Anyone in the IT field?

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    Sep 27, 2008 12:58 AM GMT
    I recently got out of grad school with an MBA in Finance. I'm finding it hard to find a good job in my field so I was thinking of going back to school and probably get a Master's in Computer Science. Anyone has a degree in this field? What are the job prospects like for new grads with no experience? What is the outlook for the next 5-10 yrs?
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    Sep 27, 2008 1:12 AM GMT
    Have you considered a Masters in Software Engineering instead? Is there a specific reason why you want to go with Computer Science?
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    Sep 27, 2008 1:34 AM GMT
    I'm considering it because at least right now there seems to be a strong demand for people with IT degrees but I want to make sure that that is the case and there is actually a future in the field..2 yrs ago Finance seemed great but now..well..
  • swimbikerun

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    Sep 27, 2008 1:42 AM GMT
    Often times in the IT industry, degrees are valued over experience. I have a degree in Computer Information Systems but many successful people in IT do not have related degrees.
    Insofar as having a Finance degree you're in an excellent position to work for all types of IT companies. One example, is tracking website impressions and ad revenue for a company.
    It really depends on what you want to do. I think the outlook is good, even in a rough economy.
    Usually people that get degrees in Computer Science or Engineering tend to focus more on the practical aspects of computers and software rather than the managerial aspects.
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    Sep 27, 2008 1:46 AM GMT
    Get certified in SAP. I actually work in finance in the IT sector. These guys who are SAP experts make a killing! Check into it.
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    Sep 27, 2008 1:48 AM GMT
    Software engineering would also land you an IT job. I suggest it because Computer Science deals more with the theoretical side of programming, and Software engineering is more applied. But you will have a lot of overlap between the two subjects. Ultimately, the knowledge you get out of CS versus SE will depend on the program that you get into as well as the courses you chose to take.

    And just to clarify, Software Engineering, Computer Science, and IT are three different fields (but very closely related).
  • swimbikerun

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    Sep 27, 2008 1:56 AM GMT
    dowal saidSoftware engineering would also land you an IT job. I suggest it because Computer Science deals more with the theoretical side of programming, and Software engineering is more applied. But you will have a lot of overlap between the two subjects. Ultimately, the knowledge you get out of CS versus SE will depend on the program that you get into as well as the courses you chose to take.

    And just to clarify, Software Engineering, Computer Science, and IT are three different fields (but very closely related).

    Right, and all three are defined differently in courses around the United States.
    Again, it's more about what you what to do. With an MBA in Finance, you already have the skill set to provide focus and direction for a company regardless of the industry it's in.
    Do you already have a strong interest in computers? If so, then having an academic background based in computers is always a plus but not really worth pursuing IMHO just to make you look better on your resume.
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    Sep 27, 2008 2:12 AM GMT
    Thanks guys. I do have an interest in computers and the school that I am looking into has both Computer Science and Software Engineering degrees. The problem I am running into is that companies want X years of experience, which I do not have and of course, can't get it if no one is willing to give me the chance! So I thought that combining my MBA with a degree in computers, whether it's computer science or software engineering or something along those lines, would actually make me more marketable.
  • swimbikerun

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    Sep 27, 2008 2:20 AM GMT
    maverickcj_ca saidThanks guys. I do have an interest in computers and the school that I am looking into has both Computer Science and Software Engineering degrees. The problem I am running into is that companies want X years of experience, which I do not have and of course, can't get it if no one is willing to give me the chance! So I thought that combining my MBA with a degree in computers, whether it's computer science or software engineering or something along those lines, would actually make me more marketable.

    Sure, it's a chicken and egg thing. You'll come across it time and time again. What kind of positions are you applying for? You might not like it but try getting a position below your qualifications yet where you might have an opportunity to move up. Then, do your job and gradually take more responsibility with an eye towards the position you want. Eventually, that position will open up and you'll be the prime candidate.
    For example, you'd like a job as a Financial Analyst. Apply for a position as a Coordinator (or even just answering the phones!) Always ask questions, be helpful and take the inititive, helping the Financial Analysts in their current position. Find out what tools they use, how the workflow is defined, etc. Eventually, you just might get that shiny new job! Best of luck!
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    Sep 27, 2008 2:27 AM GMT
    Oh trust me..I'm applying to all sorts of positions but even with an MBA with Honors, 4 languages and some solid work experience I "do not meet the minimum qualifications required for the position". Most of my friends that graduated with me are in the same position so it makes me feel a tad better knowing that it's not just me.
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    Sep 27, 2008 3:09 AM GMT
    danielryan saidGet certified in SAP. I actually work in finance in the IT sector. These guys who are SAP experts make a killing! Check into it.


    Oh, gawd. Run far far away from SAP! It has been the single biggest boondoggle, not to mention productivity killer, our company has ever seen. Consultants make bank, though.
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    Sep 27, 2008 3:42 AM GMT
    From what I see, you need experience and a degree and/or certifications.

    Prior to a career change about two years ago, I spent 11 years working in IT, however my degree is in business and I have never pursued any certifications. But I have job experience in just about everything IT except programming.

    When I was recently laid off and looking for work, I was amazed at how little response I got from my inquiries into IT jobs despite years of experience. I've also talked with guys who have degrees in computer science but little experience and they didn't have much luck either.

    I've come to realize you need the trifecta (degree, experience, and certification) to really be the most competitive for IT job openings. You might find something with two out of three, but there are plenty of guys out there with all three competing for the same jobs you are, and usually they'll get them over you.

    For that reason, I'm looking at a masters program in CISE and brushing up to take my Network+ and MSCE certification soon.

    Daunting, yes, but I assume you were looking for the sober truth.

    But after thinking about it a while, if you have an MBA with a concentration in Finance, why don't you become an independent consultant handling Sarbanes-Oxley issues? As I understand it, going rate is about $90 an hour.
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    Sep 27, 2008 3:00 PM GMT
    If you combine an MBA in finance and a BS in IT, focusing on programming, in today's environment especially, I have little doubt that you wouldn't be in very high demand. With new rules that are going to be put into place and modifications of existing rules, all new systems will need to be written, tested and implemented. Hell, you could even start your own boutique IT firm consulting to whomever become the next giants of finance.
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    Sep 27, 2008 3:34 PM GMT
    So..Computer Science or Software Engineering? Which one would be the most flexible and helpful?
  • swimbikerun

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    Sep 27, 2008 3:43 PM GMT
    You should really go over the coursework for each and see which you like better. Comp. Engineering usually deals with hardware aspects of computers and their physical construction and is a more specific field than Computer Science.
    Instead of a BS, you might look into a MS of CIS.
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    Sep 27, 2008 3:47 PM GMT
    Thanks Swimbike..I'm not planning on getting a BS..I'm definitely looking into another Masters..I guess my best bet would be to talk to people at the faculty and get some more guidance..but thanks a lot to everyone who has replied. I appreciate it.