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graduate degree

OK, on a non- war-of-the-week topic...

I'm working towards a Masters degree in CS right now (in my copious free time), and I'm wondering what kind of miraculous change will occur in my life once I'm done.

I've seen very few job listings that require an advanced degree (Google).  I have my personal reasons, but I'm wondering if this is really a career-advancing thing or not.  It seems like certifications are requested more often.


Charles Lewis
Friday, April 11, 2003

I doubt you'll find many job postings that say "required:  MSCS" (as you said).  So continue pursuing your degree only if you feel that the knowledge acquired will benefit you directly, either personally or professionally.  I wouldn't do it just for the piece of paper.

The benefit of doing academia, though, is you can do cool stuff without regard to benefitting some company's bottom line.  Which can result in some good resume padding material.

Jim Rankin
Friday, April 11, 2003

You named the exact reason I'm doing it: I like to work on interesting projects, and this looks like a way to make sure that I get to in the future.

Charles Lewis
Sunday, April 13, 2003

Actually ... Google themselves require an advanced degree, and it's cool stuff.

If you look through the help wanted sections of "upscale" CS magazines, lots of -those- companies that are hiring require an MSCS.

Otherwise, you're right, it's hard to visualize the benefit in marginal companies ...

So don't work for a marginal company.  Go work for Steve McConnell ( or somebody else that "Gets it" ...


Matt H.
Friday, April 25, 2003

I'm going for a full-time masters from sept. ...think it's a good idea?

Scott C.
Sunday, April 27, 2003

I'd go to school full time if it paid better than my job...  It's a money equation for me; what's your opportunity cost?

Charles Lewis
Monday, April 28, 2003

I have noticed jobs listings that list MS as a requirement.  New York seems to have a higher amount of "degree snobbery" than many other work places.  But if you are going to get the degree as a career move, you really need to evaluate how many more doors would it open, and how much more money you could earn vs the cost of school, the loss of income, and the set back in time.  And if you don't get your MS from a top school, it might still not open up the doors at the most selective employers.

I didn't see if you have any work experience, or if you are straight out of undergrad.  If you want to get a MS for self improvement, I think getting a little bit of real world experience first does a lot of good.  Grounds the theory into your real world experience.  You'll have developed your sense of "code feel" and "code smell". 

If you are getting an MS for career development, it may make you look better to some people than other people without an MS but a little more experience than you, and it certainly looks better than unemployment.

I have only a BS from a third or fourth tier school (and got so-so grades).  Made getting my first job harder, but now I don't feel locked out from any but the most exclusive employers. 

Keith Wright
Tuesday, April 29, 2003

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