Is a Master’s in Computer Science Worth it?

The computer science field is competitive and rapidly expanding. Whether you recently finished your bachelor’s degree in computer science or have worked in the industry for years, you may want to consider earning a master’s in computer science to stay up-to-date with industry trends, develop new skills and expertise and increase your competitive edge.

But deciding to pursue a master’s degree in computer science, finding a program that suits you and actually earning the degree requires a great investment of your time, effort and financial resources. That’s why it is essential to ask — “is a master’s in computer science worth it?” — before embarking on your degree path.

You’ll first want to determine your academic and professional goals, anticipating what career opportunities an MS in Computer Science degree can open and the employment outlook, gauging your earning potential and considering the technical and soft skills you’ll gain.

The computer science field is growing and needs knowledgeable and highly skilled individuals to fill in-demand positions as software developers, programmers, information security analysts and more. If this sounds like an exciting opportunity, then pursuing a master’s degree in computer science may be a worthwhile investment.

What Will I Learn in a Computer Science Master’s Program?

Graduate students gain both technical and soft skills through a master’s in computer science degree program. While curricula and coursework vary from program to program, most computer science programs ensure students have a fundamental understanding of programming, the design and analysis of algorithms, data structures and foundational concepts of operating systems.

To develop higher-level and more niche areas of expertise, students may study software security, the theory of programming languages, computer graphics, game development, data mining, computer networking and more.

In addition to deepening your technical expertise, you develop collaborative abilities and analytical skills. Whether building a mobile app or improving cloud security, you work alongside coworkers and clients to problem-solve. Knowing how to work efficiently and strategize for a common goal in a group setting are invaluable skills that will make you a sought-after applicant and enhance the quality of your work.

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What Can I Do With a Master’s in Computer Science?

The technical and soft skills gained with a computer science master’s degree are highly transferable to almost any industry.

Professionals with an MS in Computer Science can work in various industries and workspaces, including technology companies, colleges and universities, financial and insurance companies, manufacturing firms and even the federal government.

With a graduate degree in computer science, you are qualified to pursue a career as:

  • Chief Technology Officer
  • Cyber Security Analyst
  • Data Analytics Director
  • Data Engineer
  • Game Developer
  • Software Developer
  • UX Designer

With a strong technical background and real-world experience, an MS in Computer Science allows you to pursue high-demand employment opportunities.

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Employment Outlook for Master’s in Computer Science Graduates

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment rate for information security analysts is expected to grow by 35 percent in the next decade, meaning approximately 19,500 jobs will open up each year, which is significantly faster than the national average for all occupations.

The demand for software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers and computer and information research scientists is also expected to grow, increasing by 25 percent and 21 percent, respectively. This means approximately 162,900 jobs for software developers and 3,300 jobs for computer and information research scientists are projected to open annually.

For computer and information systems managers, the BLS anticipates it to grow 16 percent, with 48,500 openings each year.

Master’s in Computer Science Salary Potential

Because of the technical skills required and the high-demand nature of the tech industry, the earning potential for those with a graduate degree in computer science is promising.

Computer and information system managers can work in numerous industries, such as information, finance and insurance, computer design, manufacturing and more. Earning potential can vary by industry. The BLS reports the annual median salary for computer and information system managers is $159,010 but can range from $95,220 to $208,000.

Computer and information research scientists can hold many positions, such as software publishers, research and development roles or computer systems designers. Like computer and information system managers, the earning potential can range from $74,210 to $208,000 based on the industry and position. The BLS estimates the median annual salary for computer and information research scientists is $131,490.

Information security analysts' annual salaries can range from $61,520 to $165,920; however, the median annual salary is $102,600. Comparably, software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers’ median annual salary is $98,220 but can span from $48,960 to $168,570 based on industry.

Pursue Your Master of Science in Computer Science at Iona University

Iona University’s School of Arts and Sciences offers a Master of Science in Computer Science degree, designed for students eager to continue their computer science education at the graduate level.

Our master’s in computer science program ensures students receive experiential, project-based learning to sharpen their skill set and enhance their computer science expertise. Students gain exposure to network programming, database development using SQL, programming in multiple languages and more.

Within the MS in Computer Science degree program, students can select a Cyber Security or Game Development concentration to narrow their professional focus and increase their competitive edge in their post-graduate career.


Develop Your Computer Science Expertise

In a competitive and quickly growing industry, a Master of Science in Computer Science degree program elevates your technical skills, increases your marketability and establishes you as an industry expert that employers want to hire.

Iona’s Master of Science in Computer Science program provides a demanding but comprehensive education during which students acquire varied hands-on experience, receive faculty mentorship and gain access to an expansive alumni network.

Request information to learn more about Iona’s graduate programs. Or, if you are ready to begin your MS in Computer Science journey, apply today.

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