When deciding whether to pursue a computer science master’s program, one of the most critical things to consider is job opportunities unlocked by a graduate degree.
While a bachelor’s degree in computer science is enough to find a satisfying job for many, professionals interested in reaching leadership or more specialized positions often find that they need an advanced degree.
From Healthcare to Education: Career Paths Beyond Tech
Computer science career opportunities expand far beyond the tech industry. Computer scientists are becoming crucial in innovation across sectors. For example, in healthcare, artificial intelligence has been instrumental in bettering disease detection. In education, virtual reality is transforming the way students learn.
As technology continues to transform most industries, computer scientists are in high demand: From healthcare to government, retail to education, job growth for computer scientists is on the rise. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 11% increase in new jobs by 2029.
Unlocking Career Growth: Online Master of Computer Science Program Benefits
Although it’s possible to find an excellent job with a bachelor’s in computer science, professionals with a master’s degree typically get to choose from a broader range of job openings, rise to executive positions faster, and earn significantly higher average salaries. According to Payscale, employees with a master’s degree in computer science earn an average annual starting salary of $104,000, while those with a bachelor’s earn $94,000.
In addition to leadership positions, graduate programs can open doors into other more specialized computer science areas, such as machine learning, quantum computing, and high-performance and scientific computing.
Common job titles for master’s of computer science graduates include:
- Software development engineers
- Information security managers
- Software engineers
- Data analysts
- Data scientists
- Computer network architects
- Information systems managers
Companies are adding graduate degrees, including doctoral degrees, to their minimum hiring requirements. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 15.3% jump in the number of computer science jobs that will require a doctorate by 2022.
So, What is a Master’s in Computer Science Program?
A master’s in computer science is a graduate degree that provides students with theoretical and practical computer systems and information systems applications.
Traditionally, obtaining a master of science requires two years of full-time study. Today, with online master’s programs, students can enjoy the flexibility of pursuing their graduate degree part-time. A handful of reputable universities are offering online programs at affordable prices. While costs of a traditional two-year program can easily surpass $100,000, online programs like the UT Austin Master of Computer Science Online cost a fraction of that price, while being a top-10 ranked program.
One student who attended the program in the Spring of 2021 summarized their experience:
“The program offers rigorous, excellent courses with all the added benefits and flexibility of being fully asynchronous and online. I feel invested in each course and feel like the TAs, and other students are, for the most part, responsive and interested, giving some semblance of community to a program that spans the globe.”
|Average Cost of Traditional Master of Computer Science Program*||Average Cost of Online Master of Computer Science Program**|
* Cost of program arrived at by averaging the cost of traditional master’s programs from leading universities (Princeton, Harvard & University of Michigan)
**Cost of program based on average cost of online master’s degrees from Stanford, Boston, NC State Raleigh, Southern Methodist University, Purdue, Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersey Institute of Technology, University of Illinois at Springfield, Georgia Southern University, Georgia Tech, and UT Austin’s Online Computer Science Master’s Program
While coursework and prerequisites differ for each program, most degrees provide students with in-depth training on concepts such as deep learning, neural networks, algorithms, cybersecurity, data science, distributed systems, and more. Some programs require students to complete research projects, which are helpful when pursuing a doctorate.
Programs at the master’s level also allow students to choose coursework in areas like artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning, cloud computing, and others. A graduate degree can help you deepen your knowledge in a specific area of information technology, opening doors for career paths in multiple industries.
Explore More: Pursuing an Online Master of Computer Science Program
The availability of online master’s programs has made obtaining a degree more accessible than ever. Today, working professionals can pursue master’s programs part-time while continuing to work. Reputable universities offer online master’s programs that teach students foundational theory, allowing them to specialize in particular subject areas while applying lessons learned directly to real-world problems.
With companies increasingly seeking employees with graduate degrees, obtaining a master’s degree in computer science can position you for a lucrative career and salary growth. A master’s degree in computer science can unlock career paths, including a faster rise to executive and leadership positions and increased flexibility.
If you’re interested in further exploring graduate computer science degree options, consider starting with this degree program from UT Austin. Head to the program page to learn more and fill out a form to request more information.