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Best Degree to Pair w/ a B.Sc. in Computer Science? 1054

Posted by Cliff
from the two-great-tastes dept.
VeryCleverHandle asks: "I have held a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science for about two years now, and I want to further my education, and increase my marketability. I am wondering what kind of degree makes a good pair for my existing one. At first, I thought of a Master's, but in my searches for a job, I've rarely (read: never) seen a Masters degree required. I am also researching what kind of degrees others, who have obtained their Bachelor's, received to help complement their education. So I ask you, Slashdot: Which degree(s) do YOU think will go well with a Computer Science Bachelors?"
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Best Degree to Pair w/ a B.Sc. in Computer Science?

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  • Three Letters: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Maradine (194191) * on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:46PM (#11869970) Homepage
    MBA. You've learned how. Now learn why. The resultant doubling of your earnings potential is just a sad side-effect you're going to have to learn to cope with.
  • by DataPath (1111) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:47PM (#11869993)
    Experience. Nothing even compares.
  • Mathematics (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jnapalm (749376) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:48PM (#11870002)
    Most pairable degree with Computer Science: Mathematics. Affinity for math tells employers you're capable of high level, abstract thought.
  • Easy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BoomerSooner (308737) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:48PM (#11870005) Homepage Journal
    MBA. You're exactly who it was invented for, not the alreay have a BBA and don't want to get a job types that I see in business school. Or you could go EE which is a good pairing as well, I have friends who did that and have done very well for themselves.
  • Depends... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nozomiyume (863494) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:48PM (#11870014) Homepage
    I would think it would depend on what parts of CS appeal to you - for example, a degree in Math tends to be a good augmentation to a CS degree if you were going into Data Analysis, or databases. But if you were writing a physics engine, a Physics degree would be useful. Generally, I would say that a Math or Business degree would be a good augmentation.
  • Re:Three Letters: (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:48PM (#11870017)
    No doubt. I can see the tears now.
  • Re:Hindi (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:49PM (#11870028)
    Possibly a good minor with the oft suggested MBA.
  • by delcielo (217760) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:49PM (#11870032) Journal
    If you're looking at eventually rising through the ranks into management and executive positions, an MBA would be a good idea.

    If you want to be a tech for the long haul, perhaps a degree in mathematics.

    Whatever you do, remember also that communication skills are important. You're not typically taught them in college (at least not very well); but your advancement will to some degree depend on them.

  • Law (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ajakk (29927) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:49PM (#11870040) Homepage
    With a Comp Sci. degree and a Law degree, you can become a patent lawyer and make tons of cash (and be a pariah among nerds).
  • MARKETING!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gonar (78767) <sparkalicious.verizon@net> on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:50PM (#11870049) Homepage
    then you'd be EVERY engineer's worst nightmare, a marketroid with an engineering degree but no engineering experience!

    seriously. work in the industry for 5 years, then go back to school, experience is more valuable than any piece of paper.
  • Re:Mathematics (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tablizer (95088) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:50PM (#11870052) Homepage Journal
    Most pairable degree with Computer Science: Mathematics. Affinity for math tells employers you're capable of high level, abstract thought.

    On the flip side it may also say, "This guy has no business and people skills". Get a Communications or Business degree. Raw brains are a cheap commodity on the global market.
  • Psychology. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by k96822 (838564) * on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:50PM (#11870058) Journal

    Psychology. Don't laugh, my Psychology minor has been extremely useful, particularly the classes that dealt with cognitive Psychology, which is directly applicable to human-computer interfaces. I intend to turn that into a full Bachelor's someday.

  • seriously (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MagicM (85041) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:51PM (#11870070)
    1) Get a degree in a field that interests you.

    2) Don't Get a degree to increase your "marketability", unless it increases your "marketability" in a field that you would want a job in. In which case, see (1).

  • Re:Three Letters: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:51PM (#11870072)
    Really any advanced professional degree goes well with it. MBA is an obvious choices, but what about an MD, or a law degree? Most fields need people who have an advanced understanding of the field and the computer technology to go with it.
  • For me one choice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Mutant (167716) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:51PM (#11870075) Homepage
    A Masters degree in Quantitative Finance.

    YMMV. Pick a degree that compliments what you are interested in. Not what the consensus on /. suggests.

    After all, you're gonna be the one stuck with the job that it leads you to. The degree could be a marketing MBA, or in Biochemistry or Astronomy, etc, etc.

    But you've gotta be happy with it.
  • Stupid question (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:51PM (#11870076)
    You should never need to ask someone else what degree to pursue. Do what YOU WANT TO DO. Not what someone tells you will "fit nicely" with the degree you already have.

    If you're going to college to get a degree simply to have the piece of paper to show your boss, you're going for the wrong reason. Pick something else to do.

    If you can't decide on a field of study, you probably don't belong there.
  • Re:Three Letters: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:51PM (#11870080) Homepage Journal
    The resultant doubling of your earnings potential is just a sad side-effect you're going to have to learn to cope with.

    You'll also have to cope with the huge influx with people graduating with MBAs over the next few years. I have to wonder if the market is going to be flooded with too many MBAs soon.

    Don't get me wrong. Education is a good thing, but it really seems like everyone and his sister are enrolling in an MBA program.
  • Re:Three Letters: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Maradine (194191) * on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:51PM (#11870082) Homepage
    100% true. I would counter, however, that MBA's with a solid computer science degree are not. I can only speak from what I have seen, and those in this field that also understand the fundamental business reasons behind IT have done extremely well for themselves. YMMV. *shrug*

    M
  • J.D. Patent Lawyer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by darkmeridian (119044) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [gnauhc.mailliw]> on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:53PM (#11870107) Homepage
    If you can get into a top ten law school, then you can become a patent lawyer and make a few hundred thousand dollars right out of school. Big firms pay $125K base (not counting bonuses) for patent attorneys from top ten schools--no legal experience (aside from law school) necessary.
  • by nvrrobx (71970) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:53PM (#11870122) Homepage
    I'd reccommend getting some experience to increase your marketability as opposed to another degree.

    I know when I interview possible engineer candidates, I'm looking more for experience than education.

    What are you wanting to do? Your write up was very vague.
  • by Shadow Wrought (586631) <shadow@wrought.gmail@com> on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:54PM (#11870125) Homepage Journal
    I think the more important question is, what else are you interested in? If all you are looking for is resume padding, then another Bachelor's is a pretty expensive way to go. Indeed you would likely be better off with an MBA (which, based solely on the few MBA's I've met, is little more than resume window dressing anyway).

