Western Governors University?

I have my AAS in IT and wish I would have finished my Bachelors 5 years ago. So I’ve been working on certs to try and fill “gaps” in my resume and I came along this school.

Western Governors University
http://wgu.edu/online_it_degrees/programs.asp

There was an ad in Windows IT Pro mag.

Any of you guys used it, perused any classes there? I’m more than a bit cautious with all the “IT Training Schools” (aka We’ll take all your money and test you for your MSCE so you can make 50k with no experience schools). I’m sure I don’t need to name names, you’ve all heard the ads.
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Comments

  • bwcartybwcarty Posts: 422Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I've paid the application fee and submitted my transcripts. My transcript review shows that I have credit for all of the non-IT related courses thanks to my previous studies. The IT related courses are all tied to CIW, CompTIA, Microsoft, and Sun related certifications.

    The WGU course "Networks Systems I" is fulfilled by completing MS 70-290. Networks Systems II is the same as MS 70-291, etc.

    I don't know what kind of study guides or training they offer, but if I can finish up my BS from an accredited University while completing a bunch of certs I want to get anyways, it looks good to me.
    Help eradicate blood cancers with a donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
  • GoldmemberGoldmember Posts: 277Member
    I too will enroll in WGU later this year.

    Make sure to take MS-SQL exam 70-431 which will count as elective for Databases with WGU.

    Also you can use CCNA to count for Networking.

    I
    m

    going to take

    Sun
    Java
    Programming
    Certification
    SCJA

    for programming credit as well


    Good luck
    CCNA, A+. MCP(70-270. 70-290), Dell SoftSkills
  • stangmanstangman Posts: 53Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'm currently enrolled and taking my beginning courses here. If you have certifications they take that into account with your transcripts and will show those classes as completed. I tried University of Phoenix and was not impressed at all with there layout and how they ran there classes. With WGU, so far I have enjoyed it. You have a mentor that stays in touch with you weekly or bi-weekly to check up on you and to assist you with any problems you may have.

    As for study materials, they shipped the books to me. It is part of the tuition. You have a chance to use books 24X7 to read additional references if you choose. With CIW, and with Microsoft, you can use training through skillsoft and disks provided with the books itself. You also can take assesments through Measure-up. Certification exams are part of tuition as well.
  • bwcartybwcarty Posts: 422Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    stangman wrote:
    As for study materials, they shipped the books to me. It is part of the tuition. You have a chance to use books 24X7 to read additional references if you choose. With CIW, and with Microsoft, you can use training through skillsoft and disks provided with the books itself. You also can take assesments through Measure-up. Certification exams are part of tuition as well.

    What books did you get shipped from WGU for the Microsoft course?
    Help eradicate blood cancers with a donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
  • stangmanstangman Posts: 53Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I haven't taken that course yet so I cannot answer it just yet. Through Skill soft I was able to download the training material for Microsoft that they had. I have not reviewed it as of yet. To give you an example. For client systems, 70-270, you have study material through computer prep, skillsoft, and Learn Key. You can obtain the Microsoft self-study books on your own. There are also communities, through which you can post questions, to obtain help through the courses.

    I have only been attending for going on two months now. All of my transcripts from when I attended ITT took care of a portion of the normal gen-ed courses. So what you lack in, you have to take.
  • down77down77 Posts: 1,009Member
    I am in my next to last semester at WGU and I have finished all but the Java and SQL IT courses in the Network Design and Technology Management track. I transferred in my MCSE, CCNA, and AA degree from a 2 year institute and was left with 3 semesters of coursework.

    Almost all of the materials I have received for the IT courses have been from Prosoft and are somewhat decent. You also get access to skillsoft, learnkey online, Oreilly Safari, Books 24x7, and more as part of your tuition and library fee. The only books I have had to purchase were for the LPO1 (Leadership, Professionalism, and Business Organizations) and by choice I purchased the Sybex Project+ book.

    IMO if you are self motivated and able to study without the requirement to have someone teach you every step of the way this is a PHENOMINAL track. You set the pace and pick the schedule with the help of your advisor (called Mentors @ WGU). I will be continuing on to the MBA in IT Management when I am complete with the BS NDTM which should be around September 08.

