• Joanne Jacobs

Online degree expands college access


Georgia Tech’s online master’s in computer science program enabled mid-career workers to earn a degree that would have been out of reach before, concludes a new study.

The “typical in-person program applicant is a 24-year-old recent college graduate from India,” researchers found. (Think about that for a moment.) By contrast, the typical online student was a 34-year-old working American.

Online applicants come from less elite colleges and are less likely to have majored in computer science, write the authors. “But despite their somewhat weaker average level of preparation, online students slightly outperformed in-person students when Georgia Tech blindly graded final exams for online and in-person students taking the same course from the same instructor.”

More than 85 percent of applicants to Georgia Tech’s traditional computer science master’s program come from India or China, less than 10 percent from the U.S., according to the chart.

Nationwide, “foreign nationals account for 81 percent of the full-time graduate students in electrical engineering and petroleum engineering, 79 percent in computer science, 75 percent in industrial engineering, 69 percent in statistics, 63 percent in mechanical engineering and economics, statistics, 59 percent in civil engineering and 57 percent in chemical engineering,” according to a 2017 policy brief from the National Foundation for American Policy.

#foreignstudents #GeorgiaTech #onlinedegrees

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