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Online masters in computer programming
« on: April 19, 2019, 09:47:52 am »
I just wanted to see if anyone teaching in Korea has tried studying an online masters in computer programming and if so what their experience and recommendations might be.

I've been teaching here for about 4 and a half years and still enjoy my life but at some point I'll probably need to transition into a different career path and maybe move back to the west.

I'm interesting in learning coding  and I've always felt like i'd be suited to a job in the IT industry so just curious to learn more about how best to gain some qualifications and start working towards that. Thanks :).

  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 4021

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: Online masters in computer programming
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2019, 10:50:07 am »
“Programming” really isn’t a Masters level field, imho.

I’m sure a diploma mill can set you up though.

Re: Online masters in computer programming
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2019, 03:02:12 pm »
If your interested in learning code there are tons of online options. Plus many options to apply what you’ve learned. Not sure about how that translates into getting a job, but I think coding is a skill which might be handy to have.

Re: Online masters in computer programming
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2019, 03:22:02 pm »
Yeah, I was told that your portfolio is more important than the degree. They'll want to see what you can and have done. Like showing up to the job interview with a game engine that you programmed could be what set you up.

But that was a while ago, and the world has changed quite a bit. Nowadays they want a Master's degree even if it isn't that important to the field, if not for anything else than a higher salary and more opportunities for advancement in or into certain positions.

Anyway, OP, I did know someone who studied computer programming while here, but I don't really know the details. He did eventually leave Korea, though, and I imagine it's because he managed to find a position in the field.

Re: Online masters in computer programming
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2019, 04:06:48 pm »
JNM is right. Programming is not something you do a master’s degree in. That would be Computer Science, an even more difficult topic for research. I’m not sure if you want to do the master’s because you enjoy research or you just want qualifications, but the journey will not be easy either way (not impossible).

If you don’t already know how to code, you should get into it with any language and get used to the OOP structure (most common programming structure). This process will help you “think” programmatically over time. There’s no real order for learning but here are some of the things you’ll encounter as you learn:

Data types
Conditional Statements
Object Referencing

There’s a lot more but those are the basics of OOP. Most of the languages you’ve heard of will have those concepts in some way. So choose one language/tutorial and go with it all the way.

After you feel somewhat comfortable with the list above (at least up to Functions/Methods), hop on to practice sites like or (there are others but can’t think of their names... maybe hackerrank?) and work on those problems until you feel you’ve gotten the hang of solving problems and/or get bored of solving “useless” problems.

At this point you’re probably getting pretty good with the concept of coding itself but can’t make anything useful with it quite yet. Here’s where you need to decide what kind of problems you personally want to solve.

Do you want to make a website?
  Backend or frontend? Most devs have to decide early on which side to focus on. The other side will be more “working knowledge”. This will decide of you go python/ruby, etc or js (angular, vue). Those aren’t your only options but they’re the popular ones. If you have the basics of OOP down then learning another language should realistically take you 1-2 weeks full time to learn (not master).
Do you want to make applications?
  Desktop or Mobile?
     Desktop: Windows or Mac?
     Mobile: iOS or Android?
Do you want to make physical products? This is called embedded programming. You’ll likely have to learn a low level language like C or C++.

There are wayyy more choices than than those, just depends what direction you personally want to go. Any single direction is a few decades’ career on its own. Not all programmers share the same expertise. Each one of those technologies named above takes years to master on a full time job.

As a newbie still without any idea which direction you’ll want to join clubs, watch youtube vids of what’s possible to accomplish with coding, listen to coding podcasts, subscribe to programming related subreddits.

After you’ve done all that then maybe you can think about a master’s in computer science (if you’re actually interested in research).

I’ve been on the coding journey for almost 4 years now. I started with some online video tutorials with html, css, js. Found those boring and hopped onto the Python train with Al Sweigart’s Automate the Boring Stuff free ebook. Loved that one and kept going with Python. Did MIT EECS? 600 free MOOC course. Loved that as well, especially running simulations, solving ML and dynamic problems. Had to learn Java so I read a textbook in a week and all the concepts learned from Python leaked over easily.

Now I’m focusing on Python Django for backend web dev as it’s a good skill to have for job hunting as well as starting an online business with low startup costs. It’s taken nearly 2 years of part time learning but starting to see how everything in Django fits together, and feeling more confident with it. I’d expect another decade to even come close to mastering it, if I take it that far.

Re: Online masters in computer programming
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2019, 08:07:57 am »
Thanks for the tips, especially teacher1988. That's a lot of really helpful information :). I'm pretty new to coding and have tried a couple of tutorial websites in the past few months but haven't really gotten into it and started practicing on a regular basis.
I kind of figured a masters would be good as a means of pushing me to work on it more as well as gaining something I could add to my cv.
I can't really say why, I just always felt like coding was something I was suited for so I need to start pushing myself more to engage with some of the ideas listed in this thread so far.
I started a simple course with a website named coursera that offers an intro to computer programming. I should check out the MIT course you mentioned as well after. I've also heard about a couple of interesting ways to learn more about this like a game named 'screeps'.
First step I guess is to start working more with a language and get used to the OOP structure. Thanks again for all of the advice.

Re: Online masters in computer programming
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2019, 05:20:15 am »
In that case you definitely don't want a Master's. Those are purely theoretical work and you rarely work on a technology that's in vogue. Masters programs are more like if I change how X database accesses data, I could shave 0.0000005s on each computation. You sound like you're more interested in the development/engineering portion than the research which any number of bootcamps or "mills" as JNM puts it will get you.

  • T_Rex
  • Adventurer

    • 43

    • April 23, 2019, 08:10:20 am
Re: Online masters in computer programming
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2019, 09:36:59 am »
I have a BSCS. My favorite online learning platform is Udemy.  I used it to supplement some of the university courses I took.

I notice that Western Governor's is offering a online Bachelor's in Computer Science now. They are regionally accredited and their tuition is very reasonable. I wouldn't recommend going for a Master's if you don't have a relevant undergraduate degree.

Re: Online masters in computer programming
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2019, 02:40:24 pm »
thanks a lot to both teacher1988 and T_Rex. I think programming is definitely what i'm interested, it sounds like a masters isn't the right choice.
I'll check out udemy after work, I haven't tried that one yet. I'll also look into western governor's as well. I have one money saved up so if the tuition isn't too much and it's helpful for a beginner like me i'd definitely be interested :). Thanks again.

Re: Online masters in computer programming
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2019, 02:41:34 pm »
I also looked to see if there's some coding related meetups in seoul so I may try one of the groups listed there to get some more help :)

  • macteacher
  • Expert Waygook

    • 679

    • September 03, 2012, 09:59:00 am
    • south korea
Re: Online masters in computer programming
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2019, 12:10:15 pm »
There’s an online masters program to catch up on comp sci undergrad followed by grad classes through Penn called MCIT.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2019, 01:38:49 pm by macteacher »