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BSc vs Msc Computer Science

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TSR's new app is coming! Sign up here to try it first >> 17-10-2016
    • Thread Starter

    I completed my Ba in German and Spanish a year ago and traveled for a short while afterwards. My interest in the academic aspects of languages waned in the final few years of my BA and due to lack of enthusiasm I only attained a 2.2. (Despite still having a love for languages in general, but only the 'speaking them' side).

    I am interested in a conversion course to Computer Science for which I have seen many courses which offer places to students who have bachelors degrees in areas other than computer science and are open also to those with a 2.2 and above. My question is, has anyone completed one of these conversion courses and are they at all valued by employers, I say this because I had (perhaps naively) always viewed Masters level qualifications as being 'higher level', 'more intensive workload' and 'the next step up from Bachelors', but naturally a conversion course in computer science surely cannot begin at a level higher than bachelors when it is aimed at those with minimal actual programming experience or experience in other areas of computer science.

    Many job boards I have been browsing often ask for a minimum of a good BSc Computer science, but I have also come across jobs many times which add the line, "Or a higher level qualification such as an MSc Computer Science or Software Engineering".

    I'm wondering what this means, as I had noticed it before in areas surrounding my German and Spanish bachelors, wherein a one-year MA conversion course could be seen as being worth the equivalent of 4 years at bachelors level, so much so that the 1 year MA is sometimes satisfactory as a replacement for the BA/BSc altogether. (Which to me doesn't make complete sense for obvious reasons, unless the MA is SIGNIFICANTLY HARDER).

    I'm now wondering what employers feel about this, as I am interested in going ahead with a Comp-sci MSc but only want to pursue it if it is going to valued by employers despite my not having a BSc in the same subject. University websites can often be quite deceptive here, and will often read something like, "our computer science graduates go on to work for Microsoft, IBM and other succesful technology companies....etc etc." but do not differentiate between those who studied at bachelors and those at postgraduate level.

    If I did want to break into the IT industry as a change of career, is the postgraduate MSc course worth it?

    In my (albeit totally ignorant) opinion, a computer science conversion course sounds a bit dodgy. I would be very surprised if an employer who was looking for computer science/software engineering graduate was prepared to hire someone who had only done a 9 month conversion course, even if it is a masters. Could a conversion course really equip with all the mathematical, technical and programming knowledge that you'd learn on a conventional bachelor's degree? Doubtful.

    Princepieman you study Data Science, right? What do you think?
    • Thread Starter

    Just to add: (Not that it makes much difference)...but they are mostly 12 month courses (with the final 3 months devoted to a research project) and then can optionally (preferably according to them) be followed by a work placement in industry. My Question is actually similar to what you are suggesting anyways, which is that they send people on these industrial placements from both their bachelors during third year, and these one year masters courses include it at the end, so either the workload must be extremely more intense in the masters and you undertake nearly 3 years of bachelors in just that year, or they are skipping something they feel is unnecessary. Either way there is a large number of universities seemingly offering such courses and i'm wondering if anyone has actually had any success with them as I honestly don't mind the hard work if that is what they are, but would like to know that its not all a money grab before I devote my efforts towards it.

    Nothing dodgy about conversion masters, they're precisely made for people in your sitaution so if you can get on a programme and you have the means to pay, I'd go for it.

    What's really going to make or break you however is your experience, projects, portfolio of work that you've produced. THAT is what recruiters are looking for, the masters just ticks the education box. So start learning code NOW, and build up on it.*
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