Do you think you would be better off now had you entered the workforce immediately with a B.S.?
What about your own personal experience? You received both a B.S. and an M.S. in ICS. Would you have gotten your current job with only the skills you had with a B.S.? Are you saying that the experiences you had as an M.S. student (such as doing a thesis and thus improving your oral and written communication skills; having an internship with Jet Propulsion Lab in California doing cutting edge software engineering research) didn't provide you with a "relevent edge"? Do you think you would be better off now had you entered the workforce immediately with a B.S.?
Philip Johnson: Would evening/night classes help? Or online?I was on the other end of the discussion (would you pay more), but based on what I was hearing I believe evening classes and some portion being offered online would be a big help.
Philip Johnson re: salary difference: ...you should be able to acquire skills and experiences you wouldn't be able to get from your professional environment (just like there are certain skills and experiences you can get from a professional job that you can't get from academia). So, the real reason to go back to school is to not simply to increase your pay grade, but to change what you are able to do.Your point is well taken. The benefit is more likely to come from the ability to perform new types of tasks as apposed to getting a pay bump at your current position doing the same sort of work.
Philip Johnson: More relevant classes. Sounds great. What are examples of topics we should be covering.?A few examples of skills that would be of interest to many employers: Expertise in application and database clustering using real world systems (popular DBs and app servers), advanced software system testing techniques and security expertise (all levels - app, network, etc.)
Philip Johnson: Perhaps part of the problem is that there is a certain amount of misinformation and/or simply lack of information about the M.S. program in particular and the ICS faculty in general.A marketing campaign or grass roots PR effort featuring local techies such as Aaron that have clearly benefited from an M.S. degree in this job market would likely have great efficacy.