    On the other hand, if there are areas of learning which you really would like to know more about (be it History, Physics, English Lit, etc) then get a degree in that. It will be far more interesting for you and will make you a much more interesting candidate.

    But that's just my $.02...

  • Re:Three Letters: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ndtechnologies (814381) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:55PM (#11870148)
    Well, Dexter Holland (singer of Offspring) was majoring in Bionuclear Engineering at USC, and then decided to start a punk band...seems to me that the options are limitless as far as what degree goes well with another...
  • by over_exposed (623791) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:55PM (#11870150) Homepage
    Agreed. Also math, physics, EE, bio, chem... Any of the "big sciences" all tie in nicely with CS. It depends on what your interests are. Pair it with something you enjoy so that classes won't feel like a waste of time and any job resulting won't bore you to tears. None of these sciences would have made it to where they are now without computer technology and they'll openly admit it.
  • Depends (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Stargoat (658863) <stargoat@gmail.com> on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:55PM (#11870151) Journal
    Depends if it is for personal use, or if it is for business. History will teach you to write intelligently, and to think with a broader scope. A second language will prepare you for what could prove to be a more interesting career. An MBA will make you more hireable.

    Personally, if you have unlimited time and funds, I recommend a law degree. Fight the good fight against the SCO. What's more, there will be a deluge of criminal computer cases over the next decade. You would be in a perfect situation to take advantage of this.

  • Re:Biochemistry (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BWJones (18351) * on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:57PM (#11870196) Homepage Journal
    It really depends upon what he wants to do. A Masters or doctorate in bioinformatics combined with a bachelors in CS will get you a job very quickly and would be a much better choice than biochemistry if he really wanted to do that kind of work. Look at any one of these programs [nih.gov] for bioinformatics training.

    Chemistry, economics, business, biology, genetics, physics, computer science, neuroscience are all fields that could use folks with some training in computer science to help with modeling and other problems related to their work.

    SGI is one possibility, but most folks doing this sort of work are looking at more inexpensive hardware and building clusters of commodity hardware to do their work. Also Apple's Xserves are proving to be quite cost effective and screaming performers for genetics work.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:59PM (#11870220)
    That's exactly what I'm doing right now (a master's degree in embedded systems) and I don't regret it. My parents always told me the contrary: learn something useful because later, you'll be unemployed if you don't. The problem is: jobs requirement change every years and you CAN'T predict what will happen in these one or two years.
  • by Glorfindel (93177) on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:01PM (#11870242)
    Maybe another major isn't the answer. I took Math as a second major and it ended up sucking up alot of my free time in college with little benefit in return (in terms of marketability). Now maybe that just means that Math is definitely not a good choice , but I'd say one major is enough. Enjoy your time in college before you have to head out into the real world rather than breaking yourself in a second major. Otherwise, you might just find that you're burnt out on both subjects before you get a chance to apply any of your new found skills in the real world.

    If you must take a second major, I'd suggest something to round out a liberal arts education such as History or English. And who knows, the fact that you have a well-rounded education may just give you the edge over others in the job market.
  • Ooh that why ! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MPHellwig (847067) * <mhellwig@xs4all.nl> on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:01PM (#11870244) Homepage
    Surely explains her medieval management style.
  • by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:02PM (#11870270) Homepage Journal
    That's what you should get a master's in. At this point in your career, I would offer to you that relevant experience in your field is going to do more to increase your marketability much more than a master's.
  • Re:Three Letters: (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:04PM (#11870299)
    Don't get me wrong. Education is a good thing, but it really seems like everyone and his sister are enrolling in an MBA program.

    Which is where the Comp. Sci. degree sets you appart from the rest of the MBA's. Just an MBA is ounting for less and less, but an MBA on top of a solid technical degree still has value
  • Re:Three Letters: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kick the Donkey (681009) <kickthedonkey@@@gmail...com> on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:06PM (#11870334) Homepage Journal
    Most people that hold MBA's aren't worth the paper their MBA's are printed on...
  • Re:seriously (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joe the Lesser (533425) on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:07PM (#11870351) Homepage Journal
    I agree. Stop powergaming your career. Study what you like, and let opportunities come to you. If you're serious and professional minded, someone will find you whatever path you choose, and if you want the highest salary, then you won't be happy regardless.
  • Write Right (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cratermoon (765155) on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:09PM (#11870373) Homepage
    Based on the usual sort of writing I see in /. comments, I'd suggest an English degree.
  • by Pollux (102520) <{ge.ten.atadet} {ta} {reteps}> on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:12PM (#11870417) Journal
    Which degree(s) do YOU think will go well with a Computer Science Bachelors?

    When I read this, my first response would be to pit the question on the submitter. Why ask ./? We don't know who you are, your personality, or what you really want to do with your life five years down the road. Sure, you ask what would be helpful to increase your marketability, but marketability in what? My field is education, and I double majored in CS and Math Ed. An Ed degree would be great for any company looking for communication and management skills, but it won't get you very far if you're looking for marketability for anything to do with, say, software engineering.

    I don't know if ./ will be able to help you with this type of personal decision. I've already seen a few friends drop out of college at some point because the only advice they followed was everybody elses, never their own.

    Sure, you can get as much advice as you can take on what might "look good" on a resume, but I also knew a few classmates who tried for a minor that they thought would give them a one-up. In the end, they didn't like what they were studying, were too mentally exhausted to try harder, and just detested the class material so much that they then detested the work that came with it. And no employer's going to want to hire someone who isn't motivated to do their job, that's for sure.

    Figure out what you would really like to do first. If you don't know, try out market yourself with what you have. If you then find something that you'd really like to go for but don't have what the education / experience, THEN you'll find the motivation to take more classes, and you'll know what you need to take.
  • by dduck (10970) on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:12PM (#11870424) Homepage
    It has worked very well for me. There is a renewed interest in devices that work well both technically and UI-wise, but very few people are trained in both diciplines. You will be /in/ the interface... a good place to be, if you want to have real influence on the final product.

    Oh, and it's also a good starting point for striking out on your own as an innovator.

