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  • So I'm thinking about getting my masters

    HI GUYS.

    So I was thinking about getting my masters today after I interviewed someone. After I was destroying them with questions I asked them what they did their thesis on for their masters and she said, Well I didn't do a thesis. I was O RLY?

    She said she got a masters in computer science and simply had to take a comprehensive exam which sounds sweet as hell to me. I'm not a fan of school anymore but if it means I get an extra 10k a year, sign me up!

    So my question is, has anyone else recieved a masters without doing a thesis and taking a big exam instead?
    Injured:10-16-04
    C7/C8, T1 incomplete;


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  • #2
    I am getting my masters in social work and don't have to do a thesis, just have to sit in front of a panel of professors and answer their questions and be able to use the knowledge i have learned. I do know there are several programs that don't require thesis or other test. It depends on the school you go to and the program. If one school says they do a thesis, look at another. Graduate work is tons of work but so worth it. I have to read about 400-600 pages a week, which really sucks but other then that no complaints

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    • #3
      Cool thanks for the info.

      I'm going to be doing it part time and working full time if I do decide to do it. It may be a bit early just yet but I might as well start looking into it.
      Injured:10-16-04
      C7/C8, T1 incomplete;


      For stalkers convenience:
      Blog:
      http://www.ordealsonwheels.com/
      Facebook:
      http://www.facebook.com/#!/coryssanchez
      Progress:
      http://photobucket.com/albums/b290/swooty/
      My drawings:
      http://kanvases.com/sites/corysanchez/home

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      • #4
        Back in the late 90's when I was working in Portland, Oregon for a certain large semiconductor company I was going to school part time and thinking about a master's in CS or something related. There were several programs to choose from at the time. I don't recall a specific requirement for a thesis.

        Not sure what's available here in Silicon Valley right now. Maybe San Jose State ? btw There are certificate programs available at the UCSC Extension, though I'm not sure if there are any master's programs per se.

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        • #5
          rhyang,

          Yah I was thinking about going to san jose state, its cheap as hell which is what matters to me. Cisco will pay 10k a year I believe so that will offset the cost as well.

          They have a nice software engineering masters degree which will work nice considering thats my title currently
          Injured:10-16-04
          C7/C8, T1 incomplete;


          For stalkers convenience:
          Blog:
          http://www.ordealsonwheels.com/
          Facebook:
          http://www.facebook.com/#!/coryssanchez
          Progress:
          http://photobucket.com/albums/b290/swooty/
          My drawings:
          http://kanvases.com/sites/corysanchez/home

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          • #6
            you might consider an MBA. many engineers go that route as it leads to management, if interested in $$.

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            • #7
              My plans to go to class on campus this semester have been squashed by some upcoming surgery, but earlier this week I enrolled in some online courses to get a jump start on a grad program I will be starting next fall. I am doing a course based option, which means I have to do 11 courses and a major project at the end. The project is basically a mini-thesis but there is no oral exam at the end. This same program does offer a thesis option, which I didn't want to do. But after looking at how much course work people in that stream do (6 courses plus their thesis) I actually think the course base option is a lot more work. But maybe no oral exam makes up for that . I would say look very closely at the programs that you might be interested in and weigh how much work a thesis versus a non-thesis program will be.


              You are super smart, I am sure a thesis would be no trouble for you. But yeah they seem like a pain unless you really love your topic.

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              • #8
                cass,

                I was thinking about getting my MBA later. What I was going to do was try to get an MBA right away but I soon found out to be accepted into the MBA program they like the person to have at least 5 years of working experience. Also its a lot more dedication than just getting a masters.

                I talked to a lot of managers who I work with and how they said they went was they got a masters first, worked that for awhile, then they were promoted to a manager, then they went to get their mba.

                Other engineers already have their mba but can't get into management positions and you also don't get an automatic pay raise if your an engineer and get an mba.

                But yes I can see myself getting an mba as well in the future (but not near future).



                Amanda,

                I will def. check it out. I did a mini thesis before and it was hell but I suppose if the trade off is alot I would man up and do it.
                Injured:10-16-04
                C7/C8, T1 incomplete;


                For stalkers convenience:
                Blog:
                http://www.ordealsonwheels.com/
                Facebook:
                http://www.facebook.com/#!/coryssanchez
                Progress:
                http://photobucket.com/albums/b290/swooty/
                My drawings:
                http://kanvases.com/sites/corysanchez/home

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                • #9
                  that's interesting...wonder if aerospace is diff? the big bucks came w/MBA, with or w/o masters in engr. the masters in engr didn't make much diff. well, keep talking to your company ppl, but keep an eye on other companies, just in case good luck!

                  oh, also be careful. Boeing for all these yrs has paid for this education, but, due to economy (so they say) they have pulled it, violating the SPEEA contract. retroactive 6 months. bad news.

