With your BSc in Computer Science achieved, you have a ton of technical knowledge in coding, systems architecture, and the general “whys” and “hows” of computing under your belt. Now, you face a dilemma, as you’re entering a field that over 150,000 people study for per year, meaning competition is rife.
That huge level of competition makes finding a new career difficult, as UK-based computer science graduates discovered in the mid-2010s when the saturation of the market led to an 11% unemployment rate. To counter that saturation, you may find the siren’s call of the business world tempts you toward continuing your studies to obtain an MBA.
So, the question is – can I do MBA after Computer Science?
This article offers the answers.
Understanding the MBA Degree
MBAs exist to equip students with the knowledge (both technical and practical) to succeed in the business world. For computer science graduates, that may mean giving them the networking and soft skills they need to turn their technical knowledge into career goldmines, or it could mean helping them to start their own companies in the computing field.
Most MBAs feature six core subjects:
- Finance – Focused on the numbers behind a business, this subject is all about learning how to balance profits, losses, and the general costs of running a business.
- Accounting – Building on the finance subject, accounting pulls students into the weeds when it comes to taxes, operating expenses, and running a healthy company.
- Leadership – Soft skills are just as important as hard skills to a business student, with leadership subjects focusing on how to inspire employees and foster teamwork.
- Economic Statistics – The subject that most closely relates to a computer science degree, economic statistics is all about processing, collecting, and interpreting technical data.
- Accountability/Ethics – With so many fields having strict compliance criteria (coupled with the ethical conundrums that arise in any business), this subject helps students navigate potential legal and ethical minefields.
- Marketing – Having a great product or service doesn’t always lead to business success. Marketing covers what you do to get what you have to offer into the public eye.
Beyond the six core subjects, many MBAs offer students an opportunity to specialize via additional courses in the areas that interest them most. For instance, you could take courses in entrepreneurship to bolster your leadership skills and ethical knowledge, or focus on accounting if you’re more interested in the behind-the-scenes workings of the business world.
As for career opportunities, you have a ton of paths you can follow (with your computer science degree offering more specialized career routes). Those with an MBA alone have options in the finance, executive management, and consulting fields, with more specialized roles in IT management available to those with computer science backgrounds.
Eligibility for MBA After BSc Computer Science
MBAs are attractive to prospective post-graduate students because they have fairly loose requirements, at least when compared to more specialized further studies. Most MBA courses require the following before they’ll accept a student:
- A Bachelor’s degree in any subject, as long as that degree comes from a recognized educational institution
- English language proficiency
- This is often tested using either the TOEFL or IELTS tests
- A pair of recommendation letters, which can come from employers or past teachers
- Your statement of purpose defining why you want to study for an MBA
- A resume
- A Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) score
- You’ll receive a score between 200 and 800, with the aim being to exceed the average of 574.51
Interestingly, some universities offer MBAs in Computer Science, which are the ideal transitional courses for those who are wary of making the jump from a more technical field into something business-focused. Course requirements are similar to those for a standard MBA, though some universities also like to see that you have a couple of years of work experience before you apply.
Benefits of Pursuing an MBA After BSc Computer Science
So, the answer to “Can I do MBA after BSc Computer Science,” is a resounding “yes,” but we still haven’t confronted why that’s a good choice. Here are five reasons:
- Diversify your skill set – While your skill set after completing a computer science degree is extremely technical, you may not have many of the soft skills needed to operate in a business environment. Beyond teaching leadership, management, and teamwork, a good MBA program also helps you get to grips with the numbers behind a business.
- Expand career opportunities – There is no shortage of potential roles for computer science graduates, though the previously mentioned study data shows there are many thousands of people studying the same subject. With an MBA to complement your knowledge of computers, you open the door to career opportunities in management fields that would otherwise not be open to you.
- Enhance leadership and management skills – Computer science can often feel like a solitary pursuit, as you spend more time behind a keyboard than you do interacting with others. MBAs are great for those who need a helping hand with their communication skills. Plus, they’re ideal for teaching the organizational aspects of running (or managing) a business.
