There are many diverse and respected master's degree programs in the U.S. today that go beyond "just engineering." Potential students who already have developer or design experience are reaching out to MS programs in Business Intelligence and Analytics, among other fields, at some of the most prestigious technical-oriented universities in the country. Choosing such specific programs can give students the skills, tools, and background that they need (and that potential employers want) to transition flawlessly into the working world after graduation.

Your undergraduate years might be prime time for figuring out what you want to focus on, but choosing the right graduate program can be the point at which you define your future career and success. Are you interested in pursuing a master's degree in a certain technical niche? Here are some of the best MS programs for techies today.

1. Saint Joseph's University: MS in Business Intelligence and Analytics

Find out if business intelligence (BI) is for you with a "Test Flight" where potential students can mimic experiences they may have as a master's student. This program offers classes like Enterprise Data, Introduction to Data Mining and Predictive Analysis. Analysis and BI are only getting more important as many companies find they need people with these skills. That makes programs like this one tempting.

2. Georgia Institute of Technology: MS in Computer Human Interaction

Focusing on the development of practical skills as well as theory, students in this program graduate equipped to create, implement and analyze computer-human interactions. The program combines four schools (Industrial Design, Interactive Computing, Literature/Media and Communication, and Psychology) to create a more holistic approach.

3. Georgetown University: MS in Professional Studies in Technology Management

Are you management material? You will be after completing this master's program that combines tech training with business management (BM) skills. Courses focus on critical thinking, revenue optimization, leadership skills, handling data loss, and strategies in emerging tech like big data and cloud computing.

4. Penn State: MS in Education in Learning, Design and Technology

This is one of the top ranked schools in the country. The 'LDT' connects professional settings with IT and other technology by focusing on the creation and implementation of design educational tech. Aimed at budding teachers, courses include Systematic Instructional Development, Educational Technology Integration, and Emerging Web Technologies and Learning.

5. University of North Carolina: MA in Technology and Communication

Communication is critical in the tech world, and it is constantly evolving. This means journalists and others in communication fields will need to change their knowledge base around it. Located within the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, this program focuses on digital and Internet evolutions in communication, interactive media, and how journalism is being changed by tech. Courses include Writing for Digital Media, New Media and Society, and Research Methods and Applications.

6. SANS Institute: MS in Information Security Management

Last year was dubbed the Year of the Data Breach and this year isn't looking any more secure. A master's degree in online/internet security is highly desirable among top employers. It uses practical training to speed up the development and application of cybersecurity. Required courses include Security Leadership Competencies, Information Security Fieldwork, and Building Network Awareness.

7. CSUN: MS in Assistive Technology Studies and Human Services

According to the US Department of Labor, people are getting older in the US and that will most likely put a lot of pressure on health services industries, which includes adaptive and assistive technologies. This master's program at Cal State Northridge in L.A. is the first of its kind in Southern California and is offered in a partnership between the College of Engineering and Computer Science and the College of Health and Human Development. Courses include Assistive Technology Across the Lifespan and Directed Comprehensive Studies.

Do you want to delve deeper into tech with your master's program? Select an institution that perfectly matches your interests with the resources and faculty you need to thrive. These lucky seven are prime examples of how targeted tech-based masters programs have become and are just a sprinkling of what's available. Start your search, and future in tech, today.

Published on: Jun 25, 2015
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