I have an important choice to make, and I am counting on your input.
The dilemma: I have an opportunity to sign up for a postgraduate degree (User Experience) offered at a university in Poland. On the other hand, maybe it would be better to invest in a globally recognized online bootcamp?
- Cost under $2,000
- 2 semesters (1 academic year), weekends only
- 230 hours, including 50 hours of project work w/ mentors
- 30 person cohort, year-long group project (groups of 3)
Assumed Pros: face-to-face interaction with mentors and peers; experienced mentors [not all academics it seems]; opportunity to network with local startups [via partnerships] [might help with landing first job/internship]
Assumed Cons: program director seems legit, but this is still a traditional, Polish public university program. What if lectures and projects are too basic, stale [theoretical] or behind the curve; no recognition of program value beyond Poland [will anyone in US/West know or care about such a credential?]; location dependence for a year; group projects might suck hard
DesignLab, Bloc, etc. [Online-only, because I cannot afford more than $5-6k]
Assumed Pros: Far more globally recognized; likely more flexible and project-oriented; faster paced; more likely to develop network in US/EU
Assumed Cons: Online-only [lack of face-to-face]; less connected to local community [first job networking]
I think the local program is a great way to introduce some much needed face-time to an otherwise individual, self-paced experience (MOOCs, books, blogs, boards). It is also a way to network with the local community and maybe even land a job or an internship. However I am afraid that this might prove a stale academic experience, and the money would be better spent contributing towards a well established bootcamp. As my goal down the line is to work in Western Europe or US, perhaps a globally recognized bootcamp would also prove more legitimate credential then a postgrad degree from a no-name Eastern European uni?
Let me know what you think!