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Second Masters?

  1. Nov 27, 2009 #1
    I'm a 25 year old web applications developer and here's my story:

    I graduated this Summer (August) with a MS in computer engineering. The summer internship I had turned into a full-time position and I have been working full-time since. I took it out of desperation and the inability to find a job during this U.S. recession. Considering this was my 2nd internship during my time in graduate school, I expected a min of 42k/year but due to budgeting problems I was offered 35k which I took out of desperation of not finding other opportunities. I was pissed that I invested all that time to get a 2 internships (8 months), a research assistantship, and graduate school just to end up at a very low tier job (and my standards aren't even high - asking for 42k min too much based on my credentials?).

    I've been living at home, so I don't pay for anything (i.e. food, bills, except car and my cell phone). Unlike the majority of graduate students, I don't have debt or any loans to pay back. I was seriously thinking of going back to graduate school for a second Masters to get a higher-in-demand job. I want to go for a degree in bioinformatics up in the Northeast (I live in the South). The reason being is that I want to both broaden and specialize my software development skills. It seems to be in very high demand up in the northeast and at academic research centers. I just lack the knowledge and skills to be in bioinformatics, except the software development area. I'm just a "generic" code monkey.

    But leaving for graduate school and completely dropping my job seems like such a huge gamble and guilt trip. I have a job, no matter how bad it is, I feel like the lucky ones to be even working (job losses are still going higher and higher every month despite the gains in stock markets; my dad, 4 cousins, both brothers, 3 uncles, and all aunts (4) lost their jobs the past year - only a few have recovered).

    Would it be a wise decision to go to grad school for bioinformatics? I've been saving 2k a month since August and about to apply for Summer 2010 admission. How difficult would it be to get a research position to help pay for tuition in that case?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 28, 2009 #2
    I'm really not sure how a second degree is going to help much. If the economy improves then you'll be in a better position to look for a job if you have a job. If they economy doesn't improve, then a second masters isn't going to do you much good. One thing that you have to look really, really carefully before you get another degree is whether or not there really is a demand for what you are looking for.

    The other thing about software development is that you can get pretty far without a degree. Teach yourself C++ and start working on some open source project, and that will get you resume entries that would be useful later.
  4. Nov 29, 2009 #3
    Software development without certain knowledge in specific fields can only get you so far. I am already a software developer (web/mobile) and already know a plethora of languages.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want to specialized in a certain area of software development - bioinformatics in that case - and was wondering what I want to do (read my post above) is worth doing.
  5. Nov 30, 2009 #4
    The most effective way I can think of is to find some open source bioinformatics project, and start hacking away. If you contribute something significant to the project then it's something that you can put on your resume for looking for future jobs.
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