No Computer Science Background


Joe received a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Illinois State University and had worked as a developmental chemist for 3 years. He had been a grant-funded medical researcher at Stanford University and the Palo Alto Department of Veteran Affairs.  In both of these positions, he used technology to streamline his work and improve the productivity of each environment, including software programming and building his own computers. 

When his grant ended at Stanford, he decided to enter teaching, where he was the first teacher to build and employ a web portal for total classroom management, including grades, lesson plans, activities, and more. Joe was just about to start his third year as a high school chemistry teacher when he decided to get a degree in computer science.

Joe weighed the decision to get masters in education versus computer science.  His dreams for formal education in computer science won!
Joe had never taken a course in computer science and was completely self-taught. He had adequate computer science training but not in an academic setting.  He needed to find the right program to fit his background as well as his goals.

His desire to be formally educated in the major areas of computer science led him to the Masters Program in Computer Science. This was the best option for Joe based on the flexible application and acceptance process. Since University of Chicago takes into account an applicant’s entire portfolio of relevant experience, Joe was accepted into the program based on his many innovations as a self-taught student of computer science.

Joe believes his MSCS is an immediate differentiator in job candidate evaluation.  He believes that a degree from the University of Chicago indicates the candidate is of the highest moral character. 

Joe found that the masters program provided a solid foundation of many computer science principals and allows individuals to pursue deeper knowledge of specific areas of interest.  The program taught Joe how to tackle problems, no matter which point of the life cycle they were at, and quickly diagnose and solve them.

Joe is currently a Pre-Sales Software Engineer at Intel, responsible for gathering usage requirements for potential customers looking to employ software sold by Intel and setting up Proof of Concepts that assist the customer in deciding if they would like to make a purchase.  He also guides the product development by recording feature requests, and validating product features as needed.

As he looks toward the future, Joe sees himself pursuing a career in the Education Markets and Platform Group at Intel.  He believes his unique background as a science educator with a masters degree in computer science immediately differentiates him for technical positions within the Intel group.

Joe’s presumes his degree helped him be selected to the Intel Education Service Corporation, where only 5% of applicants are selected for two-week deployments to third-world countries with objectives to deploy Intel’s classmate PC and instruct impoverished students on how to use and engage with them.  (

Joe thinks his degree helped him to accomplish career goals he never thought possible.

“The prestige and reputation of the school put it at the top of my list to pursue a masters degree.  Classes were taught either at night or weekends offering flexibility.  The program itself had received good reviews from its graduates and in case I was to employ my degree outside of education the career placement was extraordinary.

The degree has changed my future from a professional standpoint.  Potential employers familiar with my professional background prior to entering the program pursued me upon finding out I was enrolled in the program.  I decided to take a chance on a professional career in IT and left teaching. 

I can’t imagine having the experience I had at the University of Chicago anywhere else.  The commitment for excellence from facility and staff in the program are second to none.  Lastly, you will be surrounded with exceptionally professional, outgoing, and inspiring peers.”

“Look at the program from a holistic point of view - the return on the investment made by enrolling in this program is truly worth it.”