Not every applicant entering a computer science graduate program these days has a level of fluency or deep understanding of the field.
"We're seeing more and more people who want to transition from different backgrounds," says Craig Gotsman, dean of the Ying Wu College of Computing at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
About 50% of the applicants to NJIT's graduate degree programs in computing don't have a computing background, Gotsman says.
"If you have a good analytic mind, that's typically a key to success, even though you haven't done a lot of programming, or a lot of mathematics, or a lot of software stuff in your past," Gotsman says. "If you're used to thinking that way, you'll probably be doing well."
Some experience in computer science or a closely related field is not typically a hard-and-fast requirement nowadays. Rather, admissions staff take a holistic look at an applicant's background to get a sense of their potential.
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