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Hunting my first job with a Masters degree

By Creative-ET ·
Hello Tech-Republicans,

First of all, I am from Australia and am new to this place. Nice to meet you all!

I could use some informal advice from those who were in the same/similar circumstances as I am.

I have:
- 2 degrees (Bachelor of Computing and Master of IT)
- Some programming work experience - part-time, temporary full-time and vacation (amounts up to 1 year)
- diligence and passion to learn more

I must say that the reason I wanted to do a Masters is because I felt my education was too broad and I decided to narrow it down to Web technologies. I did not regret it at all as in addition to having specialised knowledge in Web technologies, I took some IS subjects that inspired me to start my own e-business in the near future.

I was wondering a person with such background should expect the same salary as a person without the Masters degree. Would I be seen as over-qualified that no recruiters would even consider me as a candidate for the entry-level job? Should I even attempt to hide my Masters degree when job hunting?

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Hide it no.

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Hunting my first job with ...

Don't think you are going to get paid more for having it at the start of your career though, that aint likely. You're more likely to get the nod when competing with someone with the same level of experience but less academically successful. The thing to avoid at all costs is the I've got a Masters so I should get paid more attitude. A lot of people will agree with you and tell you to go somewhere else and do so.
Make sure you emphasise what experience you have on your cv, that's at least as important as the the mortar board with a silver star.

Takes two years to get a masters, so someone who went straight to work after their degree and stayed employed in IT has two years experience on you. Two years can be a lot, concentrate on selling yourself, put yourself forward as a bargain, given you learn how to sucessfully apply all that education, you have a great deal of potential.

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Wrong focus

by amcol In reply to Hunting my first job with ...

I don't know why anyone would want to hide any accomplishment, whether it's a Master's degree or a cert or some specific experience...especially when that accomplishment is a positive one. What do you gain by hiding your degree?

You'll only be seen as overqualified if you pursue a position that's beneath your qualifications. As a holder of a technical Master's degree you should feel no qualms about posting for a professional IT position. On the other hand if you were to go for a job as a part time receptionist you might have a bit of a problem.

As hard as this is to do, don't focus on compensation. You're just getting started. You need experience, both in terms of breadth and success. The money will come, but you like everyone else have to pay your dues first. That doesn't mean you should take a lower paying job just to get hired, it means you should not worry about your qualifications versus someone else's and how that'll be perceived when the time comes to fix a compensation level. Look for and secure the right kind of job, something that'll allow you to achieve your ultimate career objectives, and the money will come.

Ultimate career objectives are a funny thing also. At your stage of the game you can't possibly have a realistic grasp on where you're headed when you reach the pinnacle of your career. What will you be doing in twenty years? The right answer is "Who knows?". Take your career in five year increments and constantly keep refining your professional aspirations as your life, your career, and the business world evolve.

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Don't tell them, show them

by DC Guy In reply to Hunting my first job with ...

Demonstrate in your interviews that having an M.S. gives you an advantage, rather than simply saying so. Show that you understand things better than someone with a mere B.S., that you have a bigger picture of what's going on, that you can see what the company needs, that you catch on quicker and deliver faster.

And do that all without a hint of bragging. Just BE the person you say you are. Otherwise that degree isn't really worth anything, is it?

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Thank you !

by Creative-ET In reply to Don't tell them, show the ...

Thanks for your advice. I'll keep you guys updated on what happens next. :-)

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