First off, love the website. I've enjoyed browsing the threads in the past and learned a lot. I just made an account on here and it seems like a great community.
Anyway, my question is in regard to opinions on the schools that I am considering for graduate school. I've recently graduated with my bachelor's in Industrial and Systems Engineering and I'm really interested in the field of Human Factors, especially user research, usability and HCI. Currently I am deciding between a few schools that I have been accepted into and wanted to get some feedback if anyone has opinions. I don't know exactly which niche of HFE I'd like to pursue at the moment but I figure that will be something that graduate school will clarify. I've always been really interested in pursuing the software ergonomics/HCI route but am also considering the health care route because of the outstanding job prospects I've heard about or perhaps the government work route. It would also be cool if anyone could contribute some information on how difficult it is to transition between these types of fields. I've heard before that it's hard to go into another field once you have gotten into web design.
Anyway, here are my current choices: (I'm considered out of state for all of these choices)
Arizona State University Polytechnic: This is an Applied Psychology program in Mesa, AZ. From what I've researched so far it seems to be a great program. I've seen some alumni working at places like godaddy.com and government positions. The tuition isn't so cheap but they say they have been able to provide most students with funding traditionally.
San Jose State University: I haven't been accepted here yet because I applied a little bit later than the rest but have spoken to the director and feel pretty confident, especially sirnce this is actually an Industrial & Systems Engineering program, like my undergrad. I've heard the internship possibilities are amazing because it sits right in Silicon Valley. I have also heard it is a pretty competitive environment and the cost of living is just short of an arm and a leg.
University of Idaho: Offers an Experimental Psychology program with an emphasis on Human Factors. Weather seems lovely and they offer a great value from what I can see, especially if I can get some funding. Still in the process of trying to get that information. Have seen some alumni working at IBM and consulting companies.
Missouri Western State University: A newer program that offers a Master's in Human Factors and Usability Testing. They also mix in a few business and management courses that give it a little MBA flavor. Seems like another great program at a great value with some cool UX jobs. Only issue here is that since they are so new they aren't accredited. I've understood that this can add some extra tasks to obtaining certification like CPE and such. Any thoughts on this?
I know that's a lot of info but I'd really appreciate any insight or tips. Thanks in advance and glad to be here.