Considering earning your masters? Here are 5 awesome facts about studying in a computer science masters program.
Internet users have passed the 4 billion mark. The application of hardware and software systems is of utmost importance across every industry, which means that computer science careers are booming.
With more jobs in the field brings a higher demand for increased skills and technical knowledge, which means that master’s degrees in computer science are becoming more popular.
For those who want to enter the industry, earning your master’s provides a basis for research, development, and practical application. For those who have already earned an associate or bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree opens additional opportunities with higher pay. Before you decide what level to pursue a degree at, ask yourself a few of the following questions:
- Why do I want to earn this degree?
- Will earning the degree help me achieve my personal and career goals?
- Can I afford the degree and its accompanying costs?
After you’ve answered the basics and decided this is the right path for you, it’s time to get educated on what to expect!
Let’s take a look at 5 awesome facts about why studying in a computer science master’s program can provide for a great future.
1. Popular Degree Worldwide
For international students studying in America, computer science is the third most popular field of study.
For one, the degree is popular because of its high demand and job opportunities. Additionally, computer science is one of the most well-funded and well-researched degrees in America, so the education is unparalleled. The degree offers a high probability for landing a well-paid position with high job satisfaction.
The total number of jobs in computer science continues to grow year-over-year. For this reason, most computer science departments place about 85% of their graduates into jobs. Additionally, studies show that 5 out of the top fastest growing jobs are in this field.
2. High Salary Expectations
Since the nature of computer science is highly specialized and skilled, it demands an intelligent and well-trained workforce. With the demand for high education comes high salaries.
According to internationalstudent.com, some of the national median annual salaries in the US are as follows:
- Web Developer – $58,000
- Information Technology Specialist – $64,200
- Application Support Analyst – $69,000
- Programmer Analyst – $74,800
- Software Developer – $80,500
- Systems Engineer (IT) – $83,300
- Senior Software Engineer – $98,000
- Program Manager, IT – $111,000
- Software Development Manager – $115,000
- Software Architect – $116,000
- Systems Developer – $93,800
For those who don’t intend to work in America, here’s a general reference guide for what to expect to earn in Europe and surrounding countries as a software engineer.
- Switzerland – $85,709
- Norway – $70,776
- Israel – $70,290
- Denmark – $70,082
- UK – $59,268
After earning your master’s degree in computer science, you can expect an average annual increase of about $30,000 over those with a bachelor’s degree.
3. Vast Job Opportunities
While it’s possible to work in computer science with an associate or bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree opens up many more opportunities as most employers prefer to hire those with more education.
According to a Pew Research Center study from 2016, 40% of millennials have at least a bachelor’s degree. This number is expected to increase as time goes on, so to continue to be competitive in the job market, a master’s degree can really set you apart. Additionally, 61% of employers have raised their expectations for educational standards.
Individuals seeking senior positions and career advancement will benefit greatly from having a master’s degree. Additionally, if a job in a company isn’t for you, having your master’s affords you more insight to start your own business or to freelance. Because more education brings with it more knowledge, it’ll be possible to perform more tasks and fill more high-skilled needs for clients.
4. What You Will Learn
After a hands-on bachelor’s degree in computer science, most master’s programs are highly technical and provide more interesting job opportunities. With a master’s degree, you can perform research, work in government labs, and even teach in academia.
While every program differs in its curriculum, here a few course titles you can likely expect in a Computer Science Master’s Program:
- Artificial Intelligence
- Computer Engineering
- Software Engineering
- Computer Policy
- Web Development
The programs set you up to enter the workforce and obtain a junior to senior level position from the get-go. Another great benefit to a master’s program is the networking opportunities it affords. With corporate partnerships, internships, mentorships, and thesis work with the possibility of publication, you can lay the groundwork for a successful career as you work on earning your degree.
5. Possible Specializations
With technology’s expansion and ever-changing environment, the hottest jobs and positions of the future continuously evolve. However, as of late, here’s a list of some of the most popular fields of specialization for those obtaining a master’s degree in computer science:
- Artificial Intelligence
- Machine Learning
- Data Science and Analytics
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Cyber Security
- Cloud Computing
- Theoretical Computer Science
If any of this sounds intriguing, your next step is to research how to get involved.
So, how can you get started or continue learning?
The answer depends on where you currently stand. If you have a high school diploma, the best next step is to earn your bachelor’s degree. You have the opportunity to choose between a traditional university or an online program. Online programs offer flexibility and are generally less expensive than their traditional counterparts.
For example, University of the People offers an associate as well as a bachelor’s degree in computer science that is 100% online and completely tuition-free. With proof of a high school diploma and English proficiency, you can apply today!
If you already have your undergraduate degree, there are global options for a master’s program. However, it is important to note that for international students, programs in the United States are most preferred because the world-class and top-ranked universities are scattered around America. For example, here’s a list of the top 5 best ranked U.S. graduated programs for computer science:
- Carnegie Mellon University – Pennsylvania
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – Massachusetts
- Stanford University – California
- University of California, Berkeley – California
- University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign – Illinois
As you embark on your journey to earn your master’s in computer science, it’ll be useful to remember why you started. As a challenging degree, it will eventually reap many rewards like high job satisfaction, a lucrative career, the opportunity to work for yourself, and access into a field that continues to evolve alongside technology.