Is a masters in computer science worth my time?
#1
I always wanted to learn programming. I am an IT major and I feel strongly about wanting to learn to become a programmer and I think if I went for a masters degree I could do it.

But is it worth the extra three years it would take? What's your take on it?

I would love to be proficient in both programming and IT and I need to gain more skills on the side before I get a career in IT.

What do you think? I would have to take extra computer science classes is it worth it?

I want to know how operating systems, computer networks, and software work on a computer science level and on an IT level.

What do you think?
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#2
You can never know too much. Formal education like a masters degree is just one avenue to obtain knowledge.

Is it worth it? That depends on what you value. You don't need to do it to get the knowledge. The knowledge is freely available. I would recommend at least a bachelors degree as you'll learn more than just the technical knowledge, and in business that is very important. It may also lead you to things you didnt know you didnt know.

I believe higher education has shown to generally increase overall lifetime earnings in white collar jobs, particularly in computing, so there is that potential. But it comes down skill, motivation as well. For every well "educated" IT person making a ton of money, I can show you just as many that don't have any formal education making a ton of money.

As an after thought - My "IT" (Bachelors) degree was not quite equivalent to what a US College IT bachelors degree would be, I believe. It was more akin to a Computer Science degree, but not. So if your IT degree doesn't include programming, or fundamentals of computing, then you may very well wish to do higher programs.

So the answer really is... depends. I don't think I would do a masters degree personally. But it might benefit you. I really doubt it would hurt you. Unless you go into mountains of debt to get it. I definitely wouldn't recommend doing that.
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#3
(05-07-2020, 02:46 AM)MuddyBucket Wrote: You can never know too much. Formal education like a masters degree is just one avenue to obtain knowledge.

Is it worth it? That depends on what you value. You don't need to do it to get the knowledge. The knowledge is freely available. I would recommend at least a bachelors degree as you'll learn more than just the technical knowledge, and in business that is very important. It may also lead you to things you didnt know you didnt know.

I believe higher education has shown to generally increase overall lifetime earnings in white collar jobs, particularly in computing, so there is that potential. But it comes down skill, motivation as well. For every well "educated" IT person making a ton of money, I can show you just as many that don't have any formal education making a ton of money.

As an after thought - My "IT" (Bachelors) degree was not quite equivalent to what a US College IT bachelors degree would be, I believe. It was more akin to a Computer Science degree, but not. So if your IT degree doesn't include programming, or fundamentals of computing, then you may very well wish to do higher programs.

So the answer really is... depends. I don't think I would do a masters degree personally. But it might benefit you. I really doubt it would hurt you. Unless you go into mountains of debt to get it. I definitely wouldn't recommend doing that.

I mean people on shitty HF and in other places say things like "it doesn't add value, if anything experience adds more value" but what I have also heard from some people about computer science, IT, etc. is it depends on how you utilize the on-campus resources while your there. I don't think it would hurt.

My argument to get into grad school would be that to be a skilled ethical hacker or penetration tester or other cyber security profession, the three most important skills to know are programming, networking, and operating systems, and CIT covers networking and operating systems mostly. And while programming is covered in IT classes to a certain extent, the IT major doesn't make students particularly good at a few specific languages and areas of development and force them to get good at it. Instead, it introduces students to a variety of languages relative to what area of IT an individual class is on and goes into the related languages to that area. So my argument is that IT covers networking and operating systems better, but it would also be a wise decision to be good at one or two specific programming languages for cyber security, but to do that I have to learn how to code properly in one language WELL and a masters degree in computer science would help me do that. If I'm good at the language the university is teaching then it will be much easier for me to teach myself another language on the side related to cyber security and be good at that language. Or I will be able to apply the language the university is teaching me to cyber security AND I would have all three fundamental pillars of the IT, Comp Sci, and Security world down: operating systems, networking, AND programming. Also, many of the computer science classes would help understanding of the web, networking, operating system, etc, at a computer science level to complement my IT skills.

I don't think that's a bad argument to give when applying.
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#4
When I did my IT degree (double specialisation in Software Engineering and Network Security), very little of my degree was focused on actually learning programming languages. They taught concepts, not code. I had tons of programming classes where they didn't even care what programming languages you submitted your code in. The idea was they taught you the basic concepts in first year, and you applied those concepts yourself in later courses. During my degree I used Java, Javascript, PHP, Perl, Python, C/C++, and Swift. The only languages they actually formally taught us was Java, Swift and PHP.

And honestly, if I had left university wanting to be a programmer, I wouldn't have been hired anywhere. I just did the Software Engineering specialisation just for kicks/experience. I just did the basic assignments. My classmates who did want to become programmers, needed vast github repos just to get a foot in the door.

And learning technical skills are good - but what I really got out of the degree was the non-technical skills. Learning about Project Management, UI/UX, Testing Methodologies, Writing Documentation/Reports, Software Lifecycles, Understanding Risk, etc. This is the kind of crap that will make you money in the long run. Even in Cyber Security.
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#5
(05-07-2020, 07:45 AM)MuddyBucket Wrote: When I did my IT degree (double specialisation in Software Engineering and Network Security), very little of my degree was focused on actually learning programming languages. They taught concepts, not code. I had tons of programming classes where they didn't even care what programming languages you submitted your code in. The idea was they taught you the basic concepts in first year, and you applied those concepts yourself in later courses. During my degree I used Java, Javascript, PHP, Perl, Python, C/C++, and Swift. The only languages they actually formally taught us was Java, Swift and PHP.

And honestly, if I had left university wanting to be a programmer, I wouldn't have been hired anywhere. I just did the Software Engineering specialisation just for kicks/experience. I just did the basic assignments. My classmates who did want to become programmers, needed vast github repos just to get a foot in the door.

And learning technical skills are good - but what I really got out of the degree was the non-technical skills. Learning about Project Management, UI/UX, Testing Methodologies, Writing Documentation/Reports, Software Lifecycles, Understanding Risk, etc. This is the kind of crap that will make you money in the long run. Even in Cyber Security.

Yes, but my IT degree I’m already persuing is exactly like what you just said.
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#6
MuddyBucket just spat truth here. My opinion and background is just like his so I can also vouch for what he said.
Honestly, I would just go and finish your major, opinions change a lot when you are in uni, and the situation can change very quickly. If when you finish you feel like you want to know more about how computers work, go and do it.

In my opinion you overthink all decisions, it's good to have a plan, but plans often change, and it can be easily seen in your threads asking what to focus on.
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#7
(05-07-2020, 04:16 PM)enmafia2 Wrote: MuddyBucket just spat truth here. My opinion and background is just like his so I can also vouch for what he said.
Honestly, I would just go and finish your major, opinions change a lot when you are in uni, and the situation can change very quickly. If when you finish you feel like you want to know more about how computers work, go and do it.

In my opinion you overthink all decisions, it's good to have a plan, but plans often change, and it can be easily seen in your threads asking what to focus on.

I agree. I am now finishing A+ core 2 and then I'm gonna do CCNA. I will have a CCNA by August 21st is my current goal.

I'm starting once I pass A+ on May 20th.

I know that that's doable.
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