View Full Version : Need help making a choice

01-07-2003, 01:31 PM
Okay, I am an inspiring programmer who wants to eventually get a bachelors degree ASAP and need some advice!

I am currently going to a tech school that is incredibly easy but I am just sticking with it so that I can finally get my first degree, an associates degree in programming. After this is done, I want to continue and get a bachelors at a real school with a reputation, possibly Universty of Washington. But now heres the problem, I don't graduate from this tech school until October meaning the earliest I can start somewhere else is January or March of 2004, or possibly worse yet, not until Sept 2004. I'm beginning to wonder if there is even a point in finishing at this tech school. Originally I would say yes because I would think I could get a programming job with an associates so be in better shape once I finish the bachelors, but I'm beginning to think in this day and age with the economy being bad that the associates might be worthless. Another plus to sticking at this school would be possible transfer credits, but since its a tech school I'm beginning to wonder if ANYTHING will transfer at all, and nobody at any of the universities will tell me. I just get form letters back saying "once you apply and get accepted we'll take a look at your previous classes at the beginning of your first year with us". Argghhh.. very frustrating.

Anyways here is what I've figured as the pros and cons to sticking with my tech school:

PROS: Get an associates and possible job, increase my GPA (which I admit is abysmal due to a failed college career 5 years ago), learn more about programming that is documented and could possibly be used as credit. Learn some stuff that I probably wouldn't spend the time to learn on my own (like Unix! :) )

CONS: Costs money - unfortunately lots! Makes me enroll in my next school at a later date than I would like. Spend many hours each week in a class learning nothing (not always true, but most of the time) when most of my learning comes from self-teaching.

So I don't know what I would do. I would like to drop the tech school I'm at but I'm just too afraid of making a rash decision that could end me up worse off than if I just stuck with it. Any advice? :confused:

01-07-2003, 01:34 PM
> I am an inspiring programmer

I dunno... I don't feel very inspired.

Is there anyway you could overlap classes at both schools for a month?

01-07-2003, 01:39 PM
>>I dunno... I don't feel very inspired.<<
LOL! Oops, I meant ASPIRING!

In answer to your question, nope :) I currently live in Denver and we plan on making a move either in the summer or after I graduate from this school in October. Wherever I get my bachelors, it will not be in Denver.

01-07-2003, 01:42 PM
If you feel like you could handle the workload, I'd look into doing the last couple associates classes remotely.

If you decide to stick it out with the tech school, I don't see why a school the size of the U of W wouldn't let you start on an off semester, as long as you started at the beginning of one.

I'd talk to counselors/admissions people at both schools to see what's up before making any rash decision.

01-07-2003, 01:43 PM
you've come this far... why not stick it out and get that degree, then move on to your bachelors? Not only will it look better on your resume, but I'm sure you'll pick up some things along the way if not making it easier in some of your bachelor's classes.

01-07-2003, 01:44 PM
Originally posted by Govtcheez
I'd talk to counselors/admissions people at both schools to see what's up before making any rash decision.

Excellent suggestion.

01-07-2003, 01:52 PM
You have got this far, I'd stay and get the associates. You never know what is around the corner. You might drop out of your current school and go to this new place but then something unpredictable happens meaning you can't carry on with that course. Then you're left with nothing, all for the sake of saving yourself a year or so.

When making decisions about your furture prospects I'd always play it safe, even if it means sitting out a while of easy, monotonous courses.

01-07-2003, 03:46 PM
I don't know why a 4 year school can't tell you if your existing classes will transfer. The community college here will tell us what classes will transfer and where. If you're at a tech school and not a community college, maybe your degree won't be an associates anyway. I'm thinking tech school is similar to DeVry's for a certificate, Kirtland Community College for an associates. Maybe it works differently out there. Is your current school accredited? That might make a big difference, or maybe not.
Another option that might be available, if the 4 year school allows it, is to take a placement test that allows you to skip some intro classes. You might still have to pay for the credits, but wouldn't have to take the class.
Another thing that might come up if you're really at a tech school now is that you may have to take a lot of general ed classes to get the 4 year degree.
I wouldn't worry about a semester's difference, unless it throws off the timing drastically because of when particular classes are offered.

