Georgia Tech OMSCS

Today I submitted my application for Georgia Institute of Technology’s Online Master of Science in Computer Science, more commonly called “GT OMSCS”. The program has been brought to fruition by teaming up with AT&T and Udacity. With the backing of these two companies, the school can offer the degree at the low price of $510 a course. With the degree requiring 10 courses, and charging some other fees, the grand cost of the degree comes in at around 10k, a fraction of what other top graduate degrees can cost.

Speaking of top graduate degrees, what makes this offer even better is the impressive ranking of the parent school(#35 US News 2018) and the incredible ranking of the parent department (#8 US News 2018). It’s important to note that these rankings are for the on-campus graduate programs, but still important as this shows the strength of the faculty and alumni of this facility.

As the online program mirrors that of on-campus non-thesis masters, the requirements are not as strict as the typical thesis master program. While the programs all receive the same diploma, the online version only offers a fraction of the courses and specializations of those on-campus. The online specializations are limited to: Computational Perception & Robotics, Computing Systems, Interactive Intelligence, and Machine Learning. Each specialization requires 5-6 courses which leaves 4-5 courses as electives. It IS required to have a specialization to graduate.

To apply to the OMSCS, it is requried to have a bachelors degree, TOEFL score(for international students), two essays, a resume, and three letters of recommendation. The application and all required documents are needed by March 1st for Fall matriculation and July 1st for Spring matriculation.

I’ve decided to apply for the Spring 2020 semester and currently planning on taking the Computing Systems specialization. I find the software development courses to be the closest to helping me in my day-to-day work as a software developer. I’m also looking forward in taking some of the Operating Systems classes as that was one of my favorite during undergraduate.

Given my submittance of the application on May 18th, I’m not planning on hearing back for awhile. If the deadline is July 1st, I imagine there’s not rush on going through the applications till then. While this gives me a lot of time to think about how I should have improved my application, it’s also freeing to not think about my essays or application.

I wanted to add my essays for others to look at, in case they needed ideas. I wish I would have spent more time to proofread these. I had many opportunities to ask friends for assistance in reading over them but hopefully Georgia Tech Admissions will be able to read my honesty from these. We’ll see if the program is in the cards or not. Even if I’m not chosen, I plan to apply again at a later date. Maybe spend more time writing my thoughts out for the essays and earn some more experience in development.

Please describe your background(academic and extracurricular) and experience, including research, teaching, industry, and other relevant information. Your space is limited to 2000 characters.

I didn’t grow up around technology. Growing up in a small town my experiences with computers were limited to my sixth-grade keyboarding class. Several years later I ended up joining the US Navy and was trained as an Information Technology Specialist.
I quickly excelled at the job which required detailed, logical thinking to solve problems. I particularly enjoyed the tasks of managing our aging Linux and Sun server infrastructure. While the Windows servers came with easy-to-follow graphic interfaces and documentation, the other servers required difficult to remember console commands and pouring over man-pages. I decided to leave the Navy to follow my goal of becoming a system administrator by studying Computer Science.

It was at university that I found out the classes barely covered system administration or servers. While originally disappointed, I fell in love with the logic problems involved with programming and the ability to create products out of code. I started to practice coding problems and go to hackathons outside of class time.

My last summer in school, I was lucky enough to find a software development internship at Veterans United Home Loans. I enjoyed the work environment, and the mission of putting veterans into homes, but even more I love the fact that my job is using programming to solve problems.

I’ve beenable to use my old experiences as a system administrator by writing PowerShell scripts to improve efficiency and I’ve been able to learn all new skills with APIs and databases as a back-end developer. On a team of four, we help automate much of the home loan process, creating web applications that internal costumers use every day.

Please give a Statement of Purpose detailing your academic and research goals as well as career plans. Include your reasons for choosing the College of Computing as opposed to other programs and/or other universities. Your space is limited to 4000 characters.

I’ve been living in the world of technology for rough ten years and the biggest thing I’ve learned is to constantly learn. From helpdesk and system administration in the Navy, to studying computer science in University, to being a software developer at a mortgage company, the individuals who stand out are those who push themselves to always be improving and learning. That’s why I want to pursue my Master of Science in Computer Science at Georgia Tech. I want to continue to learn and better myself and Georgia Tech gives me the best option due to its availability, technical depth, and price.

I love my job. Every day I wake up to be surrounded by individuals just as thrilled to work in technology as I am. In addition, my work has the amazing mission of putting veterans into their dream homes. It’s a great place to work that is only limited in the education opportunities available. Unfortunately, Veterans United Home Loans is located in Columbia, Missouri and the options to further my computer science education are limited to University of Missouri -an on-campus program that would require me to miss work to attend.

This is why the availability of Georgia Tech’s OMSCS is so appealing. The program gives those in industry the ability to attend class and work on projects in their free time. I look forward to the opportunity to take classes like Compilers and Advanced Operating Systems from a world-class facility in my spare time whilecontinuing to work at a job I enjoy. The program gives people like me the ability to continue their education where historically not possible.

Secondly, I chose Georgia Tech particularly for the Computing Systems specialization. Classes such as Software Architecture and Design will help develop my skills as a software developer and will increase my value to my current company; whereas, classes like Compilers and High Performance Computer Architecture are courses I wanted to take during undergraduate but was unable due to scheduling issues.

Lastly, the price is a huge draw to the program. The cost of the entire program is a fraction of that of a single year at other top programs. While I plan on covering the costs of the program with the portion of my GI Bill left over, the low cost allows me to worry more about absorbing the materials and less about how to best pay for the education.

In conclusion, I believe the Georgia Tech Online Master of Science in Computer Science is the best choice. The ability to attend a top rank school wherever I am, combined with a large collection of classes, at a reasonable price, are features that no other school can currently match. It is for these reasons, and many more, I have chosen to only apply to the GT OMSCS program.