WGU

Today I submitted my graduation application at WGU.  I already have a B.S. in Computer Science, but once I started working in management it became clear that I needed to figure out the business side of things.  I’d end up in meetings with terms being thrown around that I didn’t really understand like the business people did.  At my last job the CEO of the company met with all of middle management every other week to discuss company goals, direction, mission/vision statements, etc.  The company was growing and he knew he was losing touch with all the new hires coming on.  When I first started there were only about 60 people in the company.  When I left, there were over 300 in 3 different countries.

I love to learn and I’d been feeling the itch to return to school for awhile.  But getting tied to a schedule again on a campus that I had to attend 2-4 nights a week just wasn’t going to happen.  That’s when my nephew told me about WGU.  He was getting his business management degree through them and it was all self-paced.  Unlike University of Phoenix, there were no group projects!  I’ve always hated that about UoP, you always end up with the deadbeat in your group riding everyone else’s efforts through to graduation.

So I took the plunge and 22 months later, I’m applying for my degree!  I chose to get a B.S. in Business Management and not go for an MBA.  The thing is, I needed to learn everything and you usually need a couple of years experience before going for an MBA.  So I decided to just start at the beginning with a bachelor’s degree.

While I do recommend WGU, there are a couple of things to consider if you’re thinking of applying:

  • It’s self-paced so you can go as fast as you like.  However, when you get to the upper division classes it starts to get brutal and finding the motivation to keep going can be a challenge.
  • Get ready to be monitored while you take your tests.  Your tests are done at home with a web camera pointed at you and your computer with someone logged in watching you and monitoring everything with a remote session to your computer.  It’s a little unnerving at first.
  • For the test-based classes, you only have the test to prove you learned everything.  There are no assignments, projects, or anything else to help your score.  So it’s all or nothing on however many chapters you had to study for that class.  Flashcards are your friend, get used to memorizing.  I managed to pass every test on the first try.  You can take a test again, but they start charging on your 3rd or 4th try.
  • In this day of age, at least for the business degree, you still have to memorize formulas.  This was probably my biggest pet peeve.  I had a couple of financial classes where I was memorzing 30-50 formulas so I could take the test.  You can use a calculator and a whiteboard, but you had to KNOW the formulas.  This just isn’t reality anymore.  There’s not a job in the world that you’d go to with your degree that you had to know these formulas.  They would have you use software programs, spreadsheets with macros built-in, etc.  I guess they just haven’t figured out a good alternative to pure memorization where math is concerned.

Altogether, I spent 514 hours on my degree from June 2014 to April 2016.  Overall, I’d do it again, but I’m glad it’s done and I have my life back now.  🙂

Mel