6 Reasons Why MIU’s Master’s in Software Development Is a Life-Changing Experience

CAREER TRAINING AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT GO HAND IN HAND

By Christine Albers

When Mohamed “Moe” Hassan emigrated to the United States from Sudan in 2016, with a degree in architecture and his green card, he naturally began searching for a position in his field. But the only work he could find was in customer service for the airline industry, where he pieced together several part-time jobs just to pay the rent.

 

Mohamed Hassan, M.S.D., Coralville, Iowa 

A Sudanese friend suggested that Hassan apply for the Master’s in Software Development (M.S.D.) program at Maharishi International University (MIU). His first reaction was, “Me, study IT? I’ve worked with software programs in architectural design, but I don’t have experience in software development.” 

But his friend, who was a graduate of MIU’s Computer Science program, insisted: “Stop everything, take this chance, and go. This is your time to start a new life. And don’t laugh at the meditation—you’re going to need it.” 

 MIU’s unique Master’s in Software Development program does not require a computer science background and accepts bachelor’s degrees in any subject. It trains students to become Full Stack JavaScript web developers while they further their personal growth with the Transcendental Meditation technique. 

With 12 to 18 months of on-campus or online coursework, M.S.D. graduates are equipped with the skills most in demand for the software development job market. 

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Interested in exploring a new career in software development? MIU is

accepting applications for the February 2021 entry.  

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Here are the top six reasons why MIU’s M.S.D. graduates feel the program gives them the tools for success. 

1. Prepares Students for Top Positions in Just a Year 

Hassan enrolled in MIU’s Master’s in Software Development in August 2019 and never looked back. “I knew if I didn’t do something, I would be stuck in that life of working 14 to 17 hours a day, 7 days a week, and trying to support a family,” he said. 

One year later, he completed MIU’s comprehensive graduate program for professional and personal development and landed a position as a JavaScript software developer at Leepfrog Technologies in Coralville, Iowa. 

Haile Tesfu M.S.D., Seattle, Washington  

 Haile Tesfu, M.S.D., worked as a civil engineer in Eritrea before he came to the United States and joined MIU’s software development program. Now he is working as a code analyst for Infosys in Seattle, Washington. “We are using Angular Development at Infosys, and it was easier for me because I had already learned everything about it at MIU,” he said.  

Tesfu and Hassan are just two of the program’s first-year graduates who have accepted jobs at leading companies—including Google, Citibank, USAA, Hays Companies, Boeing, and others—with an average starting pay of $95,000 (ranging from $75,000 to $130,000). Within a few months of completing the program, 60 percent of the students have accepted offers—and they are thrilled they are finding jobs so quickly. 

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First-year graduates have accepted jobs at leading companies—including Google,

Citibank, USAA, Hays Companies, Boeing, and others—with an average starting

pay of $95,000 (ranging from $75,000 to $130,000). 

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2. The Latest in Software Training from Industry-Experienced Faculty 

 

Ashim Ghimire, M.S.D., Seattle, Washington 

 “It’s the faculty who make it work,” said Ashim Ghimire, M.S.D., who is originally from Nepal and earned his undergraduate economics degree at South Dakota University. “We are all from different backgrounds—and no one has been in Computer Science before—but in a span of 10 months, we are confident we can do the job, and that shows a lot.” 

As a result, “I discovered that I love JavaScript,” Ghimire said. “You don’t learn it and know it and that’s it; you have to continue using it and learning new things.” He’ll be doing so in Seattle, where he returned to be with his family after completing the master’s program. 

Students appreciate the industry expertise and international experience of the M.S.D. faculty as well as their dynamic delivery of the course material, which makes the courses exciting and enjoyable.  

The professors in software development have experience at many top companies, such as Google, e-Trade, Honeywell, AT&T, and Wells Fargo, as well as with governments around the world.  They are familiar with the latest technologies needed to succeed in the IT industry.

Shawn Daudi, M.S.D., Fairfield, Iowa 

“Teaching computer science is an art,” said Shawn Daudi, M.S.D., who is from Los Angeles and joined the program with a B.A. in Business from MIU. “There’s a gray area between teaching computer science and making it so we can understand. You can be the most expert developer in the world but not know how to teach. But the faculty did an incredible job, because they understand the art of teaching this subject.” 

