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Thread: Career decision [Serious]

  1. #1

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    Career decision [Serious]

    I have a BSME but mostly just program at work. I have really enjoyed programming more than anything else and sometimes wish I had done CS in college instead. I was thinking about getting a MS in CS, but all of my CS friends are telling me that it wouldn't help anymore than just getting the industry experience that I am right now. I am also reading books about software development like crazy right now because I like them so much. So my first question is, what do you guys think about an MS in CS? Is it worth $120,000 that would result from lost wages and tuition?

    Also, my CS friends and I have thought of a few good business ideas but we don't know anything about business. It's something that I think I'd really like to learn about though. I was thinking that maybe an MBA would be good to get me started there. My current employer will pay for me to get my MBA at nights over the next two years at a local college. It's the second best MBA program in the state (that's not saying too much though) and an accredited program, but it's not ranked in the top 50 MBA programs. Iíve heard some people say that an MBA is worthless if itís not from a top 20 school. I have the grades and scores to get into a top 10 school, but Iím worried that itís not worth spending $180,000 on lost wages and tuition. Iíd have to go be a business exec or something just to recover. I donít know if I want to count on something like that.

    Opinions please.

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    Re: Career decision [Serious]

    I'd agree, I don't think a Masters in Computer Science is worth it.. However, complete at least your Bachelors in CS..
    What university are you planning to pursue CS at?

    MBA, if you want to become a manager or maybe even a CEO over your career, an MBA is a must. These years, even CTOs and COO have MBAs..

    Getting an MBA from a top-10 school will definately boost your career prospectives.. It would allow you to go to a management position to begin with.. It would be easier to work your way up..
    If you get it from a 2nd tier school, your MBA would really have no immediate value. You'd have to work your way up as a Software Engineer to a management position, which could take several years... Once you are at a management position, your MBA would be valuable.. from whichever university.. because its combined with ground-level technical experience and you could make your way up rather quickly then to a top position..

    So basically, a top-10 school MBA would allow you to jump-start your career. I'd say work for it.. get a good GRE score.. If you can't get into top-10, still go for it.. It will help you with your career down the line... It definately will

    I did my ECE (I was at onetime considering CS too) from from Carnegie Mellon (PA) and am finishing my B studies at Columbia (NY)..
    OrdinaryGuy

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    Re: Career decision [Serious]

    From all that I've read it seems many employers value real-world experience (or simply common sense) far more highly than a CS degree.

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    Re: Career decision [Serious]

    Big companies like Microsoft still prefer CS graduates..
    Obviously experience matters, but getting a CS degree from a good university ensures you a good paying job
    OrdinaryGuy

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    Re: Career decision [Serious]

    No. Big companies value competance rather than fancy college certificates.

    In my experience, if you spend too much time getting told how to write code by someone else, then you lose all ability to write code in your own style. Having your own style is good because you can specialise in something and find a job that suits you very well.

    All university CS grads are identical, maybe a few rare ones have some actual flair but most of them are just indoctrinated with the mostly-nonsense practices they teach at uni. To be good hacker you have to stay on top of your game all the time, which means practice, and you just don't get that at university.

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    Re: Career decision [Serious]

    Wrong.

    A good CS degree, from a top university such as CMU teaches you many things you can't just self-learn. It teaches you about the very foundations about programming, logical planning and thinking... About 10 different methods to implement various methods, functions..

    Self-learning from books just teaches you the synthax and language.. if you have a CS degree, you programming knowledge is backed by strong logical fundamentals.. This is something all big companies.. from Microsoft to Sun to Apple look for when hiring top-level programmers..

    Surely, if you want to lie on the bottom of the company.. making little progress... a CS degree may not be needed.. But if you want to emerge as a project planner or designer for a large company project, they are going to be handing it to someone with a CS degree backed with solid experience rather than a self-thought VB programmer..

