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Re: [ljc] BSc or MSc

From: Bruce D.
Sent on: Monday, June 25, 2012 9:25 AM
Just to add to Trish & Dinuk's thoughts...

On Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 9:04 AM, Trisha <[address removed]> wrote:
> Dinuk makes some good points, the selection of the masters is very important.

For me the main reason to do a MSc if you already have a BSc in
something numerate would be because you want to learn what the course
has to offer or you want to work with the people who teach that

I have an MSc in Information Processing because my BA is a dual
honours in History and English & Related History. I found it
impossible in Yorkshire to get an interview without a MSc in something
computery, thus the conversion course. I had a bit of previous work
experience in computing (some html and a bit of databases an unix),
but not enough to get me through the door. The minimum seemed to be
having a *numerate* degree (maths, physics, CS, SE, etc).

In London it is a bit different, thanks in a large part to the LJC and
other communities. You can learn loads and get to meet people, often
in practical settings. This allows you to gain experience *and* get to
know some of the people hiring and get noticed.

> From the point of view of someone who regularly reviews CVs of
> developers to decide who gets a technical interview (insert normal
> caveat here - I'm a real programmer and not an HR person), having a
> masters makes zero difference in our hiring process.  Having a degree
> is not even required if you have the work experience.

Work experience beats a degree. A degree is something that gets you
through the door in the absence of work experience.

A MSc doesn't really give an advantage over a BSc, unless you do
something very interesting or applicable in the MSc dissertation to
what you are being hired for.

PhDs matter for some employers, but not most. Just as having a 1st
class degree matters for some employers.

I've done a lot of interviewing and CV review over the years and
really what I've looked for is experience, enthusiasm and ability to

> However there are times when having a masters is beneficial - for
> example, when I researched getting Visas for working abroad (in the US
> specifically), having a masters degree makes you look like a better
> candidate.

Yep, if you are looking to compete in a points based immigration
scheme then being young, well educated and having the right skills are
going to help.

> So... the answer is, it depends.  Depends what you want it for and the
> career path you want to follow.

Drat. I was hoping for once we'd have a simple question with a simple
answer. :-D


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