That makes it very easy then. Go to Purdue As you suggest, the CMU program is meant to be practical rather than academic, which is why they have students working in teams on projects rather than have them working alone on a thesis.(what if I want to apply for a PhD at MIT or Stanford next year)?
While it is true that the CMU program has been the leader in establishing the curriculum for the practice of software engineering, the ROI of the tuition relative to other programs is very suspect:1) CMU has better ranking and reputition than Purdue but it has no funding opportunities (up to my knowledge).
So even if you just want to work in industry all your life, I would still recommend Purdue since, as you know, the tuition is relatively affordable while having relatively good opportunities for getting a TA/GA/RA position at some point.According to PayScale.com, the median salary for someone with an MS in Software Engineering from CMU is $78,030. However, the highest pay went to graduates of three other programs:
National University - $90,132
Seattle University - $84,048
DePaul Univeristy - $81,677