RE: MA in English or engineering classes?

Subject: RE: MA in English or engineering classes?
From: Goober <techcommgoober -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 6 Jun 2002 16:11:38 -0700 (PDT)

> b. experience is more important right now than
> returning to school

You bet!

> As a new grad, you may still be afflicted by
> degree-itus

LOL! Nice term!

> In my experience, degrees on paper are given greater
> esteem by business
> managers than by managing engineers. Engineers are
> more interested in your
> technical savvy and are less concerned about where
> that savvy came from.

Yes and no. Chances are, the initial filtration of
your resume will be done by HR. What this means is
that for entry level, they're going to look longer (5
seconds instead of two *g*) at the education
qualifications and perhaps not so long at the skills
and work history items.

> Some replies have alerted you to the sheer breadth
> of the engineering field
> and the difficulty and danger of selecting a
> discipline. LISTEN TO THEM.

Definitely. Actually, if you're undecided what you
want to be doing with your life (as most recent grads
are - hell, I still am) and you do decide to get an
Associates in an engineering discipline, I suggest
taking it in computer science. Knowing the basics of
how to code and being able to say "Yes, I know C++,
Java, and HTML" will be very nice in the software tech
writing industry. If software isn't your bag, pick
something else generic that's of interest to you and
your intended field. Don't jump into something
specialized unless you really think, um, unless you
KNOW you're going to enjoy it.

> Extend the get-a-degree logic into the future: Can
> you really go back to
> college for 1-2 years every time you need to expand
> your knowledge base?
> Noooooo!

Definitely not. I'm still trying to find the time and
money to go back for my MS. It's hard. I take
advantage of mailing lists, self-learning, and
conferences whenever possible.

> Based on your current situation, I suggest you
> follow the path of experience
> and make up for any knowledge gaps through books
> ("Teach Yourself Java In 24
> Seconds!") or extension classes at the local
> university or community college
> ("LAN Ho!Computer Networking Basics"). If you live
> in or near an urban area,
> your educational options are probably limitless.

Yes, I totally agree with the above, unless a MA is
somethig you really really really want. Then I suggest
you go for it NOW before life ties you down.
Mortgages, marriage, kids, etc. make it increasingly
difficult to go back to school (and my hat off to
those that do!).


I say do both. Get paid and go to school at night. I
assume you're young and not tied down family-wise (a
bad assumption to make, I know)... if so, go all out
now. Heck, your employer may even pay for the
schooling if the degree is something they think would
be put to their good use.

Good luck! Do let us know what you decide!

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RE: MA in English or engineering classes?: From: Andrew Dugas

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