Masters in Computer Science
Computer science is a highly competitive field that is constantly evolving. Breakthroughs in technology occur literally on a daily basis. If a fast-paced environment intrigues you, a Masters in Computer Science degree could be a pursuit you could highly enjoy. Coursework will include classes like computer graphics, operations research project management, programming languages, artificial intelligence, system modeling and simulation. Your computer systems skills will be enhanced as you seek a master's degree in this field.
As a student studying computers and the science behind them, it is only appropriate that much of your education will be performed on and using computers. This means online Computer Science Master's Programs are highly available online. While you have the choice between pursuing your degree in a campus-based location or an online environment, most students today are choosing the online option. This is because the option to study when and how much you want is one that is not available in a classroom setting. Also, most of the time, online courses are offered at a lesser expense than their brick-and-mortar counterparts.
Even though the field is competitive, there are limitless job opportunities as the field of computer science continues to expand. In fact, it is projected to be one of the fastest-growing occupations from now until 2014. Concentrations include web page design, systems analysis, networking, digital design, programming, telecommunications and software applications. More and more employers are seeking candidates for work that have completed a higher level of education. Some computer scientists are employed in highly-interactive jobs, such as on a team of virtual reality systems designers, robot design team, or computer game development companies.
Computer Science Grad Resources
University of California/Berkeley offers the Master of Computer Science through the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science. There is also a Master of Computer Engineering through this department and Cal also has many other IT programs, but you have to go looking for them. Nothing is simple at Berkeley. There is a Master of Information Management & Systems offered through the School of Information and several IT oriented engineering degrees through the School of Engineering.
University of Michigan/Ann Arbor also has a Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science that offers a limited group of master's programs with a wide range of areas of concentration. The Master of Computer Science Engineering, Master of Electrical Engineering, and Master of Electrical Engineering: Systems are all heavily focused on information technology. The technical options for the EE degree include Integrated Circuit Design, Solid State Devices & Nanotechnology, Optics & Photonics, and MEMS & Microsystems.
Cornell University offers the Master of Engineering in Computer Science as a one year professional program for students who want to enter the workforce or for professionals who wish to upgrade their academic credentials in computer science. There is also a Computer Science & Medicine track offered in conjunction with the Medical School. There is a Master of Information Engineering offered through the School of Operations Research & Information Engineering.
Georgia Institute of Technology has a Master of Computer Science offered through the College of Computing. There is a Master of Information Security offered on campus and in an online format, one of few available from a top-ten computer science school. There is also a Master of Computational Science & Engineering offered online in addition to the traditional classroom program.
University of Illinois offers the Master of Computer Science at the Champaign/Urbana campus along with a Master of Bioinformatics as a non-thesis option. There is an online Professional Master of Computer Science program that includes the same class assignments and lectures as the campus version of the degree. It is designed for working professionals and can be completed in three years. This version is a thirty six credit, non-thesis program.
Professional Computer Science Associations
IEEE Computer Society is the organization of computer professionals within the Institute of Electronics & Electrical Engineers. The IEEE has become a technology oriented organization that sets educational and professional standards throughout the technology fields. The Computer Society has 85,000 members, offering career resources, networking and educational opportunities for its members.
International Association of Computer Science and Information Technology is a professional organization for relatively high level researchers, academics and professionals in the technology innovation sector. The Association sponsors an annual conference, puts out a journal, and has several standing committees that are active around the world; the membership is truly international with Association conferences meeting in Europe, India, and China as well as the United States.
Association for Computing Machinery is a large and highly technical organization with a large membership. The ACM sponsors a number of conferences and has organized special interest groups in such areas as Artificial Intelligence, Embedded Systems, Computers & Society, Design Automation, Genetic & Evolutionary Computation, and many others. Each group has its own publication and list of upcoming events.
Computing Research Association is an organization of more than 200 academic departments for computer science, computer engineering, and related fields; laboratories, and research centers in government and industry, and professional organizations. It is education oriented but is also active in expanding opportunities for minorities in the field and in advocating with policy makers on issues related to technology education and development.
Association of Information Technology Professionals is a group for career IT professionals that has chapters in cities and regions across the country. There is also an active collegiate branch that hosts an annual conference. The AITP has grown from a professional group founded in Illinois in 1951 called the National Machine Accountants Association. As computer technology evolved so did the organization, into the national IT group that it has become today. Membership in the local chapters provides an excellent networking opportunity for professionals in various specialties.
Computer Science Accreditation
Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) is the recognized accrediting organization for computer science academic programs in post secondary education. ABET covers a lot of academic ground, accrediting schools of engineering, applied science, computing, and technology.
Computer Science Accreditation Council is the accrediting body for Canadian computer science college programs, established by the Canadian Information Processing Society. This organization primarily accredits undergraduate computer science programs in Canada; the graduate degrees are accredited by the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers in some cases and in others by a number of Commonwealth higher education organizations.
Computer Science Accreditation Board is the organization within ABET that handles accreditation of computer science academic programs at U.S. universities. Within ABET the CSAB has oversight for computer science while another division listed below is responsible for other areas of IT academics. Evaluation experts for the CSAB accrediting process include representative from the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institutive of Electronics & Electrical Engineers.
Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals has been in operation since 1971, with two certification programs for IT professionals: the Certified Computing Professional (CCP) and the Associate Computing Professional (ACP). The Institute has since developed additional categories for testing and certification as the industry has grown to maturity.
Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) is a global organization with over 95,000 members established in 1971. The organization has certification programs for four classes of professionals: Certified Information Systems Auditor; Manager; Enterprise IT, and Risk & Information Systems Control.