Feedback on MS EE at UNCC

Scholar Strategy alumnus Sajin joined UNCC for MS EE in Fall 2016. He shares his feedback on the program-

Before coming here, I didn’t feel that UNCC was a good option to do my Master’s in. But, I’ve been proven wrong in every way. The coursework for Embedded systems, computer architecture and operating systems specialization is really good.

Coursework

The advanced course in operating systems offered here is a direct clone of an MIT grad course, and it is extensive enough to prepare anyone to go directly into industry. I highly recommend anyone who wants to do something in operating systems (kernel development, device drivers, etc), to have a look into UNCC.

The research work in computer architecture is really good, and the professor who handles that (Dr. Hamed Tabhki), gives you good relevant research work on that field if you show interest. The focus is on general purpose GPUs and FPGAs. Also, there is an excellent professor in the CS department who offers very good courses on high-performance computing. For Embedded systems, there are decent courses, but things could be better.

Vlsi coursework is not up to the mark, but they’ve hired some new professors recently. I’ll update you on the progress in due time. As of now, UNCC is not a good place to be, if anyone is planning to specialize in VLSI.

In general, I’ll highly recommend UNCC if anyone is interested in computer engineering (There is no MS in computer engineering as such right now, but MS in electrical engineering covers all this).

Finance

In terms of funding, the situation is not that good. None of the MS students get tuition fee waiver, at least in computer engineering. Funding is mostly in the form of TAs and RAs, and most of these will go to people who opt for thesis (the situation is different in computer science).

Employment prospects

In terms of jobs, a lot of people taking up operating systems are getting into good companies. Around 8 of the 22 who took the advanced OS course cracked Intel. People have gotten into Cisco, Amazon, and Texas Instruments. Last year, around 4-5 got into Qualcomm. The job scene is good for people who opted for the right, challenging courses. Also, it is worth mentioning that people who took embedded systems courses are getting lots of calls for embedded firmware jobs.

About my progress, I’ve gotten into Wind River Systems, which is an Intel subsidiary. I am working in the CoreOS team of their flagship real time OS VxWorks. I’m getting to work on cutting edge stuff, and am really enjoying the experience here.

Thanks for your honest thoughts, Sajin. Hope it helps the prospective applicants.

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