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Is the Master's Degree the New Bachelor's?

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the controlling-the-rate-of-eduflation dept.

Education 330

Hugh Pickens writes "Laura Pappano writes that the master's degree, once derided as the consolation prize for failing to finish a Ph.D., or as a way to kill time waiting out economic downturns, is now the fastest-growing degree, with 657,000 awarded in 2009, more than double the level in the 1980s. Today nearly two in 25 people age 25 and over have a master's, about the same proportion that had a bachelor's or higher in 1960. 'Several years ago it became very clear to us that master's education was moving very rapidly to become the entry degree in many professions,' says Debra W. Stewart, president of the Council of Graduate Schools. 'There is definitely some devaluing of the college degree going on,' adds Eric A. Hanushek, an education economist at the Hoover Institution. 'We are going deeper into the pool of high school graduates for college attendance,' making a bachelor's no longer an adequate screening measure of achievement for employers. But some wonder if a master's is worth the extra effort. 'In some fields, such as business or engineering, a graduate degree typically boosted income by more than enough to justify the cost,' says Liz Pulliam Weston. 'In others — the liberal arts and social sciences, in particular — master's degrees didn't appear to produce much if any earnings advantage.'"

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When jobs are scarce, this happens (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36874908)

We would not be having this discussion if things were booming. Back in 2000, you could get a job if you could spell HTML. The reason M is the B is that degrees for many/most jobs serves as a WAY TO CUT DOWN THE PILE FOR HR. Nothing more, nothing less.

Re:When jobs are scarce, this happens (5, Informative)

snowgirl (978879) | about 3 years ago | (#36875060)

I noticed that as well. The article talks about how Master's Degrees are a way to wait for the end of an economic downturn, and then "master's degree enrollment has been up since 2009!" It's like, uh... you realize that you just explained why it's gone up, right?

Re:When jobs are scarce, this happens (2)

frosty_tsm (933163) | about 3 years ago | (#36875468)

I noticed that as well. The article talks about how Master's Degrees are a way to wait for the end of an economic downturn, and then "master's degree enrollment has been up since 2009!" It's like, uh... you realize that you just explained why it's gone up, right?

The increase of Master's degrees might also be an increase in students who don't want (or aren't ready) to enter the job market after their senior year. In my dabbling in graduate courses, I found many CS students who couldn't software engineer themselves out of a bag. They might command a higher starting salary, but usually a B.S. software engineer with 2 years of experience will be paid more than a M.S. with 0 (and after the first few years, experience pays more than the extra degree).

(disclaimer, I'm only talking about CS)

Re:When jobs are scarce, this happens (1)

Artraze (600366) | about 3 years ago | (#36875680)

Not only does working instead of being in school earn you experience that makes you more valuable, but it also get you something else: money. Even if the MS gets you a few more peanuts as year (which, as you rightly point out, isn't at all likely), it'll take a log time to make up for all the wages you "lost" going to school for two years. This is even more true for Ph.D.s.

Quite frankly, the M.S. is becoming the new B.S.: people don't really care about it. As the higher education bubble bursts and employers realize that degrees mean very little, they start looking for ability, experience and proof of being an effective worker. That you get by being in the workforce for two years, not school. I'd personally look at an M.S. wearily. They could have expanded their knowledge, but they also could have just been putting off working (not positive). Given the way many C.S. programs and students are, I think in this case if more often the latter.

Re:When jobs are scarce, this happens (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 years ago | (#36875792)

You know, there's a reason we spell "B.S. in software engineering" as "BS software engineering". With BS being the abbreviation for something VERY different.

I stopped looking at degrees when it comes to hiring programmers and SEs. Experience in team leading is a plus, for everything else hand over some sample code.

Re:When jobs are scarce, this happens (3, Interesting)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 3 years ago | (#36875470)

Master's Degrees are even worse than Bachelor's Degrees, though. It's well-known that the entire college system is a huge money-making scheme, and quality has gone down in favor of appealing to more students and drawing more money. Lawyers go to law school, doctors go to med school, often after they have a bachelor's or master's in their field: it's a separate school.

College is for engineers. Learn about math, sciences, physics, engineering, the like. But colleges are trying to push silly stuff like IT management and things that require technical skill sets that are constantly changing and not based on a whole hell of a lot of basic theory. Look at programming degrees: programmers know way too little about how to program and way too much about yesterday's programming languages and today's buzzwords. Programmers learned C++ and Java but had no clue how to deal with raw C, and many of them didn't have the programming background to understand a new language; then .NET happened, and it's like, oh crap, what is this?

Lawyers need to apprentice with a legal professional--I know, I've seen it. Culinary chefs need to apprentice for a while, too. Doctors apprentice--as nurses, then as apprentice doctors. Programmers don't apprentice; managers don't apprentice; Engineers don't apprentice. I don't understand this.

Then on top of it you have dance students and students playing musical instruments, and what do they do? Learn the history of art, learn how to paint, learn about math and science. Why? Why do I need this to be a tuba player? ... why the hell am I taking a bachelor's in tuba?

And then on top of it, $10 textbooks of constantly decreasing quality released on shelf for $200 with a new revision every 4 months so you have to buy new. WTF?

Put some quality into the education and I'll put some stock into it.

Re:When jobs are scarce, this happens (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 3 years ago | (#36875684)

Education is what you decide to take out of it.
I left college enriched and with a new set of skills that I felt made me very valuable in real life. Others who took the same classes, could barely use any of the tools and had much harder time and were quite unprepared and only knew C++ (even though they took the same classes when I was out I had C, C++, Java, Python, Lisp and many others under my belt (Those were new technologies at the time))
Because after I was taught the basics I expanded further to try to actually master the topics vs. just enough to pass the test.

I came in to college knowing how to Program, and I majored in Computer Science. I saw that it improved my skills and was worth it.
Others got less out out. Because they decided not to be educated in the topic but get the degree.

The value of the Masters is the fact that after getting the first degree they went back to more... And a lot of those people who didn't decide to invest in their undergrad didn't come back, leaving Master students more people who wanted to invest in their education, vs. just getting the paper.

