Is master of Information Technology worth it?

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by codekiller, Aug 19, 2003.

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  1. codekiller

    codekiller New Member

    I am about to graduate from aiu with my bachelors in information technology and I am wondering would a master in information technology help me or hurt me? I have reseaching a few of the programs and I have been asking some my colleagues What do they think a masters on information technology will do for my career. Alot of them said no they said a masters degree will make you overquailified. They also said employers wont want to paythe salary for a person with a mit and a bit degree when they can get someone with a bit to do the same thing. They also said that employers will be hesitant to hire me because they will feel that I will demand too much money. No matter what I still am going to get my masters in something because I eventualy want to get my doctorate (phd) and be the first doctor in the family ever. What I really want to know is should I wait til I get more experience in Information Technology ( currently 3 years help desk) or should I just go and get it anyway and if do get it will it hender me in finding a job once Im completed. does anyone here have there mit and bit degrees and very little or alot of experience ? if you do are you having problems with employers telling you your overqualified all the time?

    p.s

    I also want to know do you think a 30 year old with a phd in information technology management will get respect from his colleages and the industry in general

    Thank you for helping out!

    Yours truly

    Codekiller!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2003
  2. codekiller

    codekiller New Member

    Ps

    Forgot to list my current plan for college

    Bachelor of Information Technology AIU

    Master of Information Technology

    Master or Information Assurance Norwich

    PHD Information Technology Management

    as fo right now hope this helps you understand the previous post better sometime i am not very clear!
     
  3. Mitchell

    Mitchell New Member

    Those are hard questions to answer for someone other than yourself. A lot depends on whether you love what you do. If so, does it matter what employers think? If you are doing it for your employer or to get a job, then that is another matter. But remember, what is hot today may not be tomorrow and vice versa. I prefer to look at the long term. To make myself marketable, flexible, and to avoid burnout, I purposely sought degrees in related, but different fields. Although I have worked mainly in the same field, I never did exactly the same thing at any of my positions, and I prefer it that way. I know several people who have all their degrees in a single field. They are very good at what they do and have very good jobs. Some, but not all, seem to have difficulty when it comes to thinking outside of their area of expertise.

    I think that when one gets to the point of considering a graduate degree, it would be helpful to have an idea of what field to focus on. Jumping in without much thought can have you second guessing. I was enrolled in 2 other graduate programs before graduating from the 3rd. By the 3rd, I had a better understanding of what I wanted to study, primarily through job experience combined with the process of graduate study.

    There are many valid reasons for seeking a graduate degree, and that includes career enhancement. If you have the time, finances, curiosity, and energy, I think you should go for it regardless of the reason(s). Going through the process can be an education in itself, regardless of the outcome.
     
  4. leo

    leo New Member

    How many people do you know that have been hurt by education?
     
  5. mcjon77

    mcjon77 Member

    I haven't seen any stats that show that people with masters degrees a field have either lower salaries or higher unemployement than those with only bachelors degrees. Most of the stats that I've seen (especially for IT) show that the opposite is true. Well have all heard those stories about some super-educated person who can't land a low level job. However, most of those stories do not represent the job market as a whole.

    What do you want to do with these degrees, especially the PhD? Do you plan on working in the industry or moving into academia?

    If you plan on working in the industry, what do you plan on doing their. If you want to go into management, perhaps an MBA is more appropriate.

    Just Some Thoughts,

    Jon
     
  6. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    Many good points have been raised in this thread. If you would enjoy it and you do not have to go into much debt to get it, why not continue on for the Masters?

    On the otherhand if your question is really addressing what would be best from a career point of view the answer may be different. In that case an advance degree without supporting work experience may or may not work.

    You mention three years doing helpdesk. That seems like a good foundation. What would it take to move up to the next level? Will the BIT enable it? Do you have projects from your classes that you could assemble into a portfolio? Have you had a chance to volunteer for a non-profit doing IT work? Would you work fulltime while taking classes for the MIT? Would you receive tuition reimbursement?

    Perhaps others with more experience can add additional info. Good luck in your career.
     
  7. codekiller

    codekiller New Member

    Thanks for the replies!

    My career plan is to work toward a cio/cto position in a company . I eventually want to teach at a college or university toward retirement and also write schoolbooks on information technology for students and adults.I dont have many opportunities to get it work non profited or profited alike. I would like to try salvation army or another non profit group to see if they need any help as far free service( thanks for the idea). I would like the oppurtunity in my professional career to also be considered for research position in infromation technology or internet security. That why I have such a delema , The graduate level degrees will give added skills to be successful in academia but maybe not so much in the field. I believe a masters will be require for cio/cto position but from what Ive heard most human resource managers look for a mba more than a mit. I have no problem obtaining a mba but I would like to obtain the degrees I listed first . So no matter how I try to achieve my goals I am looking at multiple graduate degrees and definate overquailification. But my main concern now is that I dont want to be passed up for a postion that could possibly advance my career because they feel I am over quailified ( if that the case I will be tempted to leave off my resume). My pursuit of a phd is not so much career related as it is personal as I stated earlier but I have huge goals and I really would like to achieve as many as possible "lifes short" you know. I guess my intial question is my plan condusive to my career goals I am going to get my phd no matter what but am I taking the right path to get where I trying to go?

