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Sunday, June 26, 2011
MS in Computer Science versus an MBA
I’ve been immersed in thought lately. And not in a good way, either.
When I started thinking about going back to school, I set a very simple goal for myself: finish. That’s it. I didn’t really concern myself with a specific time or a date. I just told myself that this time I would make it all the way through and get the degree done. I thought that was a pretty good goal.
Somehow that didn’t seem to be enough for me so I set myself another goal: get into graduate school.
Naturally, since the focus of my undergrad program was mainly computer science, I decided to take a close hard look at graduate programs in that field.
Now I’m wondering if that’s wise.
I’m old enough now that I have to weigh the opportunity costs of choosing one path versus another. Once you near middle age, it’s becomes clear that time has value that isn’t fully appreciated by the young.
Graduate school is a big time and financial commitment. If I start a program, I don’t want to repeat the same mistakes that I made with my undergraduate degree. I want to pick the right program and be done with it.
I also want it to have a measurable and demonstrative effect on my life and career. Lately, I have been having a hard time justifying the expense and allocation of time that a graduate program in Computer Science would demand.
When I asked around to people who I know and respect, they all suggested that I take a good look at getting an MBA. Their reasons were pretty simple: it will make me a better candidate for advancement in my current career and it will probably make me more marketable if I choose to change my career.
Another point that they brought up was that my experience in business would all be relevant as I sought to apply them to my educational journey.
Of course, I always thought that I was doing this for strictly personal reasons. Try as I might though, my career has found a way to make itself a priority again.
SO…it’s going to be an interesting story if I end up choosing one versus the other. I’m screening possible schools and getting ideas.