Recent advances in computer and communication technologies are not only affecting our office and work practices, but have already gone beyond that to reshape our homes and the way we live and learn. The world is gradually becoming a huge connected village in which geographic and physical boundaries have no effect on interaction and business transactions. The concept of "information society" is now a central issue in economic and strategic planning. Many countries are drafting and executing serious plans to transform into "information and knowledge societies". KSA no exception. Few years ago, KSA prepared an ambitious ICT plan to transform into an information society. One of the major themes in all these plans is to prepare highly qualified manpower that overlook the design, implementation and operation of the advanced technological systems needed to transform into information societies. The KSA ICT plan clearly states that one of its major objectives is:
"Provision of qualified, trained human capabilities, from both sexes, in the various specializations of IT through the preparation of national manpower and the attraction of foreign expertise"
It then goes further to explain that in more detail:
1-Preparation of IT manpower that possesses professional and business skills, creativity and fluency in English, to work in certain areas
2-Preparation of distinguished, high caliber manpower with special skills and capabilities in the area of research, creativity and innovation to develop IT products of national and strategic significance.
3-Increase the number of IT university teaching faculty.
These objectives are well in line with the mission of PSU and CCIS. Accordingly; CCIS conducted a study to design an MS program that satisfies the immediate and future market needs in KSA. The study started by surveying the current MS programs offered by other universities in the Kingdom, then moved to survey the structures and types of MS programs offered by international universities. Based on the survey and the information gathered, the study went further to evaluate local market and society needs. It has been clear from the study that there is big shortage in trained software engineers and a lack of disciplined software development in KSA. While some Asian countries are already building solid software industries and benefiting from projects “outsourced” by western companies, the software industry in KSA is in its very early stages, and very few companies are building commercial software systems.
The main objective of this MS program is to inject into the market a set of well-trained software engineers equipped with the talents and vision needed to advance the software industry in KSA and the whole region.