I’m almost finished with my first semester of my graduate degree, and I couldn’t be happier. I’m taking two 3-credit courses, and the classwork (including time in class and travel to classes) has added an average 12-15 hours to my work-week. It’s also put a strain on my relationships with people and generally I’ve become a crabby, grumpy person since September. But am I going to slow down? NO! I’m still going to continue taking 2 classes per semester (except summers) until I’m done!
The program is 10 classes, so I should finish in Summer 2009 if all goes well. Tuition and books are about $5200 per semester, which is what my employer will reimburse for me per year. So, in the end, I’ll pay almost $16k out of pocket for this degree, but my employer will pay the same, if I’m still here when I graduate. They do have a repayment policy of 1 year after reimbursement, so if I leave prior to about July 2008, then I owe for this semester. I haven’t paid for next semester yet.
As far as deliverables for my classes, here’s what I have left:
- Lectures tonight
- Team presentation next week (and last class). I’ll be presenting Risk Management for our team
- Team presentation tomorrow (just one team member). I provided the project closeout report
- Final exam next week (and last class). It’s a bunch of multiple choice and fill-in questions (the mid-term was short answers/essay), and then a verbal exam. You pick a number from a hat and that’s the question you must answer out loud. Others can chime in when you’re done to add their own input and get bonus points, as can you. This is 20% of the final exam grade.
The graduate degree is definitely the main reason for posting fewer articles each consecutive month, and has caused a lot of stress at home and work. I have a lot of stress from work as it is, so having to worry about class deliverables only makes it worse. However, over the next 1-2 months, work should slow down for me (hopefully) as we progress into the final stages of the product development and inch closer to deployment, where I can hand off to the system architect for the job he was supposed to be doing for the last 16 months (that I’ve been doing). If only I could get system architect salary for doing that work.