  • by nite_warrior (151737) on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:14PM (#11870441)
    Not only those. The best thing I find about comp sci is that it can be nicely combined with pretty much everything from the "big sciences" to arts or any other thing.
  • I'll second that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vlad_petric (94134) on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:24PM (#11870592) Homepage
    While not directly saying it, what most employers appreciate is the ability to deliver. Best way to achieve this in college? An opensource project.
  • Re:seriously (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:26PM (#11870616) Homepage
    This is by far the best answer in this thread. Perhaps it's the only good answer I've read. I've talked to a couple 19 year olds recently who've asked me what they should major in if they want to get a good job. Like there's a "right answer". Kids starting out always want to know how to get "a good job"-- just abstractly, "a good job". As in, you take specific classes, get "a good job", and live happily ever after.

    If you're thinking about going back to school, just look into a lot of different subjects, and when you find something that you're really interested in, and the idea of taking classes on that subject is sort of exciting, take some classes in that.

    If your real concern is that you're looking for is a token degree to give your resume a superficial bump, than it sounds like the job you're well-suited for is that of a PHB, in which case go ahead and get your MBA. You'll learn all the market-speak necessary to synergize best-business-practices in order to get the greatest possible ROI.

    Otherwise, take some interesting classes and see where it leads you.

  • English! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by saintp (595331) <stpierre.nebrwesleyan@edu> on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:26PM (#11870618) Homepage
    Seriously. You'll stand out among a bunch of other CS weenies who probably barely even speak the language -- not to mention all of the H-1 visa holders. (Ever read /.? Case in point.) An English degree tells potential employers that you can a) communicate effectively, and b) research thoroughly; both are highly valued by the people who do the hiring. You'll be much more appealing than the hordes of MBA grads, whose major marketable skill is that they can say "ROI" a lot.

    If English doesn't appeal to you, any degree in the humanities will look great, since most require language and research skills, and present you as a well-rounded renaissance person, not a single-minded code zombie. (Read: as someone who makes decisions, not as someone who is subject to them.) History is also particularly good.

    Remember: CS majors stereotypically are introverted nerds who can't communicate with anyone who doesn't speak LISP. CS majors with MBAs are stereotypically suit-wearing nerd-wannabes who can't communicate with anyone who doesn't speak Marketroid. Anything you can do to prove that you're not either of those will help a lot.

  • Re:Three Letters: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by acherrington (465776) <acherrington@@@gmail...com> on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:27PM (#11870627)
    Be very careful about when you get your MBA.. Don't get trapped where I am. Currently I have a BS in Networking Technology (kinda a rare degree), and an MBA.

    I worked for two years while doing my masters at night. Where do I stand now? Overqualified a computer posistion and under qualified as a manager of any sort. No companies have been interested. Wait a couple years on the MBA if you are fresh outa college.
  • Re:Biochemistry (Score:3, Insightful)

    by monkeyserver.com (311067) on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:27PM (#11870631) Homepage Journal
    I was looking into this a little while ago. The big thing that people are REALLY looking for here is some one with a PHD in BIO or MED type field, with CS abilities. I mean, I'm sure you could find something, and I'm sure they really need people who actually know how to properly code, but most of the postings I saw were more shortsided and seemed to want a person who was in their field already, but could hack some code together.

  • Re:Indeed (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:28PM (#11870657)
    That's because more people fail in a position for personality reasons than for technical ones.

    Team players with good communications skills may not succeed, but good programmers who aren't team players and can't communicate won't succeed either.
  • The passion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by charvolant (224858) on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:29PM (#11870667) Homepage
    Only do a postgraduate degree if you have a passion for the subject matter. If you do have that passion, you'll have a great time, a really interesting life and meet lots of clever, deranged and interesting people.

    You will also never be rich -- unless you are extremely lucky.

    But that is a judgement call on your part. It is, however, worth remembering that "quality of life" and "standard of living" are not equivalent.
  • Re:Three Letters: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ocbwilg (259828) on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:32PM (#11870705)
    The differentiating factor is going to be whether or not you know anything else. Having an MBA is great, but if you haven't worked for large companies or in management before then your degree is largely theoretical. I liken today's overabundance of MBA programs to the overabundance of MCSE boot camps from 4 or 5 years ago. They'll churn out candidates by the thousands, but unless the candidates have the practical experience to back up their diplomas, they're going to begin to find that those MBAs aren't worth much at all.

    This is not to say that having an MBA with no experience means that you're useless. It just means that you're going to have a harder time competing.
  • by VolciMaster (821873) on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:36PM (#11870786) Homepage
    I've been asked by several people in my church recently what I think would be a good degree path for their son or daughter to pursue.

    You have at least something of a career path framed in your mind, and experince (I presume) with the CS degree. What do you want to do, though, now that you have all that theoretical knowledge? You probably aren't lookign to be a code monkey somewhere, imlpementing what other CS majors have designed, complaining that they never took any of your advice, or even ask for input from you.

    I'm mroe of the IT end of things, working on finishing up my bachelor's degree in CIS. However, I started my 'career' in programming working with a friend on fluid-flow analysis using finite element analysis software that we wrote from scratch. I didn't understand most of the math (I was only in 9th grade when we started), but I did learn a lot through that experience. I learned that I didn't want to just be a programmer. I wanted to be doing work at the systems analysis and design level, system/network administration. Both are high-level, complex job functions where your employer expects you to work at the macro level, but be able to jump down to the micro layers when needed.

    If you liked all the math you did for your CS degree, I would reccommend going back for some form of engineering (I would personally choose mechanical, civil, or aerospace engineering). A few other posters suggested getting and MBA. They're great if you want to get into the business side of things. If you want to work for some place like AutoCAD, though, I'd say engineering will help a lot more than an MBA. If you want to get into running an IT department, then the MBA will give you the business savvy that higher-level management wants, but your CS background will keep you grounded in the technical details that your users will need.

  • Physics or math (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CanadaDave (544515) on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:39PM (#11870818) Homepage
    Physics or math. Stay away from chemistry or biology. If you know physics and math you can figure out chemistry or biology, but not vice versa.
  • Re:Biochemistry (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:42PM (#11870863)
    Agreed, as a Datamining analyst I have had the opportunity to work with Micro-Array Genetic Analysis for a research project at UCSF. As it turns out, the microbiologist doing the research needed the skills of dataminers and mathematicians for more advanced techniques Peason's Correlation and other simplistic statistical approaches. Generally microbiologist are not expert statisticians, or computer experts.

    Persons with skills in computer science, dataminig-statistical techniques, and a knowledge of microbiology, genetics, or other related fields would be extremely valuable in this field.

