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Huge life decision for me.


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I'm a software developer from Bulgaria, Europe ( i'm 24 years old and have 2 years of professional experience as a .NET developer ). I have a bachelor degree in "Informatics", which i'm given to understand, is the North American equivalence of a Ba Computer Science.

What i want: I want to get a prestigious CS Masters degree in Canada for the purpose of using the university's networking to find myself a job as a developer ( in Canada ), then maybe someday to become a project manager and then someday maybe have my own software company. I have absolutely no desire for Phd or research in general. All i want is the diploma. Now what can i do about that:

I have about 5.4/6 average from my studies, which is 90/100.

I have a 114/120 on TOEFL iBT.

I think i can score high results @ GRE General and GRE subject Math.

I have professional certifications, work experience as a .NET developer, work experience as a Network administrator ( + still valid CCNA certificate )

My brother is a Canadian citizen and he recommended the MMath program in University of Waterloo. What i'm worried about that is the extensive use of the word "research" in the faculty page. So i'm confused here - even if i was able to get accepted in that program, what are my options after that ? Is that program suitable for a guy with my interests ? Will i have better chances for finding myself a job with such a degree ? Can you recommend a better program ?

Best regards.

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Disclaimer: I'm currently a grad student at student at UW.

If you want a Canadian CS job, I think you'll be hard pressed to find a better Canadian program than UW's MMath. UW has a very strong industry/coop bent to it, and a very strong industry reputation (especially in Canada). In particular, the coursework-based MMATH is extremely popular for industry people.

Basically, UW has three MMath options:

- Thesis: You do 4 courses + research thesis, and often go on to do a PhD afterwards.

- Research Paper: You do 5 courses + publish a research paper.

- Coursework: You do 8 courses and no research. The degree is primarily for industry people.

The drawback of the coursework program are that it is unfunded - you need to pay your own tuition. This could be quite expensive, especially if you are an international student.

If you get a Canadian post-graduate degree (e.g. MMath), you typically get an automatic work visa, and then can work towards becoming a citizen/permanent resident from there.

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Thank you for your response! I don't want to be impudent, but i would like to ask a few more questions if you don't mind.

Since the industry here is entirely based on outsourcing, we have a lot of small companies ( 5 - 20 employees ) and most of us are actually only developers. There are rarely positions like "project manager" or "business analyst" so i want to ask about what are the options of a student graduating from such a program like UW MMath ? Are the most of the people graduating this program expected to become developers and then climb the corporate ladder or are they expected to be more qualified and take more responsible positions ?

Best regards.

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That's an interesting question. I mostly work on the academic side of things, so I cannot speak from personal experience. Friends of mine who have completed an MMath have usually become developers, but the degree generally counts as experience (making it easier to get hired in the first place), and can help towards getting a promotion. Many of them also join local startups, where they initially work as a general employee, but often end up in a management role if the company expands. That said, it's not unheard of for people to become business analysts after leaving school. Project managers usually seem to have more work experience (though it sounds like you'd have some already).

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