    I will be more than happy to answer any questions on WGU that anyone has, I did about 8mos of research before choosing WGU (I wanted to make sure they were fully accredited and respected).
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • candycorncandycorn Posts: 42Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I have just paid my first tuition payment and will begin May 1st. Does anyone know how long the intro class is? I would like to get it done and over with as soon as possible to start my degree. I've heard several great reviews about WGU, and finally made the decision to join. I'm very anxious and don't know what to expect. I've always sort of been skeptical about online schools, but I hope I made the right choice. The only other cert I possess is my 2007 A+ which takes off two courses. But the comments posted in this thread seem pretty positive....Maybe I can ask you guys for help if I need it?

    Thanks,
    Josh :)
  • down77down77 Posts: 1,009Member
    Candycorn,

    If you are talking about EWOB, it took me about 3 hours to finish the "work" and it was signed off by my mentor when we completed the first "AAV" (academic activity verification). It will show up as passed on your AAP (academic action plan, aka your transcript) after about 3 weeks. After the intro class you may want to knock out WFV1 (IT Fundamentals I: CIW Assosciate Exam) which will allow you access to the rest of the technology courses.

    The academic courses are generally pretty fair though I will warn you, RUA1/2 will take some time due to the amount of writing involved. Build a strong relationship with your Mentor and remember, there are PLENTY of external support forums (such as this one) to assist in your progress. Don't hesitate to send me a private message if you have any questions.
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • candycorncandycorn Posts: 42Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the support! I'll keep this thread in my favorites. :D I was surprised that my A+ didn't waive all three of the IT Fundamental courses. (It did not waive WFV1) So, I'm assuming thats the MS 70-270 cert or something? icon_confused.gif
  • slideoffslideoff Posts: 40Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I just started April 1st.. In May I'll be sitting for CIW Fundamentals, The 2 A+ tests, and Network+ - All paid for by tuition. They pay up to twice for each test. In June I might take a quick break and pursue the CCNA (not included in the program), then as soon as I'm done with that I'll probably get started on the MCSE tests. WGU Rocks!
    "Jeez louise, I can't wait to get my MCSE and quit this job." - Nick Burns
  • down77down77 Posts: 1,009Member
    candycorn wrote:
    Thanks for the support! I'll keep this thread in my favorites. :D I was surprised that my A+ didn't waive all three of the IT Fundamental courses. (It did not waive WFV1) So, I'm assuming thats the MS 70-270 cert or something? icon_confused.gif

    WFV1 (CIW Assosciate) is a pre-req for WSV1 (CIW Professional: Site Development) which is why it is still required. There is no opt out for tht exam other than passing it.... it is a breeze.

    Speaking of the WFV1 and WSV1, you may need those skills for the Javascript exam if you have little experience with XML, HTML, or XHTML. Took the WJV1 (CIW Javascript) this morning and passed with a 90/100. I only have Java and SQL left till I am done with WGU!
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • candycorncandycorn Posts: 42Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Well, I'll take your word for it, and hope its not bad then... I'm always extremely nervous before I take any sort of certification test though. I'll just try to use the study materials they provide and buy any books off amazon if needed. I want to make sure to be confident in my skills before I take a test.
  • stangmanstangman Posts: 53Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    candycorn wrote:
    Well, I'll take your word for it, and hope its not bad then... I'm always extremely nervous before I take any sort of certification test though. I'll just try to use the study materials they provide and buy any books off amazon if needed. I want to make sure to be confident in my skills before I take a test.

    There are several things that will help you. Your mentor will be in touch with you on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. There are also communities to help you out. Communities are where you can post a message if you are having trouble and several people can assist you. Once you get going if you have any questions just bring them up with your mentor. Everyone is there to help you and to help you succeed. I had questions and mentioned them to my mentor and she was teriffic and helped me out.

    Any certification exam can be nerve wracking because of the unknown but with dedication and the backing you receive at WGU I'm sure you will do fine. Not to mention hook up with other classmates through the WGU IM or take in a chat session that they have going on to get further assistance if you need. Relax and I'm sure you will do fine.
  • pwjohnstonpwjohnston Posts: 441Member
    slideoff wrote:
    I just started April 1st.. In May I'll be sitting for CIW Fundamentals, The 2 A+ tests, and Network+ - All paid for by tuition. They pay up to twice for each test. In June I might take a quick break and pursue the CCNA (not included in the program), then as soon as I'm done with that I'll probably get started on the MCSE tests. WGU Rocks!

