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Guidance in selecting MS program

Danish Shaukat
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 16, 1999
Posts: 340
Hi all,

I hold a BS (CS) degree and have 6 years of professional development experience (mainly J2EE/J2ME). I am thinking about doing MS and wanted some guidance.

I have to choose one of the two MS programs offered by the university. One is MS (Computer Science). It has the advanced form of usual courses that we all study at the BS level, like Operating Systems, Data Structures, Computer Architecture, Comparison of Programming Languages, Theory of Automata etc.

The second program is MS (Software Project Management). It has the following main courses:

Semester - 1
1- Software Quality Assurance
2- Human Capital & Org. Behavior
3- Marketing Management
4- Electives

Semester - 2
5- Software Process Management & Metrics
6- Requirements Engineering
7- Software Project Management
8- Electives

Semester - 3
9- Practicum in SPM
10- Research Survey/Thesis

Can you please comment on the MS (Software Project Management) program? Do you think it is good? Is MS (Software Project Management) offered in US universities as well? Which will you recommend- MS (CS) or MS (Software Project Management)?

Santana Iyer
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 13, 2005
Posts: 335

I am also exploring Masters program in USA, Australia and EU.

I have 3.5 years of experience (1 year in Germany).

I want to combine something with pure CS. I feel interdisciplinary will add more value rather than pure CS as I have some experience.

Few options I found:
Information Systems (Business + IT)
Business Information Systems,
Health Informatics etc.

If I can combine environment it will be great but did not find anything like that.

Please let me know future prospects for the same and which one is good.

Any inputs/suggestions most welcome.
John Kimball
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 13, 2009
Posts: 96
I can't give you an opinion on the other master degrees that you've mentioned since I don't really know anything about it.
But I can offer some hindsight on a masters in CS: Interdisciplinary is far better.

The problem with a masters in comp sci is this: It's really more of the same; it's not good enough for research-level work; and on its own it doesn't really add much to your own marketability once you have 5+ years of experience. At most, I'd say it gives you a small edge and maybe some personal satisfaction because.

Now, if there's a particular line of study that you're deeply interested in then by all means; just realize you have to slog through "more of the same" before you get to study what you really want. And if you're truly that passionate, then you may want to consider a PhD.

In my case, I really regret not going for a masters in mathematics since I find most of the topics very interesting

Danish Shaukat
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 16, 1999
Posts: 340
Hi John,

Thanks for replying.

I agree that the courses in MS (CS) program are pretty much the same that I took at BS (CS) level. I do not intend to do PhD. A MS in core CS would have been useful if this were the case.

The courses in MS (Software Project Management) are new to me. I think I will learn new things that I will find useful in day to day work. Apart from coding, I work as team lead, client coordinator, mentor, business dev executive etc. I think my BS degree combined with +5 years of work experience gives me a decent technical background. Perhaps it will be good to have something management related career wise.

Comments and suggestions are more than welcomed !

I agree. Here's the link:
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