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#1 ry110891  Icon User is offline

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Masters degree worth it?

Posted 27 June 2013 - 04:21 PM

Hi, I am trying to figure out and find information on whether a Masters in a computer science related field is worth it? I just graduated with my computer science Bachelors degree and I was wondering whether a masters degree would be worth the extra tuition. I understand the continuing knowledge is worth it however I am more worried about the tuition aspect because I do not want to put myself more in debt and if a masters degree will not help a salary raise then I feel for me anyway it may not be worth it. I am constantly reading and programming even when i'm not in a classroom setting. I recently just got a job as a web developer so I am trying to determine whether or not a masters will do much for a pay raise or just experience in my field is sufficient? Any ways just wondering your thoughts on this subject whether paying the extra tuition for a masters is a worth it?

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#2 BetaWar  Icon User is offline

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Re: Masters degree worth it?

Posted 27 June 2013 - 04:28 PM

Well, being a grad student and doing research/ TAing I believe (could be wrong, or it may only be in certain occasions) that you don't pay too much additional tuition costs (once again, could be wrong). The big thing you need to consider is that if you go for the masters are you willing to spend X more dollars on tuition and give your loans another 1 to 2 years of interest for the 12,000 (ish) dollar raise you will receive for being a masters instead of a bachelors student? Now, also consider that you can expect to get to the same salary point in 1 to 2 years of work from a bachelor's starting level, and you have made money in that time.

For me, I chose to go with finding a job and getting into the work force. I can always go back to school if I need/ want, but I am tired of it and really didn't want to see myself there for another 1 to 2 years at the moment. I may eventually regret it, but we all have to make decisions and live with the consequences.

Also, in reality the only person who can answer if you should go back to school or not is you, so keep that in mind.
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#3 xclite  Icon User is offline

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Re: Masters degree worth it?

Posted 27 June 2013 - 04:52 PM

The financial/opportunity cost of a Master's Degree is rarely recovered for Computer Science majors [citation needed]. However, that doesn't mean it's not "worth it." There is value in continued education after earning a bachelor's degree in the form of more specialized knowledge and perhaps the opening of doors to different kinds of positions that weren't available before, even if it isn't accompanied by a large salary boost.

This post has been edited by xclite: 27 June 2013 - 04:53 PM

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#4 ry110891  Icon User is offline

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Re: Masters degree worth it?

Posted 28 June 2013 - 04:58 PM

Quote

Well, being a grad student and doing research/ TAing I believe (could be wrong, or it may only be in certain occasions) that you don't pay too much additional tuition costs (once again, could be wrong). The big thing you need to consider is that if you go for the masters are you willing to spend X more dollars on tuition and give your loans another 1 to 2 years of interest for the 12,000 (ish) dollar raise you will receive for being a masters instead of a bachelors student? Now, also consider that you can expect to get to the same salary point in 1 to 2 years of work from a bachelor's starting level, and you have made money in that time.

For me, I chose to go with finding a job and getting into the work force. I can always go back to school if I need/ want, but I am tired of it and really didn't want to see myself there for another 1 to 2 years at the moment. I may eventually regret it, but we all have to make decisions and live with the consequences.

Also, in reality the only person who can answer if you should go back to school or not is you, so keep that in mind.


Quote

The financial/opportunity cost of a Master's Degree is rarely recovered for Computer Science majors [citation needed]. However, that doesn't mean it's not "worth it." There is value in continued education after earning a bachelor's degree in the form of more specialized knowledge and perhaps the opening of doors to different kinds of positions that weren't available before, even if it isn't accompanied by a large salary boost.


Both good points. Haven't made a decision yet but maybe I will eventually go for the masters if I want the continued knowledge.
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#5 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Masters degree worth it?

Posted 28 June 2013 - 05:38 PM

If you're looking at a master's for job-related purposes, a good question to ask yourself is- how will the skills I learn enable me to do a better job or make me more marketable? If you can't answer that question, then you should re-evaluate if the degree is worth it as it pertains to your job.
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#6 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Masters degree worth it?

Posted 28 June 2013 - 08:30 PM

If your only reason for getting the masters is the added salary, it's probably not worth it.
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#7 salazar  Icon User is offline

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Re: Masters degree worth it?

Posted 28 June 2013 - 09:50 PM

Kudos on graduating. I'm currently about to start my junior year of my computer science degree program. I could see myself considering a masters when I graduate. I think it is good if you are either not able to find a suitable job or you're in it for self enrichment. Having said that, money is a factor. If you can't find a job, then maybe getting a masters might help. The worst case is you save yourself some time in the job market. Oh, there's the debt part as well, yeah will just have to deal with it.

In your case, you have a job, so if you don't think you can afford, you shouldn't have to struggle in deciding on whether to peruse a masters program. Alternatively, some people in the hiring sector say certificates also can improve your job prospects. It is also much cheaper.
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#8 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: Masters degree worth it?

Posted 28 June 2013 - 11:57 PM

If money is your focus: no.

If gaining a deeper understanding of computer science theory and inner workings is your goal, then probably yes. Those programs are rarely for practical application, and more for theory and research. Does that mean they can't be mapped? Hardly, but it's not the immediate focus.
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#9 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: Masters degree worth it?

Posted 29 June 2013 - 06:49 AM

If your employer will pay for it, get it.

There are some added benefits, for example, in my neck of the woods, you can count a MS CS as an additional 2 years of experience. This is good for moving up labor categories and such.
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#10 Emwat Oon  Icon User is offline

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Re: Masters degree worth it?

Posted 03 July 2013 - 09:06 PM

I don't think it's worth it. But I've had a crappy experience of college, so my advice is biased regardless of the field.

Although, if anyone here had a Master's degree, perhaps someone could give us some insight?

In the job market though, people are looking out for "years of experience" and at least a bachelors rather than masters. Me, I was planning on an epic online portfolio with examples of my program work but never got around to it. People do suggest trying open-source projects to show off.

As a programmer, you have lots of options to advance your career. A lot of those options are purely online, no strings attached. Books are better imo. But even if the resource is available, the chances of you struggling and wanting help are pretty high.

EDIT: Looked at my post; sounded too pessimistic at the end. There is a ton of help on the Internet.

This post has been edited by Emwat Oon: 03 July 2013 - 09:10 PM

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#11 Adam27X  Icon User is offline

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Re: Masters degree worth it?

Posted 13 July 2013 - 08:34 PM

View PostEmwat Oon, on 03 July 2013 - 09:06 PM, said:

In the job market though, people are looking out for "years of experience" and at least a bachelors rather than masters.


From my experience employers will treat an advanced degree as being somewhat equivalent to having some experience. For example, a company may consider a person with an MS degree and no prior work experience equivalent to a person with a BS degree and two years of experience (give or take, of course).

If money is a pressing issue then, in my opinion, you shouldn't go for an MS degree unless you can get funding for it. If money is not a pressing issue I'd certainly recommend getting an MS. Not only does it provide you with a higher starting salary, but it also opens doors to employment opportunities you wouldn't have otherwise.

Then again, this decision also depends on your particular sub-interest of CS too. If you're interested in web development then I feel like an MS isn't so worthwhile (but I wouldn't really know); however, if you're interested in machine learning then an MS can be tremendously useful.
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