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    Hi,

    I'm considering applying for one of the said conversion courses at Glasgow, however I do not feel I'm in a position to definitely decide which would be better. The course directors haven't got back to me so thought I'd go ahead and see if anyone here has completed or is doing any of the courses and can help me out.

    1) Is it possible to take either of the courses and switch at some point during the first semester? Or if I was taking the broader MSc for Information Technology is it possible to keep options open for switching courses?

    2) Am I likely to gain entry into any of these courses with just a MA (non-STEM) and no real industry experience or academic knowledge?

    3) Would these courses allow for progression through to a PhD, with or without an intermediary MSc research course?

    Oh and

    4) How was your experience of the course itself? Did you have a problem getting a job after?

    Bonus question 5) Do you think BCS accreditation matters? Two of the courses have it but IT Cyber Security does not.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.
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    I was offered a place on the MSc Software Engineering @ Glasgow back in the day (though that course no longer runs I think). I spoke a to the course organisers and I believe many of them work on the MSc Software Development.

    For the 3 courses, I will try and help:

    1) IT: Gives you a broad over view, but to me the aim of this course is to get you entry level positions in IT e.g. IT support positions. This wouldn't be ideal prep for a Computer Science PhD to be honest and honestly I don't know how you'd get in to a CompSci PhD with this masters.

    2) Cyber Security: It's a growing sector, but the masters at Glasgow is not GCHQ accredited so bear that in mind. Additionally, many other masters degrees in Cyber Security require an undergrad in Computer Science or Electrical Engineering, so other grads will have quite a deep understanding of technology by the time they finish their masters.

    3) Software Development: This degree is a fast-track approach to becoming a software engineer. It's essentially two-thirds of an undergrad degree in Software engineering squashed in to 2 semesters. Software Development has the most amount of career opportunity. It would also be possible to get a PhD opportunity if you do well, as there is a lot of research funding for software related PhDs.

    Being realistic, you will have to get very good marks on a conversion masters if you want to do a PhD. I would forget the IT masters if you want to do a PhD in Computer Science.

    It is possible though, I know of one student who did a Software Development conversion masters in QUB who eventually got on to a PhD. You will be going up against Computer Science grads who will have studied Computer Science for at least 3,4 or 5 years. They will also likely have at least 1 year of work experience in the tech sector. Its not impossible, but do be aware of how much you have to do to reduce the gap with CS undergrads. While the course you are doing is a masters, be under no illusion that it is a higher or more advanced qualification than an undergrad degree in Computer Science.

    As for getting in, you should be okay but the degrees are fast paced usually so it will require a lot of effort to learn everything properly. If you come from a non-STEM background and have no coding experience you will have to work pretty hard to keep up. It is possible to be successful, but if it were me I'd go with the Software Development as it will give you the best chance at getting a career and getting on to a PhD.
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    Thanks a lot @jestersnow that was very informative and useful.

    Definitely aware these courses are not worth as much as a 4 year CS degree. I was made wary of the IT Cyber Security masters by the fact it wasn't accredited by either GCHQ or BCS (which the other two are) and on careers it only lists job sectors worked in by graduates from "related degrees." In contrast the other two programmes have concrete examples of graduates employed as junior developers and so on.

    Also the Software Development course is differentiated by having the core modules advanced programming and abstract theories and data types which are exactly the subjects requested by many universities (such as Birmingham) to do an MSc (non-conversion) in cyber security... You can't take these modules if you choose Glasgow's IT cyber security conversion course.

    Cyber security is, I think, the field that interests me most. But I'm thinking now that I'd be better doing the Software Development course and then doing another degree after if I still wanted to work in that sector. Seems counter-intuitive though. What do you think?
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    (Original post by shkennedy)
    Thanks a lot @jestersnow that was very informative and useful.

    Definitely aware these courses are not worth as much as a 4 year CS degree. I was made wary of the IT Cyber Security masters by the fact it wasn't accredited by either GCHQ or BCS (which the other two are) and on careers it only lists job sectors worked in by graduates from "related degrees." In contrast the other two programmes have concrete examples of graduates employed as junior developers and so on.

    Also the Software Development course is differentiated by having the core modules advanced programming and abstract theories and data types which are exactly the subjects requested by many universities (such as Birmingham) to do an MSc (non-conversion) in cyber security... You can't take these modules if you choose Glasgow's IT cyber security conversion course.

    Cyber security is, I think, the field that interests me most. But I'm thinking now that I'd be better doing the Software Development course and then doing another degree after if I still wanted to work in that sector. Seems counter-intuitive though. What do you think?
    Again, if anyone has an answer to this or more experiences, I'd love to hear, particularly from graduates.
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    (Original post by shkennedy)
    Thanks a lot @jestersnow that was very informative and useful.

    Definitely aware these courses are not worth as much as a 4 year CS degree. I was made wary of the IT Cyber Security masters by the fact it wasn't accredited by either GCHQ or BCS (which the other two are) and on careers it only lists job sectors worked in by graduates from "related degrees." In contrast the other two programmes have concrete examples of graduates employed as junior developers and so on.