Daudi is working in MIU Admissions while pursuing a position in web development. He learned how good MIU’s faculty and curriculum were from people in the field: “The nature of the computer industry is that there’s so much information that it’s impossible to know it all, so I talked to my friends who work in the industry. When they looked at the curriculum, they said, ‘You are way ahead with this.’ That was a big relief and boosted my confidence.” 

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Students appreciate the expertise of the M.S.D. international faculty

and their dynamic delivery of the course material, which makes the

courses exciting and enjoyable. 

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3. Faster Learning and Reduced Stress with MIU’s Innovative Block System 

 So students can immerse themselves in a single topic at a time, MIU uses a modular block system of one class per month. Students can focus and learn quickly without the distraction of juggling four or five other courses simultaneously. They learn more with less stress. 

“When I was in college studying civil engineering in Eritrea, I had to take 5 or 6 courses at a time,” said Tesfu. “It was stressful to try and remember everything, and tiring for my mind to constantly switch from one subject to another. But with the modular system, taking one course at a time, I didn’t have that stress. My mind stayed fresher, and it was easier to retain the knowledge. It’s the best way of learning.” 

Michael Woldemedihin, M.S.D., Seattle, Washington 

Michael Woldemedihin, who came to the M.S.D. program from Seattle, Washington, with a background in pharmaceuticals and information technology, also credits the modular system with helping him keep up with the pace.  

“The Master’s in Software Development is a rigorous course, and we had to work hard. There was no time to slack off,” Woldemedihin said. “Taking one course at a time made it easier to stay focused. The daily assignments helped us integrate the knowledge in the evenings and stay on top of things.” 

 The block system helps students acquire the latest skills needed to succeed. “It’s a challenging program, but we have all the up-to-date knowledge,” he added. “I really think anyone who graduates with this degree can survive anything in the industry.” Woldemedihin is doing just that. He landed a position with Boeing in Seattle and is working for them from Fairfield during the pandemic. 

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“Taking one course at a time made it easier to stay focused…

It’s a challenging program, but we have all the up-to-date knowledge.”  

—Michael Woldemedihin, M.S.D. 

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4. More Personal Growth and Deep Rest with the TM Technique  

The foundational element of MIU’s Consciousness-BasedSM education is the TM technique. Regular TM practice refreshes the mind and body, reduces stress, and increases intelligence and memory, making it far easier for students to absorb the knowledge from their courses and retain it. It’s also a tool they can take with them in their new career. 

“Before MIU all I knew of meditation was from movies and TV shows,” said Hassan. “I learned Transcendental Meditation, and didn’t know what to expect. Honestly, I have no idea how, but the meditation works. If I was tired or nervous or even panicking before exams, meditating for 20 minutes settled me down and helped me focus. I think TM will also help now that I’m moving to a new city to start a job and have to learn everything about the company and the environment.” 

Michael Fitzgerald, Fairfield, Iowa 

Michael Fitzgerald, from Crystal River, Florida, earned his B.A. in Mathematics at MIU before entering the M.S.D. program, so he was experienced with Consciousness-Based education. Still completing his M.S.D. coursework, he has already landed a position as IT Administrator for Maharishi School in Fairfield. 

“MIU is the only university I know of that encourages its students to stay rested and have a healthy lifestyle,” Fitzgerald said. “For me, that’s as important as the knowledge. Many of my M.S.D. classmates didn’t think much of meditation before coming here, but they were impressed with the results from TM. They noticed they didn’t have as much stress and had greater clarity and focus in school after learning the TM technique, and it came as a surprise to them.” 

 Tesfu appreciates how it’s helping him in his new position at Infosys. “I love the meditation! It really works for me. It gives me energy and clears my mind, and it’s helping me with my new job. If I’m working and feel tired, I stop for my TM session and feel refreshed and ready to start again,” he said. 

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“I love the meditation! It really works for me. It gives me energy

and clears my mind, and it’s helping me with my new job.”

—Haile Tesfu, M.S.D. 

