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Hey everyone,

I'm currently enrolled in 4 year computer science BS program with a major in networking and hopefully a minor in programming. I am wanting to attain as much knowledge as possible, but am unsure of what the best route to take is. I will provide my plan and ambitions; any help or suggestions to aid my decisions would be most welcomed.

After receiving my BS in COSC w/networking major I am considering returning for another year+/- to receive a major in programming as well. After this I hope to attend Va. Tech to study for my masters. I figure my masters should take a year to a year and a half. I have recently considered going further, attempting doctoral studies.

I am not sure of good COSC doctoral programs on the east coast (maybe va tech offers it?). I am also wondering how a PH.D. will help me in the long run. I would love to work for a huge enterprise as the head network administrator, but I do not want to cross the line of being over qualified. That being said, I would like to fall back on teaching at a university during retirement.

Could someone more experienced and knowledgabel tell me the pros and cons of my plan?

Thanks a bunch!!

-Caleb

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Last Post by Duki
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Goodness gracious! That's quite ambitious, already talking about getting your doctoret while still working on your BS.

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Hey everyone,

I am not sure of good COSC doctoral programs on the east coast (maybe va tech offers it?). I am also wondering how a PH.D. will help me in the long run. I would love to work for a huge enterprise as the head network administrator, but I do not want to cross the line of being over qualified. That being said, I would like to fall back on teaching at a university during retirement.
-Caleb

most people that I have seen who go straight for their doctorate in computer science usually end up teaching right-after with not a whole lot of real world experience.

What kind of work do you want to do? Do you just want to be a programmer, project manager initially? If so, a bachelors is all you really need for that. Eventually if you want to teach at a university you will need your PHD (with some exceptions of course), but I don't see that as a necessary thing for a while.

When I graduated, I had alot of friends who just stayed in the program to work on their masters. This wasn't for me as I wanted to get out and actually get some real-world experience. I've been thinking alot lately of going for my masters, but it wouldn't be for computer science this time. I'd like an MBA. For what I want to do in my career, a BS in comp sci mixed with an MBA is perfect. I have no desire to go work at a research Lab or program my entire life.

So you need to think about what is best for you. There are plenty of options out there and sometimes you don't know about them until they fall into your lap.

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That is similar to what I had planned ... a BS in Comp Sci coupled with an MBA. Unfortunately - or rather quite fortunately - fate intervented with DaniWeb and the MBA is on hold.

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That is similar to what I had planned ... a BS in Comp Sci coupled with an MBA. Unfortunately - or rather quite fortunately - fate intervented with DaniWeb and the MBA is on hold.

That's a good thing! Fate works in great ways sometimes!

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Thanks for the input everyone!

Well my dream job is probably to be the network administrator for an entire building; a building that means something. I would love to work for Google or the like, but I also want to stay on the east coast. I want to be the head ITT; the IT supervisor. Along with this, I would love to be in charge of not fixing workstations, but administering servers, tweaking the network, planning for the future. I am 19 right now, and am the network admin for a ~20 user network. I love my job, but hate the way things are organized. I have to report to an AutoDesk engineer as my IT supervisor. I have so many ideas for the company, and we're an engineering corp.; of coarse we can afford the expansions. But unfortunately I am not trusted. Because of my age and lack of experience I am thought of as nothing more than a comodety. I know this because they have limited my hours every week. I am not aloud to work more than 20 hours per week. This is fine with me, since I'm in school, though it is a blow to the self esteem knowing my company may never see the need for a full time IT. I've taken into account the fact that I'm completely overhead; I make no profit for the company. I would just like to be somewhere that the people I work with... well... respect me for lack of better terms. Maybe not even respect me but rather, recognize my abilities and give me room to actually administer the network, rather than being ordered to follow a priority sheet every time I come in. I want to be somewhere that allows me to expand my imagination for innovation.

I do not want to teach directly out of school. I want to be a professor around my 50s; after retirement. I wouldnt' mind teaching night classes perhaps, though I wouldn't want anything to hinder my relationship with my future family.

My questions are this:
Should I worry about going back to school for an extra year to get another major in programming? Will that look better on a resume?

After my masters program, should I take a couple years off to gain experience before atempting my doctoral studies?

I know I've gotten off topic a lot... sorry about that. I just had one of those moments ^.^

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And who knows... eventually in my spare time I may try to become a Mod for the Networking section of DaniWeb ;)

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20 users... I have several customers that have 15 to 30 users that use me for only two or three hours a week-and sometimes less and most of that is via remote access so if you are getting 20 hours for 20 users-then you are doing well.

As far as being viewed as a commodity-get used to it. That's the way it is in IT. I'm billable and viewed as a capital expense for my customers.

As for how you are viewed, you're 19, you have limited experience so you should be viewed as green until you've got some years behind you. Take it from me-when you've been in the trenches with 1000s of users down and not just managers but directors, VPs and others heading into the data center to find out what is up-you tend to get tempered and will learn how to keep things going as well as get things fixed in a hurry. Make the best of what you are given and try to make a business case for any changes you want to do. Remember, companies don't upgrade or implement technology for the 'coolness' factor. They solve problems and usually only will budget for things that are needed or have a solid ROI. Show that in a business plan or proposal and see if you can get more work. Some of the things I do to get more contracts:

Is the company backing up their data *every* night?
Do they send tapes or whatever off-site?
Is there a need for a disaster recovery program?
So ask the question of how long can the company sustain being without computers or Internet link or email, etc?
How are they using their hardware-especially servers? Is there a possibility to consolidate physical servers into virtual and save money in both hardware and environment controls?
Make the business case and you might get more time or at least a fat contract to provide some of these things.
Make sure you can demonstrate these things in the real world-I see posts about people saying they like this hardware or that while admitting that they have only read about it. Don't be like them! Prove your design or solution in a lab. Remember: It always works in Visio!

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thanks for the input mark! You've really put a new view on what I've said. I appreciate it a lot.


I've been looking at Masters programs and came across this. Has anyone heard of this degree/college?

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