Going to College as an Adult

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Sanrith Descartes Sanrith Descartes I'm pretty dead set on staying as a software engineer but I do always seek to improve my situation. I am focusing on a bunch of certifications right now (Salesforce because $$$$$$) and I have a Masters degree in Statistics already.

I am considering getting an MBA though. It's definitely going to be from wgu.edu though because I fully support their radical education model. Might take it up in 2 years. Do you think it will be big time beneficial to you in your career or what?
 

Sanrith Descartes

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Sanrith Descartes Sanrith Descartes I'm pretty dead set on staying as a software engineer but I do always seek to improve my situation. I am focusing on a bunch of certifications right now (Salesforce because $$$$$$) and I have a Masters degree in Statistics already.

I am considering getting an MBA though. It's definitely going to be from wgu.edu though because I fully support their radical education model. Might take it up in 2 years. Do you think it will be big time beneficial to you in your career or what?
1st... If you do it dont go to WGU. It took lots of searching but I found an online MBA program from a State University (Texas) that doesnt charge out of state fees. If you are going to commit the time to do it, getting it from a State school will carry with it a bit more gravitas. University of Texas at the Permian Basin may not be the most prestigious of the U of T schools, but when I say I am getting my MBA from U of T I fail to mention which specific school it is :). That being said with no out-of-state tuition fees, and no online fees, the full MBA runs around 10k - 11k (depending on your undergrad and if they will waive the Finance and Accounting classes or not). This is an accelerated program so each class is 8 weeks instead of the normal 17. Part time is 1 class a session (2 in a semester) and full-time is 2 and 4. Three credits per class. Think of it like taking the Session 1/Session 2 classes in a semester if you ever took those half semester classes. The program and staff have been solid so far. I highly recommend it over one of the more traditional "online universities" like WGU, Phoenix, Southern New Hampshire etc. Fair or not, they carry a stigma of being diploma mills. You straight up cannot beat 10k for an MBA from a State University unless its free because your company is paying for it.

link:
MBA Online | UT Permian Basin Online

Part 2: is it worth it? Truth is in business, people worship at the cock of the letters MBA. People who dont have one think it is a magic title that makes you Warren Buffet. People who have one are part of the club and its a really tightly knit club. I equate it to having an Ivy League degree. For the exact same reasons. Ivy graduates are a tight club. From my perspective, I would hire you with a Stats degree over an MBA but thats because I worship at the altar of math. I know that someone who can learn math and stats can be taught anything because they aren't a functional moron. I hired my current bookkeeper over a bunch of applicants with accounting degrees because she has a business econ degree. She can do math.

Personally, I have 30 years in business (25 with a Fortune 100 company) and i will tell you I learned maybe 10-15% new stuff getting my MBA. I will also say I am the exception and not the rule. There is a lot of good info presented in an MBA curriculum. Your personal experience really determine how much you will learn form it. Think of it like this, a BBA teaches you how to run a crew or a department. An MBA teaches you how to run a company. Its a lot of the same undergrad stuff just taught from a much higher level point of view. If you should ever decide to shoot for management or start your own consulting business the MBA after your name will open lots of doors for you. Is it worth 50 or 100k? Fuck no. Is it worth 10k? Definitely. Its all about ROI. My friend is finishing his BBA in Info Systems. He is currently deciding between an MBA or an MIS (Master of Info Systems). If you only intend on staying in the software world and aspire to nothing higher than being a CIO or CSO, then the MIS might be a better fit. My opinion there goes back to the letters. People worship the MBA. They dont worship the MIS. The MBA will help you if you ever branch out of software and at the same time will help you climb the software geek corporate ladder.

Class example: Our business law class didn't really deal with the law at all. It dealt with creating a start-up company from scratch from the legal point of view. How to file articles of incorporation with the state, how to set up tax status with the IRS, how to issue shares to the founders, how to get funding and make a pitch deck, how to go public etc. I had already done this twice in life already but had I not it would have been an amazing class. It would have saved me time and mistakes my first time setting up an LLC and writing up a business plan for the bank. I really enjoyed this class.

Hope this helps.
 
