Computer science and information technology are highly specialized and ever changing. With much faster-than-average job growth projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, earning a graduate degree in computer science may enhance your job prospects significantly. The question is, since there are so many computer graduate degree choices, which type of computer science graduate program would you like to pursue?
Choosing a Computer Specialization
With areas of specialization ranging from artificial intelligence and software engineering to computer theory and operating systems (not to mention database administration, networking, and web development), the first step in deciding which type of graduate degree you need is choosing the area in which you want to focus your career.
Once you have defined your goals, it’s time to hone in on computer science graduate programs that will get you where you want to go. Graduate computer science students have a wide choice of master’s and doctoral programs from which to choose. Computer science graduate programs offer degrees at both the master’s and PhD levels. The Master of Science (MS) degree takes one to two years to complete, and PhD programs range from four to eight years in duration.
Graduate degrees in computer science and IT programs may be administered through the computer science, engineering or mathematics department within a university. Available computing degrees typically include subjects such as computer science, information technology, mathematics or computer engineering.
A joint Master of Science in computer science and information systems (CSIS) is also offered by many schools, as well as management information systems (MIS), which blends business courses with computer classes. As the impact of computer technology continues to grow, a number of interdisciplinary computer science graduate programs have also emerged. Emphasis in these programs span areas as diverse as biomedical computing or computer-assisted instruction.
The MBA in IT
You may be surprised to learn that earning an MBA (Master’s in Business Administration) with a concentration in information systems or technology could also be a wise move. Nowadays, almost every company—whether a local café or a multinational corporation—has a presence online; in addition, many rely on the ingenuity of computer experts to develop the back-end systems and technologies that enhance their ability to do business. Employers actively seek information technologists who can also help shape their corporate goals and strategies.
Deciding on a Computer Science Program
When narrowing your list of computer science graduate programs, it is important to consider both the reputation of the school and its accreditation status. Also, look into the specific research interests of the computer science faculty. Choosing an IT or computer science graduate program is all about equipping yourself with the tools and technological savvy you will need to compete in an attractive job market. Check out the computer science graduate programs we have featured on our site, and get started with your grad program today!