Grad school vs Patient growth

FactSet
Giggsy

FactSet

PRE
Bridgewater Associates
Giggsymore
Mar 19 10 Comments

There’s a tldr attached at the bottom, but that may make sense with the context below.

So a little background: I graduated from a small, no name school with a bachelors in a math/cs major. I have a little over 3 yoe, and on the same job since I graduated. I find it difficult to get noticed by recruiters at top tech (FAANG, Uber, airbnb, etc), which I am guessing comes down to the combo of my education and employment history.

As a result, it’s difficult for me to get picked for interviews, and admittedly whatever interviews I do get, I make it onsite and botch them. While I’m working on my interviewing, I am also trying to figure out what’s the best long term play for my career.

I see myself in an eng manager role in the future (as opposed to a PM role, or IC). With that in mind, I was wondering what’s the best thing I could do now : Attend a top Eng school for a masters in CS/specialized form of it (ML, AI, etc), OR, wait it out till I make Senior SWE and hope that my applications are taken more seriously then?

FWIW, I have tried the route of cold emailing recruiters etc, but that has a low success rate and sometimes feels like it’s not worth the effort.

Apologies for the long post.

TL;DR: I want to switch to a top tech company. Should I get a masters degree, or wait to get promoted and then switch ?

PS: switching to FANG isn’t the sole goal. The idea is also to increase the depth and breadth of my expertise in various ‘aspects’ of tech.

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TOP 10 Comments
  • New myHw80
    Grad school is really a bad idea if all you want is get into FAANG. Solve 500 leetcode problems, do some side projects, get LinkedIn premium and reach out to recruiters or hiring managers, you'll be in a FAANG in <6 months.

    DM me if you want ideas on side projects or how to build profile, not G/F but I got 2 offers one from Amazon and another from a reputable tech company. My next step apparently is to aim for G or F, but that means more leetcode. No where in this journey did grad school helped me
    Mar 19 0
  • Vice JhUv68
    Where did you go to school?
    Mar 19 3
    • Vice JhUv68
      I think you are a bit impatient. I have been though this too. You likely will not gain any traction with recruiters until you are in your 6th to 8th YOE, you are still a new grad in their eyes. I went to grad school and while it did provide me a new career opportunity, it took 3-4 years after graduating to come to fruition. That coupled with student loans is tough to advise. If money is no issue then education cant hurt.
      Mar 19
    • FactSet
      Giggsy

      FactSet

      PRE
      Bridgewater Associates
      Giggsymore
      OP
      Got it. What are your thoughts on gaining knowledge via education vs experience ? Assuming money and time aren’t restricting factors in either case.
      Mar 19
    • Vice JhUv68
      Your grad education will not kick in for at least 5 years. Companies are looking for leadership and increasing responsibility throughout your time. Only after you prove you can lead, tangibly, with proof (numbers, results) will the grad degree be worth it.
      Mar 19
  • ConEdison
    dweeb

    ConEdison

    PRE
    Startuply
    dweebmore
    Grad school won’t guarantee anything. You’ll be perceived “fresh” again with recent school record in your CV (considering HR spends 6 sec on avg to screen over ur CV). Grow yourself inside your company, develop yourself as a better professional, invest into building your CV (writing it right is significant thing), and try again.
    Mar 19 0
  • Atlassian / Eng
    Luffy, M.D

    Atlassian Eng

    PRE
    Facebook
    BIO
    A prematurely grumpy somewhat old man
    Luffy, M.Dmore
    Don't take a break to do full time grad school if you have a decent job. Almost always a net loss unless your job is a total dead end (or you want a career track switch, like hardware to swe or whatever)

    Part time MS in CS or in Software Engineering is usually worthwhile while working.
    Mar 19 1
    • Atlassian / Eng
      Luffy, M.D

      Atlassian Eng

      PRE
      Facebook
      BIO
      A prematurely grumpy somewhat old man
      Luffy, M.Dmore
      One other thought - grad school is often a good way to wait out a downturn, especially if you are young and can live on what a research assistantship pays
      Mar 23
  • Wayfair / Eng
    jwxs26

    Wayfair Eng

    PRE
    Microsoft
    jwxs26more
    Georgia Tech and Arizona State (through Coursera) both offer affordable part time options. Grad degrees have questionable return on investment, so I’d look for a bargain like those two.
    Mar 20 1
    • Atlassian / Eng
      Luffy, M.D

      Atlassian Eng

      PRE
      Facebook
      BIO
      A prematurely grumpy somewhat old man
      Luffy, M.Dmore
      Or an employer that will pay for it.
      Mar 20

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