Online Student Spotlight - Michael Scully

Michael Scully

M.S. '18 Computer Science

Mike Scully needs to sharpen his computer science skills.

He’s got a great job with United Technologies Aerospace Systems. But his undergraduate degree—and what he loves doing the most—is computer science.

"When I’m working on software or computer programs, the time just flies," Scully says. "I just get really engrossed in it. So I took on this challenge for a graduate degree to advance my skills, make my skills more current and to exercise my brain because I just love learning about this."

So when UTC Aerospace Systems made an employee scholarship program available to its employees, Scully saw his chance.

And that’s when he found the StevensOnline master's program in Computer Science.  

"I knew Stevens had a good reputation, and the online Computer Science program had the curriculum I was most interested in," Scully says.

Stevens graduate science programs have a long history of providing quality, student-centric education. That’s because Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering and Science is dedicated to providing each student with experiential knowledge from world-class faculty and industry experts—especially in the highly-ranked Computer Science program.

"I wanted to take advantage," Scully says.

An "efficient" and "flexible" online experience

"Online has been a really good experience for me," Scully says. "I like the flexibility because I work full-time. I save time because I don’t have to spend time going to classes, so I save travel time."

Scully found many other benefits to the online learning environment as well. "One of the things that works really well for me is the ability to revisit material," he says. "When you have the material online, it’s very easy to go back—or skip through things I’ve already studied."

That online material is not only easily accessible; it’s presented well. "I like Canvas," Scully says, citing Stevens online learning platform. "I find it really easy to get updates when something’s going on. I’m tied in with getting emails. When I have a question, I can message in Canvas, use the discussion thread for a class, or directly email the professor."

"Stevens online platform makes my time very efficient."

But as beneficial as the online computer science program has been to Scully, even he acknowledges there are few challenges to overcome.

"If you’re a person that’s more extroverted and needs to interact with people, online learning may not work for you," Scully admits. "I would call myself on the introverted side, so personally for me it works out great."

"I would definitely recommend it"

While he’ll be completing the program in May 2018, Scully isn’t going to stop learning anytime soon. "My long-term goal is to learn more about artificial intelligence and machine learning," he says. He’s not exactly sure what he’s going to study next, but he’s certain that "I’m going to use what I gained at Stevens."

Scully’s so excited by what he’s learned at Stevens that he found himself "interested in teaching young people about computer science and programming," he says. "I have friends who do home schooling, and they asked me to come up with curriculum for their kids so I did. Computer science is something I love and I’d like to pass it along."

While Stevens’ online computer science program has been "a really good experience" for Scully, he does offer prospective students a word of advice. "I think it would help if people knew they could thrive in an environment where they learn on their own," he says.

Yet "Stevens online computer science program worked out really well for me," Scully says. "A number of people in my department are considering programs, and I recommend it when people ask."

"I would definitely recommend it."