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Ask Slashdot: Fastest, Cheapest Path To a Bachelor's Degree? 370

First time accepted submitter AnOminusCowHerd (3399855) writes "I have an Associates degree in programming and systems analysis, and over a decade of experience in the field. I work primarily as a contractor, so I'm finding a new job/contract every year or two. And every year, it gets harder to convince potential employers/clients that 10-12 years of hands-on experience doing what they need done, trumps an additional 2 years of general IT education.

So, I'd like to get a Bachelor's degree (preferably IT-related, ideally CS, accredited of course). If I can actually learn something interesting and useful in the process, that would be a perk, but mainly, I just want a BSCS to add to my resume. I would gladly consider something like the new GA Tech MOOC-based MSCS degree program — in fact, I applied there, and was turned down. After the initial offering, they rewrote the admissions requirements to spell out the fact that only people with a completed 4-year degree would be considered, work experience notwithstanding."
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Ask Slashdot: Fastest, Cheapest Path To a Bachelor's Degree?

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  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @02:25PM (#46576053)

    I am willing to bet most companies will not bother to see if your college is accredited just as long as it sounds collegey.

    For most jobs in theory you can just fake your degrees. But if you get caught you are often in deep doo-doo, as lying on your resume is a bad thing.

    For people with experience a college degree gets past that resume filter.

  • by ranton ( 36917 ) on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @02:44PM (#46576261)

    Perhaps an actual answer to his question.

    First off, make sure your Associates degree is a transferable associates degree. The fact that you say it is in "Programming and Systems Analysis" instead of just Associates in Arts or Associates in Science leads me to believe it isn't a very transferable degree. You would have needed things like 3 communications classes (English, Speech, etc), 6 behavioral sciences / humanities courses, 2 science classes, and 2 math classes. If it is a transferable degree, then you are half way there.

    If it is not transferable, you can try to use CLEP tests to get past many required classes. I was able to get past two humanities courses that weren't part of my associates this way. If you can't pass the tests because you are a bad test taker or something, community college classes are your best bet. It will be easy to pass those classes but it will take a while this way.

    If you aren't able to go to college for two years during daytime hours, it will be a bit harder to finish the last 60 credit hours. When I needed a BS while working in 2009 I was forced to use University of Phoenix, but now there are many better options at real schools. I followed up my BS with an MS at a real school, so I didn't mind going to a degree mill. But a quick internet search can find numerous online BS programs at real brick and mortar schools.

    I do not suggest going to a diploma mill unless you are going to follow up with a real MS. The government is likely to start cracking down on programs like UoP and Devry soon, and those schools will probably obtain even worse reputations than they already have when that happens. That said, I did get a job with a 50% pay increase by just listing I was 12 credit hours away from my UoP BS degree, so it was useful to me all by itself (my boss later confirmed my resume would never have reached her desk if I hadn't listed I was close to my BS).

Never worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it's supposed to do. -- R. A. Heinlein