  • by EZmagz (538905) on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:51PM (#11870984) Homepage
    That's a big IF, mi amigo. Getting into a top-10 law school is very, very hard. Even top-25 is more selective that most can deal with.

    Besides, most CS grads would make horrible lawyers in general for one significant reason: they have horrible communication skills. Lawyers have to be intelligent and very analytical (a trait many with CS degrees have), but also be able to effectively communicate ideas with others (a trait very few CS holders have in my experience).

    Keep in mind this is coming from someone who has a CS degree from undergrad, and a few of my friends (and one of my siblings) have attended the top law schools in the US. Let me tell you this, you'd be hard-pressed to find a group of more rabid alphas that people in competitive law schools. And somehow "CS geek" and "rabid alpha male/female" rarely refer to the same person.

  • by zurtle (785688) on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:52PM (#11871002) Homepage
    It really depends what future you want for yourself, particularly in the short term. I found that coupling

    a mathematics degree with

    software engineering and

    some hardware knowledge makes for a damned useful combination - especially in a communications/signal processing environment playing with all sorts of signals and modulation schemes.

    If you want a broad range of subjects to cover, go for Test Engineering, it covers a helluva lot of areas of interest to most geeks! And I don't mean script-writing etc, that's for the technicians. This is full-on test system implementation - a pivotal position in any engineering company is test automation for hardware/software.

    Take a look at the Raytheon job site, or other sites, they are screaming out for people in test engineering roles! It is a vital role in major companies.

    From my short experience, MBAs are suitable for older people who can't make it up the management chain on their own (this isn't intended as a troll). It is valuable though, as people have plastered all through this thread, the right MBA works wonders, much like a laxative.

  • Re:Three Letters: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:55PM (#11871031) Journal
    Most people that hold MBA's aren't worth the paper their MBA's are printed on...

    As opposed to those with a CS degree?

    You've wasted enough of your life in school. Go DO stuff. How many years did you spend not making shit income in school and how much money did you spend to be there? Imagine what you could have done with that time if you'd gotten a computer, some books, and gone about making shit happen?

    Education is what employers settle for when they can't get their hands on someone with experience. Stop wasting your life and go get started.
  • Re:JD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cfulmer (3166) on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:55PM (#11871033) Homepage Journal
    As a 2d year law student with a long engineering background, I think I have some input here...

    (1) Patent lawyers are occasionally referred to as the "Dermatologists of the legal profession" -- they work semi-normal hours and get paid well.

    (2) Patent is also hard to branch back out of if you don't like it -- you tend to pigeonhole yourself.

    (3) Don't make your decision based on salary -- better to be poor and happy than rich and miserable. Also, while lawyers coming out of the top 12 or so law schools will typically start at $125-135/yr, those salary figures drop dramatically in the next tier. You don't want to rack on a bunch of debt only to find out that you're working more hours but making about what you were before.

    I don't think that a JD would give you any help in management -- the only management skill you learn in law school is time management.

    On the other hand, lawyers are the grease of the economy -- nothing much happens without them. When things go well, you need lawyers. And, when things go poorly, you need lawyers. Not too many legal jobs being outsourced to Bangalore.
  • Gee...wonder why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Monday March 07, 2005 @07:01PM (#11871098)
    They are hired strictly as good team players with good communication skills, who are good corporate citizens.

    So what you're saying is, you can code OK but you have poor communication skills and can't fit in with the corporate structure.

    Don't want to be mean, but it isn't your CS degree that's the problem - the people getting the jobs have those too, remember - it's your lack of social skills.

    Imagine someone with good people skills who can code too? I bet that person gets the job.

    I'd rather see hiring based on pure skills, but that's not how U.S IT companies do it.

    Until you find this magical job that allows you to be the sole developer on your own project, people skills are relevant skills for a programmer. It seems to be something you lack, so don't be surprised by your inability to find a job you feel is commensurate with your coding abilities.

    This isn't college anymore. You don't get to work by yourself. A good coder who can't interact with people is less valuable than a decent coder who can.

    If you care to notice, you could learn a valuable life lesson here.

  • Biology (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spin2cool (651536) on Monday March 07, 2005 @07:01PM (#11871100)

    If you're interested in computational biology or bioinformatics, you'll have it made in either academia or industry. With the genomic revolution looming, people who can apply their knowledge of CS and algorithms to biological/biomedical problems are in HUGE demand.

    Feel free to replace biology with biochemistry, molecular biology, or biomedical engineering degrees, as your particular tastes warrant.

  • Foreign language (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Propaganda13 (312548) on Monday March 07, 2005 @07:03PM (#11871113)
    Foreign languages are helpful. It depends on the company, and where they have offices, plants, or what to expand.

    I've debated learning Mandarin based on the possibility of China's future impact on the market.
  • by ediron2 (246908) * on Monday March 07, 2005 @07:05PM (#11871142) Journal
    For a while after finishing college, you feel drawn back to the college life. Be sure you're not going back just because it's comfortable. If you don't even care if you're gonna become a manager, head-geek, marketdroid, tech-writer, tech-law guru or whatever (what *Degree* depends on your answer to that question), you're seriously not prime for grad school.

    One friend's dad offered to pay for her grad school completely after she'd worked 5 years. Wise man: she's never looked back.

    Another friend, the smartest science/tech student in years at my high school, stopped with a BS, moved to Silicon Valley, and says she'd literally *fall behind* in her field if she left work for 1-3 years. I kind of doubt this, since she could nail additional courses in her area as they paralleled her work until the degree sorta just plopped in her lap one day. She publishes enough. She studies and learns new stuff enough. But the degree also stopped mattering to anyone she knows *years* ago.

    Another friend nailed a triple major, which took him longer than the rest of us. It didn't gain him any of the cash or glamour he bragged he'd get. That's some serious money wasted.

    My own take is that graduate work should wait until you start finding something really compelling to become gods-own-expert in. Let me say it again: if you don't even care if you're gonna become a manager, head-geek, marketdroid, tech-writer, tech-law guru or whatever (what *Degree* depends on your answer to that question), you're seriously not prime for grad school. Take a class or two. Or just dive into some side project to gain some focus: pick a subset from that list of career paths and find a way to get experience in it.

    I did some grad courses, and exited because it was clear that I wasn't sure what I wanted to do yet, and figured if I was going to become a PhD, it had better be in something I gave a rat's-ass about.

    Ten years later, I'm fairly certain what that might be. If I weren't having so much fun with work, wife, kids, life in general, I'd probably go back. Once the kids aren't a delightful distraction, I'll start picking an ideal college/mentor or three to contact and apply to.

