I'm a 28 year-old web developer/programmer with 4.5 years of experience, and I'm looking to jump-start my career. I'm trying to decide between self-study and a 1-year master's program in CS at a top school.
I feel like there are a number of practical languages/tools/skills worth knowing that I could teach myself - shell scripting, .NET, Python, Node.js, MongoDB, natural language processing techniques, etc. That said, it's one thing to read about a subject and another thing to have experience with it, which structured coursework provides. So, on to the concrete questions:
What programming skills/knowledge should I develop to increase my earning potential and make me competitive for more interesting jobs?
Will a master's degree in CS from a top school help me develop the above skills/knowledge, and if so, is it preferable to self-study (possibly for other reasons, e.g., the degree's value as a credential)?