I Completed my Master Degree<!-- --> | <!-- -->Patrick Desjardins Blog
Patrick Desjardins Blog
Patrick Desjardins picture from a conference

I Completed my Master Degree

Posted on: December 16, 2021

In 2017, I decided to adhere to monthly objectives. During that year, I wrote two books, built an online course, read 22 books, had two new patents, changed team at Microsoft, moved to California, started to work at Netflix, and got admitted into Georgia Tech Master Program (OMSC) that would start the year after. Forward to today, I graduated with a perfect GPA. If someone asks me if I recommend the OMSC, I have to be honest and say no.

At the dusk of this journey, I admit underestimating the time needed and misevaluated how proficient in machine learning I will (not) become. I concluded with the same opinion barely after my fourth semester. You can read about it here. Everything I mentioned remains relevant.

I persevered these last years but was thinking of dropping so many times. It became clear that a departure from software engineer to machine learning expert would be a rough transition. As the semesters advanced, a sour taste tainted the experience to grow in the AI world. The program lacks depth and fails to foster an environment to carry students in their professional success. I estimate that the valuable information can shrink the four years of 20 hours per week to a single year. Furthermore, the return on investment is better if you focus on each topic you want to master instead of zooming on unnecessary domains that each class was a culprit to different degrees. The strong tendency of overwhelming students with offtopic requirements, off-loading explanations to whitepapers, and mirroring quantity of work (assignments, lectures, exams, projects, quizzes) for quality are a few elements of many that tarnish the education system - Georgia Tech is not different.

On the positive side, I want to say that I respect people having a full-time job, a family, and pursuing the program. Completing the program is a mark of perseverance. The experience of the last four years highlighted my interest in a more data-driven facet of software engineering. Therefore, I will probably take the following years to visit, at the appropriate pace, the areas of machine learning that I am the most passionate about.