The tech industry does not ever tire from using the term digital transformation. This is because it is here to stay! CMU offers the MSSM program to cater to this ever-changing scenario while keeping you and your skills relevant. The Master of Science in Software Management at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) has been on offer for a long time.
This program is unique as it is an interdisciplinary degree offered by the Integrated Innovation Institute– an initiative of the Tepper School of Business, School of Design, and the College of Engineering. It promises to equip the professionals in this field with the right mix of technical, interpersonal and management skills.
What makes the MSSM (Master of Science in Software Management) Program special?
The program was first started in 2003. Since then, this program has changed focus and names to offer something unique to those looking to expand their expertise in the business of technology.
According to Amy Pinczuk, President and GM of HPE (Hewlett Packard Enterprise), this program was positioned centrally (Silicon Valley). Further, it offered an integrated curriculum with a concept such as Agile Development long before it was even relevant in the industry.
Carnegie Mellon University’s computer science program is ranked number 1 (US News). The Master of Science in Software Management program has been designed to bridge the gap between a deeply technical master’s program and a management intensive MBA program. Projected as an Engineering+ Design+ Management program, this is the perfect way to make the transition from a technical role into higher management positions.
Furthermore, prospective students can pick between a 12-month or a 16-month program based on individual requirements.
- Fees: The tuition fees for this program is about $74,000 (approx.) (16-month) and $71,000 (approx.) (12-month). The above figures do not include living, insurance, and other expenses.
- Experience: As far as experience is concerned, the program requires a bachelor’s degree in a related field. This could be computer science, engineering, or information science. The university requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Further, work experience is definitely a part of the eligibility criteria. Part-time applicants are required to show five or more years of experience in the industry. Applicants to the full-time program (12-months) will need to display a minimum of 4 years. If you do not have as many years of experience, then the university recommends that you apply for the 16-month program which includes a summer internship.
- Prospects: If you are looking forward to making the right moves in Silicon Valley, then you will need the right combination of people and technical skills. This program prepares you well for the same. For the year 2018, out of the 22 graduates, 20 have been successfully employed. The average salary for the outgoing class of 2018 was $124,000 (approx.) With Amazon, Oracle, PwC, and Microsoft featuring prominently in the list of recruiters, graduates were employed in positions of Product Manager, Software Development Engineer, and Senior Program Manager to name a few.
The Structure of the Program
Broadly, the program has been structured to include the follows:
- Designing and building software products and doing it right:
Courses such as Architecture and Programming Principles and Integrated Innovation for Large-Scale Problems seek to equip you with the right skills. The former teaches you to build an architecture that can withstand the passage of time and you can employ these principles hand-on as well. The latter course, however, allows the students to work on a complex problem in an emerging field. Focusing on team-based innovative ideas, the course seeks to create a large-scale impact.
- Understanding the “business of software”:
Through numerous courses, the program seeks to empower the students with the ability to understand the economics of bringing software products/services to the market. Here, the emphasis is on partnerships and sale strategies.
- Learning from the real-world:
Practicum projects are real-world challenges/projects as presented by leading organizations. Companies such as Apple, SAP, Emirates, and Google have all been sponsors in the past. The work involves developing a project plan and a detailed statement of work. At the end of the semester, the work culminates in a presentation to the client.
Vamsi Krishna’s Success
Vamsi’s profile featuring exceptional academic capabilities and achievements, effective internships and sufficient work experience seemed the perfect fit for this program.
As regards the academic experience in software development, Vamsi Krishna showcased a strong engineering background specializing in computer science. He completed his undergraduate degree at BITS Pilani with a 7.59 GPA. While GPA is important to understand the capabilities of a candidate, it is important to present a well-rounded or complete profile as you apply for masters. This is where the rest of his experience comes into the picture.
Work experience is critical as the Masters of Science in Software Management program at CMU is structured based on the assumption that your technical knowledge has been tested in the real world. In this aspect, Vamsi’s experiences during his internships along with a few years at Amazon were critical. His research projects, internships, academic records, awards, and recognitions all worked to present a complete picture.
Among his many achievements during his career, what stood out was his ability to come up with unique and path-breaking solutions for challenges faced by the businesses. For instance, Vamsi filed a patent for an NLP model that he developed during his internship at Inside View. This model was instrumental in generating insights for sales professionals resulting in improved revenue numbers for the organization.
His next internship was with Imaginate. The biggest moment during this internship was a chance to work directly for the CEO of the organization. Vamsi’s dedication and sincerity led to the success of a project accomplished for CISCO. The project led to the designing of the Augmented Reality Assist App. This would help technicians install routers quicker dramatically improving “turnaround” times.
He signed up as a Software Development Engineer upon graduation from the engineering program. Apart from gathering up valuable experience, he managed to impress his seniors with his intellect and result-oriented working style. It is therefore hardly surprising that he should be awarded the “Awesome Amazonian”. Apart from this, he also has a patent (pending) for a Hackathon idea. He considers this one of the most valuable achievements during his time here.
Why the Masters of Science in Software Management at CMU?
The program aims to equip you with everything you need to manage complex software teams, build products/services, and gather real-world experience in the heart of the tech ecosystem- Silicon Valley! Vamsi was attracted by these prospects as it would certainly provide the boost that his career needed.
To support this dream, he scored a fabulous 320 on his GRE and complemented it with genuine and strong recommendation letters. Further, a well-written statement of purpose worked to convince the admissions committee of his suitability.
As he pursues the program of his choice, we wish him nothing but luck and much success as he carves a name for himself in the tech world.