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Should I take more networking courses if I have a BA and MCS?

I am working as Applications Analyst. For five years I was mainly concerned with Y2K conversion in RPG, CLP on AS400. Then I worked in development of few projects on Windows platform using tools like Visual Basic, ASP and for the previous two years working in Software Quality Assurance.

I have a Bachelor in Science (Double Mathematics, Statistics) and a Executive Master in Computer Science. During MCS I mostly studied subjects like MIS, SE, Networking, Object Oriented Programming and Oracle, etc.

Though I am considered as a key professional for my current assignments (SQA) but usually I feel that I have not studied well for my field, I think I should have studied computer sciences, Assembly, Operating Systems, Digital Logic and Design, Microprocessors, Data Structures, Design and Analysis of Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, etc.

My question is: When I am doing a good job and have worked on many projects with big US organizations, do I need to further study the above mentioned subjects? Or this is just kind of feeling and I should study only the technologies related to my current field (i.e. SQA) like automation testing, etc.
A wise man once told me the first two word in the answer to any really good question were: "That depends..." In your case, the answer depends on whether you are simply curious about the topics where you don't feel you possess sufficient training and background, or whether mastery of such topics would truly improve your current or future job prospects, pay, and career opportunities. Given your background, I'm inclined to think such things fall into the categories of "nice to have" or "nice to know" rather than the more urgent categories of "must have" or "must know." But only you can make this kind of judgment for yourself. With a respectable bachelor's and master's in your field of work, further training should be pursued only to improve your job prospects, work skills, or to help you change fields to an area of effort that is more to your liking. If these things don't qualify in any of those ways, then you can pursue them in your spare time as a hobbyist and learn more about them without investing significant time, effort, and money in ramping up in these areas.

That's my opinion, anyway, FWIW. Good luck with your career planning; it's nice to have options!

This was last published in April 2003

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