    Caveat: grad degrees are candy: I approve, but I don't preach 'em. OTOH, Bachelor's degrees are not optional IMHO: they're a 2-way vaccine: at some point not having one can kill your career advancement; and they're used by employers as a yardstick. Doesn't apply to you, doesn't matter here, but it's a big deal to me: I've seen a few friends really hurt by not having BS behind their name (usually happens pretty late in life). Mileage may vary and that's my humble opinion and the value-of-a-degree subject has been hammered to death on /.
  • Re:Hindi (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dynamo (6127) on Monday March 07, 2005 @07:06PM (#11871147) Journal
    I agree with your predicitons for the future of america, all of those things are already happening, just not as widespread /severe as they surely will be in 2025.

    But what the hell do you suggest the 'Americans' do to 'take destiny into their own hands'? If our crazy leaders enjoy quashing rebellions all over the rest of the world, doesn't it follow that they're deadly efficient at quashing rebellion at home? Our media ignores any protest, or mass dissent our citizens attempt. Our votes are run through republican-controlled machines for tallies.

    We put people to death here with state approval. We send 'enemy combatants' to other countries to be tortured. We have the most expensive and least comprehensive healthcare. We would be spending half of our federal budget on war, except that for some reason the president keeps the war OUT of the budget entirely, as if it's some kind of unexpected emergency that pops up, every 6 months or so. Why do we put up with it? Well, there isn't really much we can do - at least without lots of money. Rights have become de-emphasized in the 'post-9/11' US. Fear is the replacement.

    This is the dark side of the world, buddy.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 07, 2005 @07:06PM (#11871148)
    1. Do something you're interested in (good advice from many other posters). 1) Easier to do; 2)Easier to do good in something you enjoy than to struggle with something you dislike.

    2. If you want to teach, you need at least a Master's. Dept chairs have to manage their faculty degree ratios, so the "higher" your degree, the more useful you are. Otherwise, I wouldn't focus so much on levels.

    3. If research interests you, then the M.S. -> PhD in compsci is the path.

    4. The most useful course I ever took: Business Law (yes, I slept through English comp...). In just about every job I've had in 25+ professional years, I've had to know something about contracts and contract law. Even in the technical jobs, you're typically working on one end or the other of a contract, so it is extremely helpful to know how your work is directed. This advice would push preference to business degrees, but see #1 first.

    5. It's not about the degree, it's about what you do with it. Your most valuable asset is the package you present to employers, and I'm not talking about diplomas. Your ability to think, communicate, and execute are formost on the minds of folks who have to rely on you to do their work. Use the experience of pursuing a degree to enhance your ability to think, communicate and execute. I know tons of folks with paper who have a hard time getting through the day, because they focused on the paper and not the experience behind it.

  • Re:Indeed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AmigaAvenger (210519) on Monday March 07, 2005 @07:15PM (#11871250) Journal
    i just spent a couple months on an interview committee for a MS systems admin. we had one saying, skills can be taught, soft skills can't. If you give a good interview and conduct yourself well, demonstrating excellent intrapersonal skills, it will go a LONG ways to cover any inadequicies in your computer skills.
  • by mertzman (87638) on Monday March 07, 2005 @07:16PM (#11871269) Homepage
    I know a few people here at my university who are dual majors in CS and Political Science. At first it seemed like an odd combination, but it works quite well both in terms of academics and employment prospects.

    Political Science classes tend to be pretty flexible in terms of managing writing and reading assignments, so they mesh good with the more deadline-intensive CS projects. Since Poli Sci tends to emphasize writing, its also a good major to build your language skills with. (Not to mention, a political theory class with a unit on Machiavelli has priceless potential when its lessons are applied in the workplace!)

    In terms of employment, there are a ton of opportunities in academia, business, and government. There's a surprisingly large demand for techies in political research, as things like polls often require lots of customized code to carry out statistical analyses. Then there's the government potential... a Poli Sci degree is a ticket into many government agencies, and combined with Comp Sci, you bring useful and much needed tech skills... (you'd be especially well suited if you wanted to go down that whole secret agent CIA/NSA/FBI sort of route).

    Similarly, Sociology or Psychology also work well with CS from what I've heard, for many of the same reasons. So definitely don't overlook the social sciences as an option.
  • Re:Hindi (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cj79 (718594) on Monday March 07, 2005 @07:32PM (#11871457)
    Based on some of the IT people I have worked with, taking some English courses and being able to actually compose a readable email could go a long way.
  • Electronics (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Zone-MR (631588) * <slashdot@z[ ]-mr.net ['one' in gap]> on Monday March 07, 2005 @07:36PM (#11871503) Homepage
    How about Electronics then? You know how to write great code - but how about combining this ability with some in-depth hardware knowledge in order to design the next killer gadget?
  • by aquarian (134728) on Monday March 07, 2005 @07:48PM (#11871626)
    You speak as if getting these degrees automatically "qualifies" you for a career in patent law. The fact is this is just a foot in the door. Many people get that foot in the door, only to fall on their face because they lack the *talent* it takes to be a patent lawyer worthy of the kind of pay you're hearing about.

  • by rajdash (865780) on Monday March 07, 2005 @07:52PM (#11871652)
    Hmmm. Why not pick something that interests you. As someone with 27 years programming experience, lets just say that money isn't everything. Nevertheless, I've had a hard time getting full-time computer work for over 3 years (at least in Canada; I get offers to the States but can't move just yet). So I'm now preparing to beef up my math background with a BA Math, MSc Applied Math, and hopefully a PhD Applied Math.

    On the other hand, there are several combinations that would make you very marketable:

    Masters of Technology - similar to an MBA but specifically geared to technology companies

    Law degree - Computer Law is sorely lacking in knowledgeable people. Look what's going on with the US Patent Office. Ridiculous patents are being granted for "algorithms" that belong to Mathematics, not to some powerful conglomerate. Once upon a time, patents couldn't be granted for techniques in the public domain. So why has that changed?

    Electrical Engineer - You just might become the creator of the next CPU design.

    Human Kinetics - Computers will never go away. How we use them might. So design input devices that suit our physiology makes great sense. Let's get rid of poorly designed laptops, please.

    Geography degree - maybe you'd enjoy pairing your Comp Sci degree with digital mapping and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Geographical analysis for business and government use has been increasing steadily since the mid-80s. GIS has many, many applications. While you do not need a full Geography degree to use or even design a GIS, knowing geographical/mapping terms, spherical projections, etc., is quite useful.

