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Thread: Harvard ALM IT degree

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    TestMagic Guru CalmLogic's Avatar
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    Harvard ALM IT degree

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    Which master's degree do you think is more impressive for most human resource departments?

    ALM in Information Technology
    Harvard University
    (total cost of graduate tuition less than $20,000; mostly online; guaranteed admission if you do well in three courses)

    M.S. in Computer Science
    Georgia Institute of Technology
    (difficult to be admitted to; must pay for housing for up to 2 years)

    Of course, I would recommend Georgia Tech over Harvard for job placement, especially concerning placement for an H1B sponsorship.

    My point is that most people, including those who work in the human resource departments of corporate America, are mostly clueless about USNews rankings for computer science. Therefore, if one can't get into a school that ranks well in USNews, one may want to consider distance learning options since it can be cheaper while providing a reputable education, with Harvard's Extension School being surprsingly affordable compared to other Ivy programs.

    UPDATE: As someone pointed out to me, a potential issue with Harvard's ALM program (Master of Libraral Arts in Information Technology) is that it is strictly a professional, terminal degree. So if you want to be an academic or researcher sometime in the future, it is not a good option.
    Last edited by CalmLogic; 12-05-2007 at 04:04 PM.

  2. #2
    Within my grasp! MDK's Avatar
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    My point is that most people, including those who work in the human resource departments of corporate America, are mostly clueless about USNews rankings for computer science
    If they cares about USNews ranking then I think they would care more about the type of the degree ( online or class attendance) .

    IMHO, attending a graduate school would be more valuable , and would pay off

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    TestMagic Guru CalmLogic's Avatar
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    attending a graduate school would be more valuable, and would pay off
    Thank you for that perspective, and I agree with you. The question would then be: how valuable? $10,000 more? $30,000? $60,000? $200,000? So it would depend on the student, including his/her career interests, potential earning ability, learning style, life goals, personal values, etc., and which programs are being compared.

    But to further your point, which is a very good one:

    Dr. Shah said of Javed, "He has been performing extremely well." In his time at UCF, Javed submitted one revised journal paper which has been accepted, another one is under review, and the third one is under preparation.

    Regarding his visit, Javed said "If a person sits in a shop of perfumes his clothes become a little fragrant at the end of the day, even when he does not explicitly apply any perfume on his clothes. Similarly, when I came here from Pakistan, sat in the world-famous Computer Vision Lab and worked collaboratively with active researchers, I feel myself enriched with the new ideas and current trends of research in the field." He continued on to say "I definitely owe Dr. Mubarak Shah for inviting me"

    http://server.cs.ucf.edu/~vision/new...r_06_rev11.pdf
    Last edited by CalmLogic; 12-06-2007 at 02:33 AM.

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    TestMagic Guru CalmLogic's Avatar
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    More proof that MDK is right:

    So I finally got that piece of paper on June 9th (last Thursday) after almost 5 years of attending the Harvard Extension School at night to pursue a Masters in Extension Studies in Information Technology (or ALM IT). I actually completed all 10 required courses within the first 1 1/2 years of the program (3 years ago) but I procrastinated for another 3 years before I finally got my act together and wrote the thesis, which is required in order to graduate from the program.
    I was delightfully impressed with Harvard commencement, which I found it to be very colorful and entertaining. To Siobhan's chagrin, I have always appeared apathetic to the Masters program at the Harvard Extension School. I finally realized (or affirmed) why I felt this way during my commencement last week. My apathy stems from the fact that I hardly know anyone in the program. I have nothing or nobody at Harvard to identify myself with. The social dynamics and community engagement, in my opinion, are weak since most students are working professionals who attend the school part time during evenings. I am hoping that my current academic experience at MIT will be different from that of Harvard. In the end, I am glad I made it through the program.

    Cybersam's Blog - So I am now a Harvard Grad

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    TestMagic Guru CalmLogic's Avatar
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    Regarding the coursework difficulty level at Harvard's Extension School (HES), it's not too impressive:

    I think the HES ALM is equivalent in quality to the M.S. in Engineering I got from a midwestern state university, but not of the caliber of a public ivy like Michigan or Illinois. More like a solid Iowa State type of degree...I believe the algorithms course, while a dual Harvard College/HES offering, is sophomore level at HC [Harvard College].

    Extension Student / Reflectiions Upon ALM Completion
    On the other hand, the real challenge of the program is the thesis (which, upon completion, is archived in a Harvard library):

    My advice to you is to start thinking about your thesis topic EARLY. By my understanding, that's the BIGGEST reason that people don't complete the ALM. Not the classes or grades.

    Extension Student / Reflectiions Upon ALM Completion
    BTW, the University of Florida offers an online master's degree in computer science, which does not have a thesis option.
    Last edited by CalmLogic; 12-20-2007 at 10:30 PM.

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