Personally I don’t have a Masters degree in anything other than Procrastination, but I have a few friends that do, both in Data Science specific and other areas of the broad IT / Software Engineering spectrum.
I think that some obvious benefits of having a Masters degree are:
- You’ll get a higher salary for the same work
- You’ll get recognition, respect and opportunities you’d have to fight really hard for without the degree in this competitive world
- You’ll know for yourself that you've completed a complex and demanding project, so you’ll be able to grow better self-confidence
- You will have broad knowledge about things that others probably won’t bother with learning about because “framework x” does that
I only went to schools for learning about the initial starting point of my career as a Systems Administrator, and this only involved a bachelor's degree in Information Sciences.
I also got certified as a MCSE and took some Cisco and Checkpoint certifications.
The software development part was always a self-taught thing, something I’ve had interest in doing since forever as a hobby. I came to use it quite a bit as a sysadmin, so I don’t understand why this isn’t included more in a typical BS in Information Science.
After working many years as a sysadmin and security consultant, I applied for a software developer position, and against most odds got the first job I applied for.
After working with people there that did have Masters degrees in database technology, Data Science, software engineering and other topics, after about six months, I started to experience that they where asking me how to do this and that in the financial system the company created!
They had been working there for maybe ten years, so I thought, like WTF? They earn more, do the same work, but don’t know THAT?
So, to sum it up, I think you’ll make certain things in life a lot easier by having a piece of paper that says you’re awesome, but when it comes to actually producing stable, working software I’m unsure if it really matters all that much.
This will require that you are a total learning addict and never let a day go by without learning something new, but that’s been my life for as long as I can remember anyway.