Subject modules & entry requirements
Can you imagine a time when a computer was not a small portable laptop or an ultra-slim desktop but a massive device comprising layers of components and wires and transistors that would occupy two huge rooms?
Wolverhampton Instrument for Teaching Computing from Harwell - WITCH - The Harwell Dekatron Computer
Source - Royal Pingdom
Computing as a subject came into prominence during the Second World War. As armies of dictators, monarchs and democracies battled against each other; the race for the nuclear weapon and the need to decrypt enemy codes were both managed by advanced computing devices. In fact, if we examine all the crucial wars that have been fought since the dawn of civilisation we would find to our surprise that in addition to death and destruction many scientific innovations were also made during the wars. For a long period, computers were only accessible to the government, industries and the super-rich. The evolution of companies like IBM, Microsoft, Apple and Dell changed everything along with the invention of the silicon chip. Computers became portable, affordable and easily accessible.
Source - ZDNet
In India, it took a wee bit longer for the computers to arrive. The pro-liberalisation era saw the arrival of a lot of foreign companies and better facilities and the 90s saw an amazing transformation in India with the computer revolution happening in full swing. Suddenly everyone wanted to study computer science and that fascination continues to this day!
Computer Science, Information Technology and Computer Engineering are distinct subjects. This guide will focus on the various postgraduate programmes in Computer Science and Information Technology.
How long will you study?
Students can choose from the MSc, MS or MA in Computer Science and Information Technology. This is usually a one-year programme.
What will you study?
The sheer size of the programme curriculum can overwhelm a student. The core modules that are usually covered as part of the generic MSc in Computer Science and Information Technology programme are:
- Programming Languages
- Designing Computers
- Computer Architecture and Hardware
- Database Systems Infrastructure
- Software Engineering
- Information Systems
Typical entry requirements
The USA continues to be a preferred destination for postgraduate studies in Computer Science and the top five places to study are:
- Stanford University
- University Of California-Berkeley
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Cornell University
As per the ‘Guardian University Guide 2015 Subject League Tables’ - the best universities in the UK to study Computer Science and Information Systems are:
- St Andrews
- Imperial College London
- University of Oxford
- University of Cambridge
- University of Birmingham
English language proficiency
Top-ranked institutions require international students to have an IELTS score in the range of 6.5 to 7. A relevant undergraduate degree in Computer Science or Mathematics is a requirement in most universities. Some universities filter the best applicants by requiring them to have two years of relevant experience in computing and demonstrate proficiency in a programming language.
Recent years have seen the rise of pre-training modules, which allow students with a non-Computer Science background to enrol for an MS in Computer Science and Information technology.
To get into the premier universities a GRE score in the range of 340 to 350 is ideal. A score of 320 to 330 on the GRE assures admission into the second tier of leading institutions.
Studying for an MS in Computer Science in the USA at a premier university will cost you in the range of INR 30 to 40 lakhs. A similar degree in the UK would cost you about INR 20 to 30 lakhs. Look for an institution that offers you ample specialisation options and career placement choices. Food and living costs are again dependent on lifestyle and students should earmark around INR 8 to 10 lakhs to meet these costs.
The popular specialisations on offer are:
The core programme essentially covers the A-to-Z of computers and prepares students for a relevant career. View all postgraduate programmes in Computer Science.
Be it managing an IT project or implementing core processes, IT continues to remain a popular specialisation and when combined with an MBA in Information Systems Management offers a wide variety of career opportunities. View all postgraduate programmes in Information Technology.
The specialisation in Multimedia covers a wide variety of topics ranging from animation, game development, application development for mobile operating systems, virtual reality and much more. If you have a flair for creativity then this is the perfect specialisation for you to study. View all postgraduate programmes in Multimedia.
This specialisation enables learners to study software development without actually opting for a software engineering programme. Trained software developers who have cross-platform knowledge are well paid and in high demand. View all postgraduate Software programmes.
Career opportunities and designations on offer include – programmer, software developer, software tester, graphic designer, animation artist/animator, database administrator and UX-expert (user-interface expert). The sheer depth and variety of job-roles across industries is overwhelming as the computer is now essential to all businesses.
The following infographics sourced from Payscale indicate the average annual salaries of those with a Master of Computer Science degree in India and the USA.
The variance in salaries is a clear indicator of the importance of an international degree and working abroad. So if you really wish to create a lucrative career for yourself in the computing industry then find a good university and programme abroad.
Luminaries in the field
NR Narayana Murthy, Nandan Nilekani, Azim Premji and the now infamous Ramalinga Raju are the stalwarts of the IT revolution in India. These people and their companies Infosys, Wipro and Satyam created the first wave of IT jobs and KPOs in India and India’s IT success story continues. The focus is now to not just offer services but also create excellent products.
Sundar Pichai the current CEO of Google and Satya Nadella the current CEO of Microsoft are from India!
The Computer Society of India was established in 1965. It serves as the flagship organisation for IT and computing professionals with branches across the country and offering certified learning programmes for students across ages.