5 Computer Science Master’s Degree Concentrations

Master Degree Concentrations for Computer Science

  • Computer Networking
  • Data Analytics
  • Health Informatics
  • Software Development
  • Database Management

Master’s degree computer science concentrations are becoming popular because employers want IT professionals who can use problem-solving skills and technical knowledge to solve real-world issues. These graduates understand how technology impacts and interacts with society, businesses, systems, and individuals. They will possess the algorithm, programming, architecture and computer systems skills that employers value and need.

Related resource: Top 10 Best Online Master’s in Computer Science Degrees

1. Computer Networking

This concentration offers an in-depth exploration of data communication and modern networking. It provides an introduction to network design, security, management and performance analysis. Graduates have the hands-on experience to analyze, research and implement cutting-edge networking solutions and data technologies. Students learn to maintain the networking systems, architecture, functions, and operations that organizations need to safely thrive. Class discussions may involve anything from network protocols to error detection to data synchronization.

2. Data Analytics

A data analytics track covers the topics, tools, and techniques related to data gathering, processing, analysis and visualization. Coursework may touch on the quantitative methods of data analytics and information systems, so mathematical prerequisites will be likely required. This includes probability theory, multivariate distributions, and statistical analysis and graphics. Ethical and legal ramifications are covered when students learn about data, text and web mining. Statistical tools used to visualize data, such as multiple, logistic and simple linear regression, will likely be explored.

3. Health Informatics

Health Informatics, or biomedical IT, is a popular specialization that integrates technology with clinical applications and systems. Students learn about the medical science concepts behind technologies like CT, nuclear medicine, digital radiography, and ultrasound imaging. Because medical information is confidential and protected by laws like HIPPA, students learn about the highest levels of data security, protection and vulnerability. This degree concentration always includes training on medical data management, patient record databases or Electronic Health Records (EHRs). The Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) offers an overview of public health informatics.

4. Software Development

A software development concentration covers programming, mathematics and computer systems. Students develop logical thinking to master the discrete math concepts of sets, relations and combinatorics. Computer system fundamentals, like CPU scheduling, OS conceptualization and process management, are covered as well as programming concepts with languages like Python, Java and C++. Students may be exposed to web application development, so they’ll learn about XHTML, DHTML and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). This concentration will likely require students to master software testing and quality assurance for each phase of the software development cycle.

5. Database Management

This concentration may focus on database design, programming or management. Students learn relational techniques and object-relational tools for object modeling and data administration. Most programs teach Structured Query Language (SQL) to master popular platforms like Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server. Class topics may include business intelligence, data warehouses, performance tuning and database backup and recovery. Database security and auditing coursework will include profile, password and privileges administration. Data mining algorithms, software and techniques may be covered.

Students who are more interested in leadership may consider a concentration in IT Project Management. This is perfect for students who want to learn about planning, organizing and controlling software projects to successfully conclude on time and within budget. Students can look forward to learning about risk, scope, quality and communications management.