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Computer Science Graduate School

Computer Science Graduate School

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Computer Science Graduate School

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  1. Computer Science Graduate School Presented by Kevin Skadron

  2. Outline of Discussion • What is graduate school like? • Is graduate school for me? • What schools should I consider? • How do I apply? • How will they evaluate me? • Question and Answer Slides mostly courtesy of Dave Brogan

  3. Grad school is not for everyone • Plenty of smart people go right to industry • Learn on the job • Advance within company or hop jobs • Entrepreneurs cannot afford to wait • For some, grad school provides • A way to one-up UVa on the resume (degree as status symbol) • A fast track to a job (faster than working your way up) • Unique opportunities (no other way to be professor) • A great opportunity to focus and/or pursue your interests

  4. What is Graduate School Like? • A professor’s perspective… • Intellectual entrepreneurs: Every professor runs a small company • Product: Invents and develops long-range research • Customer: typically Federal Government (National Science Foundation, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – DARPA) and other academics • Annual Revenue: $300,000 - $1,000,000 • Employees: Grad students (you)

  5. What is Graduate School Like? • M.S. Degree • 1.5 - 2 years • Coursework similar to senior-level undergraduate courses • Usually provided an opportunity to specialize • Can easily start degree without selecting area of focus • Good schools provide opportunity to take many focused courses in your favorite area • Research (in form of thesis) may be required • Tuition and stipend are possible – this varies from school to school • (full tuition + $16k / 9 mos + summer job)

  6. What is Graduate School Like? • Ph.D. Degree • 4 - 7 years • Similar coursework to Master’s Degree plus seminars and courses related to research • Research required • Tuition and stipend scholarships are standard • ($16k / 9 mos + some summer jobs) • Required to specialize • Helpful to know research interests from day one to expedite selection of research focus • Many select research focus after starting school

  7. Is Graduate School for You? • What are your career goals? • Sick and tired of school • Learn on the job (job hopping) • Entrepreneur • Technology management (manage engineers) • Professor • Don’t know what you want to do

  8. Is Graduate School for You? • Do you enjoy learning - becoming an expert? • PhD makes you world’s expert in foo • Do you like being a big fish in a small pond? • Question applies to job and school options • Do you prefer constancy or change? • Higher degrees are entree to management and provide you with more control • Financial situation

  9. Is Graduate School for You? • Degree pros and cons • Bachelor’s Degree • Good starting salary ($50k) but peaks early • More job openings • Opportunity to swap jobs or move to management • But many jobs are entry level • Less control of day-to-day tasks • Employer usually benefits from not promoting you • May become bored – have to hop jobs • Less job security

  10. Show Me the Money • 2004 Undergraduate Salaries http://www.naceweb.org/press/display.asp?year=2005&prid=208

  11. Show Me the Money • Salaries of UVa Grads • CS Median • 2003: $55,000 (max $77,000) – 18 respondents • 2004: $52,000 (max $74,000) – 22 respondents • 2005: $57,000 (max 70,000) – 15 respondents • CPE Median • 2003: $54,008 (max $70,000) – 9 respondents • 2004: $53,000 (max $76,000) – 12 respondents • 2005: $55,000 (max 64,000) – 8 responses • Overall ordering at UVa: CS, EE, CPE/Sys (tied) • Hours worked is an unknown, but important additional factor http://www.seas.virginia.edu/careerdevelopment/2005SeasAnnualReport.pdf

  12. Is Graduate School for You? • Master’s Degree Benefits • Better starting salary ($66k) • Many job openings • Potential to start at management level • Opportunity to swap jobs • More control of day-to-day tasks

  13. Is Graduate School for You? • Master’s Degree Cons • Still not in charge of project • 1.5 - 2 years of lost wages (less if paid during school) • May become bored by repetitive tasks • May become frustrated by poor employees and lack of support from upper-level management

  14. Is Graduate School for You? • Ph.D. Degree Benefits • Better starting salary ($115k) • Large amount of control over work • Long hours • Opportunity to teach in university • Management skills assumed • You’ll be the world’s expert in ________ • 30% go off to teach and 30% go to industry

  15. Is Graduate School for You? • Ph.D. Degree Cons • 3 - 4 years of income beyond the masters is lost • Overqualified to make large jumps between fields • It’s a lot of hard work with few clear paths

  16. Faculty vs. Industry • Very different lifestyles • Both are intense • Professor: tenure & funding struggles vs. tenure security and more control over activities • Industry: survive in an era of constant downsizing and project shakeups/cancellations, product focus

  17. UVa students and grad school • 2004 UVa-CS Survey • 94 responding (26 CPE/47 CS) • 16 (22.5%) going to grad school • VaTech, MIT, UVa, UT-Austin, GaTech, UC-Riverside, GWU • 2 lawyers • 1 business • 1 biomed • 50% work in NoVa (egad)

  18. How Do I Apply? • Application packet consists of the following • Transcript • Important, but not much you can do about this now… • Letters of Recommendation • Important – make or break marginal cases • Establish relationships with 3 UVa profs now! • Personal Statement • Somewhat important – think about what you like • GREs • Sanity check only. Subject test is hard, but many do poorly.

