Computer Science/Career advice needed...

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Lisa, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. Lisa

    Lisa Member

    I know there are quite a few technical/computery people on here so I thought it might be worth asking for some advice on something that I'm having trouble deciding...

    ...I have a place on a Masters Computer Science conversion course at Cardiff uni, due to start at the end of this month. I'm not sure whether it is worth doing or not though!

    If I do it, I would do it part-time, 1 day a week, whilst continuing to work in my current job.

    My current job is as an html/css/front-end web developer and I half feel that I could just carry on 'learning on the job.'

    The masters would be expensive in terms of tuition fees and I can't afford to spend out that money if I am not really going to gain anything worthwhile from the course...

    ...really, I want to know what the value of that piece of paper is going to be to me...ultimately, will I likely be able to earn more money in the future if I have an actual computer-related qualification?

    Lisa :)
  2. andyh

    andyh Supporting Member

    Well, I can't speak for a Masters personally, as I only have a BSc, but you might like to take a look here:

    I've worked in this area for 34 years and I've seen quite a few people come in with Masters and above and do really well. I know the public perception of BT isn't "a computer company" but in actual fact that is our main business these days - at my location there are something like 3000 people, mostly involved in some aspects of ICT/research. I do think though, that the front-end of the web is very much an artistic area, where people with graphics talent can shine. A heck of a lot of back-end support from databases, java-based servers etc is required ( is a prime example) and that's where the industry needs the real talent in my opinion.

  3. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    Hard experience in business is more attractive to prospective employers than multiple degrees. All a degree gets you is a foot in the door and a step on the ladder and by the sound of it you've already got that. Most employers are far more interested in what you have been working on lately. I work with a bunch of contractors and we're all earning top dollar and less than half of them have any sort of degree. They're mostly guys who've been in the business for years and have built up their skill set through experience.
  4. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    My fellow bass player did a BSc quantity surveying degree and did a conversion masters computer course at Sheffield Hallam about 5 yerars ago. It was full time 1yr course. He ended up going back to being a quantity surveyor. in fact, everyone in the class actually went back to doing what they already did to begin with because the demand isn't there compared to what we saw in the late 90's. Also, a conversion master dosen't cover enough material in a short amount of time to know compentantly what you are doing.
  5. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Hi Lisa

    I'd say that the opportunities presented to you in your future career if you were to obtain a Masters Degree would be greater than otherwise, and are also likely to be in the Management and Senior position space - thus significantly increasing your earning potential.
  6. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    I've done IT courses with Open University which have been quite good. If you have enough time (and cash approx £850 per course) you can work towards a masters.
    Other options to look at are certifications offered by Microsoft , Sun , etc for their various development products. I would say development tool certifications are more valuable than Msc.
  7. Lisa

    Lisa Member

    Thanks for all of the opinions - they've been helpful :)

    I've been thinking about it all weekend and have kept on changing my mind. However, I'm definitely swaying towards doing the course now. I think I just need to speak to a few people at work tomorrow to get a few more opinions, and hopefully I will have made a definite decision by the end of tomorrow!
  8. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    TBH it depends on what you want to do. I started out doing software engineering ( embedded code, machine language and real time systems ), however I moved on to do front end GUI design, now I'm learning Java, j2EE. The trouble is is that the market place changes with each trend, 3 years ago it was c# with .net ( pretty much my specialisation ), now its Java and j2ee ( though a fair amount of ASP .NET requirements ) so I have to constantly catch up with the latest demand.

    BEst advice, if you want lots of money, learn Java, J2EE and get into a Finance company... if you want fun.. err, umm... wrong industry :)
  9. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    Oh I don't know about that. One of my colleauges used to admin a video streaming website for an Amsterdam based operation. He loved his work... :)

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