Earning a Master's Degree in Computer and Information Sciences

Earning a Master's Degree in Computer and Information Sciences

Everything you need to know about a master's degree program in computer and information sciences.

Overview of Master's Degrees in Computer and Information Sciences

Technology is one of the fastest growing industries today and job opportunities for graduates of this program are favorable. A master's degree in computer and information sciences usually takes between two and three years to complete. It is perfect for individuals who either graduated from a bachelor's program in computer and information sciences, who wish to further their education, or for other business professionals who have fallen behind in technology and need to update their computer skills.

Some people seek their master's in computer and information sciences in order to advance in their career. Other applicants are pursuing this degree in order to switch careers within the technology field. Although master's degrees are not required for advancement, they are helpful because the employer knows you have been trained in the latest technology and business practices.

Applying to a Master's Degree Program in Computer and Information Sciences

When applying to a master's degree program in computer and information sciences, it is important that you first earn your bachelor's degree. Some schools require applicants to have a bachelor's degree in computer and information sciences, while others do not place a restriction on the undergraduate degree earned and only require that the student have taken a few courses or have work experience in computer science. Some programs will admit students who do not have any experience in computer science, however they usually require them to take supplementary courses before pursuing their full master's degree program.

Admissions to computer and information science master's degree programs are competitive and require excellent grades and a high college GPA. In addition to your college transcripts, you must also turn in a personal statement, letters of recommendation and your Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.

How to Choose a Computer and Information Sciences Master's Degree Program

Some computer science degrees provide a general overview of advanced computer science. This is great for applicants who wish to take on a managerial position. Other programs are designed for those who wish to specialize in one aspect, such as computer programming, network management, systems management, etc.

Take into consideration the location of your prospective graduate schools. You will want to make sure that there are technology businesses in the area for you to complete an internship. Do research on your specific field within computer science to make sure that the occupation is still growing and evolving. You don’t want to choose a major in a computer science that will become obsolete in the next few years.

Students who need greater flexibility with their graduate school schedule should consider taking night, weekend or online courses. The online master's degree in computer and information sciences is the perfect choice for students who want time to continue working and caring for their family while pursuing their degree.

What to Expect in a Master's Degree Program for Computer and Information Sciences

The curriculum for a master's degree program for computer and information sciences prepares students for careers such as computer software engineer for applications, computer and information systems managers, computer support specialists, computer systems analysts and more. Typical courses leading to a masters degree include networking systems security, programming language, information theory, database management, computer architecture and others.

To complete your master's degree program, you will be required to complete a masters thesis, which demonstrates what you have learned in your program. This is a long and rigorous process that will lead to an impressive portfolio of work. Typically a thesis in computer science involves creating a program that shows your ideas on a topic of your choice. In addition to creating the program, you will have to write a user’s manual, maintenance manual, requirements document and a specification and design document.

Top 10 Grad Schools for Computer and Information Sciences

  1. University of Phoenix
  2. University of Southern California
  3. University of Maryland - University College
  4. Georgia Institute of Technology, Main Campus
  5. University of California, Irvine
  6. New Jersey Institute of Technology
  7. Johns Hopkins University
  8. Touro College, New York
  9. Bellevue University
  10. The University of Texas at Dallas

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