It isn't as much the school, but the culture of education, where actually wanting to learn stuff vs. just passing the class is discouraged.
Colleges know that that why they are so much more expensive, more and more money goes into non-education... They go to making bigger and fancier classrooms (But if you check the utilization of the current classrooms you can see that most rooms are empty, and they just need a cheaper refurbishment, but to the colleges who are collecting money, a new building is so much more effective then getting money then refurbishing the old classrooms) So much is wasted and little is invested in the students.

Re:When jobs are scarce, this happens (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875688)

In Canada, engineers do apprentice, for an additional 4 years after getting an accredited degree. You have to work under the direct supervision of a Professional Engineer for it to count. Then you can get your P.Eng.

Re:When jobs are scarce, this happens (1)

chispito (1870390) | about 3 years ago | (#36875702)

managers don't apprentice

Huh? What successful business doesn't have a management training program or, at the least, an assistant manager/team lead for on-the-job training?

Re:When jobs are scarce, this happens (2)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | about 3 years ago | (#36875742)

and me with no mod points. I have been criticizing the college system for two decades as mostly good advertising, along with hiring managers with the "well I went through it so dammit they should too" mentality.

for most professions (not all, but most), 90% of your classes in college mean jack shit towards your profession -unless- your profession is teaching, in which case you will then teach students the same crap you yourself didn't need to learn.

I'm really wondering what the internet and the information age is going to do to traditional university education. Today, you can learn anything you want from your own desk. You don't need to pay $20,000 a year in tuition. you don't need to pay half as much again in board and books. You don't have to go by the contrived, busy-work centric, once-size-fits-all lesson plans of professors who really just want their pet research projects funded and could give less of a crap about the classes they're forced to teach. want to learn something? Pull up a half a dozen web pages, pdfs, instructional videos, ebooks, design deconstructions and analyses, etc.

In almost every field, once you get into the real world you find that experience trumps the piece of paper. When it comes down to "this guys has a piece of paper saying he's spent the last 4-6 years learning theory" vs "this guy has a piece of paper saying he's spent the last 4-6 years doing this job", the latter wins.

At least until you want to get into management...

Re:When jobs are scarce, this happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875788)

You've jumped around quite a bit here, so I'll have to jump around with my responses.

Nurses aren't apprentice doctors. They are distinct, but complementary, fields.

Engineers often do apprentice in the broad sense that you are using the term. In many jurisdictions, using the term professional engineer to describe yourself is contingent upon working under a professional engineer for some years after getting your engineering degree.

Programmers are less likely to directly apprentice. In large part because it's potentially a fairly independent job. If you work on a large project and are a new programmer, you *will* be either mentored or ignored.

Managers do apprentice. It's not often one is hired directly out of school to make 100% of the decisions for the entire company. Either they start a company on their own, or they have their own manager to answer to.

Once you started talking about the arts I started thinking that's none of your business. Not everything a person does has to be about making bluefoxlucid happy. Maybe they wanted to learn the history of art. Maybe the guy taking his bachelor's in Tuba doesn't want to work for the bluefoxlucid Culinary Hospital of Programmer Management Engineering. Almost anyone not going into Law, Medicine, or possibly business school (for the risk-takers -- it has higher variability in pay and unemployment than the other two) is already making a suboptimal choice from the point of view of maximum lifetime cash earning potential. Drawing the arbitrary line at the arts reflects only internal biases against the arts.

in the 90s... (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | about 3 years ago | (#36875576)

I was once told that HR considers engineering MS = BS + 4 years of work experience and nothing more.

Re:in the 90s... (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 3 years ago | (#36875738)

I was once told that HR considers engineering MS = BS + 4 years of work experience and nothing more.

And as someone that does hiring, I will take that BS+4 every day of the week.

Re:in the 90s... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 years ago | (#36875812)

If there's someone with "nothing +10 years xp" I'll take that guy instead.

In the fine arts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36874938)

... the advantage is that you can GET a job. By and large the previous generation, as in most things, has a clear advantage in gainful employment, with or without the MFA, but even most of them don't want to talk seriously with you unless you're at least working on one. Unless, of course, you only want to load/unload a truck or schlep heavy boxes. Then an undergrad degree will do.

Huh. (3, Insightful)

tthomas48 (180798) | about 3 years ago | (#36874952)

Engineering is interesting. But the MBA is a vocational degree, so it doesn't really fit into the traditional college degree format. Perhaps in the economic downturn you need to not only prove you can think (Bachelors Degree), but prove you've received specialized instruction in your field (Masters)?

Re:Huh. (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 years ago | (#36875464)

But the MBA is a vocational degree, so it doesn't really fit into the traditional college degree format.

Except that as I understand it, there's an increasing trend to do a Commerce degree, immediately followed by an MBA. For some people, this is the new traditional college degree format, it just takes 2 more years for your B. Comm or whatever it is to actually count for anything.

Of course, the problem with this is that an increasing number of MBA's have no real experience in anything but university, so when they get out into the world, they think they know how everything works -- and they think their years in business school have made them Experts.

Not to slag the concept of an MBA, but I am willing to bet more than a few of us have seen what happens when someone who is essentially a fresh college graduate thinks he knows how to run an engineering entity (and, in fact, doesn't know how to do anything).

The engineers and tech people I've known with MBA's at least make sense and fit with the original intent of an MBA in the first place -- to give more formal business rigor to people who came from different disciplines. But if you've basically just spent 6 years getting your MBA, and have never worked on anything, you're going to discover really quick that your stunning lack of experience and domain knowledge makes you a liability. Or, sadly, the management people won't realize it until you've already destroyed something you didn't understand in the first place.

And, given what a Master's has always implied ... I really do find it tough to believe that it's becoming the new Bachelor's degree.

Re:Huh. (1)

Svartalf (2997) | about 3 years ago | (#36875644)

A BS degree proving you can think? Heh... It is to laugh. They typically don't teach you to think these days- they teach you all sorts of odd notions in a misplaced line of thought that they need to "prepare you for the workforce". The degree in question is just proving that you can pass four years' worth of this odd assortment of classes in many cases with many schools.

An MS is a bit better as it's focused towards doing that task, actually- especially if you're doing a Thesis instead of the test route. Maybe someday I'll even get back to trying to get mine.

