MS in CS in USA

Admit Abroad - MS in CS in USA

Table of contents:

Why pursue a career in Computer Science

 

Seven of the top ten companies in the world by market cap are tech companies. These companies include the likes of Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and they recruit tens of thousands of Computer Science graduates every year to fill their ranks. This itself should be enough to convince students to pursue a career in Computer Science. But even beyond the obvious fact that tech companies recruit Computer Science graduates, such students are sought after by almost every other type of company. Most industries are being transformed by tech. Education, finance, retail, media, healthcare, energy, real estate – think of any industry
and chances are that tech is transforming it. This means that the demand for Computer Science graduates will only increase. This is the prime reason why students should strongly consider a career in tech.

 

Jobs prospects in Computer Science in USA

 

The United States has always had an advantage in tech. This is reflected by the fact that most well-known tech companies you’ve heard of are headquartered in the US. For this reason, the USA is at the cutting edge of innovation when it comes to Computer Science. Further, the US has many high paying job opportunities in the tech industries. According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics – most of these jobs are meant for those who have completed their Masters’ degree. Further these jobs come with a starting salary between Rs 80 lakhs – Rs 1.5 Crore per year and the number of jobs are growing at an annual rate of 22%.

Computer Science graduates work in two kinds of companies:

  1. Product Companies:

    These companies make their own products or services. They build large scale consumer facing apps, databases, office and productivity software. Companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Uber and Oracle all fall in this category.

 

  1. Consulting and Outsourcing:

    These companies implement large projects for clients. They make ERPs and automate processes for clients. Companies like TCS, Capgemini, Accenture and Infosys fall in this category. Both categories of companies recruit graduates in one of two areas: frontend and backend technologies. To make this clearer, we’ll describe these areas using the example of Whatsapp.

 

 

 

  1. Frontend technologies:

    Students recruited to work on frontend technologies build user interfaces for websites / apps / web-apps. They work on technologies like Javascript, HTML, CSS, React, Angular etc. So the keyboard you use to type messages, the interface
    on whatsapp groups – all such things are built by a frontend developer.

 

 

  • Backend technologies:

    Those who work on app backends focus on building the application logic, storing data in and maintaining databases and on data processing. They use technologies like Java, Ruby, Python and Kotlin. With reference to the whatsapp example – the logic and encryption to send messages from one user to another, compression algorithms to reduce size of messages and storage of messages on servers for backup are all built by the backend developer.

 

 

The typical job titles such people hold in companies are:

  • Mobile Application Developer
  • Business Intelligence Analyst
  • Systems Engineer
  • Systems architect
  • Software Developer

 

In addition to job prospects – CS programs fall under the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) category. This means that on graduation, students can work in their domain for 3 Years before even getting their work visa. This allows students to

Eligibility Criteria, Universities and Cost

 

With over 500 universities in the United States offering CS or CS allied programs at the Masters’ level, there’s no way to specify the eligibility criteria. But – on average if you want to get into a good university for your Masters’ you need the following:

 

  • A 4-year undergraduate degree in CS or IT (though some universities might be ok with a non – CS undergraduate degree).
  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0. This translates to a “B” grade or 65%-70%.
  • An English Language Test Score. Most universities accept the IELTS and TOEFL. Students need to score at least 90 on the TOEFL or get a band 6.5 score in the IELTS
  • Top programs will require a GRE score. The average GRE Quant score for CS programs is 155.

 

Here are the top 10 MS in CS programs in the US according to US News and World Report:

  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Stanford
  • UC – Berkeley
  • University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
  • Cornell
  • University of Washington
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Princeton
  • UT Austin

 

 

These universities are extremely selective and select approximately only 5% of the students who apply. To give you a sense of how competitive they are, here’s the typical profile of students who get into these top 10 MS in CS programs:

 

  • A GRE score of at least 320, with a quant score of at least 165
  • A TOEFL score of at least 100 / IELTS score of at least band 7.0
  • A GPA of 9.0/10.0 or higher from a top tier institute (IITs, NITs, BITs, Regional Engineering Colleges etc.)
  • 1 high impact major project:
    1. a project that invents a new technique / technology OR
    2. a project that improves on an existing technology OR
    3. a project which solves a large problem which was not solved so far
  • 1-2 CS related internships with high growth start-ups, large multinationals or reputed universities
  • 1-2 research papers published in national or international level journals
  • 1-2 victories in national / international level coding / development competitions

 

If this sounds too difficult – don’t worry. The good news is that there are plenty of great universities that are much easier to get into – but which offer comparable quality of education and career outcomes.

 

Here are some great universities that students can get into which are much easier to get into:

  • Arizona State University
  • North-eastern University
  • University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Texas A&M Corpus Christy
  • George Mason University
  • University of Illinois Chicago
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • California State University, Fresno
  • Saint Louis University
  • University of Cincinnati

The average tuition fee for a 2 years MS in CS program ranges between Rs 40 lakhs – Rs 65 lakhs.

Application Procedure

  • Collate the following documents:
    • 1-2 page resume
    • Statement of Purpose
    • 2-3 letters of recommendation (depends on the program)
    • Undergraduate transcripts
    • English Language Test (IELTS / TOEFL) score
    • GRE test score (if required by the program)
  • Register as an applicant on the university’s online application portal, fill in all details and submit the documents listed
    above.
  • In addition to the above, some universities might require students to also submit a Personal Statement (a document which elaborates on the personal factors that have motivated a student to pursue an MS in CS) and might need to appear for
    an online or in person interview.

Specializations in Computer Science

On entering a Masters in CS program, students could specialize in one of many areas. These are listed below:

Specialization What students learn Example Use Cases
Computer Science Theory Designing new algorithms to solve complex problems
efficiently
Creating an algorithm to sort users of an app by age
Machine Learning Building algorithms that enable computers to learn from past data
without programming them explicitly to do so
Making software to predict the of cancer before symptoms
appear
Artificial Intelligence Leverage techniques/technologies which enable computers to think
like humans
Programming a self-driving car
Cybersecurity Develop robust systems to keep computers secure from theft, fraud,
and other malpractice
Creating the security network that protects’ people’s whatsapp data
and chats
Software Engineering Design and develop large scale applications for computers and mobile
devices
Building an online banking system for the largest Indian bank
Human Computer Interaction Learn tools and techniques to design frictionless, aesthetically
pleasing user experiences
Designing a user interface to simplify the student visa
process

 

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Our hope is that this article gave you an overview of the different career paths and universities available to
those who wish to pursue a career in Computer Science in
USA. If you do have any further queries or
questions, do
reach out to our experts and get your study abroad journey started today.

 

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