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Computer Science and Information Technology in Education

By nickdefazio ·
Hello everyone!

I will be graduating from a technical college with a B.S in Information Technology with a concentration on Software Engineering, and I am interested in obtaining my masters in Computer Science. When looking online at schools and discussions about computer science, I keep coming up with results talking about how CS programs and software engineering related programs, namely info. tech based ones, are completely different things. I was wondering where people stand on this. My college is regionally accredited(its not ITT or DeVry or anything like that), with a decent hiring rate among graduates. Granted it is a tech school, some of the courses I had taken were things like Calc 1+2, Software Design and Architectures, Design Patterns, Database Design, Systems Analysis and Design, Object Oriented Principles, Software Security as well as many courses about technologies and such. Most of my courses were taught from a design and develop standpoint, meaning it wasnt just "This is type this to do that" etc, planning and good design was generally a focus. Do you think the difference in education between the programs is that great? Does one produce a better quality employee than the other? Does it matter all that much when getting a job? What does everyone think?

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Why do you want the masters?

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Computer Science and Info ...

To put that level of effort and time in, you need to have a definite goal in mind. I'm talking targetting R&amp in say parallel processing, DBMS design, that sort of thing.

To go through all that and then end up bashing together a few forms in access and doing a five line macro, would be somewhat disappointing would it not?

Not saying you shouldn't do it, or that at least eventually your effort need not gain some return.

But your in your first junior developer role you'll get paid exactly the same rate as one of those ITT types, and at that level thay'll almost certainly be able to do the job just as well as you.

Seriously 90% of commercial IT is single table CRUD.

Given that you've realised that the discipline of designing software is not the tools you use to do it. A point far too many fall over badly on, I expect you'll be a success. Your academic credibility will get you a job, it won't necessarily let you keep it though.

If you can afford to go down the masters route by all means do so, it will certainly make you more attractive and it will increase your potential options.

If I were in your position though, I'd be looking for at least some work. Part time. open source, voluntary, anything real.

Most of the stuff we do depends far more on cost and presentation, than quality design. One of the first things you learn in commercial IT development, if you want to stay in it, is good enough.....

Quality costs money, its an overhead. They'll take it if it's free, but if it's going to mess up the budget, then we bodge it.

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Should clarify

by nickdefazio In reply to Why do you want the maste ...

Thanks for the response, I should have clarified my intentions though.

I wish to gain my masters for a few reasons.

1. Marketability(obviously more education = more $ overall)

2. Personal Interest
Im fairly satisfied with my education as of now, but I feel like since CS was not my major theres some fundamentals I missed out on, and I would like to develop that. Also, I have always wanted to get my M.S.

Also, I have not entirely ruled out teaching at some point in my life, and the only way I see myself doing that is if i go all they way to a Ph.D.

However your post made me curious as to the nature of IT work. I have some experience, but its pretty limited. So based on your experiences, most of the time the science behind IT/Software doesnt really matter all that much, its more about what gets done in the end? Is it more about what you can produce as opposed to what you know?

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The bottom line is always to get something

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Should clarify

that can be sold as working, on time and under budget, in that order.

This means especially with an existing code base, you end up doing things, no sane developer would ever choose to.

Yes the science does matter, but we are talking Surname isn't a good UniqueID, not googleizing multi terabyte tables, for an acceptable reposnse over the web. There a lot more second normal form then 6th about, if you see what I mean

To maximise the masters, you need to maximise the opportunities it gives you. That means you aren't going for the UI on a Walmart POS machine, but for working on Oracle's DBMS internals.

Unless of course you want to go management.

You aren't doing anything wrong with going for a Masters, in fact given the HR numpties recruitment criteria, you are very right. Just bear in mind, while it will open more doors, you might not want to go in.

Whatever you do don't think more education = more money, it means more chances to earn better money, if you take them.

Kill whoever you have to to get there, but don't sit down waiting for people to throw big money at you because you are educated, it won't happen.

Remember if you don't know, you can't produce, but because you do know, doesn't mean you can. That's why you need to get some more real stuff under your belt, so you know what's important to them. It isn't the letters after your name.
They'll just put you in front of someone with less and equivalent experience.

Do it, I wish I had. I hit the glass ceiling along time ago and looking up some pointy head's trouser leg leaves a lot to be desired.

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An Aside - Single table crud - as in the game?

by IC-IT In reply to Why do you want the maste ...

We used to play in the Air Force, great game. I never realized it was big enough to get a Wiki.

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Never played that

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to An Aside - Single table c ...

Generally if some one rushes in and grabs the cue ball, you duck, or punch them out before they hit you with it.

Need to update the Wiki. In the UK crud also means crappy in a sort of ill maintained way.

Which I was why you see UK access devlopers frown when I describe their applications.

Like the green furry stuff round a weeping copper pipe joint. Or solids in a fuel line filter.

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