    Also the Software Development course is differentiated by having the core modules advanced programming and abstract theories and data types which are exactly the subjects requested by many universities (such as Birmingham) to do an MSc (non-conversion) in cyber security... You can't take these modules if you choose Glasgow's IT cyber security conversion course.

    Cyber security is, I think, the field that interests me most. But I'm thinking now that I'd be better doing the Software Development course and then doing another degree after if I still wanted to work in that sector. Seems counter-intuitive though. What do you think?
    Sorry I missed this. I would say you have the most prospects from doing s]Software Development, and there are several pathways in to Cyber Security from Software Development. The most obvious one is Software Testing, which involved checking code for (amongst other things) security vulnerabilities. As you say as well, a Software Development masters is a good foundation for studying a masters in Cyber Security. I know some students at QUB who did their Software Development Masters @QUB later went straight on the the (GCHQ accredited) MSc Cyber Security. They all did fairly well in both.

    If I were in your shoes for sure I'd go with Software Development @ Glasgow.
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    (Original post by jestersnow)
    Sorry I missed this. I would say you have the most prospects from doing s]Software Development, and there are several pathways in to Cyber Security from Software Development. The most obvious one is Software Testing, which involved checking code for (amongst other things) security vulnerabilities. As you say as well, a Software Development masters is a good foundation for studying a masters in Cyber Security. I know some students at QUB who did their Software Development Masters @QUB later went straight on the the (GCHQ accredited) MSc Cyber Security. They all did fairly well in both.

    If I were in your shoes for sure I'd go with Software Development @ Glasgow.
    Can't thank you enough for these quick and detailed replies jestersnow.

    Definitely leaning towards the Software Development Msc now!
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    Thank you jetersnow,
    your information are valuable as I am a prospect student for a conversion course in Glasgow.

    - Where are you working now?
    - How hard was it for you to find a job?
    - How did you find the program overall?
    - Is there a course teaching computer architecture and Operating system because I did not find those on the course describtion of the program?
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    (Original post by Naila22)
    Thank you jetersnow,
    your information are valuable as I am a prospect student for a conversion course in Glasgow.

    - Where are you working now?
    - How hard was it for you to find a job?
    - How did you find the program overall?
    - Is there a course teaching computer architecture and Operating system because I did not find those on the course describtion of the program?
    Hello, so I was offered a place on the MSc Software Engineering @ Glasgow (they no longer offer this courses I believe), not a place on the MSc Software Development. The difference is that the former required a CS degree/background, whereas the latter (the course you and the OP are going for) does not.

    I did not take up the course at Glasgow but it was a last minute decision, and I had done my homework on it before hand. So I can't answer your questions fully, but I'll try:

    1) Grads from the course seem to end up in different places, like programmers with big companies like Sky and BT. If you want to get those jobs though you will need top marks in your masters, as you are going up against CS/SE undergrads who will have more experience than you.

    2) In general there are a shortage of software engineers in the UK (and many places) so there are plenty of jobs around. It should be easy if you a) get good marks (a high merit or a distinction pass) and b) do a work-place based dissertation. That can really help you out as if you do well you can land a job with the same company, and if nothing else you'll have 3/4 months professional experience and a good project to talk about at interviews.

    3) Can't say how good the course was, never did the course you guys are doing.

    4) I am not 100% sure about the modules, but if you contact the university they got back to me really quickly.

    Good luck.
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    (Original post by jestersnow)
    Hello, so I was offered a place on the MSc Software Engineering @ Glasgow (they no longer offer this courses I believe), not a place on the MSc Software Development. The difference is that the former required a CS degree/background, whereas the latter (the course you and the OP are going for) does not.

    I did not take up the course at Glasgow but it was a last minute decision, and I had done my homework on it before hand. So I can't answer your questions fully, but I'll try:

    1) Grads from the course seem to end up in different places, like programmers with big companies like Sky and BT. If you want to get those jobs though you will need top marks in your masters, as you are going up against CS/SE undergrads who will have more experience than you.

    2) In general there are a shortage of software engineers in the UK (and many places) so there are plenty of jobs around. It should be easy if you a) get good marks (a high merit or a distinction pass) and b) do a work-place based dissertation. That can really help you out as if you do well you can land a job with the same company, and if nothing else you'll have 3/4 months professional experience and a good project to talk about at interviews.

    3) Can't say how good the course was, never did the course you guys are doing.

    4) I am not 100% sure about the modules, but if you contact the university they got back to me really quickly.

    Good luck.
    Thank you for the information :-)
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    Hi there,

    I am currently on the Software Development MSc program. The first semester all 3 of the courses do all of the same classes, generally if people are on the software development track and do not perform well or feel confident enough in the programming they are advised to switch to information technology (advanced programming is not meant to be much fun if you found the introductory programming hard). At the end of the first semester you can switch between any of the 3 programs, and if you are studying the IT program and decide you want to do software development you simply take the comulsory software development courses.

