Should I go for master or experience?

Hello guys,
I have completed my Graduation in Engineering with computer science. Should I go for Master degree or do the job and get experience? In IT field experience is superior or Master degree is superior.

Not having a masters myself I don’t think colleges should even accept candidates for masters without at least ~5 years of experience. In my opinion, practical experience is an important part of the entire learning process. A masters degree should be pursued only once one has gained enough practical experience to balance practicality and theory, proven they are not only educated but are professionals within the field of study. In my case it would be a no brainer to take someone having worked in the field for a couple years over someone who has not/very little but holds a masters degree.

It’s difficult to go back to school once out of it.

A masters will tend to open a few more doors over a BS degree, especially with no experience backing up the degree.

Extensive experience usually trumps either degree. The trick is to actually find a place which will hire without any prior experience.

Do you have any internship experience?

Best solution is BOTH. At least that’s what I did. If you graduate w/ M.S. w/ 0 experience… then you’ll have some difficulty in finding the job. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a job after M.S.

However, all IT companies pay at least $5000 toward your education. So, find a job first and join M.S. as a part time. By the time you graduate, you have exp + masters = big boost in salary!

If for whatever reason, you STILL can not find the job then… mind as well go for Masters but I doubt this will be in your situation.

This varies greatly, so don’t count on this happening. It depends on a lot of different factors of a company–size, wealth, and philosophy on continuing education, length of employment, part-time vs full-time, etc. Most of the time, you have to pay for your education on your own dime. That’s not to say some companies at least offer to pay for small training seminars once or twice a year, but this too varies.

If you end up working in education (especially at a college), most employees can get a tuition reduction or waiver.

All? Some of the larger ones may, but most do not.

I started my Masters last year (and quit), so I have a bit of experience in this.

If you want a Masters then be absolutely sure that the Masters you’re taking will be wanted in your industry. I made a ton of mistakes choosing mine, as I chose based on the name, only to realise that I was being groomed for a PhD and that the average employer only cared that it was a top-ten university.

My main reason for quitting was down to money, and needing to work alongside my Masters. A Masters degree takes over your life, so if you’re looking to go down that route make sure you have the money to pay tuition and to keep you for the entire duration.

What type of sector do you want to work in, government or industry? With a bachelor’s you can start as high as a GS-7, and probably not get past a high GS-9 or low 10. With a MS, you can get up to GS-13, however a MS with zero experience would start at a 7 probably, your second year an 8, then 9 your third. Once in a 9, you’d gain a step every 2-3 years till you hit 13 1 or 5.

In a company, you will need to pump experience up.

This is quite fascinating… For me, when I interview w/ the company I don’t even ask for education benefits as I assume it’s there… Perhaps, I just got lucky but most co-workers I worked w/ probably feel the same way. Even at a company that’s only 20 people still offered tuition benefits…

ULTiMATE is absolutely right to analyze your Master degree will be wanted in your industry. For me, I majored in Computer Science and M.S. tremendously boosts my skills as well as a good boost to $_$

Most likely, each school’s class curriculum maybe different as well. I took the M.S. at a school where there were respectable professors (Many are popular IT book authors). All the things I’ve learned was very much hands on and very little theory…I’d say 30% theory and 70% hands-on.

I disagree strongly.

As I stated in my last post, I was working on my Masters degree while working two days a week and it almost killed me. Despite what people think a Masters degree is long, hard work; it got to a point where my work tasks were starting to feel like a holiday, while also taking valuable study time. Granted, I had landed a place in one of the top CS schools (and one of the most selective) in the country, but I think that I would have struggled with the load anywhere.

Experience is key in any industry, and especially in IT. For me, a Masters differentiates you from others, but experience will always trump education and most places only ask for a bachelors. If anything, the reason I wanted a Masters was for the education itself, and unless you want to learn the subject material you’ll struggle and will probably fail.

If you need a Masters for your line of work (specialist fields like Machine Learning and Financial Computation) then I would highly recommend that you research your options, but most of all ensure that you have all the cash you’ll need beforehand to pay your course and live comfortably. From my experience, the last thing you want alongside work worries and masters worries is money worries. If you don’t need a masters then try to land the job first before you decide that you need it.

Seems everyone had completely different experience in earning M.S. I guess that depends on which school you go to. For me, I knew from day 1 that most of my classes are “project” based w/o midterms & finals. This made it extremely easy for me. For me, I easily was able to manage full time job + 1 or 2 course per semester. Perhaps, you want to try just 1 course at a time and see if you could take more load.