When you decided to study for a BSc in Computer Science, you put your technical hat on. With reams of coding to wrap your head around (alongside a lot of technical talk about hardware), you’ve set yourself up for a career that could cover everything from software engineering and web development to data analysis.
But there’s another possibility that you may not have considered – engineering. Here, we answer the question “Can I do engineering after BSc Computer Science” and show you why the engineering path may be the right one to follow (both due to interest and potential career payout).
Options for Pursuing Engineering After BSc Computer Science
You have three options for pursuing engineering once you’re in possession of your BSc in Computer Science, some of which give you indirect entry into the field whereas others offer more practical or specialized education.
Lateral Entry into Engineering Courses
Your first choice is a course that combined the best of both worlds – a Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Science), otherwise known as B.E. Computer Science. As another full-time course, this program is usually spread over four years (though some institutions can fast-track you through a two-year course).
Strong high school scores in physics, math, and chemistry are a must if you decide to go down this route, with a minimum of 75% scored across all (with strong proficiency in English to boot). Assuming you hit those criteria, many colleges ask students to complete the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE), which is an exam that assesses your technical abilities and how you can apply those abilities to practical problems.
Master’s Degree in Engineering
Rather than going back to the bachelor’s level to study engineering after finishing your BSc in Computer Science (which is a lateral step as described above), you could keep marching forward. A Master’s degree in engineering is a post-graduate qualification, with most courses requiring you to have a Bachelor’s degree in a suitable technical subject. Engineering is the most obvious choice, though many Master’s programs accept students with computing backgrounds due to the technical nature of their knowledge.
Often called a “terminal” degree, meaning there are no doctorates for the engineering field, a Master’s in engineering should leave you with full accreditation so you can begin a career as a chartered engineer. Thankfully, you don’t usually have to rely on an entrance exam to start the course, as long as you have an appropriate Bachelor’s degree.
Specialized Engineering Courses and Certifications
There’s plenty of crossover between the engineering and computer science paths, particularly when it comes to devising solutions for physical hardware:
- Network Engineering – Designed to equip you with advanced skills in computing (especially in the areas of developing and managing network systems), network engineering courses come in several flavors. Some universities offer them as specialized Master’s programs, assuming you have an appropriate technical Bachelor’s degree. In some cases, you can enter into trainee courses with workplaces that equip you with network engineering skills, with this option sometimes not requiring formal computer science training beforehand.
- Cyber Security Engineering – With cybercrime losses exceeding $10 billion in 2022 (according to the FBI), there’s an obvious demand for people who can engineer systems designed to deter hackers. Specialized programs, such as an MSc in cyber security engineering, equip you with the ability to offer hardware security services and reverse-engineer cyber-attacks. Entry requirements vary depending on your university, though many ask for a minimum second-class degree in a subject like computer science or electronic engineering.
- Applied Data Science – You’ll pick up on some of the technical concepts that underpin data science while studying for your BSc in Computer Science. A Master’s degree in applied data science teaches you the practical side, equipping you with the skills you need to analyze and work on complicated engineering assets. Again, a degree in a technical subject (like computer science) should be enough for most universities, with this course also offering a path into Ph.D. studies in the applied data science and data-based industrial engineering areas.
Benefits of Pursuing Engineering After BSc Computer Science
After having worked so hard to obtain your BSc in Computer Science, the question “can I do engineering after BSc Computer Science?” may not have crossed your mind. After all, you’re equipped to enter the workforce already, so you’re wondering what the benefits of further study may be. Here are three to consider.
Enhanced Career Prospects
Having a joint specialization between engineering and computer science can be your pathway to a higher salary, with specific specializations in applied data science or cyber security engineering veering into six-figure territory.
According to Glass Door, starting salaries for applied data scientists start at around $83,000, though the average is $126,586 per year. Advance in that path until you become a senior or lead data scientist and you’ll find your earnings in the $160,000 range. The same resource suggests the average base pay for a cyber security engineer is nearly as impressive, starting at $92,297 per year, though some organizations offer six-figure contracts for those who have some experience under their belts.
