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Worth doing a MSc? right after a BSc

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by dave_gray2077, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. dave_gray2077

    dave_gray2077 Bit Poster

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    What do people think of getting an MSc. Do you think it’s worth it? Any thoughts people would like to share?

    I currently have just finished my BSc and have 4 years 1st line support experience. Currently provided 1st line support to the NHS but I’m based at C&W.

    Funding my masters is not a problem but I was wondering if it improves promotion chances etc in the long run. I am thinking of long term. Currently I’m just working on my MCDST.

    On top of that I have my 1 degree, 1 foundation degree, and CCNA (CCNA was a freebee that went along with a degree so I had a shot at it since the exam was free and passed)

    Was thinking of doing it now while my rents are willing to help support me as an MA MSc never expires.

    At the moment I seem to have hit a glass ceiling and can’t get off the 1st line no matter how hard I try. Seems to be all the current jobs don’t want to know graduates since I don’t have a MSCE/SQL/”random big list of other technology” experiences and a whole host of other skills that take years to build up. I seem to have the feeling that if you can’t hit the ground running in an IT job right now and do everything on a network for database admin to network engineer at the same you ain’t got a chance at getting any job.

    Right now iv even been to "IT technician" (job description = that of a mouse fixer, printer unjammer etc) job interviews and sat inform of CISCO racks etc and grilled on my SQL etc and this is for 14k jobs. Is this normal for a new grad to expect.

    What I don’t want to happen and the thing putting me off is leaving my 1st line support job that i had had for 4 years to do the MSc and them educate myself out of the job market as 1st line I assume won’t want to touch a MSc as I will be a flyer risk and 2nd 3rd line won’t have me because I don’t have any actual experience or the MCSE on my CV.
     
    Certifications: CCENT, CCNA, Fd Degree, BSC (hon).
    WIP: MCDST
  2. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    IMO, the Master's degree will not help you now in the short term. However it will help you if you:

    1. Decide to go into management and/or
    2. Decide if you migrate abroad (you get more points)

    Unfortunately, yes. Considering that IT/Computing/Computer Science grads currently are the highest unemployed group of graduates.

    The problem is currently is that it's an employer's market right now. With lots of qualified and experienced IT Professionals out of work, companies can offer alot less and have a wider selection of candidates to choose from.

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  3. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    I would try and progress from first line support before going for the MSc. Four years first line experience is enough and you should try and progress to a different role, it doesn’t have to be second line but perhaps a job that will give you more hands on experience.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  4. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Masters should exisit for R&D type positions, theres no point doing a masters if you want to be a tech, it will take you out of the market and cost you money for no gain.

    If you had an interest in say compiler technology, parallel algorithms, cryptography, OS design or something more engineering or research based then I'd say yes. Doing your Masters or Doctorate while you're young and your earnings and expenditure is low is the best bet, later on most people simply cannot afford to go back.

    Agreed, IT is not the 'new thing' anymore, there is a glut of experienced people from the last 15 years, look for a new area if you want better job prospects, maybe engineering or science ? The situation will only get worse as the next generation are already totally immersed in technology worldwide. Maybe do a masters with a placement year or internship with a non computing bias ?

    It doesn't take years to learn basic SQL, in fact I'd say your uni has done you a disservice if you can't knock up a basic SQL query after 3 years study.

    I agree the requirements are often unreasonable, but many employers are not well versed in recruiting and ironically neither are recruiters, so 'shopping list' style ads are common, sometimes its because they had a hero working for them before, other times its because they are nice to haves or the hiring manager is vauge or wants one person to fill two positions. Whatever the reason in a buyers market employers feel they can get away with it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  5. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Look to progress to second line support before thinking about a masters degree or work towards achieving the MCSA certification.

    Best wishes on whichever you decide.
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  6. Mecha

    Mecha Bit Poster

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    I guess in your case it depends what your masters will be involving; is it down the same line as your BSc/career or is it completely different?

    If it's the latter, I am doing the same thing this year. I have 2 years IT admin experience (mouse fixer, printer unjammer but also VMware work & server work) and I am starting my MSc in Information Security in September/November. For such a career change I decided the MSc would be a lot more useful than doing it the "other" way.

    But there are 2 things you may have to take into consideration, one has been said already...but for me I plan to go abroad after I get experience and secondly I am only doing it part-time so I can still work and get experience in our ISO270001 company

    I just say all cases are different, and not one answer will be right. IT as with many other jobs are not black and white so I guess at the end of the day just try and do the best you do in whatever you choose to and hope it pays off!
     
    Certifications: BSc Networking, A+ (601)
    WIP: MSc InfoSec, S+, CISMP, IA ISO27001
  7. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    If it makes you feel any better I've been in situations where I've been grilled by recent grads for positions when I have 15+ years experience on them, just have to suck it up and try get through the interview process, however weird or excessive it may be...
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  8. dave_gray2077

    dave_gray2077 Bit Poster

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    Well I have just completed a degree in IT management and Networks. So the degree was a mix of ITIL type modules and management courses with advanced networks on the end. My final year disatation was on reversiable computing and physics.

    I was looking at branching out into coding so a slight change of track.

    Tees-side uni have this course

    http://www.tees.ac.uk/postgraduate_courses/Computing/MSc_Networks_and_Communications.cfm

    It keeps me going on the ICT management kinda of stuff and has on the surface a good intro to coding. Which i have never done before.
     
    Certifications: CCENT, CCNA, Fd Degree, BSC (hon).
    WIP: MCDST
  9. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Looks like pretty much degree level stuff apart from the project, places that want developers want coders, they don't want managers.

    It takes years of experience to become a Develoment manager, Network Manager, IT manager, Systems Architect, or other management style positions.

    I don't follow the 'degree is useless' and 'must start at the very bottom' points of view, but a fulltime degree in management and networks is probably not that great an idea anymore in general. Getting a first line position and taking college nightclasses and maybe CCENT is probably a better bet for those starting out.

    You should also realise that many colleges now have commerical interests at heart, bear this in mind when looking at their courses, many courses cater for student demands over any educational priciples or employment market demands. Game Development and Network Security degrees spring to mind.

    I'd save yourself the time and money or look for a more advanced MSc or self study programming. The OU have Java programming modules you can do part time if you really need the hand holding.

    Theres not really much point taking too many management courses until you've have some jobs in industry and ideally managerial experience, never seen the point of most university business or management courses. For example MBA's are generally reccomended to managers with at least two years experience.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2010
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  10. dave_gray2077

    dave_gray2077 Bit Poster

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    Im stuck in 1st like support at the moment. Will have to try for secondment and things. Although i'm a graduate i did have a full time job through uni so i have quite a few years experience of 1st line support.

    Already have my CCNET and CCNA. I self studied them during my summer holidays at Uni to increase my general knowledge. I passed them exams but i lack experience so its not like ill be getting into networking any time soon. :(

    For now I'm just swatting up for the MCDST. Its easy stuff exam 70-271 by the looks of it but it goes with my current job i suppose. Ill just have to keep my eye out for a graduate placement as i have my results and its a 2.1.
     
    Certifications: CCENT, CCNA, Fd Degree, BSC (hon).
    WIP: MCDST
  11. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Congrats on the 2:1 ! :D
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH

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