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5. Career Strategy Workshops Help Students in Their Job Search 

Once students finish their M.S.D. course work, they are ready to apply for industry positions. That’s where the program’s vital job coaching comes into play, with a two-week workshop plus continued coaching for one year or until they land a job.

 

Amelework (Amele) Cheklie, M.S.D., Seattle, Washington 

 Amele Cheklie was a well-known journalist for the Ethiopian News Agency before she immigrated to the United States and joined the M.S.D. program. 

 “The Career Strategy class was well-designed, and we learned so many techniques to help us find a job,” said Cheklie, who landed in Seattle and is interviewing there for many software developer positions. 

 “We improved our ability to promote ourselves by communicating professionally. Practicing with my team helped build my confidence in speaking about myself,” she said. 

Abel Nedi, M.S.D., Atlanta, Georgia 

 “The job coaching program was very helpful,” says Abel Nedi of Atlanta, Georgia, who joined the M.S.D. program with a B.S. in Computer Science.  

“I learned how to prepare a professional resume and how to communicate with recruiters and hiring companies. It was great to get my team’s feedback and see where I needed to improve. I definitely think this program helped me get my job,” said Nedi, who is working as a Java developer at Bank of America in Charlotte, North Carolina. He’s working remotely from Atlanta, Georgia, until he can move to Charlotte when the pandemic ends. 

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“We improved our ability to promote ourselves by communicating

professionally. Practicing with my team helped build my confidence

in speaking about myself.” —Amele Cheklie, M.S.D. 

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6. Training for a Global Market with an International Community 

 The M.S.D. students in the first class of 2019 came from countries all over the world, representing multiple cultures, religions, educational backgrounds, and age groups. They were curious about learning the TM technique as an educational tool for personal development and committed to the challenge of mastering a new field of knowledge together. In the process, they were preparing for interacting with a global market.  

“It’s beautiful to see many different cultures overlapping and co-existing,” said Fitzgerald. “Even students from countries with a conflict between them interact joyously and peacefully here. I’ve made lifelong friends from around the world and had unique and unforgettable experiences—like listening to a traditional Ethiopian singer while working on projects with Ethiopian students.” 

For Fitzgerald, being on this journey with an international community was part of the M.S.D. program’s success. “We may have been from different countries, but we were all on the same trajectory, taking our classes together. There was a cool group feeling that we were in this together. The whole program and curriculum were laid out, so it was like riding a train—with the sense that the train would take us to totally new heights.” 

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“The whole program and curriculum were laid out, so it was like

riding a train—with the sense that the train would take us to

totally new heights.”  —Michael Fitzgerald, M.S.D. 

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Learn More about the Life-Changing M.S.D. Program 

With their year of coursework completed, all the students agree that it has been a life-changing experience. They are proud of the time and effort devoted to their Master’s in Software Development and excited to start new lives and new careers. 

 And as Fitzgerald pointed out, “If the idea of self-development appeals to someone, they will gain so much more than they ever expected from this program.” 

 If you’d like to embark on a career in software development, MIU is still accepting applications for the February 2021 entry. 

 Questions? Contact an Admissions Consultant any time by calling or texting (800) 563-9673 or emailing msd@miu.edu 

 

This article was reprinted from Enjoy TM News© 2020 Maharishi Foundation USA, Inc.

Professor Asaad Saad featured on “Adventures with Angular” podcast

Angular vs React: What Grad Students Pick 100% of the Time

Professor Asaad Saad, Program Director for the Master’s in Software Development program and Professor of Computer Science, discusses why learning Angular creates a better software engineer, and why we teach it at MIU. Listen to podcast here:

 

Making the Right Decision Leads to a Master’s in Software Development

An Interview with Shawn Daudi, 2020 MIU Graduate

By Christine Albers

In 2014, Shawn Daudi had to decide between a first-class ticket home to Los Angeles or pursuing an education at MIU. Six years later, with a Master’s Degree in Software Development, Shawn knows he made the best decision in his life when he decided to take his education seriously and commit to some hard work. Let’s hear his story!

Christine (CA): How did you hear about MIU, Shawn?

