Who should get a master’s degree in computer science

BY Meghan MalasJuly 22, 2022, 1:54 PM

Courtesy DePaul College

Pc and facts researchers are amid the maximum paid industry experts with master’s degrees, getting a median wage of $131,500 in 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. So it is no shock that a lot more and a lot more people are gravitating towards the area 3,200 occupation openings for laptop and facts analysis scientists are established just about every yr, in accordance to the Bureau of Labor Figures. 

“Computing is building a great affect on culture and has develop into an indispensable—if not central—part of culture,” states Ljubomir Perkovic, a professor and director at DePaul University’s University of Computing. DePaul rated No. 4 on Fortune’s list of the most effective on-line master’s degree plans in computer science.  

A master’s degree in pc science is just one promising way to split into the discipline, or to enhance your recent abilities. To obtain out extra about who is finest suited for a master’s degree in pc science degree system, and the resulting vocation alternatives that await graduates, Fortune spoke with Perkovic, and 3 alumni of master’s degree systems in laptop or computer science. 

You really do not need to have a personal computer science qualifications to get a master’s degree in the field

You don’t need a bachelor’s degree in laptop science, or even a history in tech, to pursue a master’s degree in the industry. Consider it from Daniel Steilen, who expended seven years as an editor for an educational guide publisher right after receiving a bachelor’s diploma in English in 2007. 

Even though Steilen relished his work, he preferred more opportunities—so he commenced to think about a profession pivot. He had been curious about programming for a whilst, so he made a decision to try it out on his personal by operating by an introductory guide on the topic.

“The master’s degree helped me go into a new discipline with both of those additional possibilities and far better compensation,” Steilan states. “Even if I experienced been able to study the capabilities by option usually means, I assume it would have been tough to encourage companies to take me significantly without having a diploma.” 

Steilan graduated from DePaul University’s master’s degree plan in computer system science in 2017. Shortly just after graduating, he landed a work as a program engineer for a business that makes devices for the telecommunications sector.

And Steilan’s oblique route into a laptop or computer science job is rarely distinctive. “A quantity of universities have made pathways for pupils with a bachelor’s degree in a non-computing discipline to pursue a master’s in computing,” Perkovic claims. “DePaul University, for example, gives a master’s in pc science that is obtainable to faculty graduates who have never programmed just before.”

In this variation of the method, pupils choose a established of introductory courses that put together them for graduate function in computing. And extra than half of the 2,500 college students who graduated from DePaul’s master’s diploma method in the final five several years took benefit of this pathway.

That reported, it’s also common for college students to now have computing experience—and they return to college to update their know-how and capabilities. 

“The system complimented my get the job done working experience as an engineer, giving complex abilities and concepts I did not obtain as a liberal arts undergrad,” suggests Jake Gerstein, who graduated from DePaul’s master’s degree method in computer system science in 2019. “In parallel with my qualified perform, the courses accelerated my learning of computer software growth and IT functions,” he included. 

Gerstein is now a director of cloud technique and enablement for a financial expert services company. 

Techniques figured out in a master’s system deliver options for many profession paths in pc science

The regular demand for people today with a personal computer science track record also affords professionals with selections. “Choosing computing as a profession is currently the finest way to accomplish fiscal security and a comfy way of living,” Perkovic suggests, introducing that 11 of the leading 15 work on Glassdoor’s checklist of the most effective work in America for 2022 are in computing. 

Between the typical occupations for individuals with a master’s degree in computer science are facts scientist, full stack engineer, software engineer, and more specialized roles in device mastering engineering, cloud engineering, and enterprise architect—which rated No.1 for position gratification on Glassdoor’s record. 

And salaries for these kinds of roles are extremely large. According to Glassdoor, the median foundation wage for an company architect, a particular person who sales opportunities the maintenance of a firm’s IT networks and companies, is $144,997. For a complete stack engineer, it is $101,794, and for a information scientist, it