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off topic: graduate degree or certification?

VM
I was looking for an MS NG where I could post this question but couldn't
find any, so here goes.

What's more valuable to companies, a Master of Comp. Engineering degree or a
company certification (Oracle, MS, etc..) ? I'm a Computer Engineering
graduate student (w/ a BS in Computer Science) and I was looking for salary
information and where the hot jobs are, and with every search I execute, I
kept getting pages on how MS certifications are paying $70,000+. That's
when I asked myself if an ME degree is worth all the money I'm paying for
it. At the end, my degree will have cost me $15,000. Will the $15,000 be
worth it?
I think it will, but I'd like to see what you guys think.

Thanks.
Nov 22 '05 #1
6 1679
I don't know the stats, but you have some things to consider. A masters is
going to cost you probably a lot more money then a certification. Then on
the other hand, the masters will always be useful, where as certification
only for certain jobs. I personally haven't seen too many postings requiring
particular certifications in programming. There will always be some new
certification for you to get - but a master's will have staying power.

However, if you can get a master's for 15K, then that is a fantastic deal,
and I say go for it - that is dirt cheap. You can still work part time -
and that experience will be most valuable of all, but I'm sure that 15K will
pay for itself in the end.
"VM" <None> wrote in message news:%2******** ********@TK2MSF TNGP12.phx.gbl. ..
I was looking for an MS NG where I could post this question but couldn't
find any, so here goes.

What's more valuable to companies, a Master of Comp. Engineering degree or a company certification (Oracle, MS, etc..) ? I'm a Computer Engineering
graduate student (w/ a BS in Computer Science) and I was looking for salary information and where the hot jobs are, and with every search I execute, I
kept getting pages on how MS certifications are paying $70,000+. That's
when I asked myself if an ME degree is worth all the money I'm paying for
it. At the end, my degree will have cost me $15,000. Will the $15,000 be
worth it?
I think it will, but I'd like to see what you guys think.

Thanks.

Nov 22 '05 #2
The bottom line is learn how to produce. Nowhere in this country is there a
top notch C# Developer/ASP.NET Developer etc who can write a killer product
that's unemployed or poor. I have a Master's degree and it's gotten me
interviews, but I'd trade it for Jeffrey Richter's resume in a second.
Balena, Petzold, Richter, Fergus, Robbins, Prosise, Vaughn, Sceppa, Kimmell,
Appleman, and tons of other total heavy hitters don't have a master's degree
or a certification, and they are all as brilliant as people get. I
seriously doubt any of them are even in the 5 figure salary range...

Bottom line, look at what successful developers do (learn your stuff) and
copy it, history will repeat itself.
"VM" <None> wrote in message news:%2******** ********@TK2MSF TNGP12.phx.gbl. ..
I was looking for an MS NG where I could post this question but couldn't
find any, so here goes.

What's more valuable to companies, a Master of Comp. Engineering degree or a company certification (Oracle, MS, etc..) ? I'm a Computer Engineering
graduate student (w/ a BS in Computer Science) and I was looking for salary information and where the hot jobs are, and with every search I execute, I
kept getting pages on how MS certifications are paying $70,000+. That's
when I asked myself if an ME degree is worth all the money I'm paying for
it. At the end, my degree will have cost me $15,000. Will the $15,000 be
worth it?
I think it will, but I'd like to see what you guys think.

Thanks.

Nov 22 '05 #3
Oops, I almost forgot...the two aren't mutually exclusive ;-). Probably
like VB.NET vs. C#.... learn C# first then learn VB.NET and reap the
benefits of bother.
"William Ryan" <do********@nos pam.comcast.net > wrote in message
news:%2******** ********@TK2MSF TNGP09.phx.gbl. ..
The bottom line is learn how to produce. Nowhere in this country is there a top notch C# Developer/ASP.NET Developer etc who can write a killer product that's unemployed or poor. I have a Master's degree and it's gotten me
interviews, but I'd trade it for Jeffrey Richter's resume in a second.
Balena, Petzold, Richter, Fergus, Robbins, Prosise, Vaughn, Sceppa, Kimmell, Appleman, and tons of other total heavy hitters don't have a master's degree or a certification, and they are all as brilliant as people get. I
seriously doubt any of them are even in the 5 figure salary range...

Bottom line, look at what successful developers do (learn your stuff) and
copy it, history will repeat itself.
"VM" <None> wrote in message news:%2******** ********@TK2MSF TNGP12.phx.gbl. ..
I was looking for an MS NG where I could post this question but couldn't
find any, so here goes.

