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Old 11-28-2008, 08:58 PM
3 posts, read 15,775 times
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I'm a 22 year old with one year of work experience, after having completed my undergrad degree in computer science and business admin at a top university in Eastern Africa. I'm currently in the US (I'm a citizen) and am thinking about advancing my career and education, but I'm not sure if the best way to go is by getting a 2nd bachelor's degree or going straight for a master's degree, both would be in MIS.
The reason I'm thinking about a 2nd bachelor's degree is because American degree's are recognized worldwide and are generally harder, more thorough, and require more work than master's degree (I would have my credits transferred, and would probably required to take 3-4 semesters). However, I'm not sure how useful it would be to have 2 undergrad degrees when I could just go for a master's degree. I'm a bit concerned that a master's degree might be more beneficial if I had more work experience, or be too challenging since there's a possibility my international degree might not be of the same standard of the typical American undergrad degree which the master's would be based on.
Any thoughts?
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Old 11-28-2008, 09:58 PM
Location: The City of St. Louis
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IMO, just going straight for a master's degree would be the way to go. A master's degree from a good university would make up for your undergrad degree if it is from not-that-great of a school. Meaning, your employer will be much more interested in where your master's is from, and not care too much about your undergrad degree. Plus, you'd be able to finish a lot sooner, and have a lot less debt. I'd start applying to grad schools, and if you get into a good one, start straight off on your master's. I think a second undergrad would only be needed if for some reason you can't get into a decent grad school with your current degree.
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:06 PM
Location: Maryland's 6th District.
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A second B.A. is only useful if it is in a completely unrelated field than the first and they also take roughly the same amount of time to complete as a Masters so you might as well go for the higher degree.

Each college in the US has its own idea of what constitutes a quality education, so the degree of rigor is going to very from school to school (and I am not just talking about Tier 1 vs. Tier 4) so you would have to compare the college that you graduated from with a similar one in the US to get a good idea of what your degree is worth (in America).
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:54 PM
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Hey sarie15,

let me get back to you with a thorough answer in a little while, its a very good question though.
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:56 PM
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Thanks for the responses OA and K, I was leaning towards that idea too, but just wanted some reassurance. I guess I was just a little worried that with only 1 yr of work experience and an international degree (which was evaluated very well), I might stand out a bit in the master's program and not really be at the same level as the others. What do you think?
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Old 11-28-2008, 11:02 PM
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Ok monty, thanks, I'm just looking for any advice or insight into this matter, but I think I'll go for the master's degree.. I was just unsure about what direction I should take, with my lack of "adequate" work experience(only one year) vs the much more experienced students. I dont want to be one of those ppl who has a superficial master's degree, but I guess I should be more than fine with alot of hard work and motiovation.
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Old 11-29-2008, 04:53 AM
Location: Sunshine state
2,517 posts, read 3,625,015 times
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As a former recruiter in Information Technology field, I will tell you that foreign degree doesn't matter that much IF you have good GPA (> 3.5) AND good related experience/internship/school work. Most companies look at applicants' GPA for entry level/junior positions (some hiring managers even look at school transcripts), because that's the first thing that separates extra-ordinary fresh graduates to the ordinary ones, especially in Engineering and Computer Science fields. So always include GPA score in your resume if it's something to be proud of.

You mentioned that you graduated from a top school in your native country, so hopefully you did graduate with a high GPA. In my opinion it's better for you to pursue a MS than to take a second BS. While pursuing your MS, do whatever you need to do to participate in a good research program or two, it's very competitive to get into one, but it's very very important because that will be your selling point in the job market once you graduate.

Very often I see fresh graduates whose resumes list nothing but their degree and some unrelated/unremarkable experience (usually the part-time retail type experience that most students do). Remember, when you have not much experience to offer, your education becomes your ONLY selling point. So it's to your advantage to pump up your education and everything else you do in school (research work, internship program, solid school work, etc) to make your resume stand out from the crowd.

Good luck!
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