View Full Version : Bachelor's vs Associates

10-04-2002, 08:52 AM
Hello, a question probably more aimed for all you American programmers out of college. I'm currently getting my associates at a tech school, and might possibly go to a bigger school to get my bachelors, but I'm unsure if its the best choice for me. My question is in the world of programming, what would be better for me to do, get two years of actual work experience or two years of more schooling to get my bachelors? I mean, I know someone with a bachelors is looked favorably upon and in some professions is absolutely essential, but I'm unsure of how true this is for programming. I agree it's important, just not sure if its more important than two years of programming work experience... Any advise from the work force? :D

10-04-2002, 09:20 AM
This needs to be moved to General Discussions, but anyways I had the sme options but decided to go for a Bachelors Degree because I noticed that most jobs pay more the better your degree is, i.e you get paid more for a masters than a bachelors, and you get more for a bachelors that an associates. But really it just depends on what you want to focus in, the associate degrees i saw were for programming and they were kinda weak programs, where as I ended up going for Computer Science bachelors degree with a minor in math, focusing in systems development (my school offeres 3 tracks for CS, Networking, Systems, or Management)

10-04-2002, 09:22 AM
Beat me to the punch....FYI this was origanally on C++.


10-04-2002, 09:33 AM
Get your Bachelor's degree at least.

10-04-2002, 01:44 PM
xds4lx, you mentioned that it depended on what I was interested in. What about software design and game programming? Also, does everyone else agree that a bachelors is the way to go vs job experience?

Captain Penguin
10-04-2002, 01:52 PM
Originally posted by PJYelton
xds4lx, you mentioned that it depended on what I was interested in. What about software design and game programming? Also, does everyone else agree that a bachelors is the way to go vs job experience?

Yes. Job market is slim for just an associates degree, in comparison to a bachelors. It's like comparing a High School Diploma to an Associates on the job market - a diploma won't get you much, an associates could get you quite a bit more, and a bachelors could get you even more.

I work with someone who has an associates and is getting one or 2 more over the next couple of years and she is having trouble finding a decent job with them. (but we don't live in the best area, admittedly)

10-04-2002, 02:18 PM
I got a bachelor's in Humanities and later got an Associates in CIS. Unless you're a super whiz kid with a proven track record, you'll definitely make more with a bachelors.
A bachelors alone is no guarantee. A woman at a local company got a BS in CIS but had no experience outside the classroom. She got hired at a decent wage, but only lasted 6 months. (She also took the job that used VB, which she'd never used, being a Java Head).
Get a bachelors and get some experience, even unpaid internships. That will show you've done real work and give you references and contacts.
Course, I got my job because the woman doing the hiring had a daughter in the same first grade class as my son :p

10-04-2002, 04:23 PM
Thanks all, looks like I'll be headin' for a bachelors! Now if only I can pick a school... :confused: :D

10-05-2002, 09:00 PM
If money is important (which I'm sure it is) you should go after a bachelors, no questions about it.

Either an associates or a bachelors will get you the same type of job in the programming world- an entry level position.

But having only an associates will mean that you'll get a much lower salary (at first...?).

But of course it all comes down to how good of a programmer you are. Entry level positions will just have you debugging programs that have already been debugged by other programmers.

You should consider taking a small part time job, possibly for free(like suggested above), if you can afford it. Then after you get your bachelors, along with years of experience- you'll be able to (possibly) bypass an entry level position and get a better job.

10-06-2002, 04:45 AM
excuse me, just to correct myself. Having a bachelors degree will always open more opportunities for you, in the short run and long run.

It's also beneficial for you to learn as much as possible before really getting into the real world.

But what I meant above, is that an associates and a bachelors will both get you entry level positions.

hope that helps.