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I have been very interested in getting a masters in computer science, not just because it looks good but it will give me more experience and more time for job hunting. I learned from my uncle that he actually got a free ride for his masters and phd in areo space physics because he taught at the colleges he also went to school at.

My question is could this also work with computer science, atleast so I get a sizable discount for tuition? Also has anyone ever tried to do this and for them was it easy?

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Last Post by jenni01
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You should specify what country you are from, and where you plan to study. This is something that can vary tremendously depending on the country and university system.

If in Canada, merit scholarships for graduate studies are plentiful which leads to more than half graduate students (or more) (of my acquaintances, at least) getting paid to do their graduate studies (usually somewhere between 15 k$ and 30 k$ per year, tax-exempt). It is also common for profs to pay their graduate students if they work on their research projects (which are usually funded by grants). Working as a TA (Teaching Assistant) will usually pay well too, around 20-25 $ per hour, and that can help a lot. It also helps that tuition is between 3 and 10 times cheaper than in the U.S., depending on the province. Also, in my field, engineering, many people get paid a salary from their company to go and do a Masters degree (with the agreement that they will come work for them afterwards, of course). That last thing doesn't apply to computer science (at least, that I know of) because it's different in nature (we're a bit spoiled in engineering due to the very high demand for competent engineers, and the fact that an undergraduate degree in engineering just isn't enough anymore).

If in Europe, tuition and board is not something to worry about since it is either free or extremely cheap, and government loans and grants are plentyful as well. Merit scholarships are not as plentyful as in Canada (and not really needed), but there are some available. But, to my knowledge, having Masters-level graduate students being teaching assistants is no a wide-spread practice (again, that could depend on the country), but PhD students are typically obligated to teach a course, and get paid for it. I did my Masters in Europe, with merit scholarships, and I had completely paid off my student loans (from my undergrad) by the time I was done with it.

If in the US, if you are worried about the weight of your wallet (or size of your student loans), then what are you doing considering the US for your studies? Way over-priced if you ask me. Come up above the border, we're very welcoming people!

If anywhere else, I couldn't tell you.

Being a teaching assistant while studying is a very rewarding experience. It does take away a surprising amount of time (especially grading assignments!), but it is also very good for your own learning, especially if the courses are junior/senior level (keeps you sharp). It is totally manageable to teach one course along with a busy schedule of your own.

My question is could this also work with computer science, atleast so I get a sizable discount for tuition?

If the University in question doesn't pay their student teaching assistant, then that University is sub-par, not to mention that this would be illegal in most western countries that I know of. If you teach courses, then you ought to be paid, and a decent wage too! Our teaching assistants are unionized here, and conditions are great.

And why would this be different for computer science?

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You should specify what country you are from, and where you plan to study

I plan to study in America and I'm going to Dakota State University. I havn't decided to go anywhere right now just to keep my options open for the best deal.

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A master's in computer science is basically worthless when it comes to causing increased future life earnings. Actually, it has negative value, because of the lost year or two. It might be correlated with higher earnings (or might not) but don't be fooled into thinking that's a causative effect.

but it will give me more experience

No? A master's does not give you more experience. Having a job gives you more experience.

If you want to improve your job prospects, you need to get better at programming, and have better evidence that you're good at programming. A master's is not that, not at all.

There are good reasons to get a master's. One is indeed, simply to avoid having to have a job for another year or two! Maybe you like being in college better, or are afraid of being an adult with daily responsibilities. That was my reason for spending an extra semester in college to get a dual major.

Another reason might be if you want to learn specific things in the computer science field, if you've looked at the courses available in the master's program and find yourself saying, "Yes, I want to learn about that!"

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For once I find myself in complete agreement with Rashakil. If you are looking to better your job prospects then take a programming job, any job, that will get you experience. Programming in University is nothing like programming in the real world. In my opinion (and it is just my opinion) a Masters is only a stepping stone on the way to a PhD. I stuck around for a year after graduation to take a few more courses, partly because there were some courses I really wanted to take and partly because I wanted to stay in the University environment. Most of my friends were staying on to do a Masters. All continued on to get their doctorates. Three are now professors. I did not enter the Master's program.

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If the curiculum interests you, you should pursue it. You are going to get different views based on various experiences. One thing that you will find is that getting an education is something that takes time (so you never know when you need that paper) and is also something that cant be taken away from you. This may mean something to you, depending on where you come from.

It is true that spending time in a University takes time away from real world experience and earning potential. However, it doesnt always mean one or the other. I completed my Masters while working and raising a familiy. And no, I did not buy my degree... I did attend a state university and the costs were affordable and got assistance from my employer, slowly completing my course work until it was all done.

You need to take a look at the whole scenario and do what you think will be of most value over the long term. Aside from the degree, there is potential for networking with others and companies that have relationships with the univerity that you attend.

Hope that helps...

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if you want good job in future then u should have more knowledge about softwere field even if u have knowledge about programming then it best for your future...programming is the option.

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