Five reasons earning a master’s degree is better than attending a bootcamp
Find out how an advanced degree in technology can help you break into tech or advance your existing career in technology and land the job of your dreams. Here are five great reasons a tech-related master’s degree is better than a bootcamp certificate.
Bootcamps are all the rage these days, especially for anyone who is looking to break into a high-paying and rewarding career in tech. These technical training programs can be quick and effective for leveling up a specific skill – like coding or web design – or for earning a certification in a designated area of technology. But they also have their drawbacks, especially when you compare a bootcamp with a master’s degree.
A bootcamp program is usually faster to complete and less expensive than earning a master’s degree, but the benefits often stop there. In a few short years, the knowledge you’ve acquired will likely be outdated, and you’ll have nothing to show for your investment. A master’s degree, on the other hand, can boost your career (and your salary) potential for the rest of your life – and that’s just the beginning. Want to know more? Check out these five reasons a master’s degree is better than a bootcamp certificate.A master’s degree provides more job opportunities
While a bootcamp may build the skills you need to qualify for a specific job, earning a master’s degree will open the door to a wide range of career opportunities in tech. “Grad schools provide people with good job opportunities and career movement,” explains Dean of the Touro University Graduate School of Technology (GST), Issac Herskowitz. “There’s a wave of people who think you don’t need college anymore. But, at the end of the day, you need more than high school – and sometimes more than college.”
Professor Payam Bina, a department chair who teaches courses at Touro GST, agrees. “Sometimes, a master’s degree is required, and having one opens more opportunities for you.” Not only will an advanced degree make you a more competitive candidate for entry-level tech jobs, but it also improves your chances of advancing your career. “A master’s degree holder will always be promoted over a bootcamp grad,” says Dean Herskowitz.
Additionally, a master’s degree usually translates to a higher salary. Professionals with their master’s degrees earn 16% more per week on average than those with college degrees and 49% more than those who only have high school diplomas. If you’ve completed a master’s degree in computers or information technology, you can expect to earn an average starting salary of $103,000 annually after landing your first tech job.A master’s degree lasts forever.
When you earn a bootcamp certificate, you’ll probably have the skills to apply for a job in tech right away, but that potential won’t last long. Technology changes at lightning speed, and in a couple of years – or maybe even in a few months – the information and technical skills you developed will most likely be outdated. “Bootcamp credentials are short-lived, and you don’t have an actual degree,” Dean Herskowitz explains. “It’s not useful for long term advancement.”
Earning your master’s degree is a qualification that lasts for life and provides value for the rest of your career – which is particularly relevant in light of the recent mass layoffs in the technology industry. “If you get laid off with just a bootcamp credential and no degree, you may not be able to find another job, especially as you get older,” shares Dean Herskowitz. While an advanced degree in tech may not prevent a layoff, it will make you more attractive than college and bootcamp grads when it comes to finding your next role. In short, a master’s degree speaks volumes on a resume and opens new doors.A master’s degree builds foundational knowledge. It doesn’t just provide a limited skill.
It’s true that in a bootcamp you learn a specific tech skill, but when you take coursework for your master’s degree, you build a deeper scope of knowledge that spans multiple aspects of technology and teaches you to see the big picture. As Professor Bina puts it, “A bootcamp certificate teaches you to do something in a specific way. But if you encounter a problem beyond that, you don’t have the foundational knowledge to address it. A master’s degree teaches you a path of knowledge.”
Dr. Shmuel Fink, also a program chair and professor at the Touro University Graduate School of Technology, concurs. “You won't get the same education from a certificate or a bootcamp program. Computer science programs provide a much broader education. They include the theory and practicality of technology, and they focus on topics like computer logic and algorithm, data structures, and data management. Learning theory will enable you to continue learning new skills throughout your career.” Essentially, it’s a way to future-proof your career, ensuring you’re able to evolve right along with technology.A master’s degree helps you develop a lifelong professional network.
It’s estimated that 85% of jobs are filled through networking, which means developing a professional network is crucial for career success in today’s world. In the words of Professor Bina: “Networking is the key to working in your career path, and earning a master’s degree gives you better networking contacts.”
Since bootcamps usually run for anywhere between 12 and 24 weeks, there’s little opportunity to develop strong, meaningful relationships with your fellow classmates in the bootcamp or with the instructors. Graduate school programs generally take several years to complete, so you’ll not only have more time to bond with your classmates, but you’ll also get to know a wider group of people in the various classes and electives you take – some of whom may become lifelong friends or professional contacts, who can provide valuable connections and open doors where they work.
In grad school, you’ll also interact with faculty and staff who are invested in both your academic and career success. “We provide students with lots of attention and support, because student success is the most important thing.” says Dean Herskowitz. “Professor Bina adds, “We work with students in a more personal way. There are very close relationships between the administrative staff, faculty, and students.” These relationships can last well beyond your time at school, with faculty becoming trusted mentors who can expand your network even farther.A master’s degree gives you the flexibility to find the right fit
When you select a bootcamp, you choose one area or aspect of technology on which to focus. You might learn how to code or study the basics of network security, but since you’re taking one course that lasts a few months, the scope of knowledge will be fairly narrow. That means that if you find yourself midway through a bootcamp which you don’t really enjoy or which doesn’t interest you, you’re out of luck.
At a university, you earn your degree by taking a carefully-constructed curriculum of classes over several years. Since the core requirements for technology master’s degree programs often overlap, you may be able to easily switch among degrees in the beginning stages of your studies.
“When you attend a school that has many different degree options, you can move amongst the degrees without losing too much of the coursework you’ve already completed,” says Dr. Fink – and Dean Herskowitz confirms this is true at Touro GST. “Students can move amongst several of our degrees early on in their programs. It’s interchangeable, and that’s a big advantage over competitors.”
Also, because master’s degree programs are more comprehensive than bootcamps, your degree may cover multiple aspects of technology. For example, Touro GST offers a Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Network Administration, while most boot camps only offer one or the other. Including both areas gives you more career versatility, making it easier to get a job and advance your career. Plus, at a university, you can use your required electives to explore other technology topics in which you’re interested.
THE MS PROGRAMS AT TOURO UNIVERSITY GRADUATE SCHOOL OF TECHNOLOGY
At the Touro University Graduate School of Technology, you can choose from the following seven Master of Science degrees in technology. They are all STEM-certified and are specifically designed to address the most current and relevant areas of technology today:
- Instructional Technology
- Web and Multimedia Design
- Data Analytics – Technology or Business
- Cybersecurity and Network Administration
- Web and Application Development
- Technology Leadership/Project Management
- Business Intelligence & Database Systems
All of our degrees are available both online and in-person. They are taught by faculty who are actively working in technology, so you get first-hand knowledge and learn to solve real-world problems. We also offer special support for career changers, providing a semester’s worth of background courses in technology that will give you the foundation you need to earn your master’s degree and work in tech.
If you’ve been thinking about enrolling in a bootcamp to get the skills for an entry level tech job or to build your technology career, think about getting your master’s degree instead! You’ll not only get a more valuable education, but you’ll also make a lifelong investment in your future. Contact the Touro University Graduate School of Technology today to learn more about our advanced degrees in technology and find the path that’s right for you.