Enterprise Careers

SAN MATEO (03/15/2000) - CREDENTIALS: Technical master's; Although it's not a route that many IT professionals choose, some earn a master's degree in computer science or another technical field.

The basics

Who offers it: Many four-year colleges and universities offer a form of technical master's degree.

Prerequisites: Admissions requirements vary by institution.

Requirements: A bachelor's degree, followed by two years of full-time study, increased field specialization, and completion of thesis.

Cost

Cost per year for full-time students:

Average private college - $22,102

Average public university - $8,986

Percent of IT professionals whose companies offer tuition reimbursement - 76.7%Typical areas of specializationHardware systemsNumerical analysisProgrammingManagement systemsArtificial languagesSoftware systemsDatabasesWhat people are saying"If [IT professionals get a technical master's degree], many times it's in computer science or an MBA with an emphasis in computer systems. A lot of your master's degrees in Electrical Engineering are engineers. A lot of [Master of Science in Computer Sciences degree-holders] are engineers, also. They might be software development executives, not IT executives."

-- Linda Planting, executive recruiter, Planting & Associates, Los Altos, Calif.

Vital statistics

Percent of IT professionals with a master's degree(*)Senior management - 45.3%Middle management - 36.2%Staff - 24.7%Percent with a master's degree in computer science(**)Senior management - 7.1%Middle management - 12.3%Staff - 8.2%Percent with a master's degree in another technical area(**)Senior management - 9.0%Middle management - 11.9%Staff - 9.3%Web resourcesU.S. Department of Education - www.ed.govThis site holds myriad research reports and facts concerning anything education-related.

(*) Of the 93.5 percent of respondents who reported holding any degree. (**) Of respondents who reported having a bachelor's degree or higher.

Sources: 1999 InfoWorld Compensation Survey, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, PRINCETON REVIEW ONLINE

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