Online vs Campus-- Considering WGU

codedwarcodedwar Member Posts: 27 ■□□□□□□□□□
Sorry in advance for the length. I am planning to start at a new college and resume work on my bachelors in the next couple months. I'm torn between going to a state university and finishing it at an online school. I will be starting a new job and working full time. The job I have lined up is at a research laboratory where most employees have engineering degrees from state universities. I know that I shouldn't care but I think I will be looked down on by co-workers if I'm going to an online school. Cost is not a huge factor for me as I can use my GI Bill. If I went to WGU, I would probably just use my employers tuition allowance and pay for the rest(if any) myself and save the GI Bill for later. Any thoughts on the situation? What would you choose?


ADDITIONAL (unnecessary) INFO BELOW


I think I could finish it up at WGU pretty quick as I have some certs, some CLEP/Dantes classes, and an associates degree in electronics. I think the competency based model looks really interesting and I think I would enjoy it. I have been studying daily for the last few years so I think I could finish up pretty quick.

If I went to the state university I would be starting further back than at an online college as i don't think as many of my credits would transfer in. My options are pretty much computer science or management information systems. I know this sounds lazy but as much as I would love to complete a BS in computer science, I really don't want to put in the work to do it. They offer most of the classes for the Management information systems online and the requirements are obviously easier than computer science.

Comments

  • Antonio72Antonio72 Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I just started at WGU and am loving it so far. Though for me, it was really the only option. Cost and scheduling were a big concern. I wouldn't have been able to afford to go to another school even with financial aid and I work about 50 hours a week so I needed to find something that I could do in my free time without having to worry about going to class in the middle of the day.


    Since cost is not an issue for you, there's no need to talk about that. As for scheduling, you said that you're starting a full time job. How are they with your schedule? Will they give you time off so that you can attend classes? Or will you be working nights and weekends?


    While I understand the stigma of online schools, I wouldn't use that as a reason not to attend. No matter what school you go to, there will always be someone that will think their school was better. "Oh you went to Yale? I graduated from Harvard!" Even if that rhetorical person graduated at the bottom of their class, they would still look down on anyone that didn't go to their school. The best thing to do is ignore that type of thinking because it does no good to anyone. All that matters is the work you put in and the knowledge gained from the experience.


    Personnaly, I say go for WGU. The best part is the ability to accelerate your degree plan and the flexibility to do it on your time. You could have your bachelors this time next year, if not sooner. Then, if you still want the prestige of wider known school use your GI bill and get your Masters from a typical brick and mortar school.
  • codedwarcodedwar Member Posts: 27 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the input. The new employer seems willing to work with me on scheduling. I won't know to what extent until I start. Work schedule is pretty standard mon-fri. They have a really good program where you work half time while going to school that I eventually want to apply for if I go the state U route. I'm leaning toward WGU. I'm yet to see anyone on the forum with much bad to say about them.
  • ajs1976ajs1976 Member Posts: 1,945 ■■■■□□□□□□
    A lot of state schools have or are starting online programs. Typically they will not be competency based and self-paced like WGU, but it is another option.
    Andy

    2020 Goals: 0 of 2 courses complete, 0 of 2 exams complete
  • certoicertoi Member Posts: 28 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Antonio72 wrote: »
    I just started at WGU and am loving it so far. Though for me, it was really the only option. Cost and scheduling were a big concern. I wouldn't have been able to afford to go to another school even with financial aid and I work about 50 hours a week so I needed to find something that I could do in my free time without having to worry about going to class in the middle of the day.


    Since cost is not an issue for you, there's no need to talk about that. As for scheduling, you said that you're starting a full time job. How are they with your schedule? Will they give you time off so that you can attend classes? Or will you be working nights and weekends?


