New CS master’s program focused on information systems
Beginning in fall 2022, Binghamton University will offer a Master of Science in Information Systems for those whose career paths focus on the operation and maintenance of computer and software systems.
The program, offered by the Department of Computer Science at the Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science, will focus on computer systems from a user/application perspective. It will differ from other IT options which focus on theoretical underpinnings of software and hardware, design and evaluation of performance, cost and functional trade-offs.
“Every year, the computer science department rejects many applicants to our master’s program in computer science because of their lack of adequate computer science training, but otherwise excellent students,” said Weiyi Meng, CS president and professor. of distinguished service. “The MS in Information Systems program will provide an excellent opportunity for these candidates and many others to have a rewarding career in the information technology industry.”
The program will focus on the configuration and integration of various information system components such as network and software systems, databases, data analysis and web-based systems and software packages, as well as on developing programming and scripting skills.
The MSIS program has an applied data science track, which provides an option for students interested in a career in data science/analytics.
Associate Professor Patrick Madden, director of the new MSIS program, said it was developed in response to industry inquiries as well as feedback from students applying to Watson’s CS program.
“There’s been an explosion of data processing in the cloud, with data mining and machine learning everywhere,” he said. “It’s opened up tons of jobs for people with very specific skills, and it’s not the same as a conventional IT person. There’s less focus on writing code and a lot more on configuring and connecting systems together. The hiring managers we talk to have always been happy with our IT graduates, but they’ve also been asking for people with this new focus.”
Candidates who do not have adequate programming prerequisites may be admitted provided they have completed the required preparatory courses before starting the program.
“We turn away a lot of students from the CS program because they don’t have a CS license,” Madden said. “These are great engineers and mathematicians – really brilliant students – but they lack the preparation for an intense graduate program. By adding the MSIS program, we can create courses that take advantage of the skills of these new students and then prepare them for the new jobs that are opening up in the industry.
For students to graduate from this program, they must complete 31 credits (nine credits of three required courses, 21 credits of seven elective courses, and a one-credit project) and they must maintain a “B” average throughout. throughout their academic work.
“The world is constantly changing, with new technologies and changing demands,” Madden said. “The CS department is changing to keep up with the times.”