    How do they work the Tuition? They said it would be something like $5200? Do you just pay it all up front or do you pay it per class you’re taking?
  • pwjohnstonpwjohnston Posts: 441Member
    Also, has anyone transferred with previous transcripts(College or Cert testing)?

    I’m curious because I have my AAS in IT and some certs and I want them to review what I have and tell me exactly what classes I need to pass and how much it will cost before signing up.

    I know I'll probably have to take the JAVA programming and CIW classes in addition to the specialization.
  • vColevCole Posts: 1,574Member
    After seeing this thread, I am interested in WGU. I currently am enrolled at New England Institute of Technology, but am transferring to a community college to up my GPA. I work 40+ hours a week, and being able to do my schooling online would be great... icon_eek.gif
  • down77down77 Posts: 1,009Member
    To answer a few of the questions:

    Tuition: At the undergrad rate it will be $2790 FLAT RATE plus $45 per semester for the library access fee. That means the total tuition per semester is $2835, or approx $5670 per year (a semester is 6 months long rather than 4 1/2mos like a brick and mortar university). Since the tuition is flat rate you pay the same amount for passing 12 or 30 credits. You will be enrolled for a minimum of 12 credits per semester and are allowed to take up to a max of 5 months off between semesters.

    To site an example from my first semester: I was enrolled for 12 credits, i finished 31... I paid $2835. This is my second semester and I am enrolled for 15 credits though I intend to complete 27-33 by the end of the semester, and I will still only pay $2835!!!

    Transfer Credits: WGU does have a list of the certifications that will transfer and what they can be applied towards. For example, my MCSE exempted me from the Network, Security, Workstation and all of the MCSE requirements since I am in the NDTM track. Additionally, my other various certs exempted me out of a few additional courses. My AA degree from a 2 year exempted me from all but a few Gen Ed classes. In the end, I was left with 14 out of almost 40 classes that I will be required to take (I am down to my last 8 courses now). Shoot me a PM and I can send the "blank template" they use as a guide to what will transfer and to which concentrations.

    As stangman said your mentor (advisor) is your lifeline, coach, and motivator to help you get through everything. If you can build a strong relationship with the other students early then it will only increase your chances of success. There are many of us who review this board and another board that is directly related to WGU students (I will not post that here unless mods approve). WGU does provide an accredited degree that is a great "bang for your buck" so to speak. I considered Phoenix Online, AIU, Capella, PSU World Campus, Maryland, and WGU before making my final decision. I also recommend calling your state Department of Education as well as doing the College Board or USA today research before making a decision. I can tell you that the State of Florida DoE HIGHLY recommended the teachers college at WGU for the masters program, and the board of advisors for the technology program is VERY impressive (Dell, IBM, HP, Microsoft, Google, etc).

    I actually have 6 coworkers who are going through the course work and have met to date approx. 40 WGU students.
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • coffeekingcoffeeking Posts: 305Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    What appeals me more than anything is the fact that there is a flat fee. It could cost way too much going to a regular school, infact I paid a lot for my bachelor's over the years.

    One thing clicks me though, if there is a flat fee regardless of number of credits you complete, then you could actually take some time off work and put all your time into completing your credits and be done with it in no time, I think I have it right so far. But, wouldn't that be a loss for WGU to allow you to take an unlimited amount of credit hours for a flat fee?
  • down77down77 Posts: 1,009Member
    All,

    My apologies to not responding to any PMs last month, I was away on a project and recently returned to normal life. If anyone still has any questions about WGU please feel free to post in here or send/re-send me a PM and I will try my best to answer. I should be a bit more active on the boards.

    On a side note, I am finishing the last of my General Ed courses (2 math, 2 reasoning) and then all I have left is my portfolio and capstone before starting on the MBA track!

    Good luck to all who are in the pursuit of a degree, you will never regret the decision.
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • mklaromklaro Posts: 27Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I know this thread hasn't been active for awhile now but I just found it on my search for information and reviews of WGU.

    I have read some bad things as well as some positive things. I paid the app fee and am thining about taking the BS - IT - Net management track.

    I already have my CCNA, MCSE, CIW Associate, Net+ so it would cut down on some time for my degree.

    My worry is that, while accredited, a degree form WGU will not be respected or will not help me on my resume. A fear that people see WGU as a hoax or not a "real school" Also I concerned that I may not beable to transfer it to another school, such as a state university. I reside in MA so UMASS.

    Has anyone here obtained this degree and if yes has it helped them? Have you gotten any negative feedback on it?