    While I understand the stigma of online schools, I wouldn't use that as a reason not to attend. No matter what school you go to, there will always be someone that will think their school was better. "Oh you went to Yale? I graduated from Harvard!" Even if that rhetorical person graduated at the bottom of their class, they would still look down on anyone that didn't go to their school. The best thing to do is ignore that type of thinking because it does no good to anyone. All that matters is the work you put in and the knowledge gained from the experience.


    Personnaly, I say go for WGU. The best part is the ability to accelerate your degree plan and the flexibility to do it on your time. You could have your bachelors this time next year, if not sooner. Then, if you still want the prestige of wider known school use your GI bill and get your Masters from a typical brick and mortar school.

    Yup,I second that.Go with WGU for the BS and a B&M later for your Masters.
  • da_vatoda_vato Member Posts: 445
    I am assuming based on your location you are either going to AFRL or Sandia. I can tell you that people in both of those areas really don't care where your degree comes from. I have never received any questions about my degree other than its focus. My military time/experience is brought far more than anything else.

    The only thing about your degree you need to worry about is rather it is accredited or not. Regional accreditation is the best which both, your local U and WGU are. Pick your university based on which will work best for your situation.

    And just a heads up, there is a hierarchy of class around those areas based on your education level, weird atmosphere... but it is what it is.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I can speak about this from real world experience. If you can handle it, state school all the way. I have a bachelors from a B&M state school and my masters from WGU. State school all the way if you can swing it. Just my 2 cents.

    Not that there is anything wrong with WGU, but on average IMO the state school will open up more doors.

    And you are right some people do look down on on line degrees and if that someone is in a position to hire you, you may or may not get the position due to your education.
  • AverageJoeAverageJoe CISM, CDPSE, CISSP, SSCP, CYSA+, SEC+, NET+, A+, LINUX+, PROJECT+ Member Posts: 316 ■■■■□□□□□□
    First, remember the decision you make is not irrevocable. You can start at one school or the other, and if it doesn't work for you then you can try another route.

    Next, what are your longer term plans? Is the research lab someplace you can see yourself working for a while, or is it just a quick stop on the way to something else? Are you doing IT there or something else? If you're thinking you're staying, then your instinct that an online school may not cut the mustard is a worth exploring. You can talk to their HR or your new boss and ask for advice.

    Frankly, I think you're asking here because you've already made up your mind and you want this forum to validate your choice. You know WGU is popular here, so you'll get lots of validation. But part of you thinks that you're better off getting a traditional computer science degree from a non-online school. And since your GI Bill will pay for it, you really have no good reason for not going that route. But you're thinking it will be a lot of work, so you're hoping everyone will tell you a WGU degree is just as good. It's not.

    I have nothing against WGU, and I think it's a great way for folks to get a degree and certifications. But if cost is not an issue, your state U is very likely more respected overall and comp sci is generally a more respected degree than IT.

    And when you say you know you shouldn't care where others got their degrees, maybe you should care. If you'll be competing against them for projects or promotions, it may be a factor. Ask yourself if your boss will think you're a go-getter who should have more responsibility because you're earning a comp sci degree at state U or because you're self-teaching some certs at WGU. It might not matter at all, but then again, it might.

    You already know the comp sci degree at state U is better long term, but you think WGU will be easier. That's telling. Expect your peers, bosses, and hiring managers to look at it the same way.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Joe
  • anoeljranoeljr Member Posts: 278 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'd only really consider going to the brick and mortar if it is a well known state flagship. For example, I was going to University of Texas at Arlington, but transferred to WGU because of the flexibility. If I was going to the flagship, University of Texas at Austin, I may have kept going, but since I was going to a regular, unranked commuter school I didn't see the point to keep going there. Besides, like Antonio72 said you can get a masters at a brick and mortar school. Some people still don't like online schools but that's them, let them think that way. People are having trouble finding jobs everywhere, regardless of where they went to school. Also, if you swing it right, you could probably complete a bachelors at WGU and a masters at a brick and mortar school in about the same time you'd complete the bachelors at the brick and mortar. If you work hard you'll be successful no matter where you go. Good luck in your decision.
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