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First of all, people with a Master's come in different varieties:

  1. A fresh graduate from a Master's program
  2. A Ph.D. student, who quit the program and left with the Master's
  3. Someone who got a Master's years ago, and who has had lots of experience since then
  4. Someone who has worked for years and then went back to school to get a Master's
  5. Got into a Master's program to get into the country.

1) is definitely no worse than a fresh college graduate, and probably better. He may lack real-world experience of working in a team, code management, etc., but he is likely to have a solid foundation.

2) could be problematic. Academia is not about building working systems, it is about getting publications. That is a very different mindset, with a much greater emphasis on algorithms, and much less emphasis on implementation, efficiency, and coding practices. This often leads to very sloppy code. Despite that, there are certainly people, who are able to maintain their programming skills through their grad school years, and are also able to switch their mindset and do very well in industry. The trick is to be able to tell the difference between "smart" and "smart and gets things done".

3 and 4 are basically the same, as far as hiring is concerned.

5) Could be anything. Need to look at the history, and talk to the person.

Naturally this is all a gross oversimplification. There are many other factors, not the least of which is which school the degree is from. In all cases, you have to talk to the person.

Edit:

Upon reflection, 3 and 4 are not the same. If someone has a Master's from years ago, and lots of experience after that, then you are getting a solid foundation plus experience. If someone went back to get a Master's after years of working in the industry, then you are getting somebody with lots of experience, who is also willing and able to learn new things.

First of all, people with a Master's come in different varieties:

  1. A fresh graduate from a Master's program
  2. A Ph.D. student, who quit the program and left with the Master's
  3. Someone who got a Master's years ago, and who has had lots of experience since then
  4. Someone who has worked for years and then went back to school to get a Master's
  5. Got into a Master's program to get into the country.

1) is definitely no worse than a fresh college graduate, and probably better. He may lack real-world experience of working in a team, code management, etc., but he is likely to have a solid foundation.

2) could be problematic. Academia is not about building working systems, it is about getting publications. That is a very different mindset, with a much greater emphasis on algorithms, and much less emphasis on implementation, efficiency, and coding practices. This often leads to very sloppy code. Despite that, there are certainly people, who are able to maintain their programming skills through their grad school years, and are also able to switch their mindset and do very well in industry. The trick is to be able to tell the difference between "smart" and "smart and gets things done".

3 and 4 are basically the same, as far as hiring is concerned.

5) Could be anything. Need to look at the history, and talk to the person.

Naturally this is all a gross oversimplification. There are many other factors, not the least of which is which school the degree is from. In all cases, you have to talk to the person.

First of all, people with a Master's come in different varieties:

  1. A fresh graduate from a Master's program
  2. A Ph.D. student, who quit the program and left with the Master's
  3. Someone who got a Master's years ago, and who has had lots of experience since then
  4. Someone who has worked for years and then went back to school to get a Master's
  5. Got into a Master's program to get into the country.

1) is definitely no worse than a fresh college graduate, and probably better. He may lack real-world experience of working in a team, code management, etc., but he is likely to have a solid foundation.

2) could be problematic. Academia is not about building working systems, it is about getting publications. That is a very different mindset, with a much greater emphasis on algorithms, and much less emphasis on implementation, efficiency, and coding practices. This often leads to very sloppy code. Despite that, there are certainly people, who are able to maintain their programming skills through their grad school years, and are also able to switch their mindset and do very well in industry. The trick is to be able to tell the difference between "smart" and "smart and gets things done".

3 and 4 are basically the same, as far as hiring is concerned.

5) Could be anything. Need to look at the history, and talk to the person.

Naturally this is all a gross oversimplification. There are many other factors, not the least of which is which school the degree is from. In all cases, you have to talk to the person.

Edit:

Upon reflection, 3 and 4 are not the same. If someone has a Master's from years ago, and lots of experience after that, then you are getting a solid foundation plus experience. If someone went back to get a Master's after years of working in the industry, then you are getting somebody with lots of experience, who is also willing and able to learn new things.

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First of all, people with a Master's come in different varieties:

  1. A fresh graduate from a Master's program
  2. A Ph.D. student, who quit the program and left with the Master's
  3. Someone who got a Master's years ago, and who has had lots of experience since then
  4. Someone who has worked for years and then went back to school to get a Master's
  5. Got into a Master's program to get into the country.

1) is definitely no worse than a fresh college graduate, and probably better. He may lack real-world experience of working in a team, code management, etc., but he is likely to have a solid foundation.

2) could be problematic. Academia is not about building working systems, it is about getting publications. That is a very different mindset, with a much greater emphasis on algorithms, and much less emphasis on implementation, efficiency, and coding practices. This often leads to very sloppy code. Despite that, there are certainly people, who are able to maintain their programming skills through their grad school years, and are also able to switch their mindset and do very well in industry. The trick is to be able to tell the difference between "smart" and "smart and gets things done".

3 and 4 are basically the same, as far as hiring is concerned.

5) Could be anything. Need to look at the history, and talk to the person.

Naturally this is all a gross oversimplification. There are many other factors, not the least of which is which school the degree is from. In all cases, you have to talk to the person.