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cs masters

does considering going back to school be an option for prorammers currently out of work?Would getting a cs masters help in the long run?I am thinking about it

sock
Friday, February 07, 2003

The current prevailing opinion is either that getting a masters will be a brilliant move that will profit you enormously in the long run or it will be a collossal waste of time that will not only make you unhirable but also unhappy.

I'm getting my masters because I think it will be fun. That's all that matters.

The opinions of the members of this board are so diverse that you should remember to take it all with a grain of salt and go with your own gut feeling on the matter.

Benji Smith
Friday, February 07, 2003

Who knows the long run? When I decided to read a CS degree, I thought it'd be good "in the long run." And yes, that was before the bubble bursted.

But if you really wanna go back to school, you might wanna read something different, like financial engineering. It's kinda related to CS so what you have learned is not completely wasted, but it also gives you a wider range of choices.

If a programmer can't get a job now, it's unlikely that he'll get one two years later, even with an extra MPhil on his resume.

S.C.
Friday, February 07, 2003

If you wish to go into teaching, a masters will be very valuable. Apparently here they require one.

Whether or not you wish to teach is entirely a different question, but...

Mike Swieton
Saturday, February 08, 2003

One of the big problems with a CS master full time is that you don't really have anything solid until the end of your studies.

Personally I'm studying part time for my master  and I'm still in work.

Here in the UK none of the larger organisation will consider a non graduate for a position.  Part time an undergraduate degree takes 7 years, but a masters only takes 3.  Its clear which one is preferable.  Besides, for an experienced professional the undergraduate level stuff is very boring.

Some may say that if a hirer is going to make a hiring decision on something as unreliable as a degree, then your better of without them.  Personally I think that only a fool blocks themselves out of the market.

Ged Byrne
Saturday, February 08, 2003

http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=10310

http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=24232

http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=18367

http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=25681

http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=7054

http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=13286

shld keep u going for a while...

Prakash S
Saturday, February 08, 2003

If it ever came to needing a degree to get a job and I really wanted (or needed) that job then I'd have no qualms about inventing a degree! Noone ever checks adademic qualifications.. but even if they asked for a certificate it's not hard these days to create something impressive from a borrowed one!

Thing is, after 16 years in the business that degree counts for next to nothing in practical terms but the lack of it can still be held against you... I'd rather not work for a company that didn't understand this but if I really needed that job... well.. fair game I reckon

Gwyn
Saturday, February 08, 2003

Gwyn:

Not every firm is so lax at verifying education and references.

Fake a degree and if it comes out later your ass will be fired.  Fake a degree during the interview process and somebody might just call the cops.

It is called "fraud".

Mitch & Murray (from downtown)
Saturday, February 08, 2003

Strictly speaking, I'm not sure if it is fraud.

"Fake a degree and if it comes out later your ass will be fired"

I have to say I think this would depend. It got you through the door. If you've been doing good work ever since then they're unlikely to 'throw the baby out with the bathwater'.

And in the interview process? Not so sure they could call the cops! Anyway, a lot of people artificially inflate their experience, the salary they were last paid, their skills etc. This is no less 'fraudulent'.

And as I say after 16 years they're unlikely to be too interested in what you did academically. They just expect to see a tick in the box and then they're happy.

Gwyn
Sunday, February 09, 2003

Starting a degree program that takes 2-3 years to complete doesn't really solve the problem of being out of work now. It may be a good idea if you're seeing lots of job postings for people who have that degree, but otherwise it's unlikely to make a big difference.

Beth Linker
Sunday, February 09, 2003

If you're unemployed now, and have the money to fund it (unless you are in Sweden where it would be free ;-) ), pursue it.  At least you spend your unemployed time upskilling instead of twiddling.

So, if you are speculating that things aren't going to change in the time it takes you to get your masters, then go for it.

Nice
Sunday, February 09, 2003

"(unless you are in Sweden where it would be free ;-) )"

what else is free in Sweden? :-)

Prakash S
Sunday, February 09, 2003

> what else is free in Sweden? :-)

Health care, amongst other things. However, it is not really "free" as you pay it with taxes (unless you emigrate right after you are finished of course -- but then you don't get the health care package).

Roland Kaufmann
Sunday, February 09, 2003

sweet!

Prakash S
Sunday, February 09, 2003

Some of us are pretty good at upskilling on our own.

Having a degree is better than not having a degree.  If you have one, it's a sunk cost and it won't be held against you.
Getting one is not necessarily better than not getting one as you must evaluate the return on your investment.

doobius
Sunday, February 09, 2003

Gwyn -
You must have missed the news last year - two big names were fired:
- Notre Dame's football coach "resigned" when the press uncovered that he had lied on a resume he submitted to Syracuse University TWENTY YEARS AGO.
- A professor at Mount Holyoke College was suspended for a year without pay for lying about military service

Search on "resume lying" (and variants) to read lots of stories about what happens to people when they're caught lying on their resume, no matter how long they've had the job.

I know that if I found that someone *I* had hired had lied on their resume they'd be out the door immediately. No severance, no nothing.

BTW, think about that lie for a second - say you put a fake MSCS from Virginia Tech on there. What do you do when someone else who went to Virginia Tech is hired? Avoid them? Because they'll be looking for you as soon as they find out they have a classmate at work...

Philo

Philip Janus
Monday, February 10, 2003

I'd like to add (to my comment at the top of this thread) that getting a masters is a good idea if you want to learn some advanced computing topics that aren't covered in much depth during a bachelor's program. You also get to do some research and a big project. If that sounds like you're cup of tea, then do it. (I am).

But I absolutely wouldn't reccommend working on a masters degree _instead of_ working. You should have a job. No question about it. Do your masters on the side, in your spare time. If you don't have spare time, then don't do it. But you might actually lose some credibility with a masters degree and no associated work experience.

Benji Smith
Monday, February 10, 2003

"Fake a degree and if it comes out later your ass will be fired."

Why fake a degree when you can just buy them?

(BTW: Has anyone here ever done this, you know, the "any PhD you want based on real world experience" thing that is spammed al over the net? I have considered doing something outragesly funny with these things, but have always restrained myself because it will not look good in the tabloids when running for President :-) )

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Uh-oh... when are you running?
I'm planning to run in 2008...

Philo
Beer Party Candidate

Philip Janus
Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Beer Party. Hmmm ... that is going to be one though cookie.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, February 12, 2003

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