Specialization in a Specific Field
Though a BSc in Computer Science equips you with a ton of foundational knowledge, it can leave you feeling unfocused as potential career paths branch out in front of you. Rather than exploring every one of those branches, shifting into engineering allows you to distill (and build upon) what you already know to create a more focused knowledge base.
In addition to making you more desirable to potential employers (as we see above), a specialization makes it easier to find a job that fits your skill set. You add a layer of polish to your raw skillset, developing an understanding of where your specific talents lie and, more importantly, how you can apply them.
Opportunities for Research and Innovation
Having the skills to access better careers is one thing, but being able to contribute to the development of new technologies can make you feel like you’re making a real difference to the world. Following up your BSc in Computer Science with an engineering specialization equips you with practical knowledge (complementing your technical prowess) to give you the perfect balance for entering into the research world.
As one example, Imperial College London operates a research program that takes a data-driven approach to data science research. Applications of the tech (and ideas) that come from that program are used in fields as diverse as medicine, astrophysics, and finance, allowing researchers to create cross-industry change while working with cutting-edge tech.
Steps to Pursue an Engineering Career Post-BSc
Now that you know that the answer to “Can I do engineering after BSc Computer Science?” is a definite “yes,” there’s one more question to answer:
Step 1 – Research and Choose the Right Engineering Program
Choosing the right engineering program may make you feel like you’re at the starting point of a path that branches out in a dozen directions. Each of those paths has something to offer, though you have to commit to one to become a specialist. Think about what you enjoyed while studying computer science, which, combined with an understanding of your career goals, will help you determine which path leads you toward your passion.
Once you know what you want to study (and why), evaluate the programs open to you using the curriculum offered and the reputations of the programs as your criteria for making a choice.
Step 2 – Prepare for Entrance Exams and Application Process
You’re not going to simply walk into an engineering course because you have a BSc in Computer Science, even if your graduate studies equip you with most of the skills necessary to start a post-graduate engineering course. Some institutions have entrance exams (with the previously mentioned JEE being popular), meaning you need to gather study materials and focus your efforts on passing that exam.
For universities that are happy to accept your BSc in Computer Science as proof of your ability, you still need to complete applications and file them before the appropriate deadlines. These deadlines vary depending on where you apply. For instance, you usually have until the end of June if applying for a program that accepts fall admissions in the United States.
Step 3 – Gain Relevant Work Experience
The more work experience you can get under your belt, especially when studying, the better your resume will look when you start applying for specialized computer engineering roles. Internships and co-op programs can equip you with practical knowledge of the workforce (and help you to build connections), though they’re often unpaid.
If working without pay is a problem for you, accepting part-time or freelance work in an engineering field related to your specialization is an option. Just be wary of burnout if you’re still in the process of completing your studies.
Step 4 – Network With Professionals in the Engineering Field
There’s an old saying that goes “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” While that isn’t always the case in engineering (merit and skills go a long way), it still helps to have connections in the field who can point you in the direction of roles and employers.
Attending industry events and conferences (even if you’re not actively looking for a job yet) allows you to hobnob with people who may prove useful when you’re trying to break into the engineering sector. Joining professional associations, such as the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), offers resources, continuing education, and access to career centers that can help you to get ahead.
Engineer Your Path to a New Career
Computer science and engineering make for good bedfellows, with both fields being highly technical and reliant on you having strong mathematical skills. Perhaps that’s why there are so many attractive (and potentially lucrative) options for specializations, with each offering ways to apply the foundational knowledge you develop during a BSc in Computer Science.
When making your choice, start by figuring out which field grabs your interest before taking the steps described above to reach your career goals.
Soon, we will be launching four new Degrees for AY24-25 at OPIT – Open Institute of Technology
I want to offer a behind-the-scenes look at the Product Definition process that has shaped these upcoming programs.
🚀 Phase 1: Discovery (Late May – End of July)
Our journey began with intensive brainstorming sessions with OPIT’s Academic Board (Francesco Profumo, Lorenzo Livi, Alexiei Dingli, Andrea Pescino, Rosario Maccarrone) . We also conducted 50+ interviews with tech and digital entrepreneurs (both from startups and established firms), academics and students. Finally, we deep-dived into the “Future of Jobs 2023” report by the World Economic Forum and other valuable research.
