I’m a programmer analyst with 16 years experience. I don’t have any terribly relevant degree, but I do have a couple of other degrees, including a Master of Library Science. Though only very tangentially, it was in that program that I was introduced to the workings of computers, as they were just then becoming a major factor in library operations. Regardless of that, I’m well established in the field and, from what I can tell, earn a comparable salary to those earned by my technically-degreed colleagues.
With that in mind, assuming that I want to return to school, what would be the best way to kick my career into a higher gear? I"m more attracted to technical programs, because they seem to offer the solid theoretical foundations of computer science that I never got in school. On the other hand, we always hear about how IT employers are looking for “soft skills”, and in any case, I already know how to program. Should I just bite the bullet and take management-oriented courses with an IT spin, even though I don’t find the prospect appealing? Or should I focus on what I really want to do and become a more technically capable programmer? If I focus solely on theory and technology, am I just setting myself up to be replaced by someone in some overseas country who has all the necessary technical knowledge, and is willing to work for one-fifth of my salary?