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                  • #10
                    When I got my masters (1980s) many schools had a thesis option. You could either do a full thesis, or just write the research proposal and then take an additional 6-8 units, which is what I did. I don't regret it, and my master's degree is equal to those who did the thesis. I did independent study for my 6-8 units with the supervision of my advisor, and I think I met my goals for graduate education much more effectively that way than I would have doing a thesis or having to take comp exams (which we also did not have to do, thank goodness!). My program (Rush University, Chicago) was an excellerated 12 months program instead of the usual two years, taking 18 units a quarter, so it would have been very difficult to complete a thesis in that time period anyway.

                    Now days I would be pushed to do a doctorate in nursing practice (DNP), but I am too old for that now, and don't want to spend my free time studying...a doctorate would not make me one more dime than I am making now with my masters, and it won't be mandatory for clinical nurse specialists until about the time I retire.

                    (KLD)
                    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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                    • #11
                      I am working on my Masters and it is a pain in my butt right now but I'll be glad I did it. I'm in social work. We don't have a thesis but a major project. Good luck.
                      If you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.


                      Sometimes it is easier to widen doors than it is to open minds.

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                      • #12
                        My opinion, for what it is worth, is that a masters in computer science is not worth the time or money. The only time it has been a factor when I have been looking to hire people has been for people fresh out of college. For social work (like addie sue) I am sure it is different but for programmers I have always placed a much higher premium on experience. In an interview situation a masters may be used as a tie breaker but how the candidate thinks on his feet or how they do on a programming problem is something I have always considered much more important. A large company may give you a little more money if you have a masters, but if you are thinking of going the startup route a masters is not going to get you much in that situation and even in a big company in a few years that distinction will go away. You cited as motivation a 10K salary bump and not something like "I really want to learn out to write an embedded operating system", dude it is going to be a lot of work for only 10K a year. If you get some mad skills in two years and switch jobs you probably could bump your salary more than 10K.

                        Just my opinion,
                        Tom

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                        • #13
                          I agree what your saying Tom,

                          But for me computer science is cake, I've been programming since I was 14 so it comes natural to me.

                          I don't plan on going the start up route because I already got into a nice company which pays pretty well and I like their 401k matching/stock options. A part of me still wants to re-apply to microsoft as a PM though, so that maybe in my future.

                          If I do get a masters I'll still be working full time, so no work experience or money will be lost if I get my masters.

                          At the company I work for I do the first round of hiring as well to see if they should go onto the next round and your right the masters play no role if I'm hiring them or not. Infact I found even senior level programmers can't answer my questions and they've had 5+ years of working experience or more. Kids straight out of college with just a 4 year degree I've noticed answer my design and technical questions much better which I've always found strange.
                          Injured:10-16-04
                          C7/C8, T1 incomplete;


                          For stalkers convenience:
                          Blog:
                          http://www.ordealsonwheels.com/
                          Facebook:
                          http://www.facebook.com/#!/coryssanchez
                          Progress:
                          http://photobucket.com/albums/b290/swooty/
                          My drawings:
                          http://kanvases.com/sites/corysanchez/home

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                          • #14
                            I have a master's in Computer Science, no thesis. I work in aerospace. My company hires in at a higher grade level/salary if you have a master's, but if you get your master's while employed here, it doesn't make too much difference to your salary. The company pays your tuition, which is definitely worth something.

                            I did work as a graduate research assistant and therefore had to publish, but that's different from a thesis.

                            I did not have to take a comprehensive exam, either, just do well in coursework.

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                            • #15
                              Just keep talking to other engineers because they will give you best, most relevant info as it pertains to you and your field, and your company (or Microsoft, if that's in your sights). Also, if you are considering going back, talk to the different degree programs you are considering to find out what their requirements are (a thesis might not be as bad as you think, especially since it comes naturally to you) and feel out how they will fit in with and aid in your plans/goals.

                              If you like your current company and plan on staying there long term, find out where you can move to from where you are now, and what may be most useful in helping you get there. As t8burst said, experience is probably more useful for you right now, but if you are considering research, development, and teaching in the future, a masters would be a necessary step, towards a phd (tho it doesn't seem like you'd wanna be stuck in academia, eh).

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