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#1 RLB31384  Icon User is offline

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Debating on getting my masters in CS

Posted 07 January 2011 - 02:03 AM

Hi everyone,

I will be finishing up my 4 year degree in May for Computer Science with a minor in Computer Information Systems. I was debating on going for my masters but wanted some opinions. I will be 27 and have no work related experience in the field. Jobs also may be a bit more scarce here in Kentucky. I think im going to put in applications for places and also apply for graduate school and see whats offered. How big of a pay increase would I be looking at if I got my masters? And would it be worth losing the 2 years experience I would otherwise be getting for it? I looked at the classes that UK has their students take and it seems to all be the same stuff I took for Bachelors.

Thanks in advance

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Replies To: Debating on getting my masters in CS

#2 atraub  Icon User is offline

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Re: Debating on getting my masters in CS

Posted 07 January 2011 - 10:29 PM

If your intention is to go to school full time and not work, you could probably get your masters in 1 year as oppose to 2. Most people who are trying to get their masters are actually working in their field full time while taking classes. Kentucky might not be the easiest place to get a tech job, but it's not impossible. Have you considered relocating?

I personally only have a BA in Computer Science, but I am working as a software engineer in the telecommunications field. I do intend to go to school in the fall and begin my graduate degree. I can tell you from experience, this is one time where you can have your cake and eat it too. You can get a masters degree without missing out on 2 years experience.

This post has been edited by atraub: 07 January 2011 - 10:34 PM

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#3 RLB31384  Icon User is offline

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Re: Debating on getting my masters in CS

Posted 08 January 2011 - 05:03 PM

I may relocate to a nearby state, but I'm married so I got to kind of work around my wifes schooling as well. I figure my best bet would be to just see what jobs are offered and also apply for graduate school at the same time. I haven't really looked into going to school and also working full time yet, as I want to keep enough free time so my wife doesn't get mad lol. I just wasn't sure if getting a masters in this field was very beneficial since the job outlook is really high. Where as in my wifes field..a masters is pretty much a necessity to get a job.
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#4 knowledgestudent  Icon User is offline

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Re: Debating on getting my masters in CS

Posted 12 January 2011 - 12:34 PM

Hello,
I do not know how simple or hard it is there in USA, but I am already working and finishing my Msc Degree in Computer Science,
maybe I am biased to the Academic study, and consider the master as the gateway to the PhD which is a great dream, me myself I would follow my interests,
As I had experienced both the research and the working, I concluded that the age-experience, I guess experience depends on hard working, everyday is new experience in CS, actually.
but ability of researching --> M.Sc, PhD, ... needs some solid background, and needs you to keep updated with the recently publications in your field of interest.

may be you can try to work, till you can apply to master program, till that you will be able to figure out, whether it is better to continue working, or move on to the master degree

GOOD LUCK BOTH CASES
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#5 atraub  Icon User is offline

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Re: Debating on getting my masters in CS

Posted 12 January 2011 - 12:41 PM

Ok, let me point this out a bit more explicitly. I have a BA in Computer Science and have a full time well paying job as a software engineer. I will be going into a Masters Degree Program in the fall, but I will NOT be quitting my job.

Nothing says you can only have 1 or the other. I'm living proof that you don't need a Master's to get a job in this field. Will it help? Yeah! But I wanted to get a real job and get out of retail as soon as I could. Also, there's no reason why you can't work full time while getting your master's degree. Yes, it's hard, but it's doable!

As for the Phd, I plan on getting one of those too ;)

There's a terrible stereotype that "the Computer Science field changes so frequently that you need to be intimately familiar with the latest technology to get a job." My response to this is, "Is that a fact? Don't tell my company that. They use C++; that language is older than me!" :whistling:

This post has been edited by atraub: 12 January 2011 - 12:45 PM

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#6 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Debating on getting my masters in CS

Posted 12 January 2011 - 01:47 PM

Masters take a lot more dedication. And they aren't bad degrees... I'm not going to tell you to not get your masters.

But I find it weird you're almost done with your Bachelors and you've yet to have any work experience. Your school doesn't promote internships? You haven't picked up freelance work? You haven't tried doing a summer gig with anyone?

I suggest you get on that, like now. That includes even if you want to get your masters. It will be very useful in helping you learn new concepts, make the masters program easier to attack, and also look really pretty on your portfolio when it comes to all sorts of choices and approvals you have to jump through when in a masters program.


Consider it, you've been through 4 years of college. What have you been doing? Working at Subway? That would be a waste. Jerking off in your room? Come on now. You must have free time from the regular studying (it's a lot of work, but not 7 days a week amount of work). Might as well do something with that free time, and internships or better paid work in your field (no matter if its low or introductory) is definitely much better then nothing.

Just saying, that's the kind of stuff the expect from you if you want a masters. They don't expect you to mosey on through that shit (though I bet there are a few that do).





As for IF you should go for your masters. I don't know, I don't know shit about you. And really there isn't a whole lot you could tell me to guide you down the path.

What I will say, if it's money that you want to get your masters for... you're receiving higher education for all the wrong reasons damn it!

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 12 January 2011 - 01:58 PM

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#7 hookiethe1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Debating on getting my masters in CS

Posted 12 January 2011 - 02:24 PM

View Postlordofduct, on 12 January 2011 - 12:47 PM, said:

What I will say, if it's money that you want to get your masters for... you're receiving higher education for all the wrong reasons damn it!


Pffft, don't listen to him! From the time I started school, when people asked me what I wanted to do upon graduating, I have always said "I want to make a lot more money for a lot less work." Ain't nothing wrong with it. I spent enough time in construction and various other manual pursuits to realize that I didn't want to be in my 50's and pushing concrete around or some shit.

I'm in my final year of CS and I'm going straight onto my masters. For a while I was considering a second major, but I did a little googling and found that a second major rarely increases earnings, but a multitude of earnings websites I looked at all put starting wage for CS grad somewhere in the 50's, and starting wages for CS masters around the low 70's. Obviously none of that guarantees anything, but it's encouraging.

I do agree with LoD that you should be mailing and calling every potential employer in your area though, and if there aren't many in your area look outside it. I worked full time all the way through school, and started an internship in the beginning of last year. Not only is it helpful to work in the field you are learning at school, it also relieves the pressure of having to find a job after graduation (usually), and you get to learn in a lower pressure environment, because you're only an intern. Definitely worth doing.
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