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1st... If you do it dont go to WGU. It took lots of searching but I found an online MBA program from a State University (Texas) that doesnt charge out of state fees. If you are going to commit the time to do it, getting it from a State school will carry with it a bit more gravitas. University of Texas at the Permian Basin may not be the most prestigious of the U of T schools, but when I say I am getting my MBA from U of T I fail to mention which specific school it is :). That being said with no out-of-state tuition fees, and no online fees, the full MBA runs around 10k - 11k (depending on your undergrad and if they will waive the Finance and Accounting classes or not). This is an accelerated program so each class is 8 weeks instead of the normal 17. Part time is 1 class a session (2 in a semester) and full-time is 2 and 4. Three credits per class. Think of it like taking the Session 1/Session 2 classes in a semester if you ever took those half semester classes. The program and staff have been solid so far. I highly recommend it over one of the more traditional "online universities" like WGU, Phoenix, Southern New Hampshire etc. Fair or not, they carry a stigma of being diploma mills. You straight up cannot beat 10k for an MBA from a State University unless its free because your company is paying for it.

link:
MBA Online | UT Permian Basin Online

Part 2: is it worth it? Truth is in business, people worship at the cock of the letters MBA. People who dont have one think it is a magic title that makes you Warren Buffet. People who have one are part of the club and its a really tightly knit club. I equate it to having an Ivy League degree. For the exact same reasons. Ivy graduates are a tight club. From my perspective, I would hire you with a Stats degree over an MBA but thats because I worship at the altar of math. I know that someone who can learn math and stats can be taught anything because they aren't a functional moron. I hired my current bookkeeper over a bunch of applicants with accounting degrees because she has a business econ degree. She can do math.

Personally, I have 30 years in business (25 with a Fortune 100 company) and i will tell you I learned maybe 10-15% new stuff getting my MBA. I will also say I am the exception and not the rule. There is a lot of good info presented in an MBA curriculum. Your personal experience really determine how much you will learn form it. Think of it like this, a BBA teaches you how to run a crew or a department. An MBA teaches you how to run a company. Its a lot of the same undergrad stuff just taught from a much higher level point of view. If you should ever decide to shoot for management or start your own consulting business the MBA after your name will open lots of doors for you. Is it worth 50 or 100k? Fuck no. Is it worth 10k? Definitely. Its all about ROI. My friend is finishing his BBA in Info Systems. He is currently deciding between an MBA or an MIS (Master of Info Systems). If you only intend on staying in the software world and aspire to nothing higher than being a CIO or CSO, then the MIS might be a better fit. My opinion there goes back to the letters. People worship the MBA. They dont worship the MIS. The MBA will help you if you ever branch out of software and at the same time will help you climb the software geek corporate ladder.

Class example: Our business law class didn't really deal with the law at all. It dealt with creating a start-up company from scratch from the legal point of view. How to file articles of incorporation with the state, how to set up tax status with the IRS, how to issue shares to the founders, how to get funding and make a pitch deck, how to go public etc. I had already done this twice in life already but had I not it would have been an amazing class. It would have saved me time and mistakes my first time setting up an LLC and writing up a business plan for the bank. I really enjoyed this class.

Hope this helps.
MBA is a degree that's perfectly designed for an experienced professional. I always crack up when I read job applications from 22 year old applicants for management positions because they got an MBA right after their bachelor's without ever holding a real job. They are usually super ambitious with an extremely inflated sense of self-worth, and although some of them are obviously very sharp it's rarely with the trouble. These are typically the sort of people who don't accept that it takes years of experience to learn the ropes, and they are convinced that they should "be in charge" right away because they hold the secret to transforming the business.

On the other hand, when I see someone with some decent, real-world experience who is working their way up the responsibility ladder, adding the MBA can be a nice cherry on top. It's a straightforward, quantifiable way to show you can commit to further developing your business leadership skills, and I actually believe that the classes have some value when they come with the context of some actual work experience. I consider those MBA candidates less as having "special skills" and more as being willing to spend the time and money to prove that they are serious about taking the next career steps. It still matters way less than the interview and the track record, but it can at least help tip the scales in your favor. Plus, if you ever want to do the startup thing, it can get you an audience with investors who place a weirdly high value on the MBA.

Honestly, I believe most advanced/terminal degree paths, including JD, MD, PhD, and MBA, should require or at least really, really prefer, at least a year or two of real-world work experience post-college. I worked for a year after college and it convinced me to completely switch career paths and that was one of the best decisions of my life.
 
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Sanrith Descartes

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MBA is a degree that's perfectly designed for an experienced professional. I always crack up when I read job applications from 22 year old applicants for management positions because they got an MBA right after their bachelor's without ever holding a real job. They are usually super ambitious with an extremely inflated sense of self-worth, and although some of them are obviously very sharp it's rarely with the trouble. These are typically the sort of people who don't accept that it takes years of experience to learn the ropes, and they are convinced that they should "be in charge" right away because they hold the secret to transforming the business.