I would not recommend someone getting the PhD unless they plan on being a Professor somewhere, getting lucky in getting a research job, or scoring an executive officer role somewhere- at least right now that is. "Overqualified" is often what I hear told to my friends and associates that have Doctorates.

Re:Huh. (1)

MetricT (128876) | about 3 years ago | (#36875706)

As someone with both an MBA and most of a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, I have to disagree with calling the MBA a vocational degree. It involved a lot of thinking and learning about the subject matter, the world, and myself that I've found quite invaluable.

As it turns out, economics, like physics, is largely the study of phase transitions, whether it is water freezing into ice when T Mschwartz, or your overleveraged economy imploding into depression when # savers > # consumers.

The difference is, Congress isn't going to pick a fight over whether water freezes or boils at 32 F, whereas there's currently a barroom brawl over essentially, whether the economic universe is Keynesian or Austrian. A good knowledge of managerial econ and org behavior helps you understand both the stated reason, the real reason behind the stated reason, the incentives, the players, and the chumps. It lets you see the poker game/game of chicken for what it is.

The two biggest sins of my MBA program is that they forced us to read Thomas Friedman, and didn't force us to read Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

Ten years ago, CS was filled with money-chasers. Today it's the MBA. Tomorrow it might be engineering for all you know. Don't demean a degree and body of knowledge just because of the people who chase it it.

Re:Huh. (1)

MetricT (128876) | about 3 years ago | (#36875752)

The 2nd paragraph was supposed to say:

As it turns out, economics, like physics, is largely the study of phase transitions, whether it is water freezing into ice when T # consumers.

Re:Huh. (2)

Ghostworks (991012) | about 3 years ago | (#36875726)

For engineering, a MS represents more training and (one would hope) deeper understanding. You can do fine without one, but it may open some doors. Generally a good idea financially speaking. PhDs are a bit of a gamble, in that you become the premiere expert on some very niche subject, and you only have a few years to capitalize on that. And you better love that niche. And if you don't complete it in ~2 years, you will probably never fully recoup the opportunity costs.

For the sciences, PhDs are pretty much required in the long run.

For business, MBAs are an HR person's first cut. Hiring? First, call all the masters holders. Downsizing? First, fire everyone without a masters. Promoting? If one has a masters, it's easy to pick him. Not looking to hire from within? Require an arbitrary degree/years experience/niche expertise combination that cannot be met by in-house candidates. There are plenty of people with masters out there, and it's a safe, quick, easily tested, legally defensible way to sift through people.

For the arts and humanities, you're either going into academia (doctorate required), a field where no degree matters as much as ability, experience, and willingness to work (in which case school is just to filter out the most untalented), or you're going to have a business-related job having nothing to do with your degree (in fact, your degree proves you can show up 90% of the time and do a task of moderate complexity for at least four years). Correspondingly, a higher level degree then shows: 1) you thought you would be in academia, but couldn't hack it all the way to the end, 2) you're moderately talented, potentially useful, but nothing too exceptional, or 3) you were waiting out the economy.

We're telling more and more of our kids that the road to success is a college degree. We need to be telling them that the road to success is in actually being useful, that college is one way that one may become useful, and that not every degree is equally valuable.

Re:Huh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875806)

"We need to be telling them that the road to success is in actually being useful, that college is one way that one may become useful, and that not every degree is equally valuable."

So true!

One must take a path that, when combined with personal drive, can make you useful and marketable in the world. There is an entitlement mentality in the United States that takes many shapes and forms. One of them is that a college degree entitles you to a (desirable) job. The reality is that, if you are useless, you will get no such thing.

Anyway, I digress. I agree with everything you stated. Well said!

Re:Huh. (1)

PJ6 (1151747) | about 3 years ago | (#36875778)

the MBA is a vocational degree

Huh? Isn't "vocational" supposed to mean "useful"?

Seriously, I'm only half joking - plumber, electrician, carpenter... useful. MBA... seriously?

Not all Bachelor's Degrees are created equal... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36874966)

"making a bachelor's no longer an adequate screening measure of achievement for employers"

What many employers fail to realize is that various Bachelor's Degrees require different levels of work. Some much more than others.
A BS in Engineering or BA in History require extensive reading and research. A generic "Business Degree" requires just showing up to class.

Re:Not all Bachelor's Degrees are created equal... (3, Informative)

lennier1 (264730) | about 3 years ago | (#36875142)

Some of those require a mix of intense training and natural talents.
There's a reason why "MBA" is said to stand for
Master of
Backstabbing and

Re:Not all Bachelor's Degrees are created equal... (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 3 years ago | (#36875822)

Some of those require a mix of intense training and natural talents.
There's a reason why "MBA" is said to stand for
Master of
Backstabbing and

... and I'm all out of backstabbing.

Re:Not all Bachelor's Degrees are created equal... (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | about 3 years ago | (#36875350)

BS in Engineering

Don't forget the "c" out of BSc. BS in Engineering is something else entirely, for example, the perpetuum mobile :-)

Re:Not all Bachelor's Degrees are created equal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875678)

Don't forget the "c" out of BSc.

Bronze Swimming Certificate?

Re:Not all Bachelor's Degrees are created equal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875764)

"Don't forget the "c" out of BSc. BS in Engineering is something else entirely, for example, the perpetuum mobile :-)"

So, you're saying Newton's Laws are in error? Perpetual motion is garanteed by Newton's Laws.

Re:Not all Bachelor's Degrees are created equal... (3, Interesting)

BetterSense (1398915) | about 3 years ago | (#36875672)

Yes, but both easy and hard degrees serve the function of laundering classicsm. The unstated value of college degrees, in my estimation, is that they provide the corporate world a politically-correct avenue for helping them select candidates that are 'the right kind of people'.

In fact, joke liberal arts majors serve this function very well, because the knowledge itself is useless, thereby providing even stronger evidence that the degree holder comes from a well-off background.

Re:Not all Bachelor's Degrees are created equal... (1)

dnahelicase (1594971) | about 3 years ago | (#36875724)

"making a bachelor's no longer an adequate screening measure of achievement for employers"

It's just like grade inflation.

