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I was in the software industry for 3 years before going back and pursuing my masters. I have a year of grad school under my belt with a year left and a 4.0 GPA. I'm really itching to get back into do software dev full-time. I'm doing research and an area I'm interested in, Computer Graphics, but know that I probably won't work in industry using what I've learned. I think the main benefit to finishing my degree is to pad my resume and learn certain things that I wouldn't have learned other wise.

Would it be dumb for me to quit grad school and get back into the work force? Is grad school a bad decision for passionate programmers( I consider myself one )?

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Why do you think you wont be able to use Computer Graphics 'in industry'? There are plenty of companies that work in high-end graphics. –  GrandmasterB Mar 31 '11 at 19:34
    
Everyone asks this question halfway through graduate school. I worked full-time and completed my MSCS in three years. I too got half-way through my program and wanted to quit, but I am glad that my wife talked me out of it. I would often have to leave work to attend class in the middle of day and come back and work to eight or nine. After which, I would have to read and write papers, work on projects, or perform research until 1:00 a.m. in order to keep from falling behind. Graduate school has a way of grinding people down. –  bit-twiddler Mar 31 '11 at 21:27
    
Thanks everybody! I think I will work on some open source projects this summer. –  Bob Dole Apr 1 '11 at 2:01
    
Don,t Grad schools in us have easy timings? alternate days and such? to allow you to work full/part time along with college? –  Aditya P Apr 1 '11 at 9:06
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4 Answers

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I don't get it. You decided to go back to get a Master's degree, paid for a full year of tuition, and you are reconsidering your decision now?

You've already committed, just finish it. It's only one year! Work on some open-source projects if you've got the development itch.

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Many of us have a M.Sc and some even have a D.Sc degree.

Some companies might pay you an extra $$$ depending on your degree.

It seems you already invested too much time and resources on your master's. Don't stop now if you really don't have to.

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get your degree first. You have already invested in grad school, so you better continue your education. You have only 1 year left, so get it done and join industry more confidently. The type of job you will be ding will be different. You'll get paid more and your comments will be more welcome. On the other hand, I totally disagree that you cannot find a job related to computer graphics. I would suggest enhancing your knowledge about the architecture of graphic accelerators. This will put you in a higher position.

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If you can prove to your own satisfaction why stopping now would be a good idea then I wouldn't consider it dumb. I'd probably see finishing the degree as a better choice myself at first glance though. If you did quit grad school, what would be your options in terms of finishing your degree? If you haven't explored your options here give this some thought as there may be an alternative solution where you get that itch scratched and finish your degree eventually just not as quick as you may have liked.

For passionate programmers, grad school can be either good or bad to my mind. To my mind passion implies being driven and wanting to do well in an area. This doesn't mean academic excellence as some people may not do well with exams and other challenges in the modern education systems of the world. Some passionate programmers may well enjoy working in academia so don't forget that some may enjoy discussing theoretical abstract ideas while others may prefer more concrete applications of ideas. At least that is my opinion for you.

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