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"Matthew S. Whiting" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Tue, 10 Feb 1998 18:06:49 -0500
text/plain (42 lines)
> Mark commented on Masters Degrees in computer science:
>     > ... I've looked at the master's programs for ... nearby schools
>     > and I see the same thing: the courses I finished taking as an
>     > undergraduate fifteen years ago. Everything I've needed to learn
>     > to do my job and explore beyond it I've learned on my own, whether
>     > it be C++, 3D graphics, CORBA, Ada 95, distributed processing,
>     > and I've done it far more efficiently and cheaply than I would
>     > have by getting a Master's degree.
> The purpose of a Master's Degree (or Bachelor's degree) is not to
> prepare people for a job. Why are there job-related courses
> at the Master's degree level? The purpose of Academia is to do
> research, both basic research and applied research.
> The computer science field is rapidly approaching this ideal where
> the job market is looking for skills instead of degrees.
> And when degrees are required, they are domain degrees.
> These domain degrees are likely to be finance, electrical engineering,
> chemical engineering, biological engineering, communications
> engineering, control systems, nanosystems, robotics, and for the rare
> compiler company even computer science.
> Of course a math degree is substitutable for all of the domains,
> since math is the queen of the sciences and the empress of all
> domains. No smiley: seriously, mathematicians can not only substitute
> for any engineer, but they can actually explain the domains to
> those engineers, once those domains are modelled mathematically.
> Between a mathematician and a domain expert, the domain expert is
> laid off,  because that mathematician: she can really do more jobs.

So this must explain why the starting salaries for engineers and comp
sci grads are so much higher than for mathematicians with similar
education.  Or was this a tongue-in-cheek comment?  :-)

Nothing against mathematicians, but to say they are more "valuable" than
engineers is absurd.  Value is determined by the market and the market
has spoken...