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I'm enrolled in an undergraduate Master's degree. It will be my first degree - 4 years course - but it will be called Master's. I will not get any intermediate degree.

It's from one of the most prestigious institutes in India ranked in Top 20 in Asia for technology and science by Asia Week.

How does the industry treat this? On par with other MS candidates or on par with other BS candidates?

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I usually suggest to people to only list their most advanced relevant degree (unless there's a very good reason to list them all). So in that case, you'd list a Master's which is your most advanced and only degree. In that light it might be considered better than a BSc., but it's really something better answered by someone in HR... –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Feb 22 '11 at 21:18
In your education system, what is required for doing a PhD? –  Jonathan Khoo Feb 22 '11 at 21:18
@Jonathan: Not sure and it would vary with institutes I guess. Ph.D. in India is a breeze compared to the US. I would mostly be interested in how this is treated globally as well as in the US. :) –  Jungle Hunter Feb 22 '11 at 21:21
What's actually involved in the course? Are you required to publish a thesis? –  Dean Harding Feb 22 '11 at 22:53

6 Answers 6

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Based only on the information you have provided, no prior knowledge of such programs, and as a person who has hired developers in the past:

I'd probably ask you where you got your BS in the interview, then after you explained it I'd probably treat it as somewhere int he middle. Let's call it a BS+.

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Not a "BS++"? ;) –  mipadi Feb 22 '11 at 21:49
@mipadi I believe you mean a ++BS –  Woot4Moo Feb 22 '11 at 21:51
@Woot4Moo: No, it's just a BS+1 (the BS itself isn't modified). –  Keith Thompson Sep 23 '12 at 19:31

Sounds borderline diploma mill....that's my instinctive reaction. All other things considered equal, I doubt I'd take it too seriously. If you're one among 5 I might give you a call. One among 100 and I doubt I'd look twice.

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It's from one of the most prestigious institutes in India ranked in Top 20 in Asia for technology and science by Asia Week. –  Jungle Hunter Feb 22 '11 at 22:27
@Jungle - well, maybe it'll work great in Asia. This is an international board and I'm a USian. If it's not American, I don't care ;) Seriously though, I've no reason to go researching such things and you'd still get lost in a big stack of resumes. –  Crazy Eddie Feb 22 '11 at 22:36
FWIW there are plenty of well-respected 4-year master's programs here in the US, but they're generally concurrent programs where you get a bachelor's as well. –  Matthew Frederick Feb 23 '11 at 0:17
Yep, I've sat in on tons of interviews here in the US and I'd immediately be suspicious of anyone claiming to have a Masters but no Bachelors. It sucks, but the OP's degree smells of diploma-mill. –  Graham Sep 24 '12 at 12:26

As someone who is doing a "traditional" masters I would be most curious as to what types of papers and projects you had to work on as well as the actual courses you took. For instance if in your masters program you have to take an amount of credits equal to someone that achieved the masters in the traditional way I would make them equivalent if you did less than I would not call it a masters I would probably call it a BS or as @JohnFx calls it a BS+. However, it is all about the name attached to that degree for instance if you get a Masters in 4 years from MIT regardless of how you did it it carries far more weight than if you got a Masters in 4 years from JimBob's school of computers and technology.

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While I've heard of people getting an earned doctorate without a bachelor's, I can't recall hearing of anybody getting an earned master's without a bachelor's. (I've occasionally run across people who got a combined bachelor's/master's.)

If I weren't familiar with the institution an earned-master's-without-bachelor's degree came from, I would be skeptical about it. At the very least, I'd be asking a lot of questions to figure out whether it was more equivalent to a bachelor's or master's-after-bachelor's.

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Like I commented else where, it's from one of the most prestigious institutes in India ranked in Top 20 in Asia for technology and science by Asia Week. They just categorize it among their "First Degree" programs. –  Jungle Hunter Feb 22 '11 at 22:29
@Jungle Hunter: I looked at the most recent AsiaWeek ranking I could find (2000) of "Science and Technology Schools", and I recognized the names of very few of them. I'm sure they're all fine institutions, and my alma mater (a fine, small university) certainly doesn't have much name recognition outside the US. But if I were a busy manager reviewing lots of resumes/CVs of recent graduates, all things being equal, I'd give priority to people with "normal" degree paths from schools I knew about, rather than people with unusual degrees from schools I'd never heard of. –  Bob Murphy Feb 22 '11 at 23:58
If you take a look at the answers to this question programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/47176/… you'll see that it's actually quite common in Europe too. –  testerab Feb 22 '11 at 23:59
But I would also say if your CV listed a master's thesis in an interesting area that was relevant to my business, that would absolutely get my attention in a positive way, and I wouldn't pay much attention to your not having a bachelor's or not recognizing the school. A coursework-only masters without a thesis, and no bachelor's, however... meh. –  Bob Murphy Feb 23 '11 at 0:01
@testerab: Thank you! I was not aware of that. My experience with European university degrees has mostly been dealing with chemistry postdocs. I was ignorant of what preceded the Ph.D. and assumed it was the same as in the US and UK. –  Bob Murphy Feb 23 '11 at 0:07

Undergraduate Masters are quite common in the UK, and I don't think anyone distinguishes between undergraduate Masters and other tutor-led Masters degrees (research Masters are a different thing entirely). Interviewers will be interested in course content, and any projects you do.

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Where is this offered in Australia? I've done quite a bit of research in the past but have never heard of this from Australian institutions. I definitely wouldn't call an undergraduate Masters 'quite common' in Australia. –  Kirk Broadhurst Feb 23 '11 at 2:10
hmm.. ok, scratch Australia - I could have sworn I knew someone who had done a 4 years undergraduate Masters, but can't find one listed (in a fairly limited search). It is still common in the UK, though –  HorusKol Feb 23 '11 at 2:34

I doubt it would make any real difference in the long run. A job which requires a master's degree, will likely have tougher interviews. If you graduate with a solid knowledge of data structures, design patterns, algorithms, etc. you'll be fine.

If you graduate and write a delete SQL statement on a white board without a "where clause", you aren't getting the job.

You may get asked about published papers, thesis, etc. that most master's degree folks like to talk about. Make sure you have an answer for that.

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