On the other hand, when I see someone with some decent, real-world experience who is working their way up the responsibility ladder, adding the MBA can be a nice cherry on top. It's a straightforward, quantifiable way to show you can commit to further developing your business leadership skills, and I actually believe that the classes have some value when they come with the context of some actual work experience. I consider those MBA candidates less as having "special skills" and more as being willing to spend the time and money to prove that they are serious about taking the next career steps. It still matters way less than the interview and the track record, but it can at least help tip the scales in your favor. Plus, if you ever want to do the startup thing, it can get you an audience with investors who place a weirdly high value on the MBA.

Honestly, I believe most advanced/terminal degree paths, including JD, MD, PhD, and MBA, should require or at least really, really prefer, at least a year or two of real-world work experience post-college. I worked for a year after college and it convinced me to completely switch career paths and that was one of the best decisions of my life.
Yeah easily half the students in my cohort just got their undergrads and went straight into the MBA program. Many are non-management currently and I wonder about them getting an MBA when they have never even been an entry level management team member.

The plus side of this is on every group project I volunteer to lead the team and lay out the path we take for completion and they always say yes. While I dont always like being the lead dog, at least I know we always have a solid plan to complete on time because I designed it.
 

wormie

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An update to my school adventures. After last semester difficulties, I decided to dilute my math classes with some CS and bio stuff. Last semester the more pure math class beat my ass like I was the unwanted step child. And by pure math I mean my dynamical systems class, which an entirely pure subject and turned out to be a ridiculously difficult class for me and took a lot of work to get through. Shockingly to me, my favorite class ended up being stochastic processes, a class which I did not think I was any good at. The third class was just part 2 of undergraduate analysis course and that stuff isnt too difficult and not worth mentioning other than that my professor sucked dick at teaching abstract math over zoom.

Anyway, this current semester I am taking stochastic processes part 2 which is fucking amazing. I am also taking a computer architecture class which is 99% boolean algebra which I am also enjoying a lot (always liked algebra so this isnt a shock and was expected; i am good at it too which makes the serotonin flow easily). The other classes are computation molecular biology and applied statistics with a focus on biological processes.

The molecular bio, sadly, so far is a crash course in python and its scientific libraries which is 99.99% review for me so its a bit of a disappointment. I did join the professors mailing list of grad students where we read and implement deep learning papers though so far I have just consumed the literature instead of doing anything about it. I am really looking forward to diving into the semester project for this class though I am not certain what topics I will be assigned.

The applied stats class is by far the easiest thing I am taking. Its all R programming (also something thats entirely review) so there is only a tiny bit of math involved and is mostly broad concepts and ideas about experiment design and hypothesis testing. The problem sets are pretty interesting so by "easy" I do not mean boring.

And so, so far the semester is going well. I am a bit pressed for time (new relationship, which is slowly of turning serious, is taking up a bit of my time) but the classes are enjoyable and nowhere near as difficult or time consuming as a full semester of advanced math classes.

This has been my livejournal update, thanks for reading. PS. Zoom lectures still suck donkey balls.
 
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Sanrith Descartes

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Finishing up classes 7 and 8 of my MBA. MIS and Marketing. The MIS class... well, I was a CIO before I was an entrepreneur. Cake walk. The marketing class was a single giant marketing project for the semester where you pick a small business. I chose one of the ones I own and had already done up multiple marketing campaigns. The only ding she gave me was I wrote "too much like an academic and not like a business person". I reminded her this was not my first graduate degree and I have written academically for publication. The dings for my writing stopped after that. I got 2 classes left for the summer and I am done. First world problem: They arent offering them both in the same 7-week session so I have to go the entire summer before I graduate. Heathens.
 

wormie

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Finishing up classes 7 and 8 of my MBA. MIS and Marketing. The MIS class... well, I was a CIO before I was an entrepreneur. Cake walk. The marketing class was a single giant marketing project for the semester where you pick a small business. I chose one of the ones I own and had already done up multiple marketing campaigns. The only ding she gave me was I wrote "too much like an academic and not like a business person". I reminded her this was not my first graduate degree and I have written academically for publication. The dings for my writing stopped after that. I got 2 classes left for the summer and I am done. First world problem: They arent offering them both in the same 7-week session so I have to go the entire summer before I graduate. Heathens.
The teacher for the stats class demands we submit our write up for problem sets in conference format but only the results and discussion portions. Been doing a lot of tables and graphs and am enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. Still kind of dislike stats but interactive environments like google colab/jupyter lab and R notebooks are making data analysis a pretty fun process.

Also, my comp architecture class is on homework # 19 now with a project due in two weeks. The amount of work she expects is nuts and I feel terrible for all the CS people with next to no rigorous mathematical training.
 
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Sanrith Descartes

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The teacher for the stats class demands we submit our write up for problem sets in conference format but only the results and discussion portions. Been doing a lot of tables and graphs and am enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. Still kind of dislike stats but interactive environments like google colab/jupyter lab and R notebooks are making data analysis a pretty fun process.

