The cost of a good education

After wringing my hands recently about the cost of a Pluralsight subscription ($300/year), I came across this article about the cost of a master’s degree in computer science. Georgia Tech is currently offering an online master’s in CS for only $7000, which is apparently astonishingly inexpensive. As the article points out, a master’s in CS from USC would cost $57,000. (I just went back and reread the article, and realized that they never mention how much an on-campus degree from Georgia Tech would cost. I’m guessing it’s much less than USC’s cost, so it would have made a less startling contrast. But it would have been a more relevant comparison. Oh well.) Anyway, I guess I shouldn’t complain about the cost of the kind of “continuing professional education” that you get from a service like Pluralsight, when you compare it to an actual college education.

Over the years, I’ve occasionally thought about going back to college and getting my master’s degree. In the past, before online education took off, I considered doing it part-time, locally, at maybe someplace like Rutgers, NYU, NJIT, or Stevens. I could never quite talk myself into it, due to the cost and amount of work that would be required. If this Georgia Tech program had been available ten or twenty years ago, I might have considered doing it, part-time, over several years. Now, I don’t think I’d ever be able to do it while also holding down a full-time job. I just don’t have the energy to spend a couple of hours on the computer every night, programming and reading books and watching lectures, after a full day of work. (And, at this stage of my life & career, I’m not really interested anyway.)

Meanwhile, I’ve been bookmarking even more Pluralsight videos that I want to watch. And I keep seeing interesting stuff in the EdX and Coursera emails that I get every week. Maybe I’ll manage to pick up on some of that stuff soon. There’s so much new stuff I want to learn!

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