I am new to this site. I did my undergrad in computer science at Carnegie Mellon University.
After taking three years off to work off a government scholarship, I have been accepted to CMU's 1-year professional MS in HCI program and also Georgia Tech's 2-year research-oriented MS in HCI program. I am new to the field and am doing a slight career change from IT.
Pros of CMU:
- Excellent school, best in its field (ranked #1), name-recognition
- 1-year so hence faster and cheaper (~$41K)
- Professional degree hence practical skills and connections into tech companies
- Been there before so easier transition into lifestyle, culture, and expectations.
Cons of CMU
- A 1-year program feels a bit rushed, doesn't it?
- Will I have the time or opportunity to do research?
- Doing grad school at the same school you did your undergrad, is that a negative?
Pros of Georgia Tech:
- Great school, often mentioned up there with CMU but not quite so high of a ranking.
- 2-year program, more time to take classes, learn the material, explore interests, establish connections, do research, possibly apply to PhD program as well.
- Different academic environment can be good for resume and life experience.
Cons of Georgia Tech:
- Not #1 ranking, hence, doesn't have the same name-recognition
- Slower and more expensive (~$68K over two years)
I am having a hard time deciding between the two. Because I am new to the field, I want to be able to learn the concepts and also get the experience and time to find what I enjoy, perhaps trying my hand at research as well. Would the two-year program give me more time to learn and apply concepts? I fear the one-year program is a bit too rushed or intensive. It feels like a "get in, here's what you need to know, bam bam bam, now you're back out on your own." However, CMU is a phenomenal school and it is hard to pass that up (because name-recognition is still quite important).
Can anybody give me some suggestions or advice? Thank you for your help.