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What you can gain from a master’s in computer and information sciences

February 01, 2022
Cloud icons in a cyber environment

In your search for a master’s degree in computer and information sciences, information technology, or a related field, it can sometimes be difficult to discern how the curriculum translates into modern business skills. Sure, it’s good to hear that you’ll gain an edge among your peers in the job market, but with the time and money that you will invest in a master’s degree, it’s normal to want to know exactly what you’ll receive in return.

That’s why we at Marquette University designed our online Master's of Science in Computer and Information Services to create an immediate professional impact. If you’re considering the degree and want a better understanding of its outcomes, read our detailed list below to see exactly what advantages an online Master of Science in Computer and Information Services can give you.

Software skills

To succeed in any of today’s top IT and cybersecurity roles, it’s imperative that you have an understanding and practicing knowledge of various software and their related coding languages. This is demonstrated clearly in recent hiring trends: of the five fastest-growing skills at the LinkedIn Top Companies in 2021, four of them are directly related to software competencies.1

Based on this knowledge, the online M.S. in Computer and Information Sciences program will prepare you to:

  • Create data visualizations using various software, including R, Google Charts and Tableau
  • Understand and apply the tenets of Human-Centered Design Thinking
  • Map requirements into design, then implement and test the corresponding implementation
  • Deploy, release and maintain a software system
  • Demonstrate understanding of A/B testing and propose situations where its application is appropriate

Marquette Master’s in Computer and Information Sciences Courses:

COSC 4500 / 5500: Advanced Data Science (Visual Analytics)
COSC 6050: Elements of Software Development

Data analytics and business analytics

Now that a majority of companies have embraced the immense value of their data, they’re actively seeking professionals who understand how various data systems, products, and tools work together in a larger business ecosystem, as well as those who can identify areas and plans for improvement.

The online M.S. in Computer and Information Sciences will train you to become an analyst, engineer, or insights manager who can:

  • Learn and implement basic data structures such as lists, stacks, queues, trees and hash tables
  • Use basic algorithms in searching, sorting and analyzing
  • Evaluate the foundations for Business Intelligence (BI) such as data quality, governance, partitioning and master data management
  • Enact data collection, organization, representation, and integration techniques
  • Apply methods for data summaries to time series data for regression analysis, correlation and prediction
  • Master probability, statistical inference, hypothesis testing, performance evaluations, principal components analysis
  • Complete supervised data mining (Nearest Neighbor, Naïve Bayes Classification and Decision Trees) and unsupervised data mining (cluster analysis)
  • Implement smoothing techniques and linear and non-linear regression methods for forecasting

Marquette Master’s in Computer and Information Sciences Courses:

COSC 6500: Foundations of Computing
COSC 6510: Business Intelligence
COSCO 6520: Business Analytics
COSC 4610/5610: Data Mining
COSC 6260: Advanced Algorithms

Cybersecurity skills/experience

The need for cybersecurity experts is so vast that there’s an unmet demand for at least 500,000 cybersecurity jobs in the U.S., and 3.5 million jobs globally.2 Of the thousands of opportunities in various sectors, potential roles include cybersecurity specialist, penetration tester, or even chief security officer. However, companies won’t trust anyone with this important role; you need experience and skills that deliver more than a bootcamp or a certificate.

Computer and Information Sciences graduates will be ready to:

  • Describe and analyze the cybersecurity risks to various types of organizations
  • Understand various frameworks and methods for increasing cybersecurity and reducing risks, especially the NIST Framework for Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity
  • Understand business and market expectations, legal and regulatory requirements, and confidentiality and integrity policies
  • Enact hacking countermeasures such as security-in-depth concept, access controls, intrusion detection, resiliency and encryption
  • Identify, deter and combat threats related to hardware, software, private networks and return-oriented programming
  • Describe the mechanisms underlying distributed system security and blockchain
  • Realize the potential of quantum computing and artificial intelligence in cybersecurity
  • Implement searching techniques and logical agents to handle problems of various complexity

Marquette Master’s in Computer and Information Sciences Courses:

COSC 4600/MSCS 5600: Fundamentals of AI
COSC 6550: Introduction to Cybersecurity
COSC 6280: Advanced Computer Security

System creation & administration

As highlighted in our list of the top IT skills for advancing your career, anyone interested in working in cybersecurity will need to be able to fully secure an IT network, build and maintain system capabilities, and manage user roles and permissions. This will help you find success as a computer systems analyst or systems architect, cybersecurity analyst, or IT manager.

