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associates degree versus master's degree

associates degree versus master's degree

associates degree versus master's degree

(OP)
I have a four year degree in chemistry.

Now I want to become a computer programmer.

I'm willing to go back to school for a year or two.

For an entry level programmer at this point in time, what's the approximate starting salary if I had an associate's degree in computer science? How about if I had a master's degree?

In case it matters, I'm in the Northeast.

RE: associates degree versus master's degree


I don't know about a starting salary - it depends very much on the technology you are going to work with, on your geographic area, on finding a big or small company-employer, on the current (not very cheery) state of economy, and just on your luck.

But I do know that if I were you, I wouldn't go and get an associate degree having already had bachelor's. I would try and get master's from a reputable school.

Alternatively, I would suggest to find a technical school teaching just the programming/IT skills, with or without degree, with an accelerated curriculum, without all the frills of a regular degree, as you already have a degree.

Some of those schools have a good internship and job placement program, wich might give you a good start. If, with this, they will give you an associate degree, so be it - but you would get the skills.

RE: associates degree versus master's degree

I'm more inclined to agree with Stella, here. You have the degree to get past HR (and all the other fringe benefits of having a degree). Go get your skills and any and all experience you can get your hands on. If the training happens to come with an Assoc, then great, if not, I wouldn't worry about it. The knowledge is what you are needing now not the paper.

i have no idea about starting pay in that area. Might want to hit Google and see what you can find out there and what starting ranges are. Monster might have that info.

--------------------------------------------------
"...and did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? NO!"

"Don't stop him. He's roll'n."
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RE: associates degree versus master's degree


ousoonerjoe,

I'm more inclined to agree with Stella, here.

I don't think what I said contradicts CajunCenturion's post, either.

My first choice would be Master's, too - I suggested a tech. school as an alternative. Not a bad alternative, though.

Ideally, if you can find an accelerated knowledge/skills/internship training program that comes with a Master's, go get it. (I don't know if they exist, but it is possible; I see so many different adverts these days for things like that.) An advanced degree really wouldn't hurt.

If not, I wouldn't worry that much about getting a degree, as you already have one, so concentrate on getting the knowledge/skills/experience, with or without another degree.

And last, under no circumstances I would go for a regular Associate degree. You don't need it. You have a better degree. Only take it if it comes as a "free add-on" with a good, current training program.
 

RE: associates degree versus master's degree


And one more idea.

Since you have a degree in chemistry (and, possibly, some experience in that area), you may have an edge when applying for a job in the chemical or related industry.

With some luck, you might find a job that will take you for you knowledge of chemistry and be willing to train you/send to school to take some programming classes.

I worked once with a database programmer trained as an electrical engineer with Masters. He found an engineering job that required some programming skills - so he learned them on the job. His next job was in programming.
 

RE: associates degree versus master's degree

An AS degree won't mean much if you don't have the skills that would be needed.  If you have the skills with the BS degree, the AS wouldn't mean anything either.   You can get the skills without an AS degree.   The master's degree is fine but you need the skills to be able to utilize it in an IT invironment.  I don't see the AS degree itself having any additional value that the skills & your current degreee would offer.  If you want to program, start with the languages of choice and work from there.  If you want another type of position, get the specific skills and go for it.

Jim C.
 

RE: associates degree versus master's degree

On the other hand, I've parlayed a bachelor's degree in Psychology followed by an associate's degree in Computer Technology (earned in three years of part-time attendance) into a long term career as a programmer and analyst.

As has been mentioned, it all depends on the skills that you can acquire and utilize. I don't think a Masters will help much if you want to be a programmer (it won't hurt, but it may not be the best route). Most of the people that I know with advanced degrees in IT are typically not programmers, but hold other IT positions (db administrators, systems admin, management, etc).

Greg
People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use. Kierkegaard

RE: associates degree versus master's degree

If you want to get a diploma, then I'd recommend the Masters.  You may need to do some pre-requisite classes, but the Masters degree is better an an Associate degree.

Or, if a Masters is too much time or cost, then you could attend a local university for Continuing Education and receive a certificate.  For example, a few years ago New York University (NYU) had a 6 course program to get a certificate in web development.  It's purpose is to train you in a new field and help you get a job.

Good luck with your career and whatever choice you make!

-Ben
 

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