I am a QA engineer with a specialization in automation. I have been accepted to a masters program. The program offers 3 options:

A: 30 credits + thesis + defense
B: 34 credits + thesis
C: 37 credits

I would like to further my career in software testing. I'm not terribly interested in an academic/teaching career. Would it be better to do a masters thesis or take additional applicable classes? I personally would rather skip the thesis to take more classes (Option C), but I worry not having a thesis might sound bad/be looked down upon in a professional interview.

  • Welcome to SQA! About your question, it would help if you give some information about how the various program options would be relevant to your testing abilities. Otherwise this question is a bit stuck in the opinion corner which is off-topic. – Bookeater Jan 15 '16 at 23:09

I agree with you. I would go for more learning and less research.

I am not sure how your lack of thesis will even be debated on interview, unless you volunteer that. Which you would not.

Possibly could be mentioned as ice-breaker ("Just curious, what was your master's thesis?"). Then you can explain that you had 3 options, and why you choose third one (as prepared rehearsed statement, so you will not be caught by a surprise).

"I was not interested in a teaching career, so I opted for learning more instead". Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. You can even say which additional credits you took.

Most likely questions would be about your most recent projects, possibly internship, hobby programming.

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  • Did you get your masters and if so, did you do a thesis? – Erick Stone Jan 15 '16 at 22:58
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    Yes, I did both master and thesis - the only option I've had. Never ever anyone asked me about it. It was interesting project, compiler for language FORTH. Very few people even in CompSci would ever understand why this language is so cool. – Peter M. - stands for Monica Jan 16 '16 at 1:52
  • So, from what I gather, it will not impact employ-ability. One final question for you, would you say that your thesis provided in terms of your usefulness for your future employment and/or skill-set more than a handful of the classes you took as part of your masters? I consider the initial question as answered and thank you :) – Erick Stone Jan 16 '16 at 5:35
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    My thesis provided ZERO to my usefulness directly. AFAICT nobody ever asked. Not a single once from all my interviews. It is not that relevant. All questions were about more recent projects. Indirectly, I think it made me a better programmer by understanding better internal workings of things like p-machine and other interpreters (ie, JVM). FORTH is very interesting small clever language and because it is so small and easy to understand, IMHO all programmers should learn it as mental exercise. It is also VERY different. – Peter M. - stands for Monica Jan 19 '16 at 14:47
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    Just FYI: Common currency here on stack exchange sites to "pay" for help is to click on arrow to mark answer useful (or not) :-) Or, as an option, you can promise me to learn more about Forth :-) – Peter M. - stands for Monica Jan 20 '16 at 18:11

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