Opinions on Continued Education for Software Engineers

・1 min read

I'm a software engineer that is a year into my career and so far really enjoying myself. Often times family members and a few mentors of mine will ask me if I have plans to go back to school. While I like the idea of doing so one day, I'm not sure when I would want to study, or when. Additionally the realization that I can make good money doing work I enjoy with the degree I already have makes me question what the worth of a masters degree would be. Do you think its worth it for engineers to go back to school? What kind of things doing you think are worth studying? General advice on continued education in this field?

DISCUSSION (3)
 

I think yes, in general, it would be a good option. While I think on-the-job problem solving combined with community participation is the best route towards growth, you can only go so far with this.

I'd love to someday take a full-on break from the rat race and enroll in some kind of educational environment. When I was younger, I really did not take well to the classroom, but I feel like I'd enjoy giving it another shot, now that I've had time to reflect.

Depending on your needs, the options for continuing education might not be great for you. For me, I'd benefit from even a basic CS immersive because I went down a much more practical path, but for others I'm not sure the options are really there. I would expect this to change, though, in the next decade or so.

Possibly not exactly "continued education" specifically, but programs like Recurse are pretty cool.

 

Thanks for your thoughts Ben. I felt like I got a decent CS exposure in undergrad, but could see myself wanting to go back for something thats even deeper into the science side of CS potentially, if I took a more traditional route anyway. But like I said, i'm still not sure if a graduate degree will really be what I want, though I'm only 23 so I supposed I've got time to figure it out.

Also I had never heard of Recurse, sounds super cool thanks for brining it to my attention.

 

Some jobs do require advanced degrees. For example, many government positions, government contract work, or higher education teaching positions require advanced degrees. So having one unlocks those opportunities.

A PhD chemist told me once that in most scientific fields, a PhD is required to "make new science". But in our field, the barrier to make new computer science is much much lower. IOW, it doesn't even require a Master's to advance the field.

Personally, I tried to go back for my Master's at one point, but ultimately decided it wasn't for me. I am a voracious learner, but I do not really like school. I have an inclination to teach, but am content to mentor my team and share things I learn elsewhere, such as this site.

It just depends on your goals. :)

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My name is Omar and I'm an Alum of Indiana University's School of Informatics and Computing. I'm a Software Engineer at Target, recent graduate, and nerd who's always looking to learn more.