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I've developed a strong urge to pursue CS again to deepen my understanding of specific fields of interest while contributing in high-tech and R&D industry. I graduated with 3.0 and 3.7 GPA in a BSc in CS and MBA in '12 and '17. I've 6 years of experience as a software developer and manager unfortunately none of my work was research oriented. From the research I've conducted most entry requirements prefer applicants to master computer science as it's most ideal but a 2nd master's degree (in CS) is rather deterrent from a time and financial perspective. Has anyone had success getting into a decent PhD in CS with this sort of combination?

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You're an excellent candidate for a PhD in Computer Science: You have a BSc in the subject, you have six years of industry experience, and you've developed a strong urge to pursue CS again to deepen [your] understanding of specific fields of interest while contributing in high-tech and R&D industry. (A desire to deepen your knowledge isn't enough, you need to be truly passionate about contributing in high-tech and R&D industry. I presume you are.) Your MBA gives you business know-how that'll focus your attention towards research problems that'll have real impact on society.

From the research I've conducted most entry requirements prefer applicants to master computer science as it's most ideal but a 2nd master's degree (in CS) is rather deterrent from a time and financial perspective.

Entry requirements are tailored towards the average entrant, which, I'll speculate, is someone that's never left university. You aren't an average applicant. You can confirm my theory by calling some admission departments. Thereafter, identify supervisors that pursue research that impacts technology. Pitch yourself to them, explain how your skill set will advance them. Establish whether they can help you on your pursuit.

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  • I'll be sure to leave a comment once I have a word with them though that will be in a couple of years. I need to save :) Dec 10 '20 at 10:54
  • @TafadzwaGonera Save for what? The topping-up of your PhD stipend?
    – user2768
    Dec 10 '20 at 11:45
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    Save for tuition. I reckon PhD funding opportunities, grants and stipends aren't all that great here in South Africa. Glassdoor shows a national average of R160k i.e. ~4/5 times less than what I'll be earning when the program is underway. I've to consider pursuing the program part-time. Dec 14 '20 at 8:39
  • @TafadzwaGonera Part-time will be tough. Perhaps you can offer consultancy services, which would surely command more than your current hourly rate. That might allow you to focus a bit more than part-time on a PhD.
    – user2768
    Dec 14 '20 at 11:11
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    Thank you for the information. Consultancy is definitely one way of going about it, or I could go full-time then work hard to complete the program at the earliest. I'll need to speak to some PhD alumni, go back to the drawing table and start working on action plan. Dec 14 '20 at 13:48

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