Nick Schober graduated college with a degree in biology and got a job at the software company Epic. He had never taken a computer science course, and his position in quality assurance didn’t require a technical background. But, in the Epic environment, Schober found himself increasingly interested in computer programming.
“I’m drawn to the impact one can make on the world through computer software, and with the explosive growth in computer-science-related jobs, it’s looking to be a very stable field to go into,” he says. “Given my undergrad background, I had some catching up to do, so I started looking into options for pursuing a degree in computer science.”
Schober wanted to get the degree while keeping his full-time job—a tall order—and he found what he needed in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Professional Master’s Program in Computer Sciences. Each semester, students take as many courses as they can handle, completing the degree in two to three years.
The UW-Madison Department of Computer Sciences is top-ranked nationally, so students benefit from leading experts in the field.
“Each of the instructors has demonstrated strong expertise in the areas covered by the courses,” Schober says. “And each has put a great amount of effort into developing course materials that challenge the student and help us develop our knowledge of these important computer science concepts. I’d honestly say that these professors are some of the best I have ever had.”
As a stepping stone to the master’s degree, Schober first enrolled in the Professional Capstone Certificate Program through the UW-Madison Department of Computer Sciences.
“I had never taken a computer science course, so the biggest hurdle I faced was building up enough course experience to prove to myself and to UW that I was a good candidate for the Professional Master’s Program,” he says. “Fortunately, the Professional Capstone Certificate Program was a perfect entry point for me to catch up on some foundational areas I was lacking in.”
Schober feels that the Professional Master’s Program has prepared him for the next step at Epic.
“I am pursuing a role transfer to a position that does more programming,” he says. “I feel well prepared for that potential transition, and the program at UW has been instrumental in developing my skills and knowledge base.”
Schober acknowledges the challenges involved in obtaining an advanced degree while working full-time. But he’s confident he made the right decision.
“It’s a tough balance, but a temporary one, and I hope to look back on it as a decision that opened up a lot of doors for me in terms of career possibilities that I wouldn’t have otherwise had.”
For more information about the Professional Master’s Program in Computer Sciences, see here.