Georgia Tech With $7,000 Degree
Georgia Institute of Technology has announced a partnership with Udacity to offer an online Masters Degree
in Computer Science for $7,000, down 80% from the existing cost of $40,000 for the on-campus, instructor led program. Suddenly, masters programs around the country will have to compete with Georgia Tech‘s $7,000 program, and that won’t be easy or fast in coming. The traditionally taught graduate degree in computer science at Georgia Tech is a very well regarded program that is in high demand and has very positive outcomes in terms of jobs and earnings. Georgia Tech graduates tend to do very well in earnings upon graduation, especially in computer science. Now students from around the world will be able to obtain the same degree online at an 80% discount – which is, no doubt, a sonic boom rattling the windows in the offices of college administrators across the country.
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This is the kind of disruption that the higher education industry has been expecting and experimenting with using massively open online courses (MOOCs) for free that do not lead to a degree. Georgia Tech and Udacity made a bold move with this announcement. They changed the game by offering a sought after graduate degree through online instruction for 80% less than what the existing classroom curriculum costs, and employers are waiting for such graduates with good paying jobs.
An article written by Ry Rivard of Inside Higher Ed, characterized this move by Georgia Tech and Udacity as revolutionary:
“Georgia Tech will work with AT&T T -0.75% and Udacity, the 15-month-old Silicon Valley-based company, to offer a new online master’s degree in computer science to students across the world at a sixth of the price of its current degree. The deal, announced Tuesday, is portrayed as a revolutionary attempt by a respected university, an education technology startup and a major corporate employer to drive down costs and expand higher education capacity.
Georgia Tech expects to hire only eight or so new instructors even as it takes its master’s program from 300 students to as many as 10,000 within three years, said Zvi Galil, the dean of computing at Georgia Tech.”
Forbes featured Udacity’s CEO Sebastian Thrun last June in a post by George Anders. The piece also appeared in the June 25, 2012 issue of Forbes Magazine.