Entertainment Business Degree?
Q: Is it worthwhile to pursue a software engineering master's degree? And what
schools should I be looking at? I think it is what I want to do, but I'm not
entirely certain at this stage, I'm still an undergraduate at the junior
level. I know programs such as CMU's require professional experience before
applying, which seems somewhat counterintuitive, but I can see why they
would want it. What are you thoughts on the subject?
A:I'll answer the easy one first. Assuming you decide to do an advanced degree, the best school will be the one that focuses on the sort of computing you want to do. To find that out, spend some time in the library looking a the professional journals for that specialty. Count the number of authors from the schools. Those schools with the most authors will usually be focused on that specialty. Once you have narrowed it down that way, go on the web and seek rankings of the schools in general, for CS, and for your specialty. Usually these will be for CS in general rather than a specialty, but some professional organizations for specialties may have rankings. Now you should be down to two or three so send away for their catalogues and look at the course descriptions. The obvious thing to look for is good coverage of the things you want to do. You also want wide coverage of things that interest you because you won't specialize *that* much. A more subtle thing to check for is coverage of software development process. Beware of a school that has lots of courses on data structures, operating systems, compilers, networking, etc. but none on software engineering itself. This is, to some extent, true of any engineering degree. In fact, it might be true of any degree targeted to a specific subject. A degree in journalism does not make one a journalist. A degree in chemical engineering does not make one a chemical engineer. An engineering degree is simply a first step. Eventually, one might pass the Professional Engineering exam. At that point, with a lot of education and experience in place, the person can claim to be an engineer. A degree has always been the ticket that lets you enter the race not the award for having won it. A software engineering degree, usually awarded at the graduate school level, is just such a ticket. Usually, the recipient of an S.E degree already has a lot of years of experience and an undergraduate degree in some related discipline
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