    I really appreciate any heads up and feedback. Thanks!

    -Mike
  • MCPWannabeMCPWannabe Posts: 194Member
    mklaro wrote:
    I know this thread hasn't been active for awhile now but I just found it on my search for information and reviews of WGU.

    I have read some bad things as well as some positive things. I paid the app fee and am thining about taking the BS - IT - Net management track.

    I already have my CCNA, MCSE, CIW Associate, Net+ so it would cut down on some time for my degree.

    My worry is that, while accredited, a degree form WGU will not be respected or will not help me on my resume. A fear that people see WGU as a hoax or not a "real school" Also I concerned that I may not beable to transfer it to another school, such as a state university. I reside in MA so UMASS.

    Has anyone here obtained this degree and if yes has it helped them? Have you gotten any negative feedback on it?

    I really appreciate any heads up and feedback. Thanks!

    -Mike

    Mike, I've done some research on this, and I've had the experience of attending an online school. Truthfully, there will be those that look down on your education but the benefits still outweigh the advantages.

    My online degree came from a small state school. But I've still had people respect the fact that I got an MBA. I'm not getting $160,000 a year offers like those who go to the top 15 MBA schools, but I did get a degree and I learned a few things.

    On to the subject of WGU, I'm completing a quick Bachelor's degree there before starting my Masters. I found that many, many jobs do require a Bachelor's or Master's in a computer related field. In my case, as a contractor, I lost out on a 75K a year job because I didn't have a bachelors in Computer Science, MIS, IT, etc.

    So, while yes, there are better options in terms of marketability -- if you need a degree fast that is recognized by the federal government and has regional accreditation, it's not a bad option.
    I've escaped call centers and so can you! Certification Trail and mean pay job offers for me: A+ == $14, Net+==$16, MCSA==$20-$22, MCAD==$25-$30, MCSD -- $40, MCT(Development), MCITP Business Intelligence, MCPD Enterprise Applications Developer -- $700 a Day
  • mklaromklaro Posts: 27Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    MCPwannabe thanks for the reply... are you signing up at WGU for your bachelors degree and then WGU for your Masters?
  • skrpuneskrpune Posts: 1,409Member
    I'm also looking into attending WGU for a BS in IT...but I'm just not sure about it. There are a lot of negative reviews from former/current students, although it seems that those in the IT programs there have a better opinion of it. The fact that the final exams are industry certification exams seems to lend the IT program some more weight. I'm just not sure if I should go there to get a so-so degree and a bunch of certifications, or go elsewhere (looking seriously at AMU/APUS) and spend a bit more to get a slightly more respected degree and then spend a bit more to get my certs on my own.

    So far, I've been "accepted" (as apparently everyone one?) and am waiting for my transcripts from a previous BS (geology) to be reviewed, and also waiting on WGU to get back to me on financial aid issues...they can't seem to tell me for sure what category of student I would be considered, so I'm having trouble getting estimates of my eligibility for financial aid. And apparently, I need to know my 'student level' in order to apply for financial aid, so I'm in a bit of a holding pattern until the F.A. office at WGU gets back to me. Grr.

    I just don't know about WGU. They're regionally accredited, which is great, but I can't get a good bead on their reputation in the workplace. Anyone here graduate WGU with a BS in IT and become gainfully employed thereafter? I worry about the reputation of the school...it's apparently got a 100% acceptance rate, 33% retention rate, and a 39% graduation rate, and those figures kinda worry me.
    Currently Studying For: Nothing (cert-wise, anyway)
    Next Up: Security+, 291?

    Enrolled in Masters program: CS 2011 expected completion
  • MCPWannabeMCPWannabe Posts: 194Member
    mklaro wrote:
    MCPwannabe thanks for the reply... are you signing up at WGU for your bachelors degree and then WGU for your Masters?


    Yeah, I've actually been admitted by taking the real easy test. I start in Feburary. Personally, I'm planning on getting done in 6 months. I'm taking the Security+ and Project+ before I start so I can knock it out quick.

    Regarding the Master's degree. I had planned to go to an ABET accredited school with more name power for my Master's in software engineering. But the rep at Western Governors has told me that they are planning on starting a Master's degree program in IT on May 1st.. and that furthermore, they are discussing a tuition of 3250.

    I'll just need to see what is in the Master's degree program before making a decision.