    For those of you with a strong creative bent, pair up your Comp Sci with:

    Fine Arts - ever consider being a digital illustrator/ animator? Our Canadian arts colleges seem to have most of our grads snapped up by Disney and other American companies

    Music - Electronic composers are making a name for themselves on TV shows like CSI, CSI:Miami, and CSI:NY, amongst others. Unfortunately, it's not that easy to get into this biz, nor in computer game music. (Check out the Los Angeles Institute of Music's distance course "Music for the Media" at www.musicforthemedia.com.)
  • by Anthony Liguori (820979) on Monday March 07, 2005 @07:55PM (#11871678) Homepage
    A good patent lawyer doesn't simply tell their client whether something is patentable. A good patent lawyer finds a way to make whatever their client brings them patentable in the broadest way possible.

    If you have any doubts about how well the patent system works, this job is not for you. It's very much like a typically defense lawyer. Your job is to get the person the lightest sentence possible regardless of crime with faith in the fact that the system in general will work regardless of your abilities.

    I'm not making a judgement about how well the system works or doesn't work. Just pointing out that you should consider this before you pursue this path.

    And for what it's worth, dealing with IP lawyers has been the most pleasant lawyer-related experience I've had. Extremely bright people.
  • by syukton (256348) * on Monday March 07, 2005 @07:57PM (#11871695)
    Until you find this magical job that allows you to be the sole developer on your own project

    It isn't that magical. Do independent work on a contract basis building one-off utilities or small websites. Then you're self-employed, which even removes the complication of somebody dumber than you telling you what to do.

    Division of labor is actually somewhat a curse in larger organizations though, because you need everyone in the same room in order to really accomplish anything. In a lot of situaitons a project is made out to be much larger than it really is because those involved don't want to put forth a real amount of effort. I know all about this sort of thing; I'm a contractor for a certain loathed-by-slashdotters software company in Redmond, Washington. Division of labor is good when discussed as a concept in CS classes, but is badly implemented by MBAs.

    I really, honestly, would rather have 1 single, lonely, friendless coder who can rock my socks and doesn't mind working late because he *likes his work* instead of a whole team of guys who're just there for the paycheque and don't feel passionate about their work and spend most of their time thinking about their (boy/girl)friend/wife/kids/friends/hobbies/car/etc instead of the code in front of them.
  • Re:Indeed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by provolt (54870) on Monday March 07, 2005 @07:57PM (#11871699)
    I would absolutely agree with the need for balance. However, I think finding someone with acceptable coding skills is an easier task than finding someone with acceptable communication skills.

  • Re:Three Letters: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doomdark (136619) on Monday March 07, 2005 @07:58PM (#11871706) Homepage Journal
    Education is what employers settle for when they can't get their hands on someone with experience.

    Actually, while experience is very valuable, I'd rather not hire a programmer that has no college education. Although it is possible to learn everything CS degrees teach without attending actual school, very few people do that. It's just more efficient to learn that as part of a degree -- although you have to learn quite a bit more than what you will eventually need, you never know which parts are things you do NOT need. Without knowing at least something about compiler theory, relational model, discrete maths, data structure basics, algorithms etc., you aren't much of a software developer; no matter how much experience you have doing more trivial programming.

    At least in CS it's simple: like they say, simple problems were all solved in 60s (if not 50s). If you do not learn what the great minds learnt/invented/solved (but rather go and solve them by trial and error... or worse, never learn them!), you are just colossaly wasting your time. Either you are ignorant of useful techniques, or you have used awfully lots of time reinventing the wheel.

    However, after learning enough (B.Sc, or maybe M.Sc... depends on kinds of things you are working on), I certainly agree one has to go out and use the knowledge. Going for higher degrees without intervening real-world experience is as silly as ignoring 'formal' CS theory altogether.

  • by dbueno (552265) <dbueno&gmail,com> on Monday March 07, 2005 @08:12PM (#11871868) Homepage
    This isn't college anymore. You don't get to work by yourself. A good coder who can't interact with people is less valuable than a decent coder who can. If you care to notice, you could learn a valuable life lesson here.

    I have (generally) found that in many cases those who are good coders but have bad people skills really only have "bad people skills" because they have to deal with (1) terrible programmers on the same project or (2) silly rules they shouldn't have to follow, but have to follow (for whatever reason). It's not that the person has a hard time getting along with anyone, it's that most of the people with whom he interacts (in terms of the given project) have no idea what they're talking about, and this he is disinclined to talk to them, because it is of no use.
  • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Monday March 07, 2005 @08:22PM (#11871973)
    (1) terrible programmers on the same project

    That'll happen. How you respond to it is up to you. But really, I personally wouldn't want how I interacted with that person to screw my chances in a company. If you're talented, you're bound to be surrounded with people (at least some) who aren't as good. There are constructive ways of dealing with that. Condscension or insults aren't a good way.

    (2) silly rules they shouldn't have to follow, but have to follow (for whatever reason).

    Shit, man, that's called life. My last boss drive me near to the brink of insanity. That's when it's time for deep breathing and/or a beer. Copping an attitude about it isn't a good idea. And often, there are good reasons for things that you don't know about or understand.

    It's not that the person has a hard time getting along with anyone, it's that most of the people with whom he interacts (in terms of the given project) have no idea what they're talking about, and this he is disinclined to talk to them, because it is of no use.

    Look, I think I know what you mean, and minimizing the fraction of your time that incompetent people waste is NOT "bad people skills." That's "good time management." The idea is to realize they're idiots, but not to allow them to notice this. That means being friendly, trying to help them gently, trying to give them stuff to do that is within their expertise, etc. And it's not like it's their fault if they can't code as well as you. It's not an excuse to be an ass, but it is an excuse to do everything you can so your work doesn't depend on them - preferably without them noticing. That's called playing the game.

  • by Seoulstriker (748895) on Monday March 07, 2005 @08:26PM (#11872024)
    Unlike what is suggested by the parent, you don't "pick up" a little bit of molecular biology, or bioinformatics, or computational biology. The focus of your studies should be in studying the biology and then dabbling in a little bit of CS. Hell, I'm doing computational biology research and datamining bacterial genomes, and you hardly even need to know how to develop applications. I've primarily been doing scripting in PERL, and I'm trying to pick up a little python. If you know the fundamentals of programming, you don't even need to take a CS course.

