Is this degree worth it? (online CS degree)

  • Programs
  • Thread starter Connor
  • Start date
  • Tags
    Cs Degree
The curriculum of this online degree program at Palmetto College, University of South Carolina, does include some courses that would be useful for someone who wants to pursue a career in computer science. It's worth noting, though, that the degree is not accredited by a recognized accrediting body, so it's not guaranteed to be worth the money.f
  • #1
so I am wanting to go into computer science as a major, but can't really afford in state tuition. I did however found this online degree but its not abet accredited. Is this degree worth it?
  • #2
so I am wanting to go into computer science as a major, but can't really afford in state tuition. I did however found this online degree but its not abet accredited. Is this degree worth it?
Not my field or area, but the guess is NO. Why I say NO, is because
  • Strongly distrust any "online" degree
  • Want some credible organization to accredit the program.
  • Like
Likes member 428835
  • #3
I don't have any current, relevant experience to offer. Sorry, I can't help with specific advice. However I was the hiring manager for many hardware EEs a while ago. Here's my take:

1) If you had a degree from a well respected institution (not just accredited, well respected), then I would assume that you have met some minimum standards for passing university level courses. If that institution was Caltech, MIT, Princeton, etc. then I would assume that you were outstanding at the high school level, probably already doing college work. I might select you above others to interview.

2) If you were a graduate from a low quality institution, that I had experience with interviewing graduates from (Heald Collage comes to mind), then I would suspect that you didn't have the fundamental, background education that we needed (a very high tech company, BTW). I would probably select you to interview if I saw that you had other applicable experience, interesting projects, etc. Otherwise I would probably pass over you. Yes, I know it might be unfair, but I'm a Bayesian in practice (google that if you don't understand, it's worth knowing).

3) In any case (this is the important part!), if I do interview you, you will probably get the same technical questions that I ask everyone. It is what you actually know that counts. I have interviewed people from famous institutions that really didn't have fundamental understanding of their field and I have interviewed people from lesser institutions that had really good understanding of how circuits really work. I have been surprised in both directions.

I think it is a two step process, get an interview and then convince people that you know the subject. I think this is much more true in technical fields than employment in general. At good companies BS is detected early and not tolerated. OTOH talent will succeed in the end.

Your first challenge is to get a good education, however you can, wherever you can. Then you will have something to show off when people ask. I'm not sure that, in the end, the real question is "is this institution respected?", I think it's "can they teach me what I really need to know?". However, there is a reason that famous institutions garner respect. If you have graduated from Caltech, MIT, or Princeton with a physical science degree, I know that you know calculus. If you graduated from Heald, DeVry, etc. then you may need to show me that.
  • #4
so I am wanting to go into computer science as a major, but can't really afford in state tuition.

Since you mentioned "in-state", I'm assuming that you live in the US.

If so, have you looked into financial aid options that are available to you? Many accredited and reputable colleges/universities make some provisions for providing financial aid for students (to ensure that they are a "needs-based" school), whether that be through scholarships, grants, or low-interest student loans.

It's worth exploring those options before considering online degrees that you pointed to.

[Aside: the link the OP provided is referring to online degrees from Palmetto College, University of South Carolina, which is an accredited and recognized college/university in the US. This is certainly different from the diploma mills that we hear about in the news.]
  • #5
Note that this is not a generic CS degree, but "Applied Computer Science with a concentration in Cybersecurity." Also, it's not through the flagship U of South Carolina campus in Columbia, but instead "in partnership through USC Aiken", one of the second-tier regional 4-year campuses.

I followed the link to "see the curriculum" and got only a checklist of required courses, listed only by catalog number, with no titles or descriptions for the CSCI courses.

I suggest that you track down the titles and descriptions, and summarize them for us. Then people here can opine about whether they form a reasonable core of general computer science material in addition to the computer-security specific stuff. You'll probably have to search USC Aiken's website for them.

Suggested for: Is this degree worth it? (online CS degree)