Recently going through school, I can tell you that today's "C" is basically the same as yesterday's "D" or "F". If you care about your academics you get an "A" for "good" and a "B" for "passing".

It's the same with advanced degrees. I found myself in an internship that led into a job where I could start working instead of getting a masters - but for me, and practically everyone I went to school with, a masters degree was just as expected as college was after high school.

Graduating high school in the middle-class suburban world just means you're life isn't screwed up to the point where you couldn't make it. Getting a bachelors just means, again, that you aren't a screw up. There's very little pride or sense of accomplishment in a bachelor's anymore.

Capitalism at work (2)

Old VMS Junkie (739626) | about 3 years ago | (#36875032)

Easy access to on-line degrees and the for-profit colleges are huge drivers in this. There was no University of Phoenix (or whatever) back in the 1960s. If people can make money at it, you can bet it's going to expand until every dollar that can be spent is being spent.

Re:Capitalism at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875252)

If people can make money at it, you can bet it's going to expand until every dollar that can be spent is being spent.

What good is a dollar that isn't eventually spent? Is it that a fool will choose to quickly spend it on something with little worth that bothers you, rather than saving it to exchange for something more important, like food when they're unemployed?

Re:Capitalism at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875422)

"What good is a dollar that isn't eventually spent?"
I know that it has gone out of fashion, but I answer: investment.

Re:Capitalism at work (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875472)

Investing is simply spending on things you expect to be able to sell for more than you bought them for.

Re:Capitalism at work (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 3 years ago | (#36875482)

A dollar spent on a worthless thing is a dollar lost to the economy. Wealth is destroyed to concentrate it unnecessarily.

Re:Capitalism at work (1)

nofx_3 (40519) | about 3 years ago | (#36875270)

That was my first though, out of the 657,000 degrees quoted in the article, how many were from top tier universities and how many were from for-profit degree mills?

Re:Capitalism at work (1)

The Mighty Buzzard (878441) | about 3 years ago | (#36875384)

Rest assured that even top tier universities are entirely for-profit institutions. They simply charge a hell of a lot more to make up for the lower volume.

Re:Capitalism at work (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 3 years ago | (#36875484)

What profit? The money that universities generate do not go to any investors or ceo. There are no dividend payments? Revenues that the university generates goes back into the operations of the university.

Something you would know had you attended one.

Re:Capitalism at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875612)

Hahahahahahaha, the guy tasked with running a private University doesn't get any additional benefit for bringing in more money than it cost him to run the University in a year.... sure, no 'profit' there huh?? Ass.

In Europe (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875528)

I dunno. TFS specifically mentions that people go back to school to wait out a down-turn, but then fails to connect the dots between the 2008 downturn and a glut of MAs and MSs in 2009. I got mine for just that reason (from a real school, FWIW).

Also, if you look at what is happening in Europe, after the Bologne reforms everybody who goes to University these days is getting a Masters. This is because under the new system a Bachelor is only 3 years long and the Master is another 2. In reality, neither of the EU degrees are worth what the synonymous American degrees are worth*, but I bet that in the global workforce this is pushing a lot of Americans to get the Master's simply to have equivalent bullet points on their CVs.

* This is not flame bait. My Master is from a European university; I have every interest in singing its praises, but the simple fact is that the degrees are earned in much less time and the the resulting quality of education suffers.

If you're paying for your masters... (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 3 years ago | (#36875054)

You're doing it wrong. Most masters programs purportedly won't pay you to get a masters, but at least at my University I haven't seen anyone without some sort of research assistantship or scholarship to pay tuition+stipend. At least in Engineering; the situation is probably very different for English or Education majors. Then there are those whose employers will pay for the masters degree. Honestly if you're going to spend another $80k for two more years of post-college education, it's not worth it for most fields. When it's free, that's a different matter all together.

Re:If you're paying for your masters... (2)

Renraku (518261) | about 3 years ago | (#36875284)

With engineering you don't exactly have to get a master's to make decent money. Most people are fine with the $50k+ with benefits income range for a four year degree. Whereas for other sciences and degrees, you might have to get a master's to be qualified to do anything more than sweeping a floor at a lab.

Re:If you're paying for your masters... (1)

dbc (135354) | about 3 years ago | (#36875546)

Well, while it is true that you don't need more than a B.S. to get a good engineering job, you might not get the one you want. Even 15 years ago when I was hiring at Intel, the first level sort was to discard any resume that wasn't at least an M.S. That still left us with more than we could do a thorough job of processing.

Unfortunately, Intel H.R. made our jobs as hiring managers much more difficult by putting all resumes through the "resume cuisinart". At that point in time, all resumes that did not come in as plain ASCII text were OCR'd and everything was put into a data base. The "Objective" field was specifically eliminated from the database because H.R. told us we should not be using it. No matter how many times or how loudly we told them that the "Objective" section of a resume was the most useful in finding a person that fit our needs, HR refused to budge on this issue. (Again, this is an ancient anecdote, YMMV.)

So, my advice: 1) Get the M.S. in engineering, you will be glad you did. 2) Write a thoughtful, truthful, and polished job objective sentence. Smart hiring managers are paying attention to it. 3) If you want to get into a large company, try every entry point that you can. Hitting the HR department with a "fire and forget" resume is a crap shoot, even at companies with the best of intentions.

Re:If you're paying for your masters... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875728)

Who the fuck reads the "Objective" field of a resume? And thinks that said objective is even remotely useful?

Objective: To get this fucking job beotch!

Anything that is remotely put in that field is nothing more than shit. Stand on your CV...if your education and work history can't get you a job, then you're a fucking failure (*)...the Objective doesn't mean shit, and is the most useless part of a resume.

* Yes, the economy sucks ass, and that means that many qualified people have trouble finding work...but honestly, if you think having the perfect Objective is your ticket to success, then it's no fucking wonder you're still shlubbing around looking for work.