    But one thing is for sure. I'm very excited about finally getting the Bachelor's degree in IT. The Fortune 500 companies, government contracting agencies, and regulatory bodies are big on it. Plus, those jobs seem to pay very well also.
    I've escaped call centers and so can you! Certification Trail and mean pay job offers for me: A+ == $14, Net+==$16, MCSA==$20-$22, MCAD==$25-$30, MCSD -- $40, MCT(Development), MCITP Business Intelligence, MCPD Enterprise Applications Developer -- $700 a Day
  • MCPWannabeMCPWannabe Posts: 194Member
    skrpune wrote:
    I'm also looking into attending WGU for a BS in IT...but I'm just not sure about it. There are a lot of negative reviews from former/current students, although it seems that those in the IT programs there have a better opinion of it. The fact that the final exams are industry certification exams seems to lend the IT program some more weight. I'm just not sure if I should go there to get a so-so degree and a bunch of certifications, or go elsewhere (looking seriously at AMU/APUS) and spend a bit more to get a slightly more respected degree and then spend a bit more to get my certs on my own.

    So far, I've been "accepted" (as apparently everyone one?) and am waiting for my transcripts from a previous BS (geology) to be reviewed, and also waiting on WGU to get back to me on financial aid issues...they can't seem to tell me for sure what category of student I would be considered, so I'm having trouble getting estimates of my eligibility for financial aid. And apparently, I need to know my 'student level' in order to apply for financial aid, so I'm in a bit of a holding pattern until the F.A. office at WGU gets back to me. Grr.

    I just don't know about WGU. They're regionally accredited, which is great, but I can't get a good bead on their reputation in the workplace. Anyone here graduate WGU with a BS in IT and become gainfully employed thereafter? I worry about the reputation of the school...it's apparently got a 100% acceptance rate, 33% retention rate, and a 39% graduation rate, and those figures kinda worry me.

    Those are good questions. As someone starting at the school, it's farily clear that the school is setup to make a bunch of money. But, I've been through that before. The key advantage with a school like that is time or convenience, and that you get a degree in a computer related field, which makes you eligible for several degrees.

    My opinion, if you are not in a hurry, you should consider some state schools. If you are like me and have spent tons of time in school and are looking to get paid, you may want to consider the quick degree in IT.

    In my case, I am losing about 25K a year in salary due to not having a Bachelor's degree in IT. With my MBA, I would qualify as a Database Business Analyst (starting pay 75-80K), but the position requires a Bachelor's in an IT related field.

    I could wait and get a Master's but I've been though an online degree and a non-online degree. An online degree is usually much harder. Many of us are use to teaching ourselves stuff through certifications but it can be quite an adjustment.

    Likewise, if you are in a hurry to get paid, then it's not a bad idea. Or, if you absolutely need the flexibility of the curriculum.

    Otherwise, I would recommend that you go to a more recognized school.
    I've escaped call centers and so can you! Certification Trail and mean pay job offers for me: A+ == $14, Net+==$16, MCSA==$20-$22, MCAD==$25-$30, MCSD -- $40, MCT(Development), MCITP Business Intelligence, MCPD Enterprise Applications Developer -- $700 a Day
  • meadITmeadIT Posts: 581Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    MCPWannabe wrote:
    Those are good questions. As someone starting at the school, it's farily clear that the school is setup to make a bunch of money. But, I've been through that before. The key advantage with a school like that is time or convenience, and that you get a degree in a computer related field, which makes you eligible for several degrees.

    I don't think that is accurate due to them being a non-profit school (http://www.nwccu.org/Directory%20of%20Inst/Alpha%20Cluster/w_z.html). That is one of the reasons I chose them over Capella and other for profit schools.
    CERTS: VCDX #110 / VCAP-DCA #500 (v5 & 4) / VCAP-DCD #10(v5 & 4) / VCP 5 & 4 / EMCISA / MCSE 2003 / MCTS: Vista / CCNA / CCENT / Security+ / Network+ / Project+ / CIW Database Design Specialist, Professional, Associate
  • skrpuneskrpune Posts: 1,409Member
    Hi MCP, thanks for the reply. :D You make some very good points.

    I'm somewhat in a hurry but not in a total rush. I of course would like to be done sooner rather than later, but I also want to make sure that I invest my time, money, and effort into something that's worth while. I would like to get my degree done in the next 2-3 years. I don't know what will end up "transferring" from my previous BS, but I assume that having completed a degree at another university will allow me to skip at least some if not most of the "core" classes of any program.

