Brian Collins

M.S. in Software Engineering

“In a post COVID-19 world, graduates of online degree programs already have the skills needed for a full-time remote work environment.”

Brian Collins and his dog.
Brian Collins at Cooper's Rock.
Brian Collins playing goalie in a hockey game.
Brian Collins standing in front of a cannon.


Brian Collins says he chose WVU Online, in part, because it is a reputable R1 university with a quality engineering department offering in-state tuition to all online students.

“I went back and forth between Computer Science, Software Engineering MSIS, and engineering management programs,” he says. “Ultimately, I felt that the Software Engineering curriculum best aligned with the challenges I was facing in the real world.”

Brian connected well with a cohort of fellow students and they learned more from each other in the team projects than they would have with only individual assignments.

“The small class sizes offered at WVU Online, as well as the live sessions, really led to a different ‘feel’ to the online experience. I have taken online courses in other formats, but I truly feel that the format being used by WVU Online is the best approach to get the best of both worlds.

“We got the flexibility offered from online learning, while still being able to connect with our professors in the live sessions.”

1. Biggest Challenge
Every once in a while, I would have a conflict with the live sessions, but not having to commute to campus and being able to connect from any internet connection mitigated the challenges.

2. Things He Didn’t Expect
The MSSE program was a GREAT program in terms of addressing the real-world challenges related to software development. We had a good mix of theory and real-world operational challenges. Further, our faculty and peer students had an amazing mix of experiences which provided a solid foundation for any technology leaders looking to expand their education and knowledge.

3. How Online Learning Prepared Him for the Future
When the COVID-19 pandemic changed the world and made full time working from home a reality, the fact that I had completed an online degree through WVU—and had experience with remote meetings and remote teamwork—put me in an better situation than my co-workers who attended traditional on-campus graduate programs.

4. His “Big Three” Things Learned from Online Classes
Software Development Lifecycles (SDLC); seamlessly working remotely; and a strong balance of technical and organizational skills to excel in technology.

5. WVU Campus Resources He Found Helpful
The MSSE department chair and administration provided all the information we needed. As such, I rarely had to interact with the campus services. I am sure the services would have been accessible via phone or online access if needed, but my experience was seamless enough that I didn’t need to seek out special services.

6. Most Memorable Online Class Experience
The WVU MSSE program has amazing professors and amazing peer students. We all shared and learned from each other.

7. One Word to Describe His Degree Program

8. One Word to Describe WVU Online