Re:If you're paying for your masters... (1)

Ghostworks (991012) | about 3 years ago | (#36875526)

"If you're not getting paid to do your masters, don't do it."
My first day of grad school orientation, a professor said this. After many skeptical glances around the room, as if to ask "wait, are _you_ getting paid? I'm not", that prof was shooed off the stage, and there was some talk of financial hardship that year. Later, a guy from the union gave a little presentation on why grad assistants should join, starting with "everything in the pamphlet about the union's successes last year applies to permanent staff, not grad students. Grad students are still in a terrible spot, so please join." As with all "doing it wrong" statements, this one does not capture the entire picture, and the picture is changing from year to year.

Most of us were working through school. (The fact that you're working for a university lab or prof doesn't make it somehow less like work.) Some of us were working for a university-owned research lab and got pay+tuition. Most were GRAs to a professor, and getting paid but not pay+tuition. I felt _really_ bad for some of the natural sciences folks who are expected to contribute to the labs as part of their degree without getting paid at all.

Which is why I got a phd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875160)

I saw this masters trend years ago so just got the top one to not have to worry about it...

Re:Which is why I got a phd (2)

Dunbal (464142) | about 3 years ago | (#36875266)

I'll see your doctorate and raise you 30 publications.

Re:Which is why I got a phd (1)

sgt101 (120604) | about 3 years ago | (#36875514)

An author rang his publisher in a state of high excitement: I've just written a book that's 100,000 words long... So how much is that worth?

Well (say's the publisher) it depends on two things.

What (say's the author)

Well - which words and in what order.

Yup. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875210)

It is.

Because bachelors' are fluffier (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 3 years ago | (#36875248)

It seems to me that technical bachelors degrees involve less learning than they did maybe 40 years ago. So maybe a Master's degree these days == the same level of technical education as a bachelor's degree 40 years ago?

Re:Because bachelors' are fluffier (1)

dbc (135354) | about 3 years ago | (#36875574)

Is it that, or the level of specialization needed to work in a technical field these days? A BS in engineering these days hardly has time to cover more than the foundation courses.

Nearly 2 in 25? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875286)

How about 8 in 100? I suspect it's closer to 6 or 7 in 100, which might lessen the impact.

I want to see some with a masters in golf aka won (0)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 3 years ago | (#36875294)

I want to see some with a masters in golf aka won the masters so I can say I have a trophy that says that for a job that needs a MS.

A degree means nothing if you cannot perform (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875300)

The possession of any degree doesn't prove a person has the ability to perform outside of an academic setting. I've known plenty of educated fools who couldn't think if their lives depended on it. What I mean by "think" is the ability to engage in independent thought by which one arrives at tangible real-world results. Look at the work of Robert Noyce,
or Bill Gates, or Watson and Crick, or Burt Rutan, if you want examples of tangible results. Note that not all these
people even had a degree. It's the man ( or woman ) that counts, not the piece of paper.

A degree might get you in the door, but actual performance keeps you from being escorted out of the building
by security while you carry with you the contents of your desk in a cardboard box.

Basic Statistics? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875304)

Ummm... no...
This simple chart [] pretty much answers the question. There are related links on the site to get more specifics.

Once upon a time (5, Insightful)

overshoot (39700) | about 3 years ago | (#36875306)

... college, any college, was an entry into the officer ranks in the armed forces. With even one year of college you got routed to officer training, otherwise you were cannon fodder.

Why, you might ask? Simple: because it screened out the lower classes such as Okies.

Back in the early 70s, the hiring officer for my first job after graduation had a sign on his wall: "A four year degree means a man is trainable." (Yes, "man." Times were different and nobody even pretended to be gender-neutral.) He explained it: "If you can put up with four years of bullshit to get a piece of paper, you can stick out the six months it'll take us to train you to be useful."

Pure screening system. The whole idea isn't that you learn anything particularly useful in college, it's that it makes it easy to reject enough candidates to keep the applicant list manageable.

Well, now more people have BS degrees and they need to screen more people out. It's just that simple.

As an Okie... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875550)

Most of them aren't like that idiot in Tuttle was. Some of them may be uneducated- but that's not the same thing as "lower classes" and you should really, really refrain from making remarks like that.

Re:As an Okie... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875614)


Re:Once upon a time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875800)

troll? or bitter liberal arts dropout?

What a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875314)

I have 4 Bachelors, 3 Master, a ThD, a PhD, and by the end of the year I'll have finished my DS.

Lots of fun but no jobs waiting. Guess it is back to begging for research grants.

Re:What a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875440)

Hang on in there, you might find something you're good at.

Re:What a joke (1)

fusiongyro (55524) | about 3 years ago | (#36875662)

Aww, shucks, I guess that means nobody's hiring theologians.

NCLB (1)

blueforce (192332) | about 3 years ago | (#36875316)

Some of those Master's degrees are just teachers trying to keep their jobs under the "Highly Qualified" provision of the No Child Left Behind act.

MBA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875330)

A Masters of Business Administration from a late night television mill doesn't count.

go for it! (1)

digitalsushi (137809) | about 3 years ago | (#36875334)

Me though, 60 grand of undergrad debt, minus whatever I chipped off these past three years (a bit!), I've gotten the need to feel smart out of my system. I am working, making good money, and hedging my bets -- I wouldn't bet on me to finish the master's and get an even higher paying job to cancel it out.

But my opinion is worthless since I am employed. Ask someone who's been out on the front lines, trying to find work and ask them how bad one needs a master's degree.

Same thing in science (0)

Hatta (162192) | about 3 years ago | (#36875344)

There's not a whole lot you can do with a BS in the sciences except get into grad school.

Re:Same thing in science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875584)

Just look up BS in the urban dictionary and you'll see what it's worth.

Yes (0)

ModernGeek (601932) | about 3 years ago | (#36875356)

I'm sure that all the overpaid provosts and student loan agents on commission will agree. Most engineers I know started their own companies, built products, and got rich. University had little to do with it. Now I can understand the value in something like Civil or Structural Engineering, or some medical programs, but everything else is mostly liberal-arts garbage. Even at that, I'm sure that experience / aptitude testing through organizations like ABET could all but eliminate today's dead College/University system.

Re:Yes (1)

Svartalf (2997) | about 3 years ago | (#36875590)

Actually, we still need something that educates people to actually form coherent chains of thought and to know when to seek information elsewhere. Experience and Aptitude testing won't get that for you. Unfortunately, the Education system, including the College system, has become more of an indoctrination machine- so it needs to be overhauled or replaced. What you propose, though, isn't enough.