    Online schooling will allow me some flexibility with work (currently unemployed but seeking...ugh, not so fun in this economy!) and with starting a family - I'm 33 and my husband is 35, so we're not exactly pushing the envelope with our ages but we don't want to wait too-too long either. I'm considering starting a family while I'm going to school, and if I go to school online that will be significantly easier to accomplish. If I were to go to a "real" school, then I'd have to put my education in 2nd or 3rd place behind my husband's teaching/work schedule (which is at about 55-60+ hours/week right now!) and caring for a little nerdlet...and that leads me to think that my education might just fall to the wayside if it's not flexible enough for me to stick with it.

    To be perfectly honest, if it weren't for the very reasonable pricing & the fact that several certifications are included in the cost of the degree, then I probably wouldn't still be seriously looking at WGU. The cost and certs are keeping it on my list. I could certainly use the extra income (or any income at this point) from getting a higher paying job that requires a degree in IT & more advanced certs. I only have one year experience as an IT tech and a couple of intro level certs, so at this point, I'm not uber-high on the employability scale.

    Like I said before, the WGU IT program seems to get much more positive feedback from current students, but I'm having a hard time tracking down feedback from people who have completed the program for their take on what the program has done for them & their employability. Anyone out there have a BS in IT from WGU who would like to share some success stories?

    I'm also considering going to the state university that my husband teaches at. The only snag in that is that if I'm getting a second bachelors, they will charge me graduate student rates (170 vs 220 per credit - OUCH!) even if I'm taking only undergrad courses. My husband knows someone in the comp. sci. department so I'm going to see if I can talk to him & see if it makes sense for me to just skip the bs and go right into a masters program since I'd be paying graduate rates anyway...and I'd like to know if he has any input on how online degrees are viewed in the world of IT...
    Currently Studying For: Nothing (cert-wise, anyway)
    Next Up: Security+, 291?

    Enrolled in Masters program: CS 2011 expected completion
  • MCPWannabeMCPWannabe Posts: 194Member
    meadIT wrote:
    MCPWannabe wrote:
    Those are good questions. As someone starting at the school, it's farily clear that the school is setup to make a bunch of money. But, I've been through that before. The key advantage with a school like that is time or convenience, and that you get a degree in a computer related field, which makes you eligible for several degrees.

    I don't think that is accurate due to them being a non-profit school (http://www.nwccu.org/Directory%20of%20Inst/Alpha%20Cluster/w_z.html). That is one of the reasons I chose them over Capella and other for profit schools.

    Truthfully, I would have said the same thing until I took a business law course. They are non-profit in the same way that hospitals are non-profit but the hospital owner often takes home a salary of over 1 million dollars a year.

    Basically, to provide a concise explanation that once rocked my world: education, health, and charitable industries are provided special incentives to file as nonprofit. However, lots of people can still get very rich.

    You can do a Freedom of Information Act request with the IRS for their 501c and from the Department of Education for their financial reporting. You should see a lot of interesting information.

    Not saying this is bad by the way as I'll be attending the school myself.. in fact, it wasn't even an issue for me.
    I've escaped call centers and so can you! Certification Trail and mean pay job offers for me: A+ == $14, Net+==$16, MCSA==$20-$22, MCAD==$25-$30, MCSD -- $40, MCT(Development), MCITP Business Intelligence, MCPD Enterprise Applications Developer -- $700 a Day
  • MCPWannabeMCPWannabe Posts: 194Member
    skrpune wrote:
    Hi MCP, thanks for the reply. :D You make some very good points.

    I'm somewhat in a hurry but not in a total rush. I of course would like to be done sooner rather than later, but I also want to make sure that I invest my time, money, and effort into something that's worth while. I would like to get my degree done in the next 2-3 years. I don't know what will end up "transferring" from my previous BS, but I assume that having completed a degree at another university will allow me to skip at least some if not most of the "core" classes of any program.

    Online schooling will allow me some flexibility with work (currently unemployed but seeking...ugh, not so fun in this economy!) and with starting a family - I'm 33 and my husband is 35, so we're not exactly pushing the envelope with our ages but we don't want to wait too-too long either. I'm considering starting a family while I'm going to school, and if I go to school online that will be significantly easier to accomplish. If I were to go to a "real" school, then I'd have to put my education in 2nd or 3rd place behind my husband's teaching/work schedule (which is at about 55-60+ hours/week right now!) and caring for a little nerdlet...and that leads me to think that my education might just fall to the wayside if it's not flexible enough for me to stick with it.

