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Computer Science Graduate School

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Computer Science Graduate School Presented by Kevin Skadron Outline of Discussion What is graduate school like? Is graduate school for me? What schools should I consider? – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Computer Science Graduate School


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 professors 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 Masters 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
  • Dont know what you want to do

8
Is Graduate School for You?
  • Do you enjoy learning - becoming an expert?
  • PhD makes you worlds 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
  • Bachelors 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
Accounting 43,050 up 2.4
Economics/finance 40,719 up 0.4
Business 38,254 up 6.2 (mostly attributed to sales _at_40,395 and marketing _at_37,519)
CS 51,042 up 4.9
Information Systems / Systems 43,471 up 3.9
Chemical Eng 53,659 up 2.1
Elect Eng 51,113 up 2.4
Civil Eng 43,159 up 5.1
Pharmacist 84,000
Liberal Arts 29,060 down 3.6
http//www.naceweb.org/press/display.asp?year2005
prid208
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/200
5SeasAnnualReport.pdf
12
Is Graduate School for You?
  • Masters 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?
  • Masters 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
  • Youll be the worlds 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
  • Its 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 schools 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
  • Dont sound desperate
  • Ask a reasonable question about the professors
    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
  • Dont 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 youre 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
Where Do I Apply (US News 2002)
  • 1. Carnegie Mellon University
  • 2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 3. Stanford University
  • 4. U. of CaliforniaBerkeley
  • 5. U. of IllinoisUrbana-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

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 Masters Degree
  • If you can stomach it and do well
  • Youll 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
  • Its risky to go to work and think youll come
    back to school its very hard
  • You make lifestyle commitments that arent 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 werent working, a better school is
    possible
  • A MS degree from GMU might not be worth much to
    you if you are capable of CMU (wont open doors)
  • Difficult to work and study but youre young
    and might not have time commitments
  • Consider that school will likely pay you too

29
QA
30
Show Me the Money
  • 2001 Undergraduate Salaries

Econ/Finance 40,577
Commerce 38,449
MIS 45,585
CS 52,723
Information Science 45,182
Computer Eng 53,924
EE 52,910
Petroleum 53,878
English 31,501
Sociology 28,812
Psychology 30,338
History 30,375
Political Science 32,744
www.naceweb.org/press/display.cfm/2001/pr071101.ht
m
31
Show Me the Money
2002 Undergraduate Salaries
Accounting 40,293 up 3.2
Marketing 35,374 up 1
Business 35,209 down 7.1 (14 -gt 1 consultants)
CS 50,352 down 3.6 (most sought-after grads)
Software Eng 54,922
Information Systems 41,414 down 7.4
Chemical Eng 51,254 steady
Elect Eng 50.387 down 3.5
Civil Eng 40,848 down 1
Mechanical Eng 48,654 steady
Liberal Arts 28,667 down 5.6
http//www.naceweb.org/press/display.asp?year2002
prid155 http//www.naceweb.org/press/display.asp
?year2002prid164
32
Show Me the Money
2003 Undergraduate Salaries
Accounting 41,360 up 2.6
Economics/finance 40,764 up 1.8
Business 36,515 up 3.7 (mostly sales and mgmt trainee)
CS 46,536 down 7.6 (sixth consecutive drop)
Information Systems / Systems 39,800 down 3.8
Chemical Eng 52,169 up 1.8
Elect Eng 50,566 steady
Civil Eng 41,067 up 0.5
Mechanical Eng 48,659 steady
Liberal Arts 29,543 up 3.1
33
Show Me the Money
2004 Undergraduate Salaries
Accounting 43,050 up 2.4
Economics/finance 40,719 up 0.4
Business 38,254 up 6.2 (mostly attributed to sales _at_40,395 and marketing _at_37,519)
CS 51,042 up 4.9
Information Systems / Systems 43,471 up 3.9
Chemical Eng 53,659 up 2.1
Elect Eng 51,113 up 2.4
Civil Eng 43,159 up 5.1
Pharmacist 84,000
Liberal Arts 29,060 down 3.6
http//www.naceweb.org/press/display.asp?year2005
prid208
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 masters 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
    (theyre 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)
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