Degree Inflation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875368)

I'm seeing this happen all the time. It seems like that a masters of some kind is required for STEM work, whether that is a technical or business masters. I've seen it happen in other industries upgrading from masters to doctorate: pharmacy, audiology, and nursing. In the case of engineering, it seems like schools are struggling to cram everything into a four-year degree. There's not just the old technical stuff, but large capstone projects, computer classes, and electives spread the BS too thin.

Not that I think this is a bad idea, though. Don't get your masters right away -- get out and work, and then see if you need a masters to further your career. And if you're getting a technical masters, for God's sake get a teaching or research assistantship. Don't pay for it.

Sure it is, maybe even worse. (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 3 years ago | (#36875376)

Yes it is, likely it's worse, because even Masters is not what it used to be when education counted.

We had these talks [] already here, haven't we [] ?

The culprit is the fact that government provides loans to anybody who wants them, the education system is aimed at eating up those loans and spitting the students out with huge debt and nothing to show for it, as the students are convinced by the system that they need a degree to get ANY job, never mind a job in their profession, because everybody is getting a degree. The money is being transfered from the tax payers/inflation via printing to the colleges, be they public or private, and the results of-course are rising prices for education and worsening of standards, as nobody is allowed to fail, people are graded on a curve, because a failing student only means that the college will make less money but the result of either passing or failing is pretty much the same, nothing of value is really taught anyway.

The problem is that nobody actually cares about the education itself, because it doesn't matter if you know anything or not, we have just discussed the reasons for that here as well [] , haven't we?

Who cares what you actually learn there if all you are concerned with is getting any degree just to get any job, so people go for the easiest subjects and in the process they accrue somewhat of mortgage size debts, while not learning anything useful there either. [] So this is inflation of the education process and it's happening because there are moral hazards created by the government with the loans and because there are no jobs anyway, the government is pushing all the manufacturing out of the West by causing capital flight by regulations/taxes, etc. The students stay in school much longer, accruing much more debt because they are scared of coming out into the real world, because obviously there are no jobs.

At some point some of them have to come out, but with the education they have many find that their next option is to go through another school, to take up law and to become a lawyer, so this is another problem created by the system - too many lawyers, because so many students are switching to that, thinking that this is the next possible step for them from their sociology major. Of-course they won't go into hard stuff, sciences, engineering, who blames them, there is no demand!

Definitely true (1)

pz (113803) | about 3 years ago | (#36875382)

When I was finishing my Bachelor's degree an embarrassingly long time ago now, my parents made more-or-less the same observation, and encouraged me to continue on with my doctoral work.

From my experience with a career in academia, I would say that the expectations of society have not increased, resulting in a more educated populace, but that the requirements for obtaining a bachelor's degree have eased. There are people I interact with on a regular basis that didn't study one whit in college, and yet have a degree without having had unusual brilliance to rely upon to get them through.

Degree Inflation (1)

alvinrod (889928) | about 3 years ago | (#36875386)

There's too much emphasis on having a Bachelor's degree these days so it's driving people to get a Masters as some way of differentiating themselves to perspective employers.

I know a few people who are working jobs that have nothing to do with their college degree, but many jobs want experience or a degree from applicants. One of my relatives also just started his own landscaping business, despite having a Chemistry degree. Why he needed to pour nearly $100,000 into a degree that he'll never use is beyond me, but it seems that even the village idiot needs to have a degree these days.

Re:Degree Inflation (2)

Lifyre (960576) | about 3 years ago | (#36875530)

He probably pursued the chemistry degree because he liked chemistry in high school and was told he needed to go to college to be successful in life. He then grew up and realized he wanted to do something he enjoyed and took up landscaping. For many people college can just be a place to mature in a somewhat controlled and protected environment.

Re:Degree Inflation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875536)

You don't see how landscaping and chemistry are related? At least you aren't the landscaper.

Re:Degree Inflation (4, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 3 years ago | (#36875770)

I know a few people who are working jobs that have nothing to do with their college degree, but many jobs want experience or a degree from applicants.

Hell, I'd say that most of my friends with college degrees work in fields that have nothing to do with their degrees....self included.

My BS is in Biochem...yet I've never worked in that field ever. I tried for med close a few times, then moved on. Been doing DBA work, data modelling...and some slight sys and application admin stuff. During the school years...sold clothes retail, worked restaurants, bartended...head chef in my own place for I really don't yet know what I want to be when I 'grow up'...

But, having that degree...sure gets the foot in the door, that and actually having a personality and being able to promote yourself and talk to people helps. Heck one of my first technical jobs...I got hired...and was in a group of software guys...who ALL knew so much more about everything than I did....(and I did learn a lot from them over those years), but I'd hardly been there a week, and the group had to give a presentation to the users we were creating a GUI for to front end an older mainframe system. Well, everyone in the group was petrified to stand up and present in front of what was a small group of maybe 20-30 people tops.

I promptly said I'd do it...if they'd coach me on what to say, etc. I gave the talk, and when I hit something I didn't know or remember, I'd call on one of them to chime in with a quick answer...etc. No problem.

After looked very favorably upon me...and my career has gone up ever since then.

I've found that you don't always have to be the best technical person...but having a gift of gab, being friendly and getting along with all.....having people skills will carry you a LONG way.

Real value of a masters (5, Interesting)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | about 3 years ago | (#36875434)

It's been my experience in the engineering field that going straight through school to the masters degree is far less useful than getting the bachelors, working for a while and then getting the masters (or concurrently getting the masters while you're working your first job out of undergrad). The academic type can come out of a masters program and still not know squat about actually getting things done, making them basically useless. On the other hand, those of us who have gotten a bachelors, worked a while, and then gone back for the masters really do get more value.

When I see a resume pass my desk that is for someone who went straight through to a masters, I'm actually less likely to recommend them. They often don't have any better real world skills but they cost more to employ while you get them trained. In fact, they tend to be harder to train as they are so completely immersed in academia and have a hard time making the transition to the real world. On the other hand, internship experience while going straight through school does compensate quite a bit. A few terms doing real work while going to school makes all the difference.

