Is a Masters in IT Worth it?

This is a discussion on Is a Masters in IT Worth it? within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Hi, I recently finished a Psychology degree, getting a 2:1. To be honest I didn't really enjoy it that much, ...

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    Is a Masters in IT Worth it?

    Hi,

    I recently finished a Psychology degree, getting a 2:1. To be honest I didn't really enjoy it that much, and find programming C++ much more interesting. I just like the way there's so much to learn and, once you're skilled enough, you can do loads of interesting stuff like build your own applications/ games etc. So basically, I'm thinking about doing a Masters in IT, or something similar, such as this:

    Postgraduate Interactive Systems Design Masters MSc at School of Computer Science

    To do that, you need at least a 2:1 in your first degree, and they accept people who have done Psychology, because it relates to stuff on the course.

    So do you guys think that something like that or a Masters in IT would be worthwhile? By worthwhile I mean would it make it likely that I could get a job in IT afterward? Ideally I'd like a job that would give me the opportunity to learn more programming, for the reasons I stated earlier.

    Or is it the case that Masters courses just aren't enough to get you a job in IT? After all they're only for a year so it makes me wonder if employers would want someone more experienced.

    Thanks.

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    If you are looking to do programming, you should look into CSC, not IT. A masters in CSC is probably enough to get you a programming job. After all, the degree just gets you the interview. Once you have the interview, it is completely up to your skills to get the job.
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    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    I know I have looked at one school* -- probably not the only one -- that will let you do a Masters in Software Engineering (M. Eng) with a previous unrelated arts degree, if your GPA was high enough. You have to demonstrate an "advanced level of proficiency" in several common programming languages tho.

    *it might have been Pace, I can't remember.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    Quote Originally Posted by bengreenwood View Post
    Or is it the case that Masters courses just aren't enough to get you a job in IT? After all they're only for a year so it makes me wonder if employers would want someone more experienced.
    A year? I thought a Masters degree took 6 years.

    IT has nothing to do with programming (except maybe writing some scripts to automate backups...). You want Computer Science if you want programming.

    Usually a Bachelors degree is more than enough, although I only have an Associate degree and I'm a software developer (although I worked my way up through QA first).
    "I am probably the laziest programmer on the planet, a fact with which anyone who has ever seen my code will agree." - esbo, 11/15/2008

    "the internet is a scary place to be thats why i dont use it much." - billet, 03/17/2010

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    A year? I thought a Masters degree took 6 years.
    It usually takes 2. 4 years for a bachelors, 2 more for a masters. He already has the bachelors degree.
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    Well, to be honest I'm not advanced at programming C++, or close to it. I've done enough to know I enjoy it- basically been doing it 6+ hours a day since I finished uni in May- and I've been doing it in my spare time for a year or two before that. If it gives you any idea of my level- I understand most of the stuff in the book C++ Without Fear, which I've been learning from.

    Anyway thanks guys I'll look into the Masters in software engineering.

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    basically been doing it 6+ hours a day since I finished uni in May- and I've been doing it in my spare time for a year or two before that.
    You are probably a better programmer than half the people that graduate with a 4 year degree in CSC. If you like doing something enough that you do it in your free time, chances are it is something you will be pretty good at. I find that about half the CSC graduates I end up interviewing don't even like to program, and consequently they are horrible at it.
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    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bithub View Post
    You are probably a better programmer than half the people that graduate with a 4 year degree in CSC. If you like doing something enough that you do it in your free time, chances are it is something you will be pretty good at. I find that about half the CSC graduates I end up interviewing don't even like to program, and consequently they are horrible at it.
    Yeah except only the fortran guys get to program rockets. I can't be mad at people who don't waste time crushing their souls because they'll never do anything that important.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bithub View Post
    You are probably a better programmer than half the people that graduate with a 4 year degree in CSC. If you like doing something enough that you do it in your free time, chances are it is something you will be pretty good at. I find that about half the CSC graduates I end up interviewing don't even like to program, and consequently they are horrible at it.
    It's funny, half of the time when I'm programming I'm frustrated because I don't understand how to do something. But there's never a point when I think "I don't want to do this". It's always worth it when you get there in the end and you can understand the cool intricacies of how stuff works.

    Anyway thanks for your advice- and everyone's- I'll email a few universities and ask if my current level of programming skill will be enough to do a Software Engineering Masters with them.

    By the way what do you guys think to that Masters that I gave the link to? That's done by the school of Computer Science so it seems like it's probably closer to software engineering than the IT ones. And it'd probably be easier for me to get into because they accept a Psychology degree. So say I can't get in to do a Software Engineering Masters. Would this be likely to lead to me getting a job? And one where I can at least spend some time programming? In the career opportunities bit they say:

    "This course should be of interest to prospective usability engineer / managers, user-interface designers and information architects.

    It is also very relevant to current or prospective software engineers who wish to enhance their skills and knowledge.

    The programme also provides a strong basis for continuing research as part of a PhD programme. "

    Or are they just trying to make it sound more useful than it really is?

    Cheers.

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    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Ask about the "core curriculum", ie what actual courses everyone who does that degree must take.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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