For people working in computer related fields who are interested in potential job advancement for themselves, an advanced degree in computer science can be a great first step to getting that job.
By studying for a master’s degree in computer science, a person gets an opportunity to study in depth the field of computer science and how using modern technology can improve the way people function, personally and in their employment. Adding those skills to your experience can really help make you stand out against other job applicants for those leadership positions.
Graduates of a master’s-level program in computer science can find themselves with employment opportunities in many different computing fields. Some of the more popular ones include:
- Systems Analyst
- Network Administrator
- IT Manager
- Database Administrator
- Network Engineer
- Project Manager
Due to the expanding role of computers in our modern world, there are more and more companies that need the expertise of someone with these skills to manage their systems. This has led to high salaries for these positions.
According to CareerBuilder.com, the average national salaries for the jobs listed above range from $80,000 for the network administrator up to $123,000 for the IT Manager.
Why Earn a Master’s in Computer Science
Computer and information technology employment is growing quickly, with 12% higher demand expected by 2024, which is faster than average. You will be able to benefit substantially in your technology career from this growth if you have a master’s in computer science. In total, approximately 488,000 jobs will be added in these fields in the next seven years.
Much of the job growth will be due to a transition to cloud computing to collect and store data for companies. Also, more devices are going to be connected to the Internet. This will lead to much higher growth for computer professionals.
If you are considering a master’s in computer science, we would like you to be aware of these potential benefits:
- Earn higher salary: With just a bachelor’s degree in computer science, you can earn an average salary of $63,000 per year, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, and more than $75,000 with a master’s.
- More job prospects: People with a master’s in computer science are in greater demand. The above survey also found that 56% of computer science majors who applied for positions had gotten job offers. Also, you will be competing against many computer science professionals who have their master’s degree. If you want to get more interviews, you should have your master’s. You will always need to perform the job well whatever degree you have, but having your master’s can be necessary to get that crucial first interview.
- Computer science professionals work in all industries: Someone with a master’s in this field develops strong theoretical and analytical skills that may be applied to all different industries – from engineering, to finance, to healthcare.
- Computer science experts help the world: People with master’s and doctorates in computer science make major contributions to science, the arts, medicine and engineering.
- Computer science professionals are on the IT cutting edge: Computers are everywhere today; it is very easy to forget how much they have changed our daily lives. The Internet was just beginning 20 years ago, and today most people carry a smartphone in their pocket with nearly unlimited access to global information, commerce and social communication. What will the next two decades bring? Computer science professionals will be among the first to know.
Featured Online Master’s In Computer Science
- Master of Science in Computer Science: UMass offers this degree program with an option to continue on to receive the doctoral degree in computer science as part of the same program. Scheduling would enable both degrees to be completed in five years. The master program alone includes 30 course credits, and completion of a final project. The core of the coursework include theory, systems, and artificial intelligence.
- Master of Science in Computer Science: The program at Drexel University is a leading computer science university, so has a rather extensive number of areas of focus. The requirement includes 45 and can be in a specific area or a custom-designed program made up of the exact areas they want to become an expert in. They do allow some credits to be transferred, depending on the subject and the university being transferred from. Drexel is featured in our online graduate programs report 2017.
- Master of Science in Computer Science: Involving class instruction as well as research gives students of this Lehigh University program a real strong foundation of their advanced knowledge in computer science. The program includes 30 credit hours of work plus a final thesis project that has presentation component before graduation.
- Master of Science in Computer Science: The approach to this degree taken by DePaul University is to study computer applications, and investigate how they have traditionally been used to address needs, but to also see how that could be advanced for future needs. This will cover software programming, algorithm design, and database systems, and is made up of a minimum of 52 credit hours.
- Master in Computer Science: Working professionals are the target of this degree program at NC State University. The online format provides classroom instruction through streaming video, and does not require a final thesis. The complete degree requires 31 graduate credits. There are also presentations made of the university’s internal research staff to explain their findings, and each student must view a certain number of these presentations throughout the class.
- Master of Science in Computer Science: In order to expand knowledge from programming to a more theoretical approach of programming is the goal for educating computer science graduate students at American Sentinel University. They can choose to specialize in either computer networking, computer programming, or information security. The program is made up of 39 credit hours, and allows eligible students to transfer up to 18 credit hours.
