Is WGU a good choice?
JSN Member Posts: 56 ■■■□□□□□□□
So I had a recent exchange with someone who said ROI regarding degrees is based on initial investment comparing WGU to Harvard. So with this being said, am I wasting my time going to WGU? If I'm going to be working hard to earn a degree. I expect some sort of return, not just a piece of paper. My goal is to work for a highly regarded company or Fortune 500. For what I've heard opinions wise, you get out of your education what you put into it. But I am concerned, is my hard work going to result in a rewarding career or not?
Now, if you did a traditional subject such as Economics/Accounting etc. I still do believe WGU would be a good bet, however what really establishes the Ivy League is their alumni, links to industry etc where you can network and call someone who is the head of an IB/Hedge Fund etc. This will help possibly fast track your application/career. Education is pretty awesome too.
In a nutshell don't stress about this. You are at a good place and you can leverage this with the skills you build and develop in the future which can hopefully take your career high. Best of luck
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Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance - Western Governors University
Bachelor of Science in Network Administration - Western Governors University
Associate of Applied Science x4 - Heald College
I think there is a real risk of confirmation bias when it comes to WGU and these forums, in particular. The population here is not a representative example of the tech industry as a whole. The audience here values certs and education. They value certs and education highly enough to go out of the way to research, understand, certify, etc. The mindset here is not the dominant mindset in the "real world".
Given who the audience is here, it shouldn't be a surprise that they are cruising through courses. Or that they excel at self-paced, self-study concepts. Or that they want to take advantage of pre-existing knowledge. But, that is a here thing, and not a WGU thing. If you log into the internal forums used by WGU students, you will be amazed at the cross section of people and experience.
"Yeah. You'll be done with your first term of courses in a week. I would rate the academics as less rigorous than my high school honors classes."
Introduction to IT (C182)
Critical Thinking and Logic ( C168 )
Spreadsheets ( C268 )
For anyone who has worked in IT for any measurable length of time, those are pretty easy. But, even among those, there are absolute pitfalls. As an example, Spreadsheets is a ***** of a class. You will do stuff with a spreadsheet in that class, that I guarantee you will never, ever, ever use again in your life.
By comparison, my last three classes were for the CCNA:R&S and the CCNA:Security. If either of those is easier than a high school honors class, I want to see that high school.
It is a good program. If you have a solid knowledge of IT, it greatly helps avoid sitting through intro classes on material you have known for 20 years. But, if you don't know the material, there is still plenty to learn. All of that said, there is still some caveat to WGU: you will get out what you put in. If you approach WGU from a min/max perspective, attempting to do the absolute bare minimum to get by, you can. But if you want to learn and get a solid understanding, that is available too. But it isnt fair to compare doing the bare minimum at WGU with Honors classes to begin with. It isnt like Honors/AP is a bare minimum approach to anything.
Beyond that, it would depend on where you wanted to go in IT. For my BS, I also knocked out Linux+ and Project+, on top of the CompTIA triad and the CCNA, CCNA:Security. With 1-2 years of experience, you arent knocking those out as quickly as you have been led to believe. That is a serious course load. And if you dont have 5+ years working in a good sized company? Org Behavior and Principles of Management aren't going to be a walk in the park, either.
Edit: Also I don't believe principles of engagement or org behavior are in my course load. I'm taking the B.S of Cyber Security and Information Assurance.
You also have to adjust for the numbers of hours you spend studying. I knocked out 62ish credits in one 6 month term. I also was working on school for 14+ hours/day. I believe the guidance is that school should be 2 hours outside of class, for every hour in class. So a college class for 1 hour, every Mon-Wed-Fri should take about 9 hours per week. 4 of those classes would be a full load at 12 credit hours. That's 36 hours per week, over a 12ish week semester? 432 hours. At 14 hours/day, that is about 31 days. A full semester in a month. If you can maintain that for 8 months, that is the same level of effort for a 4 year degree. When you remove a lot of the busy work, and the class participation, and the need to move at the speed of the slowest person, you can get much faster.
The amount of knowledge you gain hasn't changed. What has changed is how concentrated your effort is. Plus, you get to bypass the stuff you already know.