Soon You People Will Be Calling Me Master

Today I got word that I’ve been formally admitted to the Master’s program in Computer Science at Colorado State University.

This program leads to the Master of Computer Science degree, which is a terminal, professional degree (as opposed to a research-oriented degree). Think of what I’m doing as the geek analog to an MBA.

I’ve actually been taking courses in the program since last year (which they helpfully allow students to do before they’ve been formally admitted to the program). Being able to take courses on a trial basis was vital for me since it helped verify that the material is at a level I can handle, although I’m carefully strategizing to avoid a few courses in the curriculum that involve a lot of crazy higher math. I’m a somewhat competent algebraist, but my last formal math course was in tenth grade.

The most common reaction I’ve gotten to this was “Why do you need to take more computer courses? You teach computer courses. You’re like mister software.” The truth of it is that there’s always more to learn no matter how much of a ninja you are (which is one reason why I love the field), but there’s a lot of academic CS I didn’t get in my undergrad years since I only took a few CS courses as electives (my undergraduate degree is in English). And although I’ve been doing technology teaching in various corporate settings since I was in my 20s, I want to open the door to potentially do more kinds of teaching later in my career, and having a Master’s would be a prerequisite for some of that.

A note to panicked clients and co-workers: None of this will change my work status or my city of residence; the Colorado State MCS program is all done online and I will be doing all of my coursework in my off-hours, mostly in my underpants. My plan is to progress through the program as slowly as humanly possible, taking a single course per semester until my planned completion in May 2013.