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Online graduate program made engineering alumnus a better problem solver

Mike Hancock earned his online Master of Computer Science degree May 2017, from NC State’s College of Engineering through NC State Online and Distance Education.

At the time Hancock was earning his online master’s degree, he was working full time as a Development and Operations Engineer with Duke Energy’s Information Technology (IT) Department.

“We implement solutions for other teams within the IT department. Our solutions are focused around automating system/application installations, configurations and deployments,” Hancock said.

Hancock wanted to pursue his master’s degree while continuing to work full time.

“I felt the combination of field experience and graduate courses in computer science would help me develop into a stronger Information Technology professional,” Hancock explained.

He wanted to be challenged, so Hancock chose to apply and enroll in NC State Engineering Online’s Master of Computer Science program.

“If I were going to dedicate myself to an advanced degree in computer science, I wanted it to come from what I considered to be North Carolina’s premier public institution for producing high-quality engineers,” Hancock said.

One of his favorite online courses was CSC 540 Database Management Concepts and Systems with Associate Professor Rada Y. Chirkova.

Hancock said Chirkova’s teaching style helped him better understand the core concepts.

“I use a lot of the knowledge gained from that class on a day-to-day basis,” he added. Also, he had Chirkova for his CSC 541 Advanced Data Structures course. He said the course was, “a great mix of theory and programming assignments.”

Hancock said building working relationships — with both his professors and his classmates — was crucial to his success.

“I was fortunate to develop a good friendship with a fellow computer science student during my first semester”, Hancock said. “I truly believe this particular friendship contributed the most to my success in the program. Having someone to share the experience with and stay accountable with was huge,” he explained.

“I think the program has made me a better problem solver, a better ‘thinker’ so to speak,” Hancock said. He added, “If I can use my degree to help people become more confident and aware of their potential, then I think I’m being a part of the solution.”

Students interested in earning an online  Master of Computer Science degree from NC State can visit the NC State Engineering Online website. If you’d like to explore other online master’s programs, please visit the NC State Online and Distance Education website.

This post was originally published in Online and Distance Education News.