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I have just done my Bachelor in computer science and got an offer to a software engineering position. Some people told me that a master degree is very beneficial for my long-term career development. Unfortunately I do not think I can get into any good master program because of my terrible undergrad gpa + no academic references. A postgraduate certificate program requires nothing.

My question is, what is your point of view on postgraduate certificate in software engineering? Is it just a joke comparing to master degrees? What about starting salary?

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  • This site is for Academia. I took out the off-topic phrase in the question.
    – Nobody
    May 27, 2013 at 6:58

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Short term wise, the postgraduate certificate will help you to find a better job with a higher salary because the certificate shows that you have some skill printed on the certificate. However, whatever the technology you learn while getting the certificate could become obsolete in a few years.

Long term wise, the master degree proves that you know more fundamentals than just a bachelor. It may not help you that much when looking for a job with better salary. Some employers would think you don't have the skills they want immediately. However, you'll learn those needed skills faster and better because you know more fundamentals.

If you want to find a job as of now, you want to have certificates. If you want to be an excellent software engineer in the future, you should get a master degree

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I agree with @scaaahu that having a Masters shows that you have a strong understanding of important concepts. As you probably know there are commonalities between programming languages such as input/output, conditionals, loops, etc. the difference lies in how they are each implemented. However, by knowing one language(i.e. Java) you could learn another(i.e. C#) efficiently and in a shorter time.

It is also true that some employers might think you're overqualified since you have a Masters but others will recognize the added value your advanced knowledge could bring their company and the compensation may even reflect that.

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