I'm interested in pursuing a Master's in Computer Science. I think I have quite a bit to gain - as well as something to offer - to a program, but I'm finding myself hindered by my academic past.
I've been programming since I was in elementary school. When it came time to choose a major in college, I chose another discipline, thinking that coding professionally would somehow take the pleasure out of it. Four years later I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, an unimpressive GPA, tons of debt, and no career path. I fell back on programming and found that, contrary to my supposition, programming professionally enhanced my enjoyment because I got much better at it.
Fifteen years into a career in programming, I'd like to go back and get my Master's. Most programs, however, require an undergraduate degree in a related field. I've applied twice to a program at a large, well-respected state university in the U.S. with what I felt were fairly strong Statements of Purpose. It seems I will have to try something different.
I'm considering an online program in Germany (where I currently live) targeted toward working professionals. The program is accredited, but I have no idea how rigorous it is.
Is this a terrible idea? In the U.S. startup scene where I've spent much of my career, a degree from Stanford or MIT or (...name twenty or a hundred more) is impressive, anything else is a neutral "has a degree, has a C.S. background, has a C.S. Master's etc." I suspect, however, that other sectors might take a more nuanced view. For example, is a Master's from a no-name school another potential millstone should I someday consider a PhD?
Is there another path forward I haven't thought of?