PRACTICAL EXPERTISE, THEORETICAL EXCELLENCE
Computer Science studies the technology that has become ubiquitous in our global, connected society. Traditionally, the computer had been the primary object of study. Nowadays, globally distributed information processing services have taken center stage, with the Internet connecting a wide variety of information processing devices, ranging from mobile phones to data centers operated by the world leadership companies. The technical side of Computer Science deals with computer operations, like system software, computer networks, and programming environments. The theoretical foundations cover, for example, limits of what can be computed, computational efficiency, correctness, and the intricacies of concurrent execution. Software engineering studies construction and maintenance of large and often mission-critical software systems that need to be maintained by large teams of people. Because of its prominent role in everyday life, non-functional aspects of information technology are gaining importance in Computer Science, most notably the energy efficiency of data centers, and the security of computer systems.
Students aiming to enroll in the Master Computer Science are required to have a solid background on the level of a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, or similar. The program is structured in multiple, focused specializations from which a student chooses one according to personal preferences. The program is organized in close collaboration with the University of Amsterdam.
From the academic year 2016 on, students will be awarded a joint degree from both universities. Classes are taught both at the VU campus, and at Science Park Amsterdam. Both locations are conveniently connected by both public transportation and bicycle paths.
If you are interested in this programme, you could also check out our Master's programme in Parallel and Distributed Computer Systems, founded by Prof. Andrew S. Tanenbaum.
The Master's programme of Computer Science currently offers six distinct tracks:
- Big Data Engineering
- Computer Systems Security
- Foundations of Computing and Concurrency
- Internet and Web Technology
- Parallel Computing Systems
- Software Engineering and Green IT
Joint degree programme
Computer Science is a joint degree programme of VU Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Courses are taught at locations of both universities. VU and UvA jointly issue a degree certificate to graduates. As a Computer Science student in Amsterdam you benefit from expertise, networks and research projects at both universities and affiliated research institutes.
The vast majority of our students (90%) embark on a career in areas like consultancy, the software business, other private sector businesses or the government sector. Computer scientists are welcome in a variety of jobs including systems manager, information analyst, software engineer, policy advisor or project manager. Many of our former students now work at companies such as Philips, Deloitte en Touche, IBM and the Royal Dutch Navy. Others have created their own company, sometimes right after graduation.
The most typical job our graduates pursue is that of software engineer. Examples of other jobs are:
- web engineer
- data warehouse consultant
- user interface designer
- systems specialist
- IT project manager
- IT consultant
- systems engineer.
Graduate students with excellent grades can apply for a PhD position. These are normally awarded for four years, during which time the student is expected to finish his or her PhD thesis. A PhD can lead to a career in business or research. Some of our recent PhD graduates now work as researchers or engineers at companies like Google.com or Amazon.com. Others embarked on an academic career, either at VU Amsterdam or other prestigious universities such as MIT, Cornell University and ETH Zurich.
SBBA Bèta Career Event
Each year the Stichting Bèta Bedrijvencontactdag Amsterdam organizes a Career Event. The career event offers lectures, workshops and a speed-date lunch to enable students to meet with future employers.