Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Stay Away From Trendy Graduate Programs In Web 2.0 Stuff

I recently received an email inquiry from a fan of my Yelp review of the University of San Francisco.  My fan wanted my opinion of USF's Master of Science in Web Science program.  I had no idea the school had such a thing and I really doubt that it's necessary for a Web 2.0 career.  I truly believe a stint with a venture-backed Web 2.0 startup will provide a more fruitful education than time spent in a traditional classroom.  My emailed response is below, in italics. 

Thanks for reaching out. I don't know anything about the MSWS program but it sounds like a waste of time and money. Most web developers studied the basics of computer science at some point and then learned about web applications through on-the-job experience.

There are a lot of dumb students at USF. They get jobs because their families are rich. Rich kids won't help you network because they think anyone not rich like them isn't worth helping. They won't go outside their social circle for people like us.

BTW, there are plenty of hot chicks in the SF Bay Area. You don't need to waste two years in school to meet them.

A USF master's degree will only help you if you already work in that career field because experience is far more important than education. USF starts programs like that as a sales tool to draw students who have money but no job prospects. The school just wants your money up front and doesn't care whether what you learn will help you find a job.

A better plan would be to skip the master's and learn to build websites on your own. Learn about things like knowledge management, data mining, business intelligence, and social media for FREE on the Internet. Working at Yahoo or Google for two years will teach you more about web stuff than a master's program, plus you get paid and won't end up in debt.

I hope this helps. Good luck.