A masters degree in computing for industry will be launched this autumn by Imperial College, London, and accountants Arthur Andersen.
The part-time course aims to help computing professionals better understand the technologies that will underpin the e-business of the future.
Susan Eisenbach, director of studies in the department of computing, said:
"The speed of new developments in computing means that you have to be able to decide what's important, what to learn. To have that level of critical ability, you need the sort of education we provide."
The course will develop students' awareness of current technologies and the principles behind them, while allowing them to specialise in the latest methods and tools of software engineering.
The course will also promote an understanding of emerging trends in research so that students are aware of future industrial applications.
Arthur Andersen has committed 200 students over three years to taking the Pounds 10,000 masters degree.
Ms Eisenbach said that she would like to enrol a similar number of students who work for other companies.
Taught by Imperial College staff, the modular course includes a four-week project that is relevant to the workplace and co-supervised by the employer.
Students will have the option of attending one morning a week for ten weeks or taking a week-long intensive course to complete each module.
Topics covered include knowledge management techniques, in which students will analyse the basic concepts of data mining and knowledge discovery.
A foundation module in artificial intelligence leads to an advanced course in deductive databases. The advanced course looks at the theory and practice of techniques at the intersection of artificial intelligence, logic and databases.
Sending students on the course could help Arthur Andersen - or any other employer - retain its staff, according to Ms Eisenbach. Students will have up to four years to complete the masters degree.
She added: "People change jobs - I think employers will hope that people stay with the firm for the duration of the course.
"We strive to provide the highest quality computing courses and are delighted that a major consultancy firm finds our courses up-to-date and relevant.
"We are looking forward to a mutually beneficial long-term collaboration with Arthur Andersen."