    Thanks for all th constructive comments!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2003
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Codekiller,

    Generally, education opens up more opportunities. Specifically, your mileage may vary.

    Dave Hayden gave some good advice - except for the "why not do it aspect". Figure out what you want - then figure out what will get you there. Case in point - a gent who just finished his masters in MIS from DeVry just enrolled in one of my undergrad classes - because the degree without the skills isn't getting him a job.

    Another student just found out that the $$$ she spent on an associates degree will not transfer (it's not an RA school).

    There are schools that will take your money and graduate you without requireing you to learn any skills with a marketplace value.

    So figure out what you want and do your due diligence - and do not depend on free advice on the internet. :)
     
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Codekiller,

    Generally, education opens up more opportunities. Specifically, your mileage may vary.

    Dave Hayden gave some good advice - except for the "why not do it aspect". Figure out what you want - then figure out what will get you there. Case in point - a gent who just finished his masters in MIS from DeVry just enrolled in one of my undergrad classes - because the degree without the skills isn't getting him a job.

    Another student just found out that the $$$ she spent on an associates degree will not transfer (it's not an RA school).

    There are schools that will take your money and graduate you without requireing you to learn any skills with a marketplace value.

    So figure out what you want and do your due diligence - and do not depend on free advice on the internet. :)
     
  10. codekiller

    codekiller New Member

    dobradave your right !

    I am going to take a little time off to study for certifications. I think that will help me advance in my career more right know ( and there quite abit cheaper than grad school also). I have been just study for some certifications to make my degrees stronger because as of right now I have one network+ and I always put more validity into degrees than certs no offense to anyone but I have seen handfuls of people that are mcse certified that could not explain sysprep or kerboros without looking it up in a book and I can do that! I heard story of one lady that was MCSE certified that could not even copy a one floppy disk to another. I also heard wild stories about college grads to but usally not that bad. Im sorry if sounds like I m going off subject but my point was to let you know that I was relying soley on my degrees for the knowledge I needed to suceed in the IT field but I now know that is not the case I do need more specific training concepts are only going to get you so far and now even less than before. So my plan it this I am going to study for a few certifications and then start looking at graduate schools that way it will build my knowledge on specific program and concepts and also make me a stronger canidate for a graduate school.
     
  11. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    Hi

    Be careful to realize certs don't carry much weight UNLESS you have corresponding work experience. 5-10 years ago the high tech job market was tight enough that the right cert could sometimes get you a job w/o work experience. At this point they usually are valuless unless you have work experience in a directly related area. If you do, they are a great idea because some jobs will require them along with the experience.

    The top things that will get you a high tech job right now are personal contacts/networking and having already held a similiar position. Education/degrees comes behind those two with certs a very distant fourth.
     
  12. codekiller

    codekiller New Member

    dave,

    You have made a good point ! experience is what most employers are looking for now a days and I am going to try what
    you have suggested in the earlier posts and start doing work for non profit orginaizations for free. I know this will not be enough experience to getin to a top level position but it may get into a higher level position that I could be able advance from in the future. I figure I will also plan to study for certifications while Im doing that.

    p.s

    Do you think a degree on it s own is enough to get a good entry level position? The reason I asked that is I graduated from my assciates program and even made the national deans list and could not get a interview. I thought the reason I was having so many problem was because most company are looking for some one with a bachelors degree do you think that having two degrees and one certification will hender my job search in a few months?

    Thanks agian for your comments
     
  13. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    I dont think the degrees/certs will hurt at all for entry level openings. In fact, they are essential. Where I am at a good desktop support/helpdesk job right now requires a Bachelor's degree. In other areas they may have more pull. Also realize that the further we get from the popping of the tech bubble the more in demand these skills become. I would concentrate on getting whatever work experience you can right now along with continuing your academic/certification work.
     
  14. chris

    chris New Member

    CIO Magazine

    Recommends and MBA for those interested in becoming a CIO. They state the M in IT is redundant and brands you as a techie.
     
  15. codekiller

    codekiller New Member

    Thanks for the info Chris,

    I was Kinda of thinking this would be the case but I was wondering if you could tell me where I could get That magizine and which one was that information in I would like to read more information about this. I still would like to get my master in information technology. I was going to try to get all my degrees one right after another but I thing I need to figure out a few things about my career. I thing the biggest hurdle is to get experince in my field right now but I am graduating from a good school and I have a good gpa so I dont think I should have to much of a problem getting exprerience I hope !
     
  16. codekiller

    codekiller New Member

    So how do improve your skills as a it specialist and prepare for a future in upper management cio?
    :confused:
     
  17. chris

    chris New Member

  18. surge

    surge New Member

    IMO, degrees by themselves don't show employers that you know computers, networking, etc. I can't tell you how many people that I have done technical interviews with that had degrees in IT and I wouldn't even consider. Also passion for the work, work ethic and analytical troubleshooting skills cannot be taught in the classroom. Its these three things that will take you far in this industry.

    Regarding certifications I would recommend the SANS GIAC certifications (www.sans.org) since you mentioned Information Assurance. The research practicals that have to be done for the cert goes along way in proving your real-world experience. I have three of them (GCIA, GCIH, and GCFW) and out of all of my certs they were the most difficult and the most valued to me.

    Consider working on open-source projects as a GREAT way of getting your name out there while benefiting the industry.

    ~Surge
     

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