- Master of Science in Computer Science: Georgia Southern University offers a unique concentration of this degree, data and knowledge systems. This covers areas of voice recognition, data storage systems, and information retrieval, like search engines online. The program is available completely online and focuses on data mining and data warehousing. Graduating with this degree is designed to take two years.
- Master of Science in Computer Science: The degree program at Franklin University is available as an on-campus or online format. In as little as 20 months, graduates will be able to apply the theoretical nature of computer science and apply the skills learned to advanced roles in the industry. The 40 credits necessary to complete the program are made up of the core classes plus electives that enable concentrating on the area that matches the students interests.
- Master of Science in Applied Computer Science: The University of West Georgia has a master’s-level program designed to take 24 months to earn the degree. It prepares the students with the skills and discipline necessary to succeed in the computer science and information technology fields. Coursework covers all areas of computer science, like databases, software, web technologies, and network administration. There is also specific attention to building the teamwork skills of all graduates, preparing them to handle the real-world situations they will face in the workforce.
- Master of Science in Applied Computer Science: There are three choices for concentrations for this degree at Columbus State University. The online curriculum can focus on information assurance, modeling and simulation, and software development. This gives every computer science professional the ability to fine tune their skills to their ideal prospective employment. A master’s thesis is also a requirement of this degree program, giving the student the opportunity to present their study and the findings to a panel of professional peers.
Popular Career Paths for Master’s in Computer Science
Computer and Information Systems Managers
These computer professionals frequently are referred to as IT managers or IT project managers. They plan, coordinate and direct all computer-related directives and activities in a computer or organization. They are largely responsible for determining what the IT goals will be for a company, and also are in charge of implementing IT and computer systems to meet organizational goals.
Common duties for computer and information systems managers include:
- Analyze the computer needs of an organization and recommend upgrades for the company’s senior executives to consider
- Handle the planning and direction of the installing and maintaining of computer software and hardware
- Ensure that an organization’s network and electronic documents are completely secure
- Assess costs and benefits of new computer and IT projects and justify the funding to senior management
- Continue to learn about new technology and determine ways to upgrade computer and IT systems for better performance and security
Most computer and information systems managers will not be responsible for all of the above duties. There are many types of these managers, and the duties of all of them will depend upon the size of the company. Some of the most common computer and information system managers in various sizes of companies include:
- Chief information officer
- Chief technology officer
- IT director
- IT security manager
Jobs will increase by 15% in the coming years, which is much faster than average. Demand is being driven by greater need to expand company operations to digital media and platforms. The median salary is $131,600.
Computer and Information Research Scientists
Computer and information research scientists invent and design new ways to use computer technology, and to find new ways to use technology that exists today. They must study ands solve highly complex computer problems to benefit organizations in business, science, medicine and related fields.
Common duties include:
- Study the fundamental issues in computers and computing; develop theories and new models to address those problems
- Assist scientists and engineers to solve complicated computing problems
- Invent new types of computing languages, tools and ways to improve the ways that people are working with computers
- Devise new software systems that are the basis of the typical computer and computing experience
- Design computer experiments to test how new software systems operate
Computer and information research scientists play an important role in improving software and hardware. Creating and improving computer software means you must be an expert in manipulating algorithms, which are computer instructions that tell the system what to do. Some complex computer tasks are very difficult and need a very complex algorithm. These computer professionals attempt to make algorithms simpler and make the system more efficient.
Many computer scientists work with computer hardware engineers and electrical engineers on projects that require many disciplines to work together. Some of the most common specialties of computer and information research scientists are:
- Data mining
The job outlook in this field is bright, with 11% growth in demand by 2024. This is faster than average. The research and development aspect of computer and information research scientists is important for turning new ideas into new, functioning technology. The demand for new and better technology is always growing, so demand in this field is growing.
There also will be fast growth in data collection by many businesses that will lead to much greater need for data mining services. More computer scientists will be needed to write more algorithms that will help businesses to make more sense of large data sets. With that information, businesses are better able to understand their consumers. This makes the work of these skilled computer professionals in more demand.
There will also be more stress on the importance of cyber security in the coming years. Computer scientists are needed to find better ways to increase information security and to prevent cyber attacks.
The median salary in this field is $110,620.
- Computer and Information Technology. (2015, Dec, 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm
- Computer and Information Research Scientists. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.hhm
- National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). 2010-11 NACE Salary Survey (2011, Spring). Retrieved from https://www.cpp.edu/~career/documents/nace-salary-survey.pdf