- Potential for higher salary and career growth – According to Indeed, the average salary in the computer science field is $103,719. Figures from Seattle University suggest those with MBAs can far exceed that average, with the figures it quotes from the industry journal Poets and Quants suggesting an average MBA salary of $140,924.
Challenges and Considerations
As loose as the academic requirements for being accepted to an MBA may be (at least compared to other subjects), there are still challenges to confront as a computer science graduate or student.
- The time and financial investments – Forbes reports the average cost of an MBA in the United States to be $61,800. When added to the cost of your BSc in Computer Science, it’s possible you’ll face near-six-figure debt upon graduating. Couple that monetary investment with the time taken to get your MBA (it’s a full-time course) and you may have to put more into your studies than you think.
- Balancing your technical and managerial skills – Computer science focuses on the technical side, which is only one part of an MBA. While the skills you have will come to the fore when you study accounting or economic statistics, the people-focused aspects of an MBA may be a challenge.
- Adjusting to a new academic environment – You’re switching focus from the computer screen to a more classroom-led learning environment. Some may find this a challenge, particularly if they appreciate the less social aspects of computer science.
MBA Over Science – The Thomas Henson Story
After completing his Bachelor’s degree in computer information systems, Thomas Henson faced a choice – start a Master’s degree in science or study for his MBA. Having worked as a software engineer for six months following his graduation, he wanted to act fast to get his Masters’s done and dusted, opening up new career opportunities in the process.
Eventually, he chose an MBA and now works as a senior software engineer specializing in the Hortonworks Data Platform. On his personal blog, he shares why he chose an MBA over a Master’s degree in computer science, with his insights possibly helping others make their own choice:
- Listen to the people around you (especially teachers and mentors) and ask them why they’ve chosen their career and study paths.
- Compare programs (both comparing MBAs against one another and comparing MBAs to other post-graduate degrees) to see which courses serve your future ambitions best.
- Follow your passion (James loved accounting) as the most important thing is not necessarily the post-graduate course you take. The most important thing is that you finish.
Choosing the Right MBA Program
Finding the right MBA program means taking several factors into consideration, with the following four being the most important:
- Reputation and accreditation – The reputation of the institution you choose, as well as the accreditation it holds, plays a huge role in your decision. Think of your MBA as a recommendation. That recommendation doesn’t mean much if it comes from a random person in the street (i.e., an institution nobody knows), but it carries a lot of weight if it comes from somebody respected.
- Curriculum and specialization – As Thomas Henson points out, what drives you most is what will lead you to the right MBA. In his case, he loved accounting enough to make an MBA a possibility, and likely pursued specializations in that area. Ask yourself what you specifically aim to achieve with your MBA and look for courses that move you closer to that goal.
- Networking opportunities – As anybody in the business world will tell you, who you know is often as important as what you know. Look for a course that features respected lecturers and professors, as they have connections that you can exploit, and take advantage of any opportunities to go to networking events or join professional associations.
- Financial aid and scholarships – Your access to financial aid depends on your current financial position, meaning it isn’t always available. Scholarships may be more accessible, with major institutions like Harvard and Columbia Business School offering pathways into their courses for those who meet their scholarship requirements.
Speaking of Harvard and Columbia, it’s also a good idea to research some of the top business schools, especially given that the reputation of your school is as important as the degree you earn. Major players, at least in the United States, include:
- Harvard Business School
- Columbia Business School
- Wharton School of Business
- Yale School of Management
- Stanford Graduate School of Business
Become a Business-Minded Computer Buff
With the technical skills you earned from your BSc in Computer Science, you’ll be happy to find that the answer to “Can I do MBA after BSc Computer Science?” is “Yes.” Furthermore, it’s recommended as an MBA can equip you with soft skills, such as communication and leadership, that you may not receive from your computing studies. Ultimately, the combination of tech-centric and business skills opens the door to new career paths, with the average earnings of an MBA student outclassing those of computer science graduates.
Your choice comes down to your passion and the career you wish to pursue. If management doesn’t appeal to you, an MBA is likely a waste of time (and over $60,000), whereas those who want to apply their tech skills to the business world will get a lot more out of an MBA.
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.