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Should I do a 'dual' masters degree?

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

At my university they offer a program where you can pick two science disciplines and do a sort of 'half and half' masters degree. My B.S. is in Physics, and I somewhat want to do material science, which also directly relates to my current job and undergrad focus, but both mathematics and computer science have caught my eye. The degree is labeled as a 'Masters in Natural and Applied Sciences'. I am worried that this wont look great to future employers

If I don't end up doing this, I will likely go the CS route since they have a non thesis, class only option. I really want to focus more on my research at work, and not on research for a thesis.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Why not take math/comp sci classes on the side while doing a masters in physics? My thought is that a dual masters degree would indicate an indecision towards what you want to do, which employers do not want to see (as far as I know). Therefore, you need to figure out what your actual career goal is, which you've yet to point out. I can't tell if you want to code, do physics, or do math, or some permutation of the three. It also sounds like you already have a research position at a company, so it would be useful if you gave some details on that as well.
 
  • #3
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Why not take math/comp sci classes on the side while doing a masters in physics? My thought is that a dual masters degree would indicate an indecision towards what you want to do, which employers do not want to see (as far as I know). Therefore, you need to figure out what your actual career goal is, which you've yet to point out. I can't tell if you want to code, do physics, or do math, or some permutation of the three. It also sounds like you already have a research position at a company, so it would be useful if you gave some details on that as well.
I would love a job with a combination of all three! haha. I currently work at a chemical/semiconductor company in the printed electronics department. I do a lot of research on sensors involving nanoparticle and carbon nanotube inks. There are opportunities for coding, such as, making a program to communicate with custom test systems we come up with, but I really don't know as much coding as I should. I could probably do physics and convince them to let some of my electives be CS classes. But as I said, I am weary of getting into a thesis based program.

Another factor is that the job I hold is with the only science type company within about 400 miles of me, and I am severely limited geographically due to my wife's job... which she would like to keep. Coding jobs are much more abundant here though, but I wouldn't want to be limited to that, just in case.
 
  • #4
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The title of the degree will result in employers throwing your resume into the garbage. Don't do it.
 
  • #5
FactChecker
Science Advisor
Gold Member
5,580
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For job hunting as a computer programmer, you would be better off with a CS degree. You can use your work experience when you hunt for other jobs. They will (or should) give that experience a lot of weight.
 
  • #6
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The title of the degree will result in employers throwing your resume into the garbage. Don't do it.
That is what I worry. I figured that may be the case.
 
  • #7
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For job hunting as a computer programmer, you would be better off with a CS degree. You can use your work experience when you hunt for other jobs. They will (or should) give that experience a lot of weight.
I was thinking that. Future employers in the physics arena would probably wonder why I did CS instead of physics.
I could always swing it as I feel like I am learning more in my job than a masters in physics could provide, so I explored another, complementary interest.
But really, I don't plan on leaving my current position anytime soon.

I also don't ever plan on getting a PhD.
 
  • #8
StatGuy2000
Education Advisor
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The title of the degree will result in employers throwing your resume into the garbage. Don't do it.
And what evidence can you present that this is the case?
 
  • #9
gleem
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
1,636
1,001
The title of the program is unusual. If the resume is screened by an automated system as many are especially in placement services and larger corps.it might well be passed over if it is screening for material science. I would put emphasis on material science and related courses and address you interest in CS as an incidental objective.
 

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