Postgraduate study in the computing and information technology field has grown a lot in recent years. Student numbers are increasing, with many professionals returning to study to update their skills and knowledge or qualify for more senior positions. There are also many students who do not have a computing and information technology background that are using postgraduate qualifications to enter a career in the field, as well as a large number of computing and information technology bachelor degree graduates who want to improve their job prospects through further study.
The list of postgraduate coursework degrees in computing and information technology is extensive, with options available at graduate certificate, graduate diploma and masters by coursework level. There are also some vocational graduate certificates and diplomas available in the VET sector (see VET study in computing and information technology). Courses include general information technology and computer science degrees that allow students to complete a range of specialisations (a master of information technology, for example), as well as more specialised courses in areas such as cyber security, forensic computing, mobile applications development and multimedia studies.
Double degrees are another option, with many students choosing degrees combining information technology with fields such as engineering and technology and business and management, including the master of business administration (MBA). There are also a number of postgraduate management degrees with a computing and information technology focus, which are designed for information technology professionals interested in entering management positions, such as the popular master of information technology management.
While most students study coursework degrees, research degrees are also popular, including masters degrees by research, research doctorates and professional doctorates.
Graduates of postgraduate degrees in computing and information technology streams may be eligible to complete the Australian Computer Society s Professional Year Program (PYP). See Computing and information technology jobs in Australia for more information.
Applicants must meet academic and English language requirements, which vary between courses, institutions and qualification levels. Some courses may require a relevant bachelor degree or industry experience. For more information about postgraduate degrees and entry requirements, see Higher Education Postgraduate.
Where to study
Postgraduate degrees in computing and information technology are available around Australia at universities, as well as at some private colleges and TAFE institutes.
The course you choose will depend on the current qualifications you have, as well as your career goals. If you are interested in changing the direction of your career and want an in-depth look at the field, you may choose a broader degree (such as a master of computer science). If you would like to expand or update your skills in a specific area, you might prefer a more specialised degree (a graduate diploma in games technology, for example). Those looking to enter information technology management positions may consider a degree or double degree that incorporates a management focus.
If you are considering research, you should make sure that the institution you select has expertise in your chosen area. It is also important to investigate potential supervisors, industry connections and support for research students.
You should also make sure that the facilities and equipment at the institution are up to date and relevant to your specialisation. Another thing to look for is accreditation from the Australian Computer Society (ACS). Courses that have gained ACS accreditation follow an industry-approved standard curriculum and maintain equipment and facilities to a high industry standard.