Also, my comp architecture class is on homework # 19 now with a project due in two weeks. The amount of work she expects is nuts and I feel terrible for all the CS people with next to no rigorous mathematical training.
If you like R, it might be worth spending a few bucks and getting a lifetime license for Stata. Best couple hundred bucks I ever spent. And I got a student discount when I bought it.

 

Sanrith Descartes

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"I feel terrible for all the CS people with next to no rigorous mathematical training."

Math is, and always has been, the language of smart people. People who can't grasp math make me want to scream.
 

wormie

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If you like R, it might be worth spending a few bucks and getting a lifetime license for Stata. Best couple hundred bucks I ever spent. And I got a student discount when I bought it.

You have that backwards, its supposed to work the other way..From STATA to R, not the other direction. :D

Having said that, I still occasionally bust out mathematica and matlab even though I am fairly proficient in a number of real programming languages.
 
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Sanrith Descartes

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You have that backwards, its supposed to work the other way..From STATA to R, not the other direction. :D

Having said that, I still occasionally bust out mathematica and matlab even though I am fairly proficient in a number of real programming languages.
GIF by Busch
 

Khane

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The majority of software development has absolutely nothing to do with anything more than the most basic of math.

That being said I had to take up to and including discrete mathematics. Logic is probably the most useful math concept for us nerds.

Most software development is probably more art than science to be honest. I don't remember shit about discrete math. I would fail miserably if someone tried to quiz me on even basic concepts these days most likely. Which sounds crazy considering how much its actually probably part of things I use fairly frequently like structures and enums. I would just never be able to apply it to a "classroom setting" without relearning it.
 

wormie

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The majority of software development has absolutely nothing to do with anything more than the most basic of math.

That being said I had to take up to and including discrete mathematics. Logic is probably the most useful math concept for us nerds.

Most software development is probably more art than science to be honest. I don't remember shit about discrete math. I would fail miserably if someone tried to quiz me on even basic concepts these days most likely. Which sounds crazy considering how much its actually probably part of things I use fairly frequently like structures and enums. I would just never be able to apply it to a "classroom setting" without relearning it.
I would definitely put software development in the engineering column and not the science one. I have no idea why schools dont have separate software development degrees and force everyone who wants to program to take math and logic courses.

Having said that, a lot of current research in CS is very much a science, especially the trendy shit like machine learning, and the lack of scientific training and the engineering approach to things is painfully and obviously a negative thing when you read the literature.
 

Khane

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I would definitely put software development in the engineering column and not the science one. I have no idea why schools dont have separate software development degrees and force everyone who wants to program to take math and logic courses.

Having said that, a lot of current research in CS is very much a science, especially the trendy shit like machine learning, and the lack of scientific training and the engineering approach to things is painfully and obviously a negative thing when you read the literature.

My school did have this. It was called Management of Information Systems which they then renamed Information Systems and Business Processes by the time I graduated. CS was a separate curriculum that required more math.
 

wormie

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My school did have this. It was called Management of Information Systems which they then renamed Information Systems and Business Processes by the time I graduated. CS was a separate curriculum that required more math.
Yeah. I have seen a few of those degrees around. A lot of kids look down on them because the internet tells them CS degree is the way to go. Then they take a discrete math class and calculus and fail out, or worse, head to the humanities side of campus.
 

Sanrith Descartes

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My school did have this. It was called Management of Information Systems which they then renamed Information Systems and Business Processes by the time I graduated. CS was a separate curriculum that required more math.
MIS is the degree for wanna-be CIOs and CSOs. You dont actually know what all the software and hardware guys under you do, but you learn how to "supervise" them and make budgets.
 

Khane

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Yeah. I have seen a few of those degrees around. A lot of kids look down on them because the internet tells them CS degree is the way to go. Then they take a discrete math class and calculus and fail out, or worse, head to the humanities side of campus.

It was certainly looked down upon at my school. Mostly because I went to a university known for its engineering programs and IS&BP was labeled as a School of Business degree. And engineers laughed at the business kids.

EDIT: Basically what Sanrith said.
 

Sanrith Descartes

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You know what burns my ass the most? Colleges refuse to teach advanced math classes at night. Try having a real job and wanting to study math. Fucking impossible.
 

Sanrith Descartes

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It was certainly looked down upon at my school. Mostly because I went to a university known for its engineering programs and IS&BP was labeled as a School of Business degree. And engineers laughed at the business kids.

EDIT: Basically what Sanrith said.
Same at my schools. The MIS is for the BBA in ISM grads who don't want to do the MBA so they steer them into the MIS.