Finding an industry or even area of life that doesn’t utilize digital technologies is quite a challenge today. As computers continue to impact the ways we do business and live, understanding their capabilities and limitations becomes essential. This is the gist of what computer science is all about.
The tasks of computer science keep growing in scope and complexity. This means the demand for professionals in the field is always on the rise. Global companies are always on the lookout not only for people who know computer science but are also experts in the field.
For these reasons, getting an MSc in Computer Science can be the best career move in the modern landscape. Masters in Computer Science allows you to gain detailed knowledge and choose a specialized path. Better yet, holding such a degree elevates your chances of landing a well-paid job at a respectable organization.
Getting an MSc Computer Science is undoubtedly a good idea. You can even do it online, with all of the conveniences of remote learning. Let’s look at the best Masters in Computer Science courses and find out what they offer in terms of professional development.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an MSc Computer Science Program
Picking the right course may be something of a challenge. Numerous institutions offer quality programs, so you might not know where to start or what to look for when making the decision. Here are the key factors that should influence your choice.
Firstly, the reputation of the institution providing the course will matter greatly. Leading universities and learning organizations will offer the most comprehensive programs. Plus, their degrees will be accredited and recognized worldwide.
Next, you’ll need to choose a particular curriculum and specialization that fit your needs and interests. Computer science is a broad field of study, so picking the right study path will be necessary.
The institution you enroll in should have quality faculty members. This aspect is relatively straightforward: If you pick a reputable university, chances are the faculty will be up to par. On a similar note, such institutions will provide ample research opportunities.
The financial aspect is, of course, another important factor. Tuition fees differ considerably between institutions, and some may provide considerable aid for upcoming students. Yet, that doesn’t mean you should opt for the most affordable variant – the combination of a reasonable price and quality education will be the winning one.
When studying on-campus, the location and facilities will be crucial. While not the deciding factor, this may be a tipping point when comparing two otherwise evenly matched institutions.
Lastly, career support is one of the most important advantages you can get from an MSc program. Some institutions provide considerable opportunities for career development, connecting students with leading companies in the field. Additionally, network-building options will matter in this regard.
Top MSc Computer Science Courses and Programs
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
- Location: Gjøvik, Norway
- Duration: Two years
- Study Mode: Full-time
- Requirements: Informatics bachelor’s or engineering degree; minimum average grade: C; minimum informatics credits: 80; documented informatics and mathematics knowledge
- Tuition fees: No fees
- Scholarships/Financial aid: Free program – no financial aid needed
- Career prospects: Machine learning, gaming industry, AI, VR; possibility of Ph.D. program application
- Location: Stockholm, Sweden
- Duration: Two years
- Study Mode: Full-time
- Requirements: Bachelor’s degree from a Swedish or another recognized university in informatics, computer science, or mathematics (minimum 180 ECTS credits); proficient use of the English language – IELTS 6.5, TOEFL 20, PTE 62, ESOL C1 (minimum 180 points)
- Tuition fees: SEK 310,000; application fee is SEK 900
- Scholarships/Financial aid: Scholarships are available from KTH, the Swedish Institute, and associated organizations; full and one-year scholarships available
- Career prospects: Graduates from KHT have moved forward to Ph.D. studies worldwide or found jobs at leading tech companies like Google, Oracle, Saab, Spotify, and Bloomberg.
Check out MSc in Computer Science at KHT.
- Location: Leiden, Netherlands
- Duration: Two years
- Study Mode: Full-time
- Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in AI, Bioinformatics, Computer Science or a related program; English proficiency – IELTS 6.5, TOEFL 90
- Tuition fees: Students from the EU, Suriname, or Switzerland: €2,314 yearly; other students: €19,600 yearly
- Scholarships/Financial aid: Various scholarships available; EU students under the age of 30 are eligible for a Dutch government loan
- Career prospects: Careers in AI, computer science and education, data science, and advanced computer systems
Check out MSc in Computer Science at University Leiden.
Specializations Within MSc Computer Science
Computer science has numerous subcategories and fields of study. These fields are widely different, so you’ll need to choose your specialization carefully. Let’s look at the key disciplines of computer science that you can specialize in and what those disciplines mean.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
As a field of computer science, AI deals with methods and technologies that allow machines to simulate human intelligence. This includes machine learning, deep learning, and similar disciplines. Through learning methods, either assisted or unassisted by humans, machines can process data and draw conclusions somewhat independently.
Data Science and Big Data Analysis
Data science, as the name implies, deals with data gathering, processing, and analysis. This facet of computer science is particularly important, as it finds plenty of practical applications in business, other sciences, demographics, and statistics.
A subset of data science, big data analysis focuses on extracting information from massive databases. A data scientist’s job is to compile the data and use advanced technological solutions to draw meaningful conclusions. The volumes of data analyzed this way far surpass anything that humans can achieve without computer assistance.
Cybersecurity and Information Security
Today, cybersecurity counts among the most important facets of computer science. Other disciplines gather, produce, and store copious amounts of data which often contain sensitive information. Unfortunately, modern criminals prey on that information to gain access to financial accounts, steal confidential data, and blackmail businesses and individuals.
Cybersecurity attempts to foil attacks from malicious parties. As the methods of crime evolve, so do the technologies meant to fight them. From phishing prevention to protection from hacking, cybersecurity, and information security ensures sensitive data doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.
Software Engineering and Development
Software is at the core of all computer systems, and it’s an ever-evolving aspect of computer science. New software solutions are needed practically every day, and that’s where software engineering and development come in.
Software engineers design new programs and work out how to implement them. Developers work on finding novel solutions to practical and theoretical challenges. These two branches of computer science are responsible for helping machines keep up with users’ demands, both privately and professionally.
Human-Computer Interaction and User Experience Design
We might not think much about the way we interact with computers. At least that’s the case if the user experience is done right. Designing the elements that people use in regular interaction reflects how efficiently computer systems work. Without quality user experience or means of interaction, software alone doesn’t serve much purpose.
Networking and Cloud Computing
A standalone computer system is a rarity these days. Networking, the internet, and cloud computing unlocked the full potential of the digital world. Today, computers can do their best when connected online, which is why these aspects of computer science count among the most important today.
Internet of Things and Embedded Systems
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a network of interconnected smart devices. This technology makes smart homes possible, but that’s only a small part of what IoT can do. Automated manufacturing, logistics, and numerous other complex systems function on this principle. In a sense, IoT and embedded systems represent the pinnacle of computer science since it brings together all other fields of research.
Tips for a Successful MSc Computer Science Application
Applying for an MSc in Computer Science is a step that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Your application will require careful consideration, particularly regarding the career path you wish to take. It would be best to start with a list of programs that fit your chosen field of research.
Once you have that list, you should narrow the choice according to the specific criteria that we listed here. To recap, those criteria are:
- The institution’s reputation and accreditation
- The curriculum
- Faculty and opportunities for research
- Fees and scholarships/financial aid
- Location and facilities
- Networking opportunities and career support
After you choose the program, it will be time to prepare the strongest application possible. You’ll have the best chances of getting accepted into the program with a well-written statement of purpose, the appropriate letters of recommendation, test scores and academic transcripts, and written proof of extracurricular activities and work experience.
Lastly, you should prepare to visit the campus and schedule an interview. Don’t disregard this aspect of the application process, as it could easily determine whether you’ll get accepted.
Start Your Computer Science Master’s Journey Today
Getting an MSc in Computer Science may be a significant boost for your career. Select the right program, and you might find yourself at the top of the job market. If your interests fall into any field of computer science, consider enrolling in a master’s program at a leading institution – it will be an excellent career move.
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.