As computers revolutionise the world around us, spilling into every aspect of our lives, right from banking, financial markets, e-commerce, manufacturing, healthcare and many more sectors, the demand for computer technologists is on the rise. Similarly, several fields that intersect with Computer Science have surfaced, which require a combination of skill sets for successful execution. With students being absorbed in various roles in companies like Google, Microsoft and Facebook as well as at start-ups and small and medium enterprises, these graduates having diverse backgrounds are very much in demand. The combination of skills has helped them take up prime positions in industries like bioinformatics, medicine, finance, telecommunications, media and many others.
As young aspirants contemplate switching over to Computer Science or allied fields like Data Science, Computer Engineering, MIS or Business Analytics, they are wracked by apprehension, self-doubt and a feeling of moving out of safe territory. This has dissuaded many from changing their fields after graduating, and they continue to work in an environment that does not provide job satisfaction. Well, the good news is that one can make a smooth transition with a little timely planning and effort towards imbibing the requisite skills. Pursuing a Master’s level program in Computer Science related field that suits your interests, could very well allow you to change to the Computer Science field.
With more universities recognising this need and filling this gap by offering programs that are flexible regarding program pre-requisites, aspiring students can now take up this opportunity to pursue such a program and give wings to a career in fields allied to Computer Science like Data Science, MIS, Computer Engineering, Business Analytics. However, you will need to build your profile appropriately to be able to pursue a program in the Computer Science allied field. The work experience and training you currently have can help you, but you may need to do more to transition to the Computer Science or allied field. Focussing on the following aspects and systematically planning each step would indeed help your transition become a smooth and stress-free process:
- Chalking out your career goals and working backwards towards choosing a suitable program will help you identify your interests and pursue a program that would be extremely beneficial as you launch yourself in a new field.
- Check out your eligibility to apply to this program. Depending on the prerequisites, you need to build your profile in such a way that you meet the requirements of the program. Courses in Mathematics, Operating Systems, Data Structures, etc. that you may have covered during your college studies may help you meet some of these prerequisites. You then need to show the test result of that course. Sometimes universities ask you to take these prerequisite courses before the commencement of the graduate program.
- Gaining professional experience in the form of internship or a job role that is relevant to the program of your choice would increase your eligibility for the program. It highlights your capabilities in the particular domain and proves your readiness to take up the relevant Master’s program in a CS allied field.
- A strong Statement of Purpose (SOP) that shows your passion and interest in CS allied fields like Computer Engineering, Business Analytics, MIS or Data Science would work in your favour. If your reason is valid and acceptable enough, then Universities would definitely give you admission to the said program. Moreover, all the application essays need to be well-thought out and well-written.
Given below is information that would be beneficial in preparing for a career in a CS allied field:
Computer and Information Technology (MCIT)
|Master’s of Computer and Information Technology (MCIT)||Designed for students and professionals with minimal or no prior computing experience or formal education in Computer Science.|
|Benefit||Students and professionals who desire to establish or advance a career in information technology or even prepare for doctoral studies in Computer Science|
|On Graduation||Emerge as well-informed and competent professionals in a prime position in the job market. Excellent placements. Summer internships also lead to full-time employment opportunities.|
|Basics in Software Development, Computer Systems, Mathematical fundamentals of Computer Science, Data Structures, Software Design, Computer Systems Programming, Algorithms and Computation.|
|Data Science||Prepares students for a wide range of data-centric careers, whether in technology and engineering, policy-making, consulting or science.
|Benefits||Students and professionals who desire to establish or advance a career in Data Science or even prepare for doctoral studies in Data Science.|
|On Graduation||Apply artificial intelligence techniques to a problem, build a computational model of real-world phenomena, statistically test a hypothesis, or analyze structured, textual or image data, apply data science and data analysis techniques to arrive at decisions.|
o Undergraduate degree in economics, mathematics, engineering, business, computer science, statistics, or related field is preferred, but not required.
o Demonstrated proficiency in computer programming in at least one of the following computer programming languages is required: Python, R, C, C++, C#, VB, Java, Pascal, or Fortran. Academic transcripts, certificates from online courses, or work experience may be cited to meet this requirement.
o At least one semester college level calculus course with a grade “C” or better required.
|Relevant Work Experience||Not required, but strongly preferred.|
|MIS||Prepares students for challenging careers in the application of IT to analyze, design, implement, and manage IT applications and strategies to help solve business problems. MIS professionals are the “communication bridges” between IT and the business community. They first learn business processes and then analyze how to improve the processes using IT.|
|Benefits||They can work in risk management, technology strategy, information management or project management|
|On Graduation||They can work as a technology analyst, business analyst, project manager, or enterprise architect.|
|Relevant Work Experience||Strongly preferred.|
|Business Analytics||A comprehensive program for aspirants with an analytical bent of mind and a keen interest in business. Applicants should be prepared for intense course work, a proclivity for mathematics and programming, as well as basic understanding of business fundamentals.|
|Benefits||They can work at the intersection of business management and technology analysis to enhance smooth operation.|
|On Graduation||Gain expertise to turn data into useable information for all levels of an organization.|
|Prerequisites||Undergraduate degree in economics, mathematics, engineering, business, computer science, statistics, or related field is preferred, but not required.
Demonstrated proficiency in computer programming in at least one of the following computer programming languages is required: Python, R, C, C++, C#, VB, Java, Pascal, or Fortran. Academic transcripts, certificates from online courses, or work experience may be cited to meet this requirement.
At least one-semester college level calculus course with a grade “C” or better required.
|Work Experience||Not required, but strongly preferred.|
While the above information will lend clarity about profile building and enhance your chances of securing admission in the right college/university, you need to keep in mind that the competition will be tough for non-Computer Science students aiming to gain entry into the graduate CS allied programs. With proper planning and the right profile building activity completed in advance, you can achieve your goal of getting admission in the CS program and pursuing a career as a competent Computer Science professional.