Shawn: My sister, who teaches Transcendental Meditation, tried to convince me to go to MIU, but I wasn’t about to leave Los Angeles and go to the middle of nowhere. I was thinking, LA is where it’s at, but my mom said, “Just go try it out for 6 months and if you don’t like it, I’ll buy you a first-class ticket and you can come home.” So, I thought I would try it for 6 months and go back home. I didn’t think I would ever graduate from college.

When I got here, I was thinking, oh college life, I’ll just relax with my friends and have fun. But one day, after finishing my third year, I was sitting at Caribou Coffee and it hit me, “Am I actually going to get a Bachelor’s degree?” Something shifted inside me. I decided to take my senior year seriously and I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 2017.

CA:   Why did you choose the Masters in Software Development?

Shawn: After I graduated with my BA in Business, I realized that being an executive or supervisor is not my thing. I had an interest in computers and thought I might prefer to be the person developing something on the floor. Ironically, after resisting coming to Fairfield, I didn’t want to leave, so when they launched the new Masters in Software Development program, I was all over it.

They say that all the information you need is on the internet, but some people do better in a classroom setting and I’m one of those people. I felt this program was a calling for me. Although I had no background in software development Luke (MSD Director) said I was the perfect candidate and it worked out perfectly.

CA: How did your family feel about the new program?

Shawn: My family was a huge help. Without them, I don’t know what I would have done. My sister introduced me to MIU, my mom encouraged me to go, and my dad was a disciplinarian so he pushed me. His attitude was to work hard and accomplish something. So, in my mind, if it was a challenge, I needed to go for it, and that came from him.

CA: What did you like best about the MSD program?

Shawn: I liked that it was difficult, challenging. I had lost sight of how to work hard for something, and I discovered the merit in finding yourself through hard work. My dad once told me that when someone earns something, and they know they’ve earned it, that’s the best possible feeling.   With the MSD program, I worked hard and felt I had earned my Master’s degree. It was by far the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my entire life, but it was worth every single minute. I didn’t think I would finish high school, let alone get a Bachelor’s Degree, so when I got my Master’s Degree it was emotional for me.

CA: Were you able to stay balanced during the 12 months of courses?

Shawn: At the beginning of the program I told myself I would stay up until 2 am every night and study, study, study. After 6 months I realized I needed sleep. Sleep for a programmer is like mental steroids. I learned very quickly to stop at 11 pm or midnight, get some sleep and start again the next morning. The meditation also helped me handle the stress and fatigue.

CA: How do you like the international setting at MIU?

Shawn: It’s great! Before I came to MIU I didn’t know anyone from Africa. Now I have so many Ethiopian friends.  I’ve eaten Ethiopian food; I know a few phrases of Ethiopian and I get along with them so well. It can be a bit scary at first because you don’t know exactly what their culture encompasses. But when you get to know them you realize you have a lot in common. My Ethiopian friends have such a sense of community amongst them and that’s the type of social life that I wish we had more of in the United States. We don’t have it on the level that they do. They are light years ahead of us in this way.

CA: How were the classes? Did you get the knowledge you need to go into the job market?

Shawn: When we finished the course, our professors said, “Now you know the basics and you’re good to go,” but I was nervous. The nature of the computer industry is that there’s so much information that it’s impossible to know it all.  So, I talked to my friends who work in the industry and when they looked at the curriculum they said, “You are way ahead of this.” That was a big relief and boosted my confidence.

CA:  How is the Career Development program working for you?

Shawn: I can’t believe how valuable it is, I didn’t know how great it was until I got into it. The director (Kay Hazen) is absolutely phenomenal. She is such a good coach. If I’m in a weird funk, she just outlines the next steps and I’m back on track.

CA: What do you think of the faculty?  

Shawn: The faculty members are incredible. I think that teaching computer science is an art. There’s a bit of a gray area between teaching and making it so we can understand. It’s hard to zero in on it and they did great because they understood the art of teaching the subject. You can be the most expert developer in the world but not know how to teach, and I made it difficult for them.  I was constantly asking questions and complaining that it was too hard but they put up with me and we’re all buddies.

CA: Would you recommend the MSD program to other students?

Shawn: I absolutely recommend this program. Whenever I have an opportunity to meet a potential student or candidate, I always tell them to check it out. Especially now with the 18-month extended program, it’s easier to learn everything at a comfortable pace. That was a great addition to the program.

