Earn a master’s in computer and information science without any prior experience

Open the door to a whole new career in cybersecurity, computer programming, data analytics and more. The online Master of Science in Computer and Information Science from Marquette was created with a career-changer pathway in order to support students who are new to the industry as they build essential knowledge and evolve their skills to launch a successful career.

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I picked the Marquette CIS program...because this program offers an intro course which I think is great for beginners to get into the field smoothly.
Ziwei H., M.S. Computer and Information Science ‘23
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Your new computer and information science career begins with one course

As a career-changer student, the first class you'll take is our 7-credit Foundations of Computing course. In this course you’ll get an introduction to the world of information science from a professional perspective and begin to hone your skills and computational thinking. Specific topics include software development and simulation and testing for computer-based problem-solving using higher-level programming languages. You’ll also learn analytics skills through data structures, algorithms and alternatives. Students program exercises using graphical user interfaces, database connections, parallel computing and interfaces to the World Wide Web.

You’ll also gain hands-on experience using an interactive development environment, studying software development methodology, and testing code, basic system administration, computer networking and operating system configuration. Through your assignments and exploration you’ll be able to start building a portfolio of your computing work to show future employers.

Build the tech skills you need for the elevated career you want

You might be planning to take on an entirely new job with your computer and information science degree, and our online master’s program will equip you with all the skills you need to enter the field as a consummate IT professional. But the career-changer program might also be perfect for moving into a more technologically focused advanced role within your current department. Consider how combining IT skills with your existing experience could really allow you to level-up.

$97,430
The median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations1
24%
Salary boost for analysts with a master’s2

Master’s in computer and information science jobs

Woman with tablet and lanyard looking at servers

Business IT jobs

Project managers, entry-level analysts and others working in business administrations can hone their data analytics and visualization skills to become adept business analysts capable of managing large and complex projects. Business professionals can also further their analytical-thinking skills, and combined with their knowledge of business, become software developers or analysts, IT project managers, and network architects. Operations professionals could transition into executive management roles like chief technology officer or chief information officer and make an especially big impact with cybersecurity skills.

Woman at desk with code on screen and taking notes

Marketing IT jobs

Graphic designers, copywriters and others in similar creative roles might earn their computer and information science master’s to do user experience or user interface design, front-end web development or mobile app development. Brand specialists and marketing coordinators could move into the marketing-technology (known as martech) field serving as the bridge between marketing and IT departments in managerial or executive roles. Data analytics and data visualization courses could also be helpful for individuals looking to gain higher titles in paid or digital marketing roles like SEO or web optimization, email marketing and database management.

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Traditional IT jobs

Of course, there are dozens of career paths outside of your current field that you could choose after your master’s. In fact computer and information technology occupations are projected to grow 13% from 2020 to 2030.3 With the immense breadth of skills you’ll gain in the online information technology master’s, you could pursue a career as a cybersecurity analyst, an AI engineer, computer research scientist, computer programmer and many others.

Laptop displaying HTML code

Why enroll in a master’s program instead of a bootcamp?

At the core: more time spent learning means you’ll gain a more in-depth understanding about the field. Our online master’s in computer and information science will give you a robust set of skills as well as educate you about the theory that connects them all together. You’ll graduate confident that you can perform all the tasks required in your new job with evidence of your experience and depth of knowledge. Additionally, you’ll be learning from a faculty of computer and information science professionals who not only have experience in the field but as educators as well. Marquette professors are known specifically for the above-and-beyond support they provide for their students.
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When you‘re choosing Marquette, you’re choosing to have the top of the line and second you're choosing to have a whole support network that you really don't get anywhere else.
Denise S., M.S. Computer and Information Science ‘21

Your career goals are within reach: go after them

It might seem like a big undertaking, but you can start applying the skills you learn in class immediately to your job and then smoothly transition into an advanced role. In the meantime, get started on your application and begin working on the supplemental materials you’ll need to turn in to be considered for admission. We recommend career-changers focus on the following:

  • Think about the relevant work or extracurricular experience you have that would be good to bring up in your personal statement. Have you completed any coding workshops or online tutorials? Make sure to list the topics you’ve studied previously. You’ll also want to be able to clearly state your career goals like what sorts of jobs you’re hoping to apply to after graduation or how you would ideally like to use your skills.
  • Start a list of the contacts you have who might be able to write a good recommendation for you. You’ll need three letters which can be from professors, former or current supervisors or coworkers or anyone else who is familiar with your abilities, academic work or professional background. Consider even a recommendation from a professor who had you in a class where you rose to the challenge of a difficult topic.
  • Consider asking your employer for tuition assistance. More than half of U.S.-based companies offer educational support programs to employees4 so it’s worth a try—especially if you’re hoping to develop skills for a promotion or to fill a certain gap in skills at your current organization.

Review all admissions requirements

Man working on laptop in a room of servers
Man holding laptop in a room full of servers
Break into the tech sector with confidence when you earn your master’s from Marquette.
You’re making a significant decision to pursue a career change and attend graduate school.

At Marquette, you’ll experience a program exuding quality, integrity and support. When you could stand to earn as much as 33% more5 with your computer and information science master’s, it makes the program a clear choice for setting off toward a successful new career.
Sources
  1. Retrieved on August 5, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm
  2. Retrieved from The Census Bureau's American Community Survey - 5-Year Estimates (2015-2019) - Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) - 2018 OCC: Computer and Information Systems Managers
  3. Retrieved on August 7, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm
  4. Retrieved on August 17, 2022, from shrm.org/hr-today/trends-and-forecasting/research-and-surveys/documents/shrm%20employee%20benefits%202019%20executive%20summary.pdf
  5. Retrieved on August 17, 2022, from www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/should-i-get-a-masters-degree.htm, Table 4
Questions? Let’s connect.