    To be perfectly honest, if it weren't for the very reasonable priciso at this point, I'm not uber-high on the employability scale.

    Like I said before, the WGU IT program seems to get much more positive feedback from current students, but I'm having a hard time tracking down feedback from people who have completed the program for their take on what the program has done for them & their employability. Anyone out there have a BS in IT from WGU who would like to share some success stories?

    I'm also considering going to the state university that my husband teaches at. The only snag in that is that if I'm getting a second bachelors, they will charge me graduate student rates (170 vs 220 per credit - OUCH!) even if I'm taking only undergrad courses. My husband knows someone in the comp. sci. department so I'm going to see if I can talk to him & see if it makes sense for me to just skip the bs and go right into a masters program since I'd be paying graduate rates anyway...and I'd like to know if he has any input on how online degrees are viewed in the world of IT...

    Skrpune,

    Your case is not uncommon. I, too, am in my early thirties and going through a similar situation, except that I'm dealing with it from the male end.

    There is nothing worse than to complete a highly rigorous curriculum and find yourself unmarketable. In my case, I did a 2 year stint in medical school -- left because I hated medical school, came back home and had to accept a job for $6.50 an hour at a call center. This, after having been an honors student in college, was pretty disheartening.

    Regarding the Degree and in your case, I think that you are definitely doing the right thing. Universities and government agencies are especially good about waiving experience requirements if you have an IT related degree.

    And let's be honest, most people will look at Western Governors and think that it is worthless, but it is accredited and that means that Federal, State, Local, and Charitable organizations will recognize it. Plus, the certifications will lend a lot of legitimacy.

    If you took a lot of math and science, which I'm fairly sure that you did, then you may be surprised to find out that you are very close to a computer science degree. In my case, I found out that I only need 33 hours to get a degree.

    Unfortunately, however, 33 hours of school and working full-time can take a little while. I didn't want to wait two years for a payday as I'm at the age where I should finally be getting some rewards for investing all that time and money in my education.

    A state school will look significantly better but you will still come out far ahead with a degree in IT from WGU. Also, employers have another habit that I've found. They tend to recognize you by the best school on your resume. I've learned this from dealing with employers in interviews, as the state school that I attended for undergraduate was very well-recognized, and the one I attended for graduate was not so well recognized.

    Student input for an online school is a very hard and inaccurate gauge. Those that are extremely happy are those that are getting past the curriculum and those that have made it past the curriculum. Those that are upset are the ones who could not keep up or are about to fail out.

    If you've got two or three years to complete a degree, it may be better to just do a graduate degree. While more expensive, at least you put yourself in line to make IT director after getting your 5 years of experience somewhere. However, with a child, this may not be so easy -- especially in the infancy stage.

    My experience with an online degree was that the program admitted lots of people with the full expectation that several people wouldn't make it. Students did not have the default support structure as seen it regular classes, and we had to teach ourselves everything. But for those of us who made it out, it proved to be a positive experience. I wouldn't equate what I learned with what I could have learned as a full-time student in a classroom, but I did benefit a lot from the degree.

    In your case, I would look at the Bachelor's strictly as an option to get work or further advance yourself until you can get a Master's.
    I've escaped call centers and so can you! Certification Trail and mean pay job offers for me: A+ == $14, Net+==$16, MCSA==$20-$22, MCAD==$25-$30, MCSD -- $40, MCT(Development), MCITP Business Intelligence, MCPD Enterprise Applications Developer -- $700 a Day
  • mklaromklaro Posts: 27Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    This is all really good info and I appreciate everyones responses. My whole thing is im making great money for having no degree. I have some solid exp. and certs. I just feel like I have hit a ceiling. I can't get more money at my current job by obtaining a bachelors degree but I dont think I could get into a director or CIO position in IT without having a degree. This is what I'm trying to accomplish. Also my thing is I work FT and want to speed things up a bit and me having some of the certs gains me some progress through the WGU program.

    Reviews of WGU are hit and miss like others said. I just want to make sure by spending this money and time and effort that It wont be all for nothing. That this degree will help me excel to a CIO / Director type role.

    Has anyone contacted any state colleges or universities to see if they accept a WGU undergrad degree?
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