Don’t Get Lazy, and Learn for Life

I am enrolled in Drexel‘s MSIS, and have only a few classes to go. Currently, I’m finishing up my pre-req courses to finish the Masters of Science in Information Systems (MSIS). Before this, I completed my MSLIS (MS Library and Information Science), also at Drexel.

Both programs I completed online; part of my work’s benefits includes a hearty stipend for education. Working full-time doesn’t leave a lot of time for attending courses at the actual campus, even though theoretically I’m about 3 blocks from the iSchool‘s building. There isn’t anything more or less challenging about online graduate school, except that the coursework needs to be attended to on a different schedule, and the connections that I’ve made in the online programs are perhaps a little less solid. There’s something to be said for face to face contact with your professional and academic colleagues.

Drexel’s iSchool is highly rated (#3 in IS, #9 in LIS), for what it’s worth. The school is in the Top 100 for national universities, and it is also a major research institution. Compared to the University of Pennsylvania, there’s a distinct lack of that Ivy League absolute passion – I work with Penn grads, and am married to a Penn grad. I can tell you that Penn deserves it’s #5 ranking. Drexel graduate students are excellent, but I’m unsure of the undergrads; within both of the MSIS and MSLIS programs, students have pushed and been pushed to succeed.

Drexel’s reputation is definitely oriented towards IT, IS, and Comp. Sci. When I applied to graduate school the first time, I looked at six programs – Wisconsin, Drexel, and a few others. Part of my goal was to find a quality distance program. The hard part isn’t getting into a program, but finishing it. If you’re applying to graduate school, find out the matriculation rates for the program you’re thinking about entering into – that’s a helpful piece of advice. Drexel accepts about 20% of the MSIS applicants for their Master’s program, and (as of a few years ago), had about 400 applicants a year. Thus, they have an annual class of 80 for the MSIS. Within most PhD programs, things are much more selective – I know that the University of Washington put their numbers out there for the entering classes for both UW’s MSLIS and PhD programs a few years back. I’m always vaguely curious about the snapshots of scholastic competitiveness.

What can you do with a MSIS? Well, Drexel’s program includes a chunk of management courses (budgeting, software analysis, etc.) I’m looking into developing my career more towards data modeling and application architecture, for which the MSIS is well suited – and since my work will continue to pay for education, I’m also going to explore Syracuse University and Boston University’s certificate programs.

“Don’t get lazy” is a good motto to live by. Syracuse has a Data Mining certificate, and Boston has an Advanced Databases certificate – both are just for intellectual advancement: “Learn for life” is another good mental dictum. I get immensely frustrated with professors and their academic gibberish, but any good university still retains faculty with a breadth of knowledge about their domain(s). Wading through the academic muck is annoying, but the opportunity to learn and achieve is paramount.

This entry was posted in Education, Information Technology, Wordplay and Commentary and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s