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 Post subject: The value of a master's degree?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:30 am 
Malware specialist
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I am fast approaching graduation for my undergraduate degree in Management Information Systems.

So far I haven't had the opportunity to get a job in the field (though I haven't actively sought out jobs). At some point in my life I want to get a master's, but I'm not sure if now is the right time to do so.

I guess my main questions are:
1. Will I be OK getting a master's degree right after UG?
2. Since I don't currently hold a position in my field, what do you think my job prospects will be after the Master's? (Not looking for an in-depth answer, just more of a "Am I going to be overqualified for everything I try to do?"
3. What are your general thoughts on a Master's degree in general? Beneficial? Stupid? Waste of Time? etc?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:55 am 
Willamette
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My data's several decades old so it may not apply anymore. However, back in the day when I went through my BS in CS, the common understanding was that there were no jobs for an MS (and you were overqualified for BS jobs), and that you only got an MS if you were going for a PHd.

BS = general, MS = becoming specialized, PHd = very specialized.

Anyway, these days, with the economy the way it is, a lot of people are going for more education since it's hard to get jobs on graduation (they're hoping to weather the bad economy). I had posted a link in another thread a while back where they were saying that currently a small number of graduates actually got a job quickly after graduation. I think that's a valid excuse for anyone inquiring, and I think that the businesses will be taking that into account when they're hiring. I'd be leaning toward staying in college right now because of this.

My general thought is that an MS is fairly worthless for the job environment. A BS is all that you need unless you're going for a PHd. There are very few positions for PHd's. BUT, it's a good way to tide you over while waiting for the economy to pick up, without having to pay back some of your student loans.

So, the real questions are:

1) How are your finances? If you don't have the finances to make it through an MS degree, I think that answers that question. Note, if you have student loans, you usually have to start paying back after graduation. If you go to an MS, they'll usually defer till after the MS. So if you don't go for the MS, you have to start paying back now (even with no jobs available).

2) How are your grades? I'm assuming they're good enough to go for an MS, otherwise you wouldn't be asking. However, are they good enough to get into the MS program with all the competition? You wouldn't be the only one trying for it with this economy, and slots are usually limited.

3) Do you like college? If you hate college, it'll be a couple more years of pain and suffering. If you like college, a couple more years of fun. When I went through college, it was ok, if a bit boring. Now that I've been in the job force for years, I miss the good old days of sleeping in, staying out late, wandering around, and generally putzing around having fun with no job related responsibilities... :)

Oh, and if you ever want to get a Masters, I would go for the Masters right after the BS. I wouldn't wait. You can do it later, but things get complicated in terms of time and money (as well as dated knowledge). You get married, have kids, and next thing you know, you'll be 65... Your greatest commodity after graduation is time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:44 pm 
Java Junkie
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According to my last boss, when I was hired, my Master's enabled him to wring about 15% more out of HR for my initial offer. That is the only $ figure I have available, and I don't know how it would translate across fields / borders / markets, but it does give you some idea of the additional 'buying power' of a graduate degree.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:07 pm 
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1. Finances, doesn't really matter. I have exclusively loans/grants so I won't be paying back until 6 months after I finish school.

2. My grades are fine. I'm not planning on going anywhere like Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc. I would be staying around here most likely. The only problem I will have is doing well on the GMAT. I don't do particularly well on standardized aptitude tests (I got a 21 on my ACT for example.....5 times).

3. Yeah, don't like the homework so much, but it's doable.

Thanks for the info on a Master's. Will research it more.


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 Post subject: Just my opinion
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:59 pm 
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Hackman,

I have a double masters in math and physics. In these fields a BS basically allows you to work in someones lab. A MS will get you a lab and a PhD will get you a lab and several of the above mentioned BS's. However my current job is as network admin and my CCNP cert on my resume did a lot more for me than the college degrees.


Just my experience

G


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