You've spent almost three years finishing your bachelor's degree and you are now facing the difficult decision of whether your should enter adulthood or continue in the safe womb of studentship, so what should you do?
IF YOU HAVE NO RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE
If studying hard (and probs "socializing" equally hard) is all you have been doing for the last three years, I recommend you to enter the real world.
IT educations are too theoretic to compete with actual work experience. Some subjects are still basing grades on pen n' paper programming, and most practical assignments are missing the context and legacy you deal with in big projects.
Therefore, you have to start with evaluating your actual competence. For example; are you a good programmer or just a great student? Compare these two factors and see how they fit with our general guidelines:
**If you have amazing grades and most likely will continue to have this during your master's, let's be honest, a consultancy agency will snap you up even if you're competing with more talented programmers.
*Find a job is easier said than done. Whilst doing so, we recommend doing internships and creating or joining relevant projects, so that you are building competence and can increase your chances of landing an interview and being impressive in it.
IF YOU HAVE RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE
Students with relevant part time jobs, summer jobs or internships have relevant work experience and therefore need to consider what's their best learning method and their chances of getting good enough grades going forward. "Reconsider Career Choice" appears twice in the guidelies below because if you actually have experience and haven't increased your level in programming, you might just be aiming for the wrong field.
Degree level is almost always used as a filter to make the workload manageable. A master's degree stands out in the recruiting process, especially in bigger companies with many applicants.
However, the IT industry is somewhat unique because IT knowledge is available and acknowledged even without degrees. It is possible to be great in your field without any formal background. And many IT candidates are typical self-thought geniuses that lack the interest or ability to succeed through theoretical studies and exams. That's one of the reasons why we want to create a CV that better mirrors a candidate's actual competence level and context, and a tool for companies to discover this without being fixated on degrees.
To sum it up, a master's will generally get you through the door, but getting further will be hard if your grades are bad and/or you actually suck at the tasks they want to hire you to do.
This is of course just a general observation, and deciding on education is always a very subjective and individual choice. Motivation is for example a very important factor that have not been discussed in this blog post.
Our guidelines are based on nearly ten years in the IT recruiting industry from local, national and international agencies. If you're having troubles deciding what to do, feel free to comment on social media. We are happy to answer questions and give advice. And please speak up if you disagree; more perspectives will help the students with this dilemma!