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Hammonjj

Grad Degree

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So, I'm a junior CS Major and I'm finally grasping the fact that I will be a graduate in not too long and I'm wondering... Is it worth it to go for a grad degree in computer science, money wise and job prospect wise? I've heard that in the game industry it can hurt you, but what about in the general world of programming? I'm asking this in a general programming fashion because I don't know if I want to programm games for a career or just a hobby. Thanks James

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None of that will really make a difference unless you plan to pursue a research position. Research positions exist in places like Universities and specialized labs at various companies: Microsoft Research, Xerox, IBM, Bell, etc. etc.

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I would think if you are not already burned out from going to school and really love your chosen field and learning why not continue?

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It depends. Some place do not have the budget or are unwilling to pay for people with masters or PHDs in computer science. I know people that have higher level degrees and they have difficulty finding jobs because of there degrees. At the place where I work when we did lay offs the people who had masters were some of the first to go.


Just some things to think about.

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Wow. That's kind of surprising. But if people were having trouble finding a job due to their level of formal education, why wouldn't they just accept a lower pay rate? Maybe just a little higher than someone with less (formal) education? Personally, I would continue for the increased knowledge...I could accept a job getting paid the same as (though ideally just SLIGHTLY more than) someone with a BS.

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The problem with a Masters vs a common BSc degree and Computer Sciences is, what more do you really learn with the Master's Degree that companies really want? Your research may or may not provide useful experience in programming and software design, which are the things companies are looking for. While the extra time in school looks nice, extra years of experience in real companies doing real work looks far better.


I personally love school, and I'm considering trying to work it out that I can work part time and do contract work in the summer, and take a second bachelor's degree, likely in history or English maybe. I say stay in school as long as you can and keep learning different things, just make sure you can pay for it.




Take part time classes and work a nearly full time job. Try and get the best of both worlds, a higher degree AND work experience.

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I'd suggest getting a Masters. I have one and I get a ton more inquiries on my resume than when I only had a BS. Also at my current job (military contractor) I get more money for the MS.

Many military or gov't related either prefer or pay more for MS, and theres a ton of great jobs in that area.

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I'd like to chime in here. It all has to do with experience. People with graduate degrees and experience will get more job offers. People with no experience and a graduate degree probably won't. The problem you're going to have is getting the experience.

See, programmers are really a dime a dozen, and most of the time the programmers who get hired are the ones only worth a dime. But that graduate degree means that you're more expensive than that. So, when jobs come open, generally they're for low-level programmers. The better jobs are better filled by graduate degrees, and HR is willing to pay more for them. But, you only get the better jobs when you have the experience to back it up.

A bit of a catch-22 at first, but if you persevere, you'll get there.

My recommendation to you is to get the graduate degree (and that process alone might open a few doors for you simply via the contacts you'll make in graduate school) and when you go for your first few jobs, just don't put it on your resume until you've got some real experience. You can be completely up front with them if they ask, but you're more interested in getting in the door at first than the big paycheck. The big paycheck WILL come, you just have to be patient.

Good Luck,

- Goishin

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