01-07-2003, 04:35 PM
Drat, all of you were supposed to tell me to drop out of the tech school! :D Just kidding!

Yeah, I am going to a technical school named Westwood College, and since all the classes I am taking are the hands on only 10 week type I really don't think anything will transfer directly with the more theory based university type classes. And it is an Associates Degree, not a certificate. I've taken most of my gen-eds already at a previous college, and either way I'll try and test out of as many classes as I can.

I tried talking to counselors, and while they were very nice, it didn't help since they are obviously incredibly bias and want me to stay at their school. And the university counselors only send me form letters :( I will try harder this weekend though to try and talk to a real person and get some answers.

I agree though with the idea one should play it safe. The only problem I have with that is I'd really hate to spend all this money and time to find out later that it was a waste. I'd be paying for 4 more quarters/sessions of my present school (and it is NOT a cheap school!), graduate 6 months later from the next school and a possible 6 months of salary from a new job, and I forgot to mention this but wherever we decide to move to, my fiancee will need to arrive there this summer, meaning the extra cost of us living in two separate places for 3-4 months.

Argghhh... I know the prudent thing would be to just stay, but I'm really wavering right now.

01-07-2003, 06:10 PM
I'm surprised universities are not willing to at least tell you if credits are transferrable from Westwood. The least they could do is tell you, yes, we do transfer credits, or no we don't. I can see the idea of not being able to tell you which credits you will be able to transfer, but giving you a simple yes or no whether or not credits from Westwood could be transferred from their school. I remember when I went to Mines for a tour, some guy asked on the spot during an info session a similar question, he asked if credits from Red Rocks would be transferrable, and they said, we do accept transferred credits, but we have to look at which courses could be transferred on a case by case basis. Anyways, I suggest you try to speak to more university counselors, tell them you are looking to attend, and ask them if you can transfer credits from westwood. ask them to give you a yes or no answer, and that you understand that you may not be able to transfer every class/credit, but would like to know if they accept credits from a tech school like westwood. imo. good luck!

01-08-2003, 10:06 AM
Yeah, I just haven't been able to find anyone yet who is willing to take the time to see if any of my individual classes will cover any of their individual classes. They say that they could accept credits from Westwood but not if they will. Just get a lot of vagueness!

I'm going to keep pressing though and get some answers. That will at least help make my decision making process a little easier I hope.

My last question though, in this day and age with the poor economy, is an associates (especially from a tech school with a diploma mill reputation) even worth anything? I mean I know its better than nothing, but since I plan on moving on to a Bachelors anyways to me it only looks like a resume builder, and I'm not sure if I want to spend all this money for that.

PS Alpha do you live in Denver or were you just passing through looking at Mines?

01-08-2003, 04:22 PM
I live in Parker, actually. My parents and I moved here in June 2001 (actually my dad has worked in denver on and off since '98.) I took a tour at Mines, applied, and got accepted. Now it is just a waiting game to see who else will accept me.

Anyways, as far as getting an associates first or not, I would recommend getting it first. There may be a company out there that you may work for that may pay for your bachelors/masters (if you decide to get a masters). but, it is up to you, if you truly feel that not getting an associates first before getting a bachelors is best for you. good luck!

01-09-2003, 10:13 AM
Thanks for the the advice all, it was a great help. I think I'm going to apply to these schools right now and just wait and see what happens. If they accept me and don't take my credits then I'll probably start off right away with them. Otherwise I'll stick it out and get the associates. I'm also taking a few days off work next week to spend doing nothing but calling these universities to get answers.

BTW good luck with your schools Alpha, and I hear a lot of great things about Mines!

01-09-2003, 04:05 PM
thanks, and good luck with your schools also!