    If you're not motivated to do the biology coursework behind bioinformatics, you will not get anywhere in your career. Labs want people who can code a bit, not people who understand the fundamentals of designing operating systems. Mathematics, statistics, and scripting will get you farther than CS and a bit of bio will ever get you. Choose wisely.
  • Re:Three Letters: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by boodaman (791877) on Monday March 07, 2005 @09:00PM (#11872324)
    School is a waste? That's just wrong.

    If you want to work in the same position all your life, then great. Stay out of school, and just get experience.

    If, however, you don't want to stay in the same position all your life, go to school. It is a must.

    If you have 20 yrs experience in a job (or 5, or 10), all that says about you is that you can do that job. Period. It says nothing about your potential, it says nothing about your willingness (and ability) to extend yourself, it says nothing about what you CAN do or MIGHT do given the chance, it only describes what you've DONE.

    I'm speaking firsthand...I used to think like you...who needed college? I've been coding since I was 12 (over 25 yrs). I was writing business apps in COBOL before I could drive a car. And yep, I got some good jobs as a developer and sys-admin. But those were the ONLY jobs I got, and I only got those jobs in small companies (less than 100 people). Why? Because I didn't have a degree.

    The year after I went back and completed my degree, I was hired into a Fortune 10 company at a 60% increase in salary, one annual review from management. This is after continually being rejected by that company and similar companies.

    What changed? Did I learn a new language? Nope. Get certified in some new technology? Nope. Get another year, or 5, or 10 years of experience? Nope. The ONLY thing that changed was getting my degree.

    Does not having a degree mean you can't do a particular job? Probably not. But I can tell you firsthand that without the degree, your options for growth, variety, and additional responsibility are severely limited. The game might suck, but in most cases, you still have to play it, and that means "punching your ticket" at the undergrad level, and eventually the grad level.

    School isn't for everyone, and I totally agree that you should have a plan for getting a return on your investment. I know people getting their MBA who have no plan for how having their MBA degree will make a difference in their careers, or what kind of job they will need afterwards to make getting the degree worth it from an expense perspective. I think that's lame. However, I think getting the degree is an excellent idea, provided you have a plan for working it to your advantage.

    To the original question: don't get a MBA...in another year, MBAs will be a dime a dozen, like MCSEs. If it were me, I'd specialize: MS in Library Science, or MS in Information Systems, or MS in Technology Management, or MS in Information Assurance, etc.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 07, 2005 @09:11PM (#11872419)
    And while generally considered a 'soft' science, psychology is great if you have an interest in AI and think that the pure CS approaches are going nowhere fast.
  • Re:Three Letters: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by utlemming (654269) on Monday March 07, 2005 @09:20PM (#11872471) Homepage
    However, this presents an interesting attitude -- those with degrees think they are better and those with out degrees think that they are also as high. Usually those with out a degree are the ones that malaign education. Where I work, there is an interesting relationship. I work as Garden Center Manager, while pursuing my degree in Information Systems. All of my knowledge in plants is that which I have learned on my own and through on the job experience. My knowledge is practical in the area of horticulture. My problem is that I don't have a sufficent framework to understand how some of the products work. Sometimes the formally educated comes to me to ask questions, and sometimes I go to them to ask them questions. From my experience of having learned how to program on my own, and drawing on the experience of having worked with plants, I can see the value an education. I have become a much better programmer learning in a formal structure. The value that I can see is that formal education teaches people how to think the same way and why things are done in a certain way.

    I guess the point here is that the formal and informal learning all have value. It seems like those who haven't had a formal education have an inferiority complex, and those who have had a formal education have a superiority complex. A degree in whatever, while merely a piece of paper represents that the person has done something, and learned how to learn. I know that the lessons that I have learned in college are far beyond the classes I have taken. And if I would not trade what I have learned for anything. Sure it would be nice to make a ton of money right now, and to enjoy the perks, the evolution of my character, personality, and knowledge is worth too much to me. When I graduate, it is going to be worth far more than a piece of paper: it will represent a period of my life where I have grown up a whole lot.
  • by cybersavior (716002) on Monday March 07, 2005 @09:26PM (#11872517) Homepage
    I'm currently a freshman student going for a B.S in Computer Science. Now, I will admit that I dont have the same expirence in the coporate world as many of you all have had, however, I am dual-majoring in Philosophy.

    I originally considered dualing with an MBA but thats what *everyone* has. I like to think (and hope) that in the coporate world, individuality counts for somthing. If 30 programmers apply for a position, all having CS/Business degrees and 1 applys with a CS/Philosophy degree, I would hope the Philosophy guy would get the position.

    Now, I also chose Philosophy because I think its fun. Part of going to school is not just learning to help you in the job market, but to actually better yourself through knowledge. I would suggest find somthing that interests you and go for that.
  • Re:Three Letters: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by I_Love_Pocky! (751171) on Monday March 07, 2005 @09:28PM (#11872524)
    I've noticed that people without an education generally seem to view education in one of two ways: Either they wish they had more education, or they denounce education as a waste of money/time. All I can say is that the later opinion is rather short sighted, and I think it stems from a desire to prove that they are every bit as good as someone with an education. But what does it mean to be just as good? In the context of programmers, does that just mean that they are just as good at programming? Programming isn't a difficult task, and if that is all some one wants to do in life, then I admit that a CS degree is probably not going to be necessary.

    Maybe you can do what someone with a CS degree is supposed to be able to do, but education isn't just about learning marketable skills. I'm just about done with a Masters in Computer Science, and I can certainly tell you that getting the degree was well worth my time. I really feel like I have a much broader understanding of Computer Science now, and that is worth something to me. Maybe it won't make me more marketable (I think it will), but money isn't everything. I love the subject, and I love learning about it.

    I recommend a masters degree to anyone who just wants to know more.
  • Re:Three Letters: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by I_Love_Pocky! (751171) on Monday March 07, 2005 @09:41PM (#11872609)
    I've got a degree in Physics

    That is hardly not having an education. If I could recommend any other degree (other than CS) to an aspiring programmer, it would be Physics. It may even be preferable to a CS degree. There is no question that getting a Physics degree shows that you can think (and it helps develop those skills).

    The point is, surely, that a piece of paper is no substitute for skill, talent and passion for the subject matter.