    You are very likely to gain entry, there are people who have studied English Literature, History, Engineering, Business, Sports, just a huge cross section. As long as you have the 2:1, at least if it is like this year, then you should get on.

    Yes you can go straight onto a PhD depending on your performance and interests, although you must apply fairly early into the 2nd semester when you have a lot of deadlines so perhaps it would be best to ensure you have this done in advance (say over the christmas break). I know of at least one person who is going onto the PhD track and we were all told any of us would be able to if we could find a supervisor and had the ability.

    Regarding employability I personally got a job offer in the first couple of months of the course at an investment bank, the interview process was open to graduates of any degree discipline so did not focus heavily on programming experience (thankfully). Others in the course have said that application processes or interviews to other establishments did ask a lot about programming, data structures or algorithms which they could not answer at that point and so they are planning on applying at the end of the course. To be honest after about half way through the first semester the work load is very intense and relentless except during the christmas break. I would say the best chance is applying to graduate schemes open to any discipline (these are still with huge companies, e.g. IBM, Accenture, many banks) or wait until the end of the course when you can prove your ability.

    I think professional development is huge in the IT industry, but I don't really know how much employers immediately will care if your course is BCS accredited over your ability. Potentially this sort of thing is for further down your career to prove you are interested in continuing professional development, or an ego boost of another certification or Chartered status (but I do not really know as I am still just a student).

    Also the course director can be pretty slow to get back to you, a lot of people on the course had the same issues before starting

    I hope I have helped and if you have any other questions ask away!
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    (Original post by JamieG1234)
    I think professional development is huge in the IT industry, but I don't really know how much employers immediately will care if your course is BCS accredited over your ability. Potentially this sort of thing is for further down your career to prove you are interested in continuing professional development, or an ego boost of another certification or Chartered status (but I do not really know as I am still just a student).
    I haven't ever personally seen nor heard of any employer who pays any attention whatsoever to BCS accreditation, nor ever seen any job advert which even mentions BCS. The accreditation is more a 'stamp of approval' of the course itself. It's mostly about setting minimum standards for the level of IT education rather than being particularly relevant to employers. (Unlike professions such as medicine and law, there's no formal certification process for IT professionals)

    BCS accreditation says very little about the people who pass an accredited course - employers hiring technical IT staff don't really care as much about your qualifications as they care about your technical, problem solving, analytical and critical thinking skills - so when you're applying for those jobs, you'll find that the entire recruitment process is hevily focused around employers testing those things, and candidates being asked to provide evidence of those skills.
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    And one would hope that such a course as the SD one would facilitate the provision of such evidence, through the skills taught.
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    Does anyone have a link with the course descriptions?
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    Software dev.

    IT.

    IT Cyber Security.


    Modules here.
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    Thanks.
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    (Original post by JamieG1234)
    Hi there,

    I am currently on the Software Development MSc program. The first semester all 3 of the courses do all of the same classes, generally if people are on the software development track and do not perform well or feel confident enough in the programming they are advised to switch to information technology (advanced programming is not meant to be much fun if you found the introductory programming hard). At the end of the first semester you can switch between any of the 3 programs, and if you are studying the IT program and decide you want to do software development you simply take the comulsory software development courses.

    You are very likely to gain entry, there are people who have studied English Literature, History, Engineering, Business, Sports, just a huge cross section. As long as you have the 2:1, at least if it is like this year, then you should get on.

    Yes you can go straight onto a PhD depending on your performance and interests, although you must apply fairly early into the 2nd semester when you have a lot of deadlines so perhaps it would be best to ensure you have this done in advance (say over the christmas break). I know of at least one person who is going onto the PhD track and we were all told any of us would be able to if we could find a supervisor and had the ability.

    Regarding employability I personally got a job offer in the first couple of months of the course at an investment bank, the interview process was open to graduates of any degree discipline so did not focus heavily on programming experience (thankfully). Others in the course have said that application processes or interviews to other establishments did ask a lot about programming, data structures or algorithms which they could not answer at that point and so they are planning on applying at the end of the course. To be honest after about half way through the first semester the work load is very intense and relentless except during the christmas break. I would say the best chance is applying to graduate schemes open to any discipline (these are still with huge companies, e.g. IBM, Accenture, many banks) or wait until the end of the course when you can prove your ability.

    I think professional development is huge in the IT industry, but I don't really know how much employers immediately will care if your course is BCS accredited over your ability. Potentially this sort of thing is for further down your career to prove you are interested in continuing professional development, or an ego boost of another certification or Chartered status (but I do not really know as I am still just a student).

    Also the course director can be pretty slow to get back to you, a lot of people on the course had the same issues before starting

    I hope I have helped and if you have any other questions ask away!
    Thanks a lot Jamie! This was super useful. Good luck with your exams if they're still ongoing and in your new job!
 
 
 
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