I'm a software professional with 9+ years of experience. I've been working most of my career (6.5 years) on the server side, and middleware with only about 5% exposure to programming (Java). The specific domain I work in doesn't require excellent programmers; only basic knowledge is preferred and it's even optional. Even with this 5% exposure, I was among the best programmers among people in my domain. This is not because I was any good, but it's because most of them barely know programming because our domain, since it doesn't require it.

In my last 2.5 years I've been working full time as a Java programmer, because I was interested in programming, and, luckily there was a (rare) programming requirement so I easily got the tasks.

My job is still a good job, and it has decent pay comparable to programming jobs, but I'm looking for programming jobs.

It'll be hard to find a good programming job with a person with 9-10 years of experience since 1) our domain doesn't require it much and 2) I won't be as good as other programmers with 9-10 years of coding experience.

To make my resume more suitable for programming jobs and to improve my skills, I'm considering doing an online masters degree in Georgia Tech, keeping my current job. I'm also looking at other courses, not just in GT. https://www.omscs.gatech.edu/

I hear good things about the GT OMSCS course and that it's as difficult as a full time, onsite course, so I'm okay there.

Q1: Are online MS degrees from top universities valued by companies? I'm not asking how it should be valued but how it actually is valued.

Q2: Assuming I look for a job in about 1 year, will companies consider offering jobs to people with 10 years experience with about 4 years and no masters degree.

Q3: Assuming I finish my online MS in 3-4 years, will companies consider jobs to people with 12-13 years of experience with about 6-7 years of coding experience and an online MS?

Q4: Is it worth it for a professional with 9-10 years of experience to start a masters degree?

9-13 years of experience is somewhat senior so I'm wondering if I won't be considered at all for programming positions.

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's about implications of a degree for a particular (non-research) industry. Expert answers would come from people with experience hiring in that industry, not from a bunch of academics. (See the help center, "Preparation for a non-academic career.") – ff524 Dec 8 '16 at 17:15