  19. How Do I Apply? • Transcript • Your school’s reputation, • your grades • and your courses will speak for themselves • Schools are sympathetic to GPAs that improve over time and weaknesses in outside areas

  20. How Do I Apply? • Letters of Recommendation • These carry a great amount of weight • Help your letter writer by reminding him/her of significant interactions you have had • Help your letter writer by sharing your research interests so he/she may find ways to write a letter that complements your personal statement

  21. How Do I Apply? • Contact person at other school • This is very difficult • Strike up an email conversation with prof from another school • US profs get many such emails from Chinese and Indian students • Don’t sound desperate • Ask a reasonable question about the professor’s research – showcase your qualifications • Read their web pages!

  22. How Do I Apply? • Personal Statement • This is a great opportunity to stand out • Research the schools in which you are interested • Ask professors to explain research areas • Try to sound like a student with experience, focus, and initiative • Don’t limit your choices by writing something that makes you sound too focused (unless you are) • Avoid platitudes

  23. How Do I Apply? • GREs • General test always required • General test is like SATs but slightly harder • New for 2002 – Writing Component (true for SATs too!) • Used to be called analytical section (multiple choice) • Subject test sometimes required • Subject test is very detail oriented • Study! Purchase old tests for practice!

  24. Where Do I Apply • US News and World Report top 20 • Try to upgrade • UVa grad school is good, but you can probably do better. Exposure to new school (breadth) is encouraged unless you’re part of a special project here already that will make your graduate experience really valuable here • Try not to worry about the money • Most schools have similar packages for their students. Those who want funding can usually find it.

  25. 1. Carnegie Mellon University 2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology 3. Stanford University 4. U. of California–Berkeley 5. U. of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign 6. Cornell 7. U. of Texas – AustinU. of Washington 9. Princeton University 10. Cal TechU. of Wisconsin - Madison 12. Maryland, Georgia Tech 14. Brown University, UCLA, Michigan 17.  Rice University, UNC, Penn 20. Columbia, Duke, Harvard, Purdue, UCSD 25. UMass – Amherst, Yale 27. U. of Southern Cal, U. of Virginia 29. Hopkins, NYU, Rutgers, SUNY-Stony Brook, UC-Irvine, Utah Where Do I Apply (US News 2002)

  26. Where do I apply • NSF rankings • 1-12: Stanford, MIT, Berkeley, CMU, Cornell, Princeton, Texas, University of Illinois, Washington, Wisconsin, Harvard, and Cal Tech • 13-24: Brown, Yale, UCLA, UMd, NYU, UMass, Rice, USC, Michigan, UCSD, Columbia, and Penn • 24-36: University of Chicago, Purdue, Rutgers, Duke, UNC, University of Rochester, SUNY (Stony Brook), GaTech, Arizona, UCalifornia (Irvine), UVa, and Indiana

  27. Soapbox (My Opinion) • Get a Master’s Degree • If you can stomach it and do well • You’ll have more control over your day to day tasks and have a leg up in management • Only get the Ph.D. if you are strongly compelled to get what it provides • You are not just limited to faculty jobs • It’s risky to go to work and think you’ll come back to school – it’s very hard • You make lifestyle commitments that aren’t very compatible with student life • But a boring entry-level job can really help you focus • Always remember to consider cost of living adjustments when comparing salaries • Silicon Valley is expensive

  28. Special Case • Get employer-paid M.S. while working • Consider quality of school (in NoVa GMU and GWU) • If you weren’t working, a better school is possible • A MS degree from GMU might not be worth much to you if you are capable of CMU (won’t open doors) • Difficult to work and study – but you’re young and might not have time commitments • Consider that school will likely pay you too

  29. Q&A

  30. Show Me the Money • 2001 Undergraduate Salaries • www.naceweb.org/press/display.cfm/2001/pr071101.htm

  31. Show Me the Money • 2002 Undergraduate Salaries • http://www.naceweb.org/press/display.asp?year=2002&prid=155 • http://www.naceweb.org/press/display.asp?year=2002&prid=164

  32. Show Me the Money • 2003 Undergraduate Salaries

  33. Show Me the Money • 2004 Undergraduate Salaries http://www.naceweb.org/press/display.asp?year=2005&prid=208

  34. Total numbers in grad school • Year 2004 Data From: www.cra.org • 20,971 BS degrees in CS/CPE produced • 17% women, 3.4% African American, 3.9% Hispanic http://www.cra.org/CRN/articles/may05/taulbee.html

  35. Total numbers in grad school • 9,141 MS degrees produced • 25% women, 1.5% African American, 1.1% Hispanic • New master’s students decreased 17% after having dropped 8% the previous year

  36. Total numbers in grad school • 877 PhDs produced in US • New enrollments down 8% last year and down 5% the year before • Total PhD enrollment is going up by 20% each year (they’re not graduating)! • 18% were women • Only 13 were African American (1.5%) • Only 10 were Hispanic (1.1%) • 48% were international students (May drop fast)