credit" version of the course to pop up.  Just an FYI, when you enroll in the for credit courses, you get an entirely new section of Coursera, and you can switch contexts between your regular Coursera stuff and the degree section.  For my first course, the difference between the Coursera and the "for credit" course is an additional week with a final project, which is mostly a compilation of what you've already done and a very short essay.  Overall, I think this type of format is something someone could work through very quickly.  

I'm doing the project management pathway and anyone with a PMP will probably breeze through it. The difficulty of the course really isn't super high and I think all my 400+ level courses at K-State were tougher than the first credit of the first pathway series.  I'm doing so much with projects and acquisitions at work that I may just know the subject matter.  But it isn't a ton of reading academic articles like other grad courses I've taken, nor is there a ton of writing.  You're writing practical documents and it is a lot of charts or tables rather than pure writing.  No lit reviews or citing scholarly articles (which I needed a break from after the TESU capstone anyway!).  So far this is very manageable just listening to videos or AI narrating articles while on my commute and spending less than a half day on the weekend for the assignments.  I expect someone working at this full time who has accelerated through a bachelors already could get in 6 credits or more per 8 week session and finish in under a year (unless the subsequent courses get much harder!).  Overall I think this tracks with what I've heard about MBA courses, which is they're generally not that hard. 

I just thought I'd share my experience so far in case people are interested.  If anyone else has anything to share about their experiences with these programs feel free to add.
Working Toward: ME-EM, CU Boulder (Coursera)
Completed: TESU - BA Computer Science, 2023; TESU - AAS Applied Electronic Studies, 2012; K-State -BS Political Science, 2016
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#2
Thank you for your report! May I ask, do you have a background or undergraduate in Engineering? And will the ME-EM serve your professional purposes better than pursuing an MBA?

I'm planning on doing the upcoming MS-CS from CU Boulder as well, but I imagine tt won't be as easy to accelerate as how you're currently finding your program. I hope to be able to do 2 courses per 8 week term as I imagine 3 may be pushing it and 4 would be too much,
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#3
Hi spohara. How much did/does this cost?
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#4
Basically, It's going to take at about 24 months and cost $20K as per their webpage: https://www.coursera.org/degrees/me-engi...nt-boulder
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#5
(07-18-2023, 08:07 PM)bjcheung77 Wrote: Basically, It's going to take at about 24 months and cost $20K as per their webpage: https://www.coursera.org/degrees/me-engi...nt-boulder

Ouch!
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#6
(07-18-2023, 07:15 PM)karehiro Wrote: Thank you for your report! May I ask, do you have a background or undergraduate in Engineering? And will the ME-EM serve your professional purposes better than pursuing an MBA?

I'm planning on doing the upcoming MS-CS from CU Boulder as well, but I imagine tt won't be as easy to accelerate as how you're currently finding your program. I hope to be able to do 2 courses per 8 week term as I imagine 3 may be pushing it and 4 would be too much,

My background - Academic: just what is listed in my signature.  Professional: I did telecom network stuff a long time ago, and about 7-8 years ago I worked as an electronics tech in a reverse engineering lab.  For the last 7-8 years I've mostly been doing data analysis, but I've moved over into the business side of software development and just started a new job as a program manager.

I think the ME-EM curriculum looks a bit better than an MBA for my purposes.  It touches on project management, some agile development, and soon they should have a course on product development, which is really in my wheelhouse.  It also centers on managing technical teams rather than just general organizational leadership.  There is room in my overall subject matter expertise to do work in Software, engineering, ML/AI, Robotics, etc so I think it gives me flexibility to go into those areas.  I think the MBA designation is much more well known and will be accepted in the business community, but I don' think that will matter for me.  I also considered an MPA since I work in the public sector.  What sold me was the try before you buy - I was able to get 90% of the course content knocked out before I even enrolled which gives me better odds of getting high grades, and the 1-credit chunks which gives me flexibility with a small kid and another on the way.

I haven't looked closely at the MSCS, but I was strongly considering the MSDS before I moved into the program management side of things, and that curriculum looked a lot tougher than the ME-EM. Three hours in 8 weeks is like 6 in a full semester, 9 is usually considered fulltime. There is a long enrollment window and you can always start non-credit and upgrade mid session (I recommend this to ensure success).  You can always hold off until next session and finish a class in the first week or two if you want.

