U Boot: A 21st Century Alternative to Graduate Degrees

Northeastern University has recently premiered a two-month course in data analytics, offering a huge amount of experience and a high-quality education at a low price—just without college credit. The program is intended for students who already have a bachelor’s degree and want to further their postgrad education, but don’t want to make the financial and temporal investment into a master’s degree. This also allows curriculum to change and shift as employers demand different skillsets.

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Private “boot camp”-style courses are nothing new, of course. Northeastern’s course is unique because it’s the first program to be offered as a supplement to (rather than a replacement for) more traditional degreed college, and it’s being brought by an accredited university of higher learning, rather than a third-party company.

There are a couple downsides to this sort of program, some more obvious than others. Currently, this is the only university to offer such content, and as a result, it may battle a stigma for some time as an inferior form of learning.

UW Bothell is currently seeking more classroom space for more traditional courses, but perhaps in the future this sort of boot camp program could be offered in tandem with our graduate curriculum.

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