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#1 DassTheBoss  Icon User is offline

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Prospective Computer Science Student after graduation:

Posted 20 March 2013 - 10:35 AM

Hello everyone and I would like to tell you a little about myself before getting into specific questions I have.

I am currently a Business and Science student at Rutgers with a focus in Biotechnology and Genomics. I completed my undergraduate studies at Rutgers in Biotechnology - Bioinformatics and Marine Sciences - Biological Oceanography. My graduation date is currently May 2014. However, the job market is extremely tough and I looked into ways I can make myself better suited for employment. After some consideration, I feel I can actually finish all the required courses to get into a Master's program (M.S.) in Computer science by just doing one extra semester in addition to the semesters I already have to do for my current graduate degree.

This is because I felt I might have been overly ambitious during my undergraduate studies and finished all the required courses for my graduate degree save for those that needed prerequisites. This leaves me with only three courses to take over the upcoming summer (May-August 2013), Fall 2013, and Spring 2013. Thus, I am planning on taking computer science courses that I already started on as part of the Bioinformatics track in Biotechnology bachelor's. I attached an image of the courses I plan to take (Excel files couldn't be uploaded).

I have a few important questions pertaining to the plans however:

1. Note that I will NOT receive a computer science degree as a result of this, even though I completed the whole computer science curriculum requirement (5 core courses and 7 electives). I spoke with Rutgers about doing a second degree and they said I have to retake all of my humanities, history etc. courses again. So I'm just going to have the necessary courses. Would this be fine in the minds of most employers? I have everything a normal CS graduate would and three other degrees.

2. I have also thought about pursuing a Master's degree in Computer Science after my M.B.S. degree. According to Rutgers, they claim as long as I take the required courses, take the GRE, and computer science GRE, I can apply to the program. Do you feel that I can still get into the Master's program? I feel I can complete a Master's in 1.5 years and that would really open up doors for me in Bioinformatics/Computational Biology with both a Biology Masters and Computer Science Masters.

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Replies To: Prospective Computer Science Student after graduation:

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Prospective Computer Science Student after graduation:

Posted 20 March 2013 - 12:15 PM

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1. Note that I will NOT receive a computer science degree as a result of this, even though I completed the whole computer science curriculum requirement (5 core courses and 7 electives). I spoke with Rutgers about doing a second degree and they said I have to retake all of my humanities, history etc. courses again. So I'm just going to have the necessary courses. Would this be fine in the minds of most employers? I have everything a normal CS graduate would and three other degrees.

What exactly do you want to do? Business world work, research, university, swim with Kevin Costner's character from 'Waterworld', or what? Hell - try and narrow it down to a general field, you know?

Let me see if I have this right..
You are getting a Masters in Business and Science... with a focus in "Biotechnology and Genomics". You also have two undergrad degrees.. one in Biotechnology - Bioinformatics, and Marine Sciences - Biological Oceanography? You can't find a job ("the job market is extremely tough and I looked into ways I can make myself better suited for employment."), so you are now looking to dump another masters in Comp sci in the mix? Does that about sum it up?

My thought is if you chased two degrees with a MBA and you can't figure out how to get a job then throwing another masters down the pipe may not pan out any better than now. If you want a job-job then you need to get one. The market will likely be "tough" for sometime... Strike while the knowledge is hot and fresh... get that precious experience and start doing what ever it is you want to do.


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2. I have also thought about pursuing a Master's degree in Computer Science after my M.B.S. degree. According to Rutgers, they claim as long as I take the required courses, take the GRE, and computer science GRE, I can apply to the program. Do you feel that I can still get into the Master's program? I feel I can complete a Master's in 1.5 years and that would really open up doors for me in Bioinformatics/Computational Biology with both a Biology Masters and Computer Science Masters.

No idea.. I have zero context on what you retained. The best way to know is to take some practice exams. The subject matter GRE is a bitch.


Oh and tell "sri_hot1991@yahoo.com" I said hi.
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#3 DassTheBoss  Icon User is offline

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Re: Prospective Computer Science Student after graduation:

Posted 20 March 2013 - 09:00 PM

I guess I'm just really worried I'm not able to find any internships in my field as well as want a way to make use of the free time. Certainly getting a Master's in the future is just thinking ahead, but if the possibility remains, it would certainly open doors.

My interest is in Bioinformatics, but at this point, I'm really just looking for a job. My greatest fear is not being able to find work and I don't want to feel I could have done more with my time in hindsight. I understand where you're coming from with me not being able to find a job, but I have mostly applied to internships and have not heard back from them yet. If I can make use of the time wisely, at least I won't have regrets in the future. That is all. It seemed that computer science is the best supplement anyone can have for a degree, so I started thinking about computer science courses.
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#4 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Prospective Computer Science Student after graduation:

Posted 20 March 2013 - 10:56 PM

Fair enough.. if you have applied then hound them. With no context of what realm of work you want to go into, or where you applied, I think you not doing enough on the job search. Throwing more money at a degree, when you want to start working, seems like a hedge that may get you no where farther than you are now (plus a bit more debt).
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#5 DassTheBoss  Icon User is offline

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Re: Prospective Computer Science Student after graduation:

Posted 21 March 2013 - 10:42 AM

You were right about me doing things wrong on my job search. It seems since I'm only in my second semester as a graduate student, I'm not far enough into my degree that companies are willing to keep me around until I graduate. Therefore, taking courses in computer science (not sure of particulars yet, I am awaiting a reply from my adviser on that) seems more fruitful at this point than gambling on landing an internship. If I get an internship, I can always just drop the courses before the summer. However, if I don't find an internship, I want to have a solid back-up to fall on for the summer time and planning ahead is never a bad idea.

My primary interests now revolve around combining my interest and knowledge in biology (marine biology, biotechnology, and microbiology). As far as my research goes, the best careers for such a case would either be modelling of oceans or biological systems or bioinformatics which would mean creating algorithms that aid in annotation and analysis of DNA information. The link between computer science and biology is that biology has surpassed the era of "test tubes and Petri dishes" due to the information age and will need more scientists that can use computers to analyze data for them.

As of now, I'm still in the researching point and haven't made a solid decision on which courses to take.
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#6 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Prospective Computer Science Student after graduation:

Posted 21 March 2013 - 11:53 AM

Yes, I am versed in what bioinformatics means.

So sure.. go hedge your bets, but I just get the general feeling you'll be asking this same question in two or three years later. I mean if you are not doing decent research or internships now, then when? Are you networking enough with the local bioinformatic groups? I assume there's a reddit sub forum for them as well.

It just seems.. odd.. that with three different degrees you can't club an internship, but then it sounds like you already made up your mind.

Hell the jobs seems about everywheres..
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#7 DassTheBoss  Icon User is offline

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Re: Prospective Computer Science Student after graduation:

Posted 22 March 2013 - 04:36 PM

I don't have three degrees actually. I'm in my second semester in the MBS so I don't have that degree yet, and thought I have taken all the courses for both biotechnology and marine biology, I only have one degree for it. It just says I have majored in both. Furthermore, I understand your point that I should just look harder - which I will.

I just wanted to get input on how much getting a CS degree would do for my case. It seems not much more than just taking some computer courses would.
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