Taro Logo
2

Is an online Master's Degree in Computer Science worth it for a non-CS Bachelor's degree holder with 2 YOE?

Profile picture
Data Scientist at Tata Consultancy Servicesa year ago

Hello Taro Community,

I hope everyone is well. I am a 2020 graduate of a Bachelor of Technology in Electronics and Communication, and I have been working in the IT industry for two years now.

As I consider furthering my education, I would like to ask for your collective insights on the value of an online Master's Degree in Computer Science for someone like myself, who holds a non-CS Bachelor's degree. I would greatly appreciate any experiences, advice, or recommendations. Thank you for your time and support."

178
3

Discussion

(3 comments)
  • 4
    Profile picture
    Ex @Mata @Microsoft, Founder Algolab
    a year ago

    There is one more similar question on should an engineer get a master's degree or not. Please search for it as well.

    First of all, define motivation to do the master's degree. Be very clear about it. What benefits you might get from this degree? Is your motivation to get a title to show to potential future employers? Is your motivation to get better at computer science fundamentals or specialization? Are you interested in research and potentially Ph.D. afterward? Or to go aboard on a student visa and find better opportunities in the world?

    Based on the motives, the answer will be different.

    For title, don't bother. The future employer who will be impressed by a title is not worth having you. Ignore such employers. They are backward and will not help you grow.

    For knowledge, don't bother as well. You are far better off in terms of saving time and money by doing a targetted study at an online course website like udemy.com or doing a short boot camp (on the algorithms, distributed systems, data engineering) at places like algolab.so.

    For research and Ph.D.: Definitely yes.

    For getting a visa to go abroad: Definitely yes.

    I went to do a master's from Germany in the hope to do Ph.D. and also getting to see the world. It was worth it for those two reasons. I didn't end up doing Ph.D. but the theoretical courses I did were very enlightening and helped me appreciate theoretical computer science. But those courses didn't help that much in my job.

    I hope it was helpful.

  • 2
    Profile picture
    Startup Engineer
    a year ago

    It's unlikely to be that useful compared to the skills you'll build at an engineering job. But like everything, it's the value you get out of it that matters. For me, I was inclined to choose a Master's in an adjacent field that has knowledge that is rare and hard to pick up—which is why I did Human-Computer Interaction.

    I also tend to think of qualifications as something of a red herring... The thing that is going to make you stand out is not going to be your Master's degree. Just food for thought: your competitive advantage when competing for a job is more influenced by supply and demand (the rarity of someone's skills relative to the market) than the qualification itself (M.S. in CS, 5+ years of experience, knows Java, C++, or Python).

  • 1
    Profile picture
    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    a year ago

    In short, you can do a Master's if:

    1. You need it for visa reasons
    2. You genuinely enjoy academia

    Aside from those 2 scenarios, I haven't seen it help much. Then again, I live in the US. I know that TCS is big in India, and things may be different there.

    I recommend going through these other discussions as well: