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Advice: BSc in Physics or BSc in Info and Comm Technologies

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by ITMatt, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. ITMatt

    ITMatt Bit Poster

    Hello all,

    I would like to put this out there and gather some feedback on the conundrum I am in.

    Before putting the question forward, please bare in mind that I am already working in the IT sector as a Systems Engineer with 5 years experience as an IT/Desktop Support Technician, so this is less to do with entry advice.

    I'm looking into pursuing another degree, and I'm stuck between studying for a degree in Physics for personal interest, or a degree in Information and Communication Technologies to advance my career, with the ultimate aim of progressing towards an MSc in either, depending on the degree I choose.

    I already have a degree in Geosciences, which isn't related to my career, and is not something I would like to progress.

    I know that very few IT managers recruit on the degree someone has, especially if that person already has several years experience in the field; however, what would look more attractive to an employer? There is a lot of noise about ICT degree's being looked down upon, which if true, then I might as well pursue my interest in Physics.

    If I had my way, I would like to leave the boring Sys Admin work and pursue a career in Research & Development (R&D). So, with that in mind, what are your opinions and what would you select?

    P.S. If someone is in the know, what are the opportunities like in R&D (in general) in the UK?

    Many thanks in advance for any replies.

    Certifications: BSc (Hons), A+, N+
    WIP: MCP
  2. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Certainly an IT degree will look MORE attractive to an IT employer. That said, my Chemistry degree (with Physics minor) hasn't held my IT career back one bit.
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  3. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

    Matt, you seem to have answered your own question, so I'd say go for what you have an interest in and don't get stuck in a rut. You do come across as an intelligent person so if you have a keen interest in R&D then don't look back and go for it.

    In terms of an Msc in IT though it would be valuable but owing to the nature of changes that occur frequently with IT it would be seen as less favourable. Anyway, whichever you decide best wishes and most say go for it either way:)
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  4. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

    Personally, I would go for the MSc in IT, maybe including on that has some business parts (degree titles vary like a womans choice, so I'll leave a specific name out!! :D )

    Reason being, I would think unless you are going into an area than particularly requests a degree (normally Bachelor level) then I wouldn't worry about it as you have already achieved that. A MSc would put you above the rest, especially if it is geared towards a certain direction - make you more attractive to employers but I think a BSc MSc would look more "inviting" to an employer than 2 BSc's especially in 2 different disciplines - and I know a few people who have a degree in English, but an IT-based Masters.

    When I passed my degree, those doing IT-based degrees, or Maths, or Physics (which is what I specialised in) ended up in jobs or careers that were nowhere near what their degree was in - just the fact they had a degree held more than anything!

    If you want to go into R&D, I'd research jobs/biographies etc. of others that are in an R&D environment (or have been) and find out what the requirement is - no point doing a new bachelor degree to find out its more aptitude is needed than a specific degree - and onoski already said, degrees stay static while the world moves on, spend 3 years (assuming its full time) on a pre-defined course (one that doesn't change as the modules will have already been mapped out before you start it) to find that the world has moved on again, not as much use as it could have been.

    If it were me, research jobs, and probably go for a Master degree than closely related what the jobs specifically requested or for the general career progression.
    Certifications: MBCS, BSc(Hons), Cert(Maths), A+, Net+, MCDST, ITIL-F v3, MCSA
    WIP: 70-293
  5. richardw

    richardw Nibble Poster

    If you want to end up in R&D, the IT degree may be of less use than the physics degree, & your existing one. IT R&D is usually quite subject specific, & more about the other fields than IT.

    Also, as its your 2nd degree, work out how your going to fund it BEFORE you start or even apply.
    There are plans to remove the funding that HEI's get for those students doing 2nd degrees, currently approx £6000 per year, so you as the student would have to pay that, together with the existing fees, 2008/9 will be £3145.
    Its also 3 or 4 years out of your life, with next to no income.
    You might be better looking at post-grad courses, 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time, about £6000.
    Certifications: MOS (Master), MMI

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