🔍 Phase 2: Selection – Crafting Our Roadmap (July – August)
Our focus? Introducing new degrees addressing critical workforce shortages and upskilling/reskilling needs for the next 5-10 years, promising significant societal impact and a broad market reach.
Our decision? To channel our energies on full BScs and MScs, and steer away from shorter courses or corporate-focused offerings. This aligns perfectly with our core mission.
💡 Focus Areas Unveiled!
We’re thrilled to concentrate on pivotal fields like:
- Advanced AI
- Digital Business
- Metaverse & Gaming
- Cloud Computing (less “glamorous”, but market demand is undeniable).
🎓 Phase 3: Definition – Shaping the Degrees (August – November)
With an expert in each of the above fields, and with the strong collaboration of our Academic Director, Prof. Lorenzo Livi , we embarked on a rigorous “drill-down process”. Our goal? To meld modern theoretical knowledge with cutting-edge competencies and skills. This phase included interviewing over 60+ top academics, industry professionals, and students and get valuable, program-specific, insights from our Marketing department.
🌟 Phase 4: Accreditation and Launch – The Final Stretch
We’re currently in the accreditation process, gearing up for the launch. The focus is now shifting towards marketing, working closely with Greta Maiocchi and her Marketing and Admissions team. Together, we’re translating our new academic offering into a compelling value proposition for the market.
Stay tuned for more updates!
Far from being a temporary educational measure that came into its own during the pandemic, online education is providing students from all over the world with new ways to learn. That’s proven by statistics from Oxford Learning College, which point out that over 100 million students are now enrolled in some form of online course.
The demand for these types of courses clearly exists.
In fact, the same organization indicates that educational facilities that introduce online learning see a 42% increase in income – on average – suggesting that the demand is there.
Enter the Open Institute of Technology (OPIT).
Delivering three online courses – a Bachelor’s degree in computer science and two Master’s degrees – with more to come, OPIT is positioning itself as a leader in the online education space. But why is that? After all, many institutions are making the jump to e-learning, so what separates OPIT from the pack?
Here, you’ll discover the answers as you delve into the five reasons why you should trust OPIT for your online education.
Reason 1 – A Practical Approach
OPIT focuses on computer science education – a field in which theory often dominates the educational landscape. The organization’s Rector, Professor Francesco Profumo, makes this clear in a press release from June 2023. He points to a misalignment between what educators are teaching computer science students and what the labor market actually needs from those students as a key problem.
“The starting point is the awareness of the misalignment,” he says when talking about how OPIT structures its online courses. “That so-called mismatch is generated by too much theory and too little practical approach.” In other words, students in many classes spend far too much time learning the “hows” and “whys” behind computerized systems without actually getting their hands dirty with real work that gives them practical experience in using those systems.
OPIT takes a different approach.
It has developed a didactic approach that focuses far more on the practical element than other courses. That approach is delivered through a combination of classroom sessions – such as live lessons and masterclasses – and practical work offered through quizzes and exercises that mimic real-world situations.
An OPIT student doesn’t simply learn how computers work. They put their skills into practice through direct programming and application, equipping them with skills that are extremely attractive to major employers in the tech field and beyond.
Reason 2 – Flexibility Combined With Support
Flexibility in how you study is one of the main benefits of any online course.
You control when you learn and how you do it, creating an environment that’s beneficial to your education rather than being forced into a classroom setting with which you may not feel comfortable. This is hardly new ground. Any online educational platform can claim that it offers “flexibility” simply because it provides courses via the web.
Where OPIT differs is that it combines that flexibility with unparalleled support bolstered by the experiences of teachers employed from all over the world. The founder and director of OPIT, Riccardo Ocleppo, sheds more light on this difference in approach when he says, “We believe that education, even if it takes place physically at a distance, must guarantee closeness on all other aspects.” That closeness starts with the support offered to students throughout their entire study period.
Tutors are accessible to students at all times. Plus, every participant benefits from weekly professor interactions, ensuring they aren’t left feeling stuck on an educational “island” and have to rely solely on themselves for their education. OPIT further counters the potential isolation that comes with online learning with a Student Support team to guide students through any difficulties they may have with their courses.
In this focus on support, OPIT showcases one of its main differences from other online platforms.