For me, enrolling in the MSD program was the best decision I ever made in my life. I love the faculty, and even though it was challenging, I’m proud that I pushed through and got my Master’s in Software Development.

 

Shawn graduated from the Masters of Software Development program in August 2020 and is currently pursuing a position as a JavaScript web developer. We wish him the best of luck!

The Masters of Software Development is a 12-month training program for U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, and Asylees, to become software developers. Previous software development training or experience is not necessary to enroll in this program and any bachelor’s degree in any subject is eligible for admission.

 

 

 

 

 

A Masters in Software Development Program that Exceeds Expectations

An Interview with Michael Fitzgerald, MSD Student

“The culture at MIU is truly an internationally-diverse one. We hear about the need for people to come together and experience other cultures to broaden their perspective, but at MIU, it’s automatically the reality. And it’s just so beautiful to see many different cultures overlapping and co-existing. Even students from countries with a conflict between them interact joyously and peacefully here. It’s incredible and very uplifting.”

Michael Fitzgerald is finishing his course work for a Masters in Software Development degree at Maharishi International University (MIU) and will be seeking a job as a JavaScript web developer.  In this article, he shares his experience of the program and why he thinks it may exceed many students’ expectations.

Michael, how did you come to join the MSD program in 2019?

I graduated from MIU in 2016 with a Math degree and accepted a digital marketing position with a Fairfield company.   Two years later my friend Luke Hillis suggested I might like the new computer science program, which he was managing. I knew I needed more education if I wanted a career in computer science and it seemed like a good wave to catch and ride because the world of web development and JavaScript is exploding in demand.

How did your Math background prepare you for software development?

Most anything computer science-related has its basis in math, and ultimately, math is an exercise in spatial and logical thinking. So, the two disciplines go hand in hand.

What are your career goals?

If I find the right position on the entry-level, I hope to build a solid career with room to grow. I see lots of potential roles in the software development arena, such as Product Management, DevOps, etc. I’d also like to explore staying in Fairfield, using the education I get from the program, and building a software development firm here.

Why Fairfield?

The people here have qualities that you may not find in other places. The best way I can describe it is the ability to connect on deeper levels and a certain level of awareness that makes it a safe space to have a natural and effortless exchange of ideas. Maybe it’s due to going deeper inside during the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program and experiencing more inner happiness that makes people here so open and caring.

How has your TM program helped you during the course?

What suffers the most when you’re in school is having enough time in the day to fit everything in.  I have to choose how many hours I can sleep, how long to study and when to study, and when to stay up late.  I’d be worse off and further out of balance if I didn’t prioritize my meditation twice a day. If I only get 5 hours of sleep, I still make sure I fit my meditation in before the morning lectures so I feel rested and alert. It’s a technique for maintenance and I notice if I neglect that aspect.

The students on the MSD program represent 40 to 50 countries. What’s it like, being with so many international students?

It’s great. I’ve made lifelong friends from other countries and had unique and unforgettable experiences, like listening to a traditional Ethiopian singer while working on projects with Ethiopian students. We may be from many different countries, but we’re all on the same trajectory, taking our classes together, so there’s a cool group feeling that we’re in this together. The whole program and curriculum are laid out, so it’s like riding a train, and there’s this sense that the train will take you to totally new heights.

What do you think of the Faculty?

I’ve enjoyed connecting with the faculty; they are compassionate, helpful, and smart. We’ve come a long way when you consider it was the first year of this program and it doesn’t require previous coding experience. We had to trust that the faculty had done the best job of planning and organizing the course and we would be successful. Now that the 12 months are coming to an end, I realize how much I’ve learned.

How is MIU different from other universities?

MIU is the only university I know of that encourages its students to stay rested and have a healthy lifestyle. For me, that’s as important as knowledge. Many of my classmates noticed they didn’t have as much stress and had greater clarity and focus in school, and it came as a surprise to them. They didn’t think much of the meditation before coming here but they were impressed with the results.

Would you recommend this program and why?

The tech world has many different streams and careers which this program prepares us for, so even if someone has no experience in computer science but wants to learn software development, this is the best road to take. And if the idea of self-development appeals to someone, they will gain so much more than they ever expected from this program.