Beginning The Journey Toward A Masters In Software Development

The wisdom of pursuing postgraduate studies in computer-related fields is undeniable in contemporary times. And among computer-related fields, software development stands out as one of the most rewarding and in-demand disciplines.

A Masters of Science in Software Development offers students the skills not only to tackle complex software development projects but also to lead development teams toward software goals too big and too complicated for any one programmer to handle.

Software firms ranging from machine learning artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to massive-multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) require a structured, team-oriented approach led by a competent software development leadership.

Undergraduates as well as those already entrenched in the workforce can benefit from enrolling in a MS in Software Development program. But what must one first do ‘to qualify for entrance into such a program?

The Basics

The first prerequisite is a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. The degree does not have to be in software development. Admissions counselors can guide incoming students who may need additional preparation for their postgraduate studies.

When the basic requirements are met, students can to turn their attention to paying for their studies. Financial arrangements may include out-of-pocket payments, financial aid, scholarships, department funding (funding through research and teaching assistantships), and employer tuition reimbursement, according to education expert David Harriman in his post, “How To Pay For Grad School: The Basics.”


Next, applicants may need to include a personal essay explaining their goals and qualifications for admittance. Admissions officers place a great deal of significance on this document, which should be well written and attention grabbing.

“Even seemingly boring topics can be made into exceptional essays with an innovative approach,” writes career development authority Randall S. Hansen in his article, “Tips For Writing Your Graduate School Application Essay,” on’s Quintessential blog.

“In writing the essay,” he says, “you must bear in mind your two goals: to persuade the graduate admissions officer that you are extremely worthy of admission and to make the admissions officer aware that you are more than a GPA: you are a real-life, intriguing personality.”

Hansen also advises students to be original and use clear, vivid imagery in their writing. The introduction is important, grabbing the reader’s attention right away is imperative. Students also should use smooth transitions between paragraphs to avoid confusion and match the strength of the conclusion to the strength of the introduction.

The goal is to enthrall the admissions officer from beginning to end, and to leave him or her with the impression that this student deserves a chance to pursue a master’s degree in software development.

Initiative Is A Key Leadership Trait

Graduates will be expected to show leadership acumen in their new careers. The ability to take the initiative and complete important tasks without being asked is considered evidence of leadership potential.

Pursuing certifications shows initiative and can both enhance an applicant’s chances of being admitted to a graduate program and improve hireablility for those who complete their advanced degree. Many certification opportunities may be available to students during their undergraduate and graduate programs, both in connection with classes and outside of the school structure.

“Achieving a developer certification can help you keep an edge in the market by making you stand out among your peers,” claims 30-year IT veteran Ed Tittel in his post, “14 Developer Certifications That Will Give You An Edge.”

Tittel lists several of the most popular developer certifications, including Microsoft (MCSD and MTA), Amazon Web Services (AWS Certified Developer), Cloudera Certified Developer for Apache Hadoop (CCDH), Oracle Application Express Developer Certified Expert (Oracle APEX), Red Hat Certified JBoss Developer, Certified Developer, and Scrum.ord Professional Developer.

It’s Never Too Soon To Start Building Your Personal Brand

Recruiters and employers now seek new talent almost exclusively online. Aspiring software developers should begin building their own personal web presence and brand before they even begin their training.

For starters, a strong web presence will look good to an admissions officer. An evolving personal brand demonstrates that a student is determined to build a better, stronger version of him or herself. As graduate school progresses, students can also add class projects, accomplishments, and accolades to their personal brands.

“[Your online presence] is incredibly important for anyone in the tech industry, and it’s something you should be building and maintaining over time,” explains tech blogger Laurence Bradford in “11 Steps To Becoming A Software Engineer” on “Your digital footprint matters because it’s what recruiters and hiring managers will see when they Google your name before inviting you in for an interview.”

Social networking sites where software developers can shine include LinkedIn, GitHub, and Twitter. Bradford also recommends maintaining a portfolio site and a personal blog.

Maryville University’s online MS in Software Development delivers a top-ranked, competitive education in development for computer programs, web applications, and cutting-edge technologies. Data structures, web applications, object-oriented coding, agile systems analysis, and advanced topics are thoroughly covered via our online post-graduate program.

Contact Maryville University to learn more about our software development and other online programs.


How To Pay For Grad School: The Basics

Tips For Writing Your Graduate School Application Essay

14 Developer Certifications That Will Give You An Edge

11 Steps To Becoming A Software Engineer

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