I'm in the following situation. My first 7 months out of college, I worked software job I really didn't like, and then I hopped on to another job I like. I've been in that second job for about a year now, and even though my career is doing pretty OK, I'm thinking about going back to school for a MS and maybe a PhD. I have some concerns about going back to school that I was hoping I could get some insight on.
I didn't get funding for graduate school because I did no research as an undergrad and thus had weak references, but tuition for one of the better programs I got in to is rather low as its a state school and I'm in state ( Umass amherst). I was making a bit over six figures for both of my jobs, and I've saved up more than enough money to cover both my undergrad loans, and pay the entire cost of the master's program + living expenses.
I want to give grad school a try because I've gotten really into computer science these past two years, and I'd like to study it full time for two years while doing research. In college, I was too busy dealing with a deep depression and health problems to excell as a student to the degree I know I'm capable of, and I want to have the academic computer science experience I dreamed of when I was in highschool but was robbed of due to circumstances.
I am, however, concerned about my employability post-MS. I will have had two short stints on my resume - a 7 month job and a 19 month job - making me look like a disloyal job hopper, and I'm afraid that potential employers might be turned off by my over-education should I choose to go back to programming. I'm also concerned that my department might not treat me with respect as a self-funded student. If they thought I was good, they would have probably offered me funding.
How are MS degrees viewed in the industry? Are my concerns valid at all?