    Agreed, but my point was that I often hear people who don't have an education attack education as worthless. I really don't see how they could know that.
  • Re:Three Letters: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kjs3 (601225) on Monday March 07, 2005 @10:01PM (#11872743)
    Most people who think MBAs aren't worth the paper their printed on don't understand MBAs, business or where their paycheck comes from and why.

    Ken - who is thankful that he's getting an MBA and understands that there is a bigger world out there.

  • Re:Three Letters: (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 07, 2005 @10:25PM (#11872906)
    I don't understand why people seem to think that the only way to be educated is to get a degree. I've seen people with degrees not know what the degree purports to show they know. I myself don't have a degree - but I'm self driven as far as being educated goes. I've been told by people with Masters and Bachelors and Ph.D.s that I shouldn't worry about it, that I know my CS and they know I know my CS.

    The point, to me, isn't that education is worthless. Education in the abstract is obviously priceless. The point is that there often is too much focus on what can be silly peices of paper.

    Not having a degree doesn't mean uneducated. Having a degree doesn't prove you're educated, in all cases.

    Do you see? The recognition of knowledge held shouldn't be based only upon a peice of paper. If you go to a college, and manage to get a degree, but don't actually care about learning, just about making it through and getting the degree - the degree ends up being meaningless. Sure, you went through the motions, and you get some 'advantage' over a guy like me who doesn't have a degree - but are you really educated? (Note that 'you' in this is an abstract 'you', not anyone in particular).

  • Serious answer (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rs79 (71822) <hostmaster@open-rsc.org> on Monday March 07, 2005 @10:46PM (#11873027) Homepage
    Law degree. Specialize in intellectual property. Fight the good fight; resist the dark side. I have as friends a number of people with (science/cs) PhD's that became intellectual property attornies. The are all exceptional people and the world is a better place because of them, not worse.

    Itis utterly shocking the number of intellectual property "attornies" that don't actually understand the law.

    The world needs a few more good IP lawyers.
  • by CharlesEGrant (465919) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @12:17AM (#11873823)
    It is an attitude unfortunately typical of a young person trained in physics or math. I'm speaking with a blush here because I remember saying similar things 20 years ago.

    My original education was in physics but years later I got a B.S. in chemistry. The physical chemistry classes were relatively easy, though by no means a cinch. Synthetic organic chemistry blew my mind: terrificly hard puzzles that couldn't be framed in terms of math. I've since encountered similar depths in genetics. I still love physics and math, but I no longer accept Rutherford's claim that all science is either physics or stamp collecting.
  • by gosand (234100) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @12:30AM (#11873904)
    You'll also have to cope with the huge influx with people graduating with MBAs over the next few years. I have to wonder if the market is going to be flooded with too many MBAs soon.

    Don't get me wrong. Education is a good thing, but it really seems like everyone and his sister are enrolling in an MBA program.


    Which I think pretty much answers the posters question. If there is a flood of MBAs in the market, someone with an MBA and a BS-CS degree would definitely stand out. Maybe not as much as if there were no MBAs in the market, but an MBA with a CS degree is defintely a benefit.


    Of course, you might get stuck doing the MBA stuff versus the CS stuff. Personally, I wouldn't want that. I would recommend getting experience in the "real world" and not worry so much about the extra degrees. I would rather hire someone with the extra experience under their belt.

  • Re:Three Letters: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RWerp (798951) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @04:12AM (#11874970)
    I've noticed that people without an education generally seem to view education in one of two ways: Either they wish they had more education, or they denounce education as a waste of money/time.

    Simple: sour grapes.
  • by rjshields (719665) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @05:24AM (#11875200)
    I really, honestly, would rather have 1 single, lonely, friendless coder who can rock my socks and doesn't mind working late because he *likes his work* instead of a whole team of guys who're just there for the paycheque and don't feel passionate about their work and spend most of their time thinking about their (boy/girl)friend/wife/kids/friends/hobbies/car/etc instead of the code in front of them.
    I hope I never work for someone with that attitude! My family is far more important than my job, and always will be. I pity those for whom work comes before everything else, for their lives will surely be less fulfilling. Work is something which you do to earn a living. Work to live, don't live to work.

    And that person that you hire who enjoys working overtime and has no life outside of work will alienate others in your company because he is a miserable git. Why else would he have no friends and no life? A healthy life outside of works makes people more productive inside work. Happy and fulfilled staff are happy and productive workers.
  • Re:Three Letters: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pzs (857406) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @10:01AM (#11876377)
    I've got a PhD in CS and have been postdoc-ing 2 1/2 years. I'm currently looking for new work.

    I got a call from a recruitment agent about a Python job. I have quite a lot of Python experience since my PhD code was all in Python and I've used it for all kinds of jobs from databases to my mp3 jukebox. However, when I started telling him about this he said that only *commercial* programming experience made any difference. He said, and I quote, "The fact that you could do this job with your eyes shut is neither here nor there, the people who employ you will need to justify their decision and they will do that with commercial experience".

    This obviously means that a Geography graduate with 2 years working for a crappy IT consultancy has more effective programming experience than me, even though I've been programming for more than 10 years.

    I'm not saying that this agent is typical, but nevertheless I think that as long as you have the minimum (probably a degree), quite a few employers don't give a rusty f*** about how much more education you have.

    Peter

  • Re:Three Letters: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by I_Love_Pocky! (751171) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @01:16PM (#11878427)
    I've never had any formal training but I can guarantee that my understand of CS is broader than yours.

    Probably.

    What is Computer Science? I'm curious to hear how a self-taught individual answers that question.

    Education isn't something you go into a special building to do.

    No, it's something you can go into a special building to do. A lot of people have responded to me claiming that they didn't learn anything getting their BS in Computer Science. I have a hard time believing this. I imagine they went to school to become programmers, and were disappointed to find out that Computer Science has very little to do with programming. These are the folks who really did waste their time (if they can't see how all of the other stuff they were "forced" to learn broadens their experience). If they wanted to be taught programming in a structured setting (Personally I'd prefer a book), they should have gone to a tech school.
  • Re:Three Letters: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cheetr (747099) on Tuesday March 08, 2005 @03:14PM (#11879874)
    I've got a rinky-dink piece of paper from a school that no longer exists. Took me 8 months to get, wasn't worth shit, wasted a lot of money, haven't used anything that I learned in there since I got out.

    All I can say is choose your schools/programs better. Some off the wall certification in using windows or some crap from "Computer School Incorporated" is not even close to what real education is. On the other hand, you only learn by teaching yourself. Programs and Professors are only facilitators.

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