Hello,

I read through quite a few threads on here talking about different Masters programs (many of them mentioned Cornell and UIUC). None of them directly compared the two programs, and I had a few quick questions about people's thoughts.

I have no desire to get a PhD or go into academia or go into research, so I'm just trying to go back into industry after my degree. I did not study CS in undergrad and have worked as a web developer for the past 2 years, so part of my hopes is to gain some CS knowledge that I never learned in undergrad (I've only taken a intro to programming course and a intro to algos and database course in undergrad). The other part of my hopes is to explore AI/ML/Big data. Hopefully I can get a job in AI/ML/Big Data if I like it, but I'm also hoping that the knowledge I gain at my masters will allow me to switch to other CS fields if need be.

People seemed to be down on a course based masters, which is what UIUC would be. Cornell is also course based, but also offers a year long project and an adviser. I'm not sure exactly how much interaction I would have with an adviser, but at UIUC I would have none. Does this offer any advantages in industry?

Cornell is only a 9 month program, and I remember reading that 1 year is not nearly long enough to learn anything and that I'm just paying for a pay increase. I'm hoping to gain further knowledge in CS with a masters, so I definitely actually want to learn. UIUC is 1.5 years and offers an internship before having to find a full time job, which is enticing. But obviously my goal is to get out as soon as I can and restart my career. I'm hoping to be able to take most of the same courses at Cornell as I would at UIUC (I know some will be sacrificed due to the shorter program), but I'm not sure if that'll just be way too stressful and hectic.

I completely understand that both choices are great and both schools are ranked pretty much the same. Cornell costs more, but assuming I find a job right away, the earlier graduation will offset any cost difference.