    I just know too many people in this field. I have a friend in California who is project manager, writing automation software for large factories/assembly lines.. including Dell. He pulls in $500K annually and he has done his CS degree from UCLA.. and B studies from Michigan..

    if you want to live your life with a $50K job, then no need to go to Uni..... Sorry to be harsh..
    OrdinaryGuy

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    Re: Career decision [Serious]

    Quote Originally Posted by ~teh_pwn3rz~
    All university CS grads are identical, maybe a few rare ones have some actual flair but most of them are just indoctrinated with the mostly-nonsense practices they teach at uni. .
    Please don't make such uneducated statements about CS programs...
    I am not a CS graduate myself, i graduated with an ECE from Carnegie Mellon.. and I am in a different field altogether.. But the CS degree from universities such as Carnegie teach you alot of things..

    Take a look at their website.. Take a look at what they TEACH you:
    http://www.cs.cmu.edu/

    You learn everything from complex image recognition to self-learning and intelligent networks.. These things aren't thought in books..

    Bill Gates, a few years back visited CMU and addressed CS students
    Last edited by OrdinaryGuy; Feb 12th, 2006 at 12:28 PM.
    OrdinaryGuy

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    Re: Career decision [Serious]

    Harsh? No, I pass harsher things when I sit on the can every morning.

    Clearly a man that holds down a 500k job is not doing so because of a CS degree. He must posess a wealth of other skills besides that, which elevated him to this lofty position.

    The average CS graduate (in the UK at least) cannot expect much more than an average salary in any IT based job for the first 4-6 years of his career.

    We all have fiends in California too Some of us have several.

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    Re: Career decision [Serious]

    Of course, not everyone reaches 500K jobs...
    But those that do have CS degrees....

    Doing a CS degree for a good university matters alot. At least in the US, CS course matter varies from university to university..
    OrdinaryGuy

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    Re: Career decision [Serious]

    Its tru though. Degree's mean less and less now because more people have them. What employers wants is experiance. Look at me for example.

    I've been offered 6 places at university (Accepted on all my applications) to do computer science related degrees. Now i've been having interviews for a variety of jobs recently. And i have been offered a position. The money advertised was very good. and no less than what a grad wud expect to earn.

    Degrees mean less now.

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    Re: Career decision [Serious]

    For what it's worth here's my opinion...

    Over the years I've worked with many people that either had no degree at all or if they did then it (degree) was no related to CS what so ever. MOst of those people were (and still are) brilliant programmers. Most of them gor involved by some sort of "accident"... It's an honor to know most of them and it's a pleasure to work with them. I personally learned a lot from those very simple and without a bit of arrogancy people.
    CS? It's nice to have but afraid it means almost nothing these days (as well as certifications) - I'm aiming this at OrdinaryGuy . I did work for few major and small companies and I recall NONE cases when degree came first vs experience.
    Don't get me wrong - if you can afford more education then go for it without any doubts - all I'm saying is that don't expect much after graduation...

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    Re: Career decision [Serious]

    Thanks for the good thoughts. Seems like wherever I ask this question I get different responses from almost everyone. So I guess that means there are many possible paths. I think that some of the best programmers Iíve met didnít go to college but it seems like they always have to re-prove their abilities every time they work for someone new. Maybe I should just figure out where I want to work and what I want to be doing there and see what they require.

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    Re: Career decision [Serious]

    Quote Originally Posted by penagate
    From all that I've read it seems many employers value real-world experience (or simply common sense) far more highly than a CS degree.
    However, you need at least a B.S. in a math/engineering field (pref Comp Sci) for employers to take you seriously. If all you have is a degree in history, or no degree at all, even if you have experience, you will find it hard to get work.

    I agree though, a Master's wouldn't help that much, and is not worth it.
    "I like to run on treadmills, because at least I know I'm getting nowhere."
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    Re: Career decision [Serious]

    http://www.studentaffairs.cmu.edu/ca...tatistics.html

    Average CS graduate from CMU is making $70K annually
    OrdinaryGuy

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