I've got a better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875442)

Funny, I'm doing just fine in engineering (medical devices) and I didn't bother with a bachelor's either. I kind of wish I had it just for the cred. some people ascribe to it, but it seems to me that if you're smart enough to hack it you can either, A) spend the dough and earn your chops through 4 years of college, or B) study on your own whilst working your way up at an actual job. I did take a couple years of college courses around my work schedule for my higher math, but overall I'd say my work experience has been a far more valuable selling point at interviews. I've worked at a number of different companies in a variety of industries from medical to industrial to agriculture, been on design teams that won awards, had a lot of fun doing it, and I've never had a student loan. Would I spend the money on a master's? If I had it lying around, probably, but I certainly wouldn't spend the time and money to go back and get one at the expense of what I have now.

Gears and Axels (1)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about 3 years ago | (#36875452)

Jobs have changed because there aren't as many of them. Machines do a lot of the tasks that used to be done half a decade ago. As a result, more higher education jobs are in demand and fewer menial tasks are required. These are the first steps towards pushing the entire monetary system to total collapse.

Mechanization displaces menial jobs, and as mechanization becomes more advanced, so too will more jobs become displaced for two reasons: 1) machines perform most specialized tasks far better than a human and 2) machines are far cheaper, don't form unions, and can work every day of the year.

For example, take the taxi driver. He must perform a difficult task of driving and navigation. However, recent advances in artificial intelligence have allowed Google to create an entire fleet of cars that more or less drive themselves. While only experimental, these will become more and more integrated into society. Taxi companies may eye it suspiciously at first, but it will eventually overtake the industry.

Taxi drivers do not need degrees. So you can see how the demand for jobs that use our more basic skills are being phased out and replaced. Jobs that require creative thinking, complex problem solving, and complex pattern recognition are in demand, because machines cannot do them.

tech IT need more hands on / on job training or (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 3 years ago | (#36875456)

tech IT need more hands on / on job training or at most 2-3 years school + 1-2 years tech school But masters For help desk? desktop support? IT ADMIN? Coder?

Maybe MASTERS or MBA for IT manager but even then I want a manager be more on the tech side then the class room side.

Long term you can't have people in school for 6+ years to get a level 1 job and then need 1-2 years on the job pick on how things are done?

Is this really a surprise ... (0)

MacTO (1161105) | about 3 years ago | (#36875462)

When people have a hard time getting menial jobs unless they have a high school diploma, jobs that require grade 6 literacy and math skills at best, is it really any surprise that masters are becoming the new bachelors?

Part of the reason is that employers need some way to differentiate potential hires. Better degrees represent more responsible individuals who have an ability to acquire and retain knowledge. As an added bonus, if the degree is in the right field, they also offer more skills and may have more relevant training.

Would a grocery store prefer a high school graduate over a drop-out? Of course. Why would they want to hire someone who probably didn't attend class punctually and worked hard enough to pass it?

Would a bank want an MBA over a BA? Of course. Why would they want to hire someone who isn't willing to continue their training to adapt to a changing workplace?

Granted, there are more cynical reasons too. But I'll leave others to bring those up ...

A Long Time Ago (1)

Lifyre (960576) | about 3 years ago | (#36875500)

I came to this conclusion a while back when I was looking into the job market and I was running across a very significant number of "entry level" positions that were requiring masters degrees.

These days completing a A.S. degree basically means you can learn, something that graduating high school should prove but hasn't for decades. A B.S. degree typically means you've been exposed to the fundamentals of your field but will likely require extensive training. While a Masters implies some sort of competence in the field. Regardless of the truth of these statements that is how they are perceived and people are trying for every leg up they can get especially in a competitive job market.

More degrees = More Skeptical (3, Insightful)

Moof123 (1292134) | about 3 years ago | (#36875512)

Of all the PhD's I've interviewed for engineering positions, only a couple got my vote. Most are too specialized, too arrogant, and generally too stuck in the clouds.

Master's folks are 50/50'ish. Same story, but there are a lot more mixed in that turn out to be great engineers and simply wanted to know (or earn) more. I still greatly adjust the thrust of my interview questions when I see the advanced degrees, as nothing is worse than a dolt in sheeps clothing, as management is usually too slow to catch onto the real score in time.

Bachelor's folks who slip in and are idiots are SO much easier to get rid of later, or at least much easier to train into someone who can hold the right end of a soldering iron. Generally bachelor's folks realize they have a lot to learn, while the PhD's not only don't know any more, but they adamantly believe they know it all.

makes sense (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875522)

People live longer, work longer, so why not go to school longer? Its not like the world is getting simpler, in fact quite the opposite.

2010 Bachelors = 1980 High School Diploma (1)

tommy2tone (2357022) | about 3 years ago | (#36875524)

I'm not sure how it was back in the 80's but as a recent graduate (2010) and current Graduate Student in engineering, with the job field how it is now, you need minimum a 3.5 GPA to even consider getting a decent job straight out of undergrad. A masters is the only other way to really search for a job. Otherwise, you can really only count on 1 or 2 job offers coming out of college, both of which will involve some sort of CAD or low level programming. In my graduating class, i know of at least 3 people who should not have graduated but skirted some of the requirements because of solely who they knew. IMO that downgrades my degree. The Bachelor's degree is turning into a high school diploma.

Re:2010 Bachelors = 1980 High School Diploma (1)

vlm (69642) | about 3 years ago | (#36875658)

I'm not sure how it was back in the 80's but as a recent graduate (2010) and current Graduate Student in engineering, with the job field how it is now, you need minimum a 3.5 GPA to even consider getting a decent job straight out of undergrad.

Note that after many years of grade inflation, a 3.5 is roughly equivalent to a 2.0 from the 90s. So warning old timers don't freak out when you see a 3.5.

For a piece of paper? (1)

jlutes (1971840) | about 3 years ago | (#36875534)

How much longer can our workforce afford to higher someone because they own a piece of paper and not on their ability?