What's more valuable to companies, a Master of Comp. Engineering degree or a
company certification (Oracle, MS, etc..) ? I'm a Computer Engineering
graduate student (w/ a BS in Computer Science) and I was looking for

salary
information and where the hot jobs are, and with every search I execute,

I kept getting pages on how MS certifications are paying $70,000+. That's
when I asked myself if an ME degree is worth all the money I'm paying for it. At the end, my degree will have cost me $15,000. Will the $15,000 be worth it?
I think it will, but I'd like to see what you guys think.

Thanks.


Nov 22 '05 #4
emg
1. Certifications do NOT guarantee jobs. They most certainly won't
guarantee $70K in this difficult job market. Don't get sucked in by the
marketing hype. Certs do help here and there but they are no magic bullet.

2. Grad degrees do NOT guarantee jobs. However, a grad degree is a
credential you can use for a decade or more while certifications evaporate
in a year or two. This makes sense because certifications are all about
practial applications of a specific version of a particular technology while
a grad degree has a more long-term focus. (long-term meaning more theory,
broader viewpoint, not centered on a specific vendor, technology or
language, etc. )

Clearly, the grad degree is a much better long-term investment. HOWEVER . .
.. I also have to point out that I don't often come across a requirement for
a graduate degree in the run-of-the-mill corporate IT job reqs. That
doesn't mean grad degrees aren't valuable but it does mean you would be
targeting a different type of job. What inspired you to pursue a grad
degree in the first place? Are you seeing job postings requesting one? Is
your current employer encouraging you to get one? Or are you just casting
about looking for the next step in your career?

I've seen plenty of IT management jobs that requested MBAs or graduate
business degrees of one sort or another but not comp sci grad degrees. I'm
not saying there aren't any jobs requiring Master's in Comp Sci because I
certainly don't have total knowledge of the field but you might want to do a
little more research to ensure the time, effort and money will produce the
results you desire.



Nov 22 '05 #5
For what it's worth, when I've been looking to hire people, I'm more
concerned about experience than schooling once the person has an
undergraduate degree.

There are some people who think that candidates with Master's degrees are
less desirable, as they may have stayed in school because they couldn't get
a job. I don't think this is generally true but I have come across a few
cases where it was true.

--
Eric Gunnerson

Visit the C# product team at http://www.csharp.net
Eric's blog is at http://weblogs.asp.net/ericgu/

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
"VM" <None> wrote in message news:%2******** ********@TK2MSF TNGP12.phx.gbl. ..
I was looking for an MS NG where I could post this question but couldn't
find any, so here goes.

What's more valuable to companies, a Master of Comp. Engineering degree or a company certification (Oracle, MS, etc..) ? I'm a Computer Engineering
graduate student (w/ a BS in Computer Science) and I was looking for salary information and where the hot jobs are, and with every search I execute, I
kept getting pages on how MS certifications are paying $70,000+. That's
when I asked myself if an ME degree is worth all the money I'm paying for
it. At the end, my degree will have cost me $15,000. Will the $15,000 be
worth it?
I think it will, but I'd like to see what you guys think.

Thanks.

Nov 22 '05 #6
VM
In Puerto Rico, most universities offer an MBA or MIS. So anyone that's
looking for a graduate degree will either go for one of these two (most go
for MBA) because they don't have a choice. No local university offers a
Computer Engineering Master's degree.
The main reason I started the MEng is because I'd have an edge over most
people since I'd have degree that very few people would have (these people
being students that went to the US to study). Also, I started the MBA and I
didn't find the courses as interesting as the courses I'm taking in the
MEng.

VM
"emg" <emg no sp**@comcast.ne t> wrote in message
news:uq******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP09.phx.gbl...
1. Certifications do NOT guarantee jobs. They most certainly won't
guarantee $70K in this difficult job market. Don't get sucked in by the
marketing hype. Certs do help here and there but they are no magic bullet.
2. Grad degrees do NOT guarantee jobs. However, a grad degree is a
credential you can use for a decade or more while certifications evaporate
in a year or two. This makes sense because certifications are all about
practial applications of a specific version of a particular technology while a grad degree has a more long-term focus. (long-term meaning more theory,
broader viewpoint, not centered on a specific vendor, technology or
language, etc. )

Clearly, the grad degree is a much better long-term investment. HOWEVER . .. . I also have to point out that I don't often come across a requirement for a graduate degree in the run-of-the-mill corporate IT job reqs. That
doesn't mean grad degrees aren't valuable but it does mean you would be
targeting a different type of job. What inspired you to pursue a grad
degree in the first place? Are you seeing job postings requesting one? Is your current employer encouraging you to get one? Or are you just casting
about looking for the next step in your career?

I've seen plenty of IT management jobs that requested MBAs or graduate
business degrees of one sort or another but not comp sci grad degrees. I'm not saying there aren't any jobs requiring Master's in Comp Sci because I
certainly don't have total knowledge of the field but you might want to do a little more research to ensure the time, effort and money will produce the
results you desire.


Nov 22 '05 #7

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