You don’t simply receive course material before being told to “get on with it.” You have the flexibility to learn at your own pace while also having a support structure that serves as a foundation for that learning.
Reason 3 – OPIT Can Adapt to Change Quickly
The field of computer science is constantly evolving.
In the 2020s alone, we’ve seen the rise of generative AI – spurred on by the explosive success of services like ChatGPT – and how those new technologies have changed the way that people use computers.
Riccardo Ocleppo has seen the impact that these constant evolutions have had on students. Before founding OPIT, he was an entrepreneur who received first-hand experience of the fact that many traditional educational institutions struggle to adapt to change.
“Traditional educational institutions are very slow to adapt to this wave of new technologies and trends within the educational sector,” he says. He points to computer science as a particular issue, highlighting the example of a board in Italy of which he is a member. That board – packed with some of the country’s most prestigious tech universities – spent three years eventually deciding to add just two modules on new and emerging technologies to their study programs.
That left Ocleppo feeling frustrated.
When he founded OPIT, he did so intending to make it an adaptable institution in which courses were informed by what the industry needs. Every member of its faculty is not only a superb teacher but also somebody with experience working in industry. Speaking of industry, OPIT collaborates with major companies in the tech field to ensure its courses deliver the skills that those organizations expect from new candidates.
This confronts frustration on both sides. For companies, an OPIT graduate is one for which they don’t need to bridge a “skill gap” between what they’ve learned and what the company needs. For you, as a student, it means that you’re developing skills that make you a more desirable prospect once you have your degree.
Reason 4 – OPIT Delivers Tier One Education
Despite their popularity, online courses can still carry a stigma of not being “legitimate” in the face of more traditional degrees. Ocleppo is acutely aware of this fact, which is why he’s quick to point out that OPIT always aims to deliver a Tier One education in the computer science field.
“That means putting together the best professors who create superb learning material, all brought together with a teaching methodology that leverages the advancements made in online teaching,” he says.
OPIT’s degrees are all accredited by the European Union to support this approach, ensuring they carry as much weight as any other European degree. It’s accredited by both the European Qualification Framework (EQF) and the Malta Qualification Framework (MQF), with all of its courses having full legal value throughout Europe.
It’s also here where we see OPIT’s approach to practicality come into play via its course structuring.
Take its Bachelor’s degree in computer science as an example.
Yes, that course starts with a focus on theoretical and foundational knowledge. Building a computer and understanding how the device processes instructions is vital information from a programming perspective. But once those foundations are in place, OPIT delivers on its promises of covering the most current topics in the field.
Machine learning, cloud computing, data science, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity – all valuable to employers – are taught at the undergraduate level. Students benefit from a broader approach to computer science than most institutions are capable of, rather than bogging them down in theory that serves little practical purpose.
Reason 5 – The Learning Experience
Let’s wrap up by honing in on what it’s actually like for students to learn with OPIT.
After all, as Ocleppo points out, one of the main challenges with online education is that students rarely have defined checkpoints to follow. They can start feeling lost in the process, confronted with a metaphorical ocean of information they need to learn, all in service of one big exam at the end.
Alternatively, some students may feel the temptation to not work through the materials thoroughly, focusing instead on passing a final exam. The result is that those students may pass, but they do so without a full grasp of what they’ve learned – a nightmare for employers who already have skill gaps to handle.
OPIT confronts both challenges by focusing on a continuous learning methodology. Assessments – primarily practical – take place throughout the course, serving as much-needed checkpoints for evaluating progress. When combined with the previously mentioned support that OPIT offers, this approach has led to courses that are created from scratch in service of the student’s actual needs.
Choose OPIT for Your Computer Science Education
At OPIT, the focus lies as much on helping students to achieve their dream careers as it does on teaching them. All courses are built collaboratively. With a dedicated faculty combined with major industry players, such as Google and Microsoft, it delivers materials that bridge the skill gap seen in the computer science field today.
There’s also more to come.
Beyond the three degrees OPIT offers, the institution plans to add more. Game development, data science, and cloud computing, to name a few, will receive dedicated degrees in the coming months, accentuating OPIT’s dedication to adapting to the continuous evolution of the computer science industry. Discover OPIT today – your journey into computing starts with the best online education institution available.