Yes (1)

Orleron (835910) | about 3 years ago | (#36875554)


2 years for a Master's degree, or 2 years working? (1)

Chees0rz (1194661) | about 3 years ago | (#36875618)

In 2 years, I made it to the Grade Level of Entry Level Masters (from Grade level of a Bachelor's). And I have 2 years of salary, and 2 less years of loans. I think I came out ahead.

Now, if I want to switch companies... okay... I may be in trouble?

college degree format is a poor fit for lots tech (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 3 years ago | (#36875620)

college degree format is a poor fit for lots tech fields but it seem to be like some certs that all it can prove is that you can pass tests or get away with cheating at them.

Now by cut downing the math a bit, downsizing the gen ed, cutting filler classes then maybe you can get a masters level in 4 years and a BS level in 2-3. But even then in some tech jobs the theory is next to useless and more hands on based work is much much better some jobs some theory is a better fit but still take a theory loaded CS BS VS a IT tech school AA/ BA and what is better for stuff like networking? help desk? IT admin? windows admin? programer?

Useless already. (1)

Lance Dearnis (1184983) | about 3 years ago | (#36875622)

The Bachelor's Degree, in my experience (Of having gotten one, graduated, and entered the job maket) is nigh-worthless already in actually working. Someone said that it signals you're willing to do the 'deep dive' - in short, that you have tolerance for an extraordinarily large pile of bullshit to be shoveled into you.

But you know what I've learned, very quickly, in the business world?

They've got no interest in shoveling it at you! They've got to actually produce a product of some kind, that people want to buy, in order to survive! The colleges work on a circlejerk philosophy; the more people they produce, the more valuable their product becomes (As you're comparatively worthless - see how they cut on Masters just because they can), and thus, more demand for their educational product.

If you know economics, lemme put it this way: For colleges, when their supply goes up, their demand also goes up. And based on how tuition is skyrocketing, at a faster pace. This is why janitors will have PHDs; they set a standard and keep raising it. Nobody seems to care that the experience is irrelevant - at least not now. Businesses can hire Masters at BA prices right now with such a crappy economy, so they win. Colleges get more money, so they win. The student loses if they don't get a degree because of the competition. The student loses if they do get a degree because they're wasting more money. And the quality of the degree is meaningless because even from the same INSTIUTION, the professors you have make a monumental difference. (I had two professors who were crappy enough to get FIRED! Compared to other students in my class who took classes in a different order, thanks to that, they're much better prepared then me.)

We need an educational overhaul. The teachers are problematic, the obsession with testing is pointless, the obsession with degrees is pointless, and we're just stacking illusory value on top of illusory value so that nobody realizes just how screwed up it all is. Too busy looking at the new sleight-of-hand to remember the old. Can't wait for it to collapse and stop wasting time as college gets away from academia and back towards more useful skills and teaching.

In a word: no. (2)

nimbius (983462) | about 3 years ago | (#36875638)

listen, the correlation being made isnt valid.. The majority of the planet is facing one of the largest economic recessions in history. when you factor in jobless, many places in the united states harbor as much as 25% real unemployment. around 40 states in the united states of america are actively borrowing money from the federal government to pay for unemployment.

people are gobbling up loans and going back to college under a historically burdenous debt, but this isnt because one degree has suddenly become any more enticing than another. People have equated a masters degree with a greater potential to find work; this conjecture wasnt even remotely true before the recession. loan officers are encouraging this because they have a monetary incentive to do so.

expect upon graduation the same fate to befall education as has housing. These newly minted masters graduates will find themselves declaring bankruptcy and defaulting on education loans.

Too easy (1)

ericdano (113424) | about 3 years ago | (#36875670)

I think the problem is more like it is way to easy to get a BA, and a Masters. Seriously. They pretty much rubber stamp it in the California educational system.

Re:Too easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36875832)

Err... if you aim low, maybe. I'm pretty sure you just can't waltz onto the campus of Stanford, UCB / UCLA or USC and bump out with a BA / Master's; those are ridiculously competitive schools.

This always happens... (2)

CannonballHead (842625) | about 3 years ago | (#36875736)

As a collection of humans, we learn more and know more. Perhaps more knowledge is now necessary to be generically knowledgeable about things in general.

Did I learn super focused job skills with my BSc in Computer Science? No. Did I learn? Yes. Was it useful? Yes, it has been.

Did I learn super focused job skills with my BM in Theory and Composition? No. Did I learn? Yes, tons. Was it useful? Yes, very. Not for my money-making job... but there's more to life than making money.

IT needs trades like plumbers / electricians (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 3 years ago | (#36875772)

are very hands on and IT is in own way much of the same and job like the ones listed have a apprentice system that is a mix of class room + hands on.

Now in IT there is lot that you can only pick up by doing hands on well maybe high level stuff is better picked in the old fashion class room system but that still makes you lacking in the area of doing the install, support, roll outs, on the fly fixes, shoehorning it in to a older system and so on.

Um, duh? (2)

Gavin Scott (15916) | about 3 years ago | (#36875776)

"Laura Pappano writes that the master's degree, once derided as the consolation prize for failing to finish a Ph.D., or as a way to kill time waiting out economic downturns, is now the fastest-growing degree[.]

Er, doesn't this sentence totally explain the current phenomenon, thus rendering the whole discussion rather, um, academic?


People who couldn't get a job with Bachelor's (0)

brainzach (2032950) | about 3 years ago | (#36875808)

If you can't get a job with a Bachelor's degree, I don't see how spending two additional years at school will add value over someone with two years of real world experience.

Not worth it for me (IT Analyst) (1)

NYMeatball (1635689) | about 3 years ago | (#36875828)

For me this is something I've already internalized and decided on: As much "fun" it would be, and nice in terms of self-worth, and all those happy feelings, there's basically zero benefit to a master's degree in my field at this stage (or any) in my career.

I entered in with my Bachelor's as a code monkey, got as far as that could take me, and now I've transitioned into the all too common analyst/PM role after only 3-4 years total in the business. In particular with the company I work at, most of the day to day stuff is outsourced anyway.

I've considered going back to school to get my MBA, as that has actual potential real world value, but the long and short of it is, once you're in the industry, you can get by a lot further with (1) Basic people skills (2) Actually doing your job well (3) Knowing your corporate system and exploiting/adapting to it (See #1 again)

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