The first Master of Engineering degree conducted in English commenced at EVTEK University of Applied Sciences in the autumn 2006 and was the first of its kind in Finland. The degree consists of Advanced Professional Studies and a Master of Engineering Thesis, and the extent of the degree is 60 ECTS credits. All students, who commenced studies in 2006, specialised in Software Engineering. Mikko Keinonen and Pasi Seppänen finished their studies quickly and were able to complete a two-year degree programme only in one and a half years. Both of them undertook the degree whilst in full-time employment, which had its implications on combining work, studies and other aspects of life: "Returning back to school was exciting and combining work and studies was not too demanding, but all that took me away from spending time with my family", Pasi Seppänen evaluates the efforts. Mikko Keinonen explored Master-level studies in other institutes of higher education, but found the EVTEKÂ´s degree to be the best option for him: "EVTEK was able to offer a flexible and working life-oriented option. The idea of studying in such a way was not new to me as I have already completed a BachelorÂ´s Degree as evening studies prior to the Master of Engineering Degree. Teachers and other staff adapted to the studentsÂ´ situation very well by understanding the demand and pressure deriving from work and how it affected the studies."
The degree focused heavily in the latest programming technologies that was appreciated by the graduates, even though the importance of management studies was also acknowledged: "Personally, as I have already a few years of experience in programming, I would have also benefited from managerial and project management courses. But as the degree is developing, I would think that more variety will be included in the curriculum in the future", Pasi sums up.
Pasi and Mikko believe that they will benefit from the degree later in life as Mikko points out: "The degree has a great value in developing and deepening the ability of analytical thinking, and I have already benefited from my studies at my current work. It also gives a possibility to acquire more demanding tasks and improves your status in the labour market." Pasi agrees with Mikko and concludes: "Obtaining a MasterÂ´s degree gives qualifications to proceed further in my career, but the real appreciation for the degree will be measured later in life." Master of Engineering in Information Technology degree programme will commence again in the autumn 2008 in Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences with Mobile Programming and Multimedia Communications specialisation options.