If there had only been a Google Answers service 30 years ago when I was faced
with this very same decision, except I was in Illinois. Granted, a few things
have changed in those three decades, but not as much as we would like to think.
I went the DeVry route, at least for my first year out of high school, and I
found out this would not be my recommended route for anyone. I was studying in
the Electronics Engineering (EE) field at the time, but I soon ended up going
the route of what would be known as Computer Information Systems (CIS) today.
You will want to be in an academic environment, where the emphasis is on just
that, the academics, and not in an environment where it is education run
mostly as a business.
Employers want people who have come out the academic environment. If you
intend to stay in California for your work, as it appears you desire, then
you'll find that everyone is familiar with Cal State, and very many likely
went there themselves. This makes you a colleague as soon as they meet you.
Cal State is going to allow you the flexibility of going into the Computer
Science (CS) field, or going beyond your Bachelor's Degree to a Master's
Degree, if you so desire.
The campus experience of a place such as Cal State San Marcos allows one to
have just that, a campus experience of a library, lectures and personal
If you decide that you want to go someplace else for a Master's Degree, then
the fact that Cal State San Marcos is part of the California State University
System is another advantage, as this Merritt College document points out.
"All campuses follow similar admission requirements and use a common
application form. Students will qualify for admission as a transfer student if
they have a grade-point average of 2.0 ('C') or better in all transferable
units attempted; are in good standing at the last college or university
attended; and meet any of the following standards ..."
Even a look at the two websites is very telling.
DeVry University - San Diego Center
"Spacious classrooms, lounge/vending area, information center/computer lab with
Cal State San Marcos
"Library ... Research ... Technology ... Athletics"
Cal State San Marcos - Computer Science Department
Grid-based Secure Web Service Framework for Bioinformatics
Web Traffic Quality of Service (QoS)
Low Loss Parallel Queue Algorithm for Active Queue Management
Real Time Traffic
It is these kinds of opportunities that Cal State can offer that will make
the difference to you, and which will make a difference to your future
The RateItAll website has a lively bunch of comments from current and past
students of DeVry University.
First and foremost, before attending DeVry you have to decide what type of
education you want.
A University without a library or librarian cannot call itself a University.
DeVry is just a mere institution.
Everyone is always crying and complaining about the cost of the school. Every
school is costly. I know it's going to be worth it in the end.
You should read through all of the comments, good and bad, on the above site
for a relatively good view of DeVry, but let me add that any system that
generates such a dichotomy of experiences needs to be approached with caution.
One thing you want to check into, for both places, is what credits will
transfer from your current school to the new one.
Bottom line is that a potential employer is going to want someone that came out
of an environment with which they are more familiar, such as Cal State, and the
standards that they apply.
If you need any clarification, please feel free to ask.
Search strategy: Personal experience.
I also examined the sites of both places, as noted above.
Looking Forward, denco-ga - Google Answers Researcher
Request for Answer Clarification by
29 Nov 2006 15:39 PST
Thanks Denco, that helps me out a lot. I liked the rateitall.com site
you posted a link to. I am a student at DeVry now and I am with them
for one reason: I can take accelerated courses (1/2 semester each) and
thus literally blaze through the classes. I considered Cal State San
Marcos a few months ago and I was told that it would take me 2-3 years
to graduate, whereas I could graduate in less than a year with DeVry.
So I have been taking 2/3 of my classes online, and the other 1/3 in
Long Beach, CA (near LA, quite a drive).
As a side note: another thing I like about DeVry how modern the
programs are. They have many computer science related majors and even
the CIS major has 5 tracks that each student must choose (e.g. Systems
Analysis, Database Administration, Network Security, etc.). San Marcos
just added the CIS branch to their Computer Science department, which
kind of lumps together the manifold fields that a CIS graduate can
choose to enter.
Also, DeVry seems to have a good Career Services dept and they have
decent statistics to back it up. On the bad side, I have noticed the
quality of the teaching is rather low (note: I have had a few really
good classes on site).
However, as I mentioned, these things are secondary compared to the
name and reputation of the school I graduate from, pertaining to what
this reputation can do for me in the future. I believe school is what
you make of it, so I want to go to the school with a good reputation
amongst employers, and I will make due with the school's shortcomings.
That being said, I would like to know if you can clarify the
degree(amount) to which Cal State would have a better reputation over
DeVry. I know different employer's opinions on the quality of my
degree will vary, but overall, I need to know if the benefits of Cal
State's reputation would be worth the sacrifices I might need to make
to graduate from Cal State San Marcos.
Tomorrow I meet with the Cal State SM CS department chair to discuss
transferring my classes (fingers crossed). This will determine how
long it will take to achieve a degree from Cal State. If, in your
professional and experienced opinion, you highly recommend the switch
to Cal State, I will consider enduring a greater delay for my
Clarification of Answer by
29 Nov 2006 17:05 PST
You seem like a "bottom line" type of person, so that is how I will answer you.
I was attracted to DeVry for some of the same reasons that you were, and my
experience was the same about the low quality of the teaching.
Over the past 25 years of being an entrepreneur, and interviewing hundreds of
potential employees over those 25 years, I would, and have, hired people that
come from a state college over schools such as DeVry.
Employers know of the experiences that are expressed on message bases such as
the RateItAll website, either through reading such sites, or through their
They also know the good reputation of Cal State, and they are going to prefer
someone that comes from an academic institution than a perceived "technical
I commend you on having the "smarts" that it takes to know that a change might
be the best for your future career, and having the maturity that it takes to
face such a challenge.
When I made the same changes some 30 years ago, it made all the difference in
how I got to where I am today, which is all but retired at age 51.
Yes, you are going to have make more decisions about classes at Cal State than
at DeVry, but you will have far more opportunities to stretch yourself mentally
there as well.
It is not only the reputation of the school, but also the overall "collegiate"
experience that is going to help ypu in your future employment interviews.
Good luck with your meeting with the Chair of the Cal State San Marcos Computer
Science Department, and I do highly recommend the change.
Looking Forward, denco-ga - Google Answers Researcher