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What's a better way to spend the next two years: pursuing a master's degree or getting real world ex

I currently have a degree in electronics and telecommunications, I am CCNA certified and I currently work as a network support engineer. I have been at this job for only a couple of months. I would like to pursue a master's degree in IT, but am not sure if this is the best thing to do. If I do this, I will only have two months of experience on my resume (from my current job) and a master's degree. If I don't go for it, in two years time I will obviously have added two more years of experience. Which is a better way to proceed, the degree or the job?
The best way for me to answer this is to ask you to do two things:

  1. First, contact the institution that's offering the Master's program and ask them what your job prospects will be like with that degree, and also, what kind of outplacement and/or recruiting opportunities they can help you find as a consequence of studying with them for two or more years. If you don't like their answers, I suggest you skip their program (and to my way of thinking, lack of clear, concrete answers is a decided strike against them).

  2. Second, look at local employment opportunities in your field, and compare the openings available to those with your current degree and those with a master's degree (as you may pursue one, and hope that earning this credential will improve your prospects). If you can find a friendly or sympathetic technical recruitment specialist, you may be able to learn a lot from such a person.

Once you obtain the answers to these questions you should be able to decide what to do. But without knowing your local conditions and situation intimately, I can't do any more than offer you this sort of general advice, designed to help you make the decision that's best for your interests. Good luck!

This was last published in November 2004

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