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[Discuss] OT degrees Re: SEO

On October 27, 2013, Rich Braun wrote:
>The diploma that seems to be drying up in recent years is the
>Master's.  Major universities are steering people directly into PhD
>programs, and not many jobs out there target master's degree holders.

Masters degrees are also extremely variable, ranging from 1-year
diploma mills (even at some well-known universities) to multi-year,
near-Ph.D. research. And even within the same school, you can have 5-6
different computer-related masters degrees with similar names but
wildly different levels of technical emphasis (hello Carnegie-Mellon).

>However the problem with the PhD is it pigeon-holes you into a
>specific career path, one which may not be the highest-paying in
>future years.

Perhaps that's what you have encountered, but in my experience, it
varies tremendously from employer to employer. The guy who coded the
most innovative manufacturing system in our company has a Ph.D. in
cognitive science, a largely unrelated field.  On the flip side, I've
walked into (and out of) interviews when the first words out of the
idiot manager's mouth were, "So, you've been in school all your
life. Have you ever done anything?" (I have a Ph.D. + 15 years
of industry.)

At a good company, "Ph.D." on a candidate's resume implies "smart" and
"able to work independently."  There's a lot of variability within
those descriptors: someone who works well independently might be good
OR bad at working on teams, for example. And one does meet the
occasional "ivory tower" stereotype who is all ideas and no
practicality. But Ph.D's come in all shapes & sizes, just like any
other group.

Dan Barrett
dbarrett at

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