Computer and Information Sciences graduates will be able to:

  • Design, maintain and modify all elements of a computer network: physical, data link, network, transport and application layers
    • Digital and analog transmission and conversion, network types, internetworking, congestion control, email and much more
  • Develop systems for creating and maintaining the "state" of the company
  • Understand the background, history, planning, governing, maintaining, and common methodologies associated with Enterprise Architecture (EA)

Marquette Master’s in Computer and Information Sciences Courses:

COSC 4300 - 5300: Networks and Internets
COSC 6360: 701 & 721 Enterprise Architecture

Multi-industry applications, exposure to multiple industries

One of the great benefits of working in information technology or cybersecurity is its universal applications; every industry or sector, from government agencies to local retail shops, can benefit from your expertise. While it might not always be necessary to have experience in the specific industry you plan to join, it’s certainly helpful to have an exposure to and awareness of the unique factors that influence each of them.

With this in mind, our master’s courses will teach you how to:

  • Become proficient in the execution and interpretation of all of the above topics as they relate to your respective industry (e.g. clinical settings, criminal justice, business, banking, retail, etc.)
  • Develop interactive data applications focused on contemporary problems in law, sports and exercise science, or healthcare
  • Understand how new technologies are transforming healthcare specifically, and/or are acting as disruptive forces

Marquette Master’s in Computer and Information Sciences Courses:

COSC 6390 101: Professional Seminar in Computing Information Systems in Healthcare
COSC 4500 / 5500: Advanced Data Science (Visual Analytics)
COSC 6520: Business Analytics

Soft skills and business acumen

Different personality traits benefit certain roles more than others, but overall, computer science professionals should be calm, patient individuals with a penchant for detail.3 Problem solving and critical thinking are top of the list for soft skills, followed closely by strong communication skills, a willingness to learn, and an understanding of the role data and security play in your company and the world as a whole.

Earn an online M.S. in Computer and Information Sciences to successfully:

  • Participate in regular discussions that facilitate problem solving and hone constructive feedback skills
  • Effectively communicate technical concepts, problems and solutions to co-workers
  • Identify and engage with the ethical and social implications of our data-driven society, including potential unexpected outcomes of data models, algorithm and related systems
  • Define, describe, and defend realistic work plans, products and processes

Marquette Master’s in Computer and Information Sciences Courses:

COSC 6500: Foundations of Computing
COSC 6510: Business Intelligence
COSC 4820/5820: Ethical and Social Implications of Data
COSC 6964: Practicum for Research and Development in Computing

Ready to make these skills your own?

Now that you know what to expect from an online M.S. in Computer and Information Sciences at Marquette University, you can apply and enroll knowing that you’ve chosen the ideal degree for your career goals. Even better, you can see how these course outcomes align with the requirements for the job you’re seeking, then move into your next role smoothly and confidently.

Ranked No. 14 in Best Online Master's in Computer Information Technology Programs by US News & World Report, Marquette University’s online Master of Science in Computer and Information Sciences program gets you career-ready in as little as two years.4 Explore our curriculum and reach out to one of our Admissions Advisors today.

Sources
  1. Retrieved on January 24, 2022 from linkedin.com/business/learning/blog/top-skills-and-courses/trending-skills-at-the-top-companies-2021
  2. Retrieved on January 24, 2022 from nytimes.com/2018/11/07/business/the-mad-dash-to-find-a-cybersecurity-force.html
  3. Retrieved on January 24, 2022, from blog.eccouncil.org/skills-that-you-require-to-pursue-a-career-in-cybersecurity/
  4. Retrieved on January 24, 2022, from usnews.com/education/online-education/marquette-university-OCIT0079/computer-information-technology