(07-18-2023, 08:07 PM)bjcheung77 Wrote: Basically, It's going to take at about 24 months and cost $20K as per their webpage: https://www.coursera.org/degrees/me-engi...nt-boulder

$20k for this one, but I think 24 months is just something they slap on there.  You can go at any pace and I think even pacing yourself it would be possible to do this in 20 (that is 3 hours per session, equivalent to 6hr in a traditional semester).  I really expect to be finished this in about 18 months and I have a lot of other obligations coming up.

And an FYI, some of their other ones on Coursera are $15k.  Still not cheap, but manageable.  I'm not paying for mine so this isn't a huge deal for me, but the tradeoff is the flexibility this program offers.  If these were all $10k programs I'd say they'd be a front runner for almost everyone.
Working Toward: ME-EM, CU Boulder (Coursera)
Completed: TESU - BA Computer Science, 2023; TESU - AAS Applied Electronic Studies, 2012; K-State -BS Political Science, 2016
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#7
Small update: Just wrapped up my third course of the session. This means my pathway is complete and pending good enough grades (should be there), I should formally gain admission. I'm working at about a 2 weeks per 1-credit course pace as a reference. There are definitely + and - to the program. Its a great school, but the program seems too easy so far. Part of me wonders if that is just because practical documents are easier to write than scholarly research. Or maybe I just know the subject matter of the first series better than I realized. At any rate, the format works better for me right now than anything else would, so its full speed ahead.
Working Toward: ME-EM, CU Boulder (Coursera)
Completed: TESU - BA Computer Science, 2023; TESU - AAS Applied Electronic Studies, 2012; K-State -BS Political Science, 2016
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#8
When I was reading on this, it states that there are 8 week sessions, and they do not recommend taking more than 3 courses at a time. In you experience, that seems to be about the pace you are attempting and I wanted to get your thoughts on that. How much time per week are you committing to taking the courses? If you are able to complete them faster, could you add another course at that time, or do you have to wait until the next session to start again?
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#9
(08-12-2023, 05:09 AM)GameSlinger Wrote: When I was reading on this, it states that there are 8 week sessions, and they do not recommend taking more than 3 courses at a time. In you experience, that seems to be about the pace you are attempting and I wanted to get your thoughts on that. How much time per week are you committing to taking the courses? If you are able to complete them faster, could you add another course at that time, or do you have to wait until the next session to start again?

Time wise, I get around 5-7 hours a week on my commute and another 1-4 hours on the weekend.  I'm listening to videos and turning articles into pdfs and listening to them on natural reader.  3 is very doable, I think I can get up to 4 or at least alternate between 3 and 4 each session.  If I didn't have family obligations during the week and weekend, I could see doing 6 per session if I wanted to push it and possibly more if I wasn't working.  The beauty is you can add courses any time during the session up to the last two weeks.  So I completed all the courses sequentially one at a time and registered for the next just before I complete the previous one (there is a day or two lag between registering and having the course added, so I would add a course right around when I was starting the final project).  Of course take this with a grain of salt, because I have only taken the first 3, and who knows what the others are like.
Working Toward: ME-EM, CU Boulder (Coursera)
Completed: TESU - BA Computer Science, 2023; TESU - AAS Applied Electronic Studies, 2012; K-State -BS Political Science, 2016
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#10
(08-11-2023, 11:05 PM)spohara Wrote: Small update: Just wrapped up my third course of the session.  This means my pathway is complete and pending good enough grades (should be there), I should formally gain admission.  I'm working at about a 2 weeks per 1-credit course pace as a reference.  There are definitely + and - to the program.  It’s a great school, but the program seems too easy so far.  Part of me wonders if that is just because practical documents are easier to write than scholarly research.  Or maybe I just know the subject matter of the first series better than I realized.  At any rate, the format works better for me right now than anything else would, so its full speed ahead.
I am seriously considering starting the pathway for ME-EM. I am wrapping up a certification course on renewables from UNCB via Coursera. I was wondering if the courses are laid out the same. Have you had to take proctored exams or assessments? Or is it pretty much read, watch lectures and take quizzes?
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