Mastering IT: Choosing Between an Immediate Job and Higher Educat

While a master's degree may not be a necessity in the IT field, obtaining one can help professionals move up the corporate ladder. On the downside,
it may mean more student loans.


You feel a sigh of relief. You've gotten your bachelor's degree, you're secure in a job and you're thankfully near the end of paying off your college loans. Then a thought sends you reeling: Should I get a master's degree?

The decision to pursue a master's in any subject area can be a tough one. It could mean accumulating more loans, juggling a demanding job and a rigorous course load and wondering whether it's all worth it in the long run.

Is It a Necessity?

Jim Leone, information technology department head at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), said in the current job market, a master's degree is not imperative.

"In today's world, [a master's degree is] not really important, simply because our students with bachelors' degrees are finding work," he said.

"However, mid-level IT workers can strengthen their careers by coming back for a master's degree. But is it critical? No, not in my opinion."

Leone believes the best route to getting a master's degree is finding an employer who will invest in your education.

"The ideal thing is for somebody to get working with a company and then go to the company and say: ‘Now I would like to work on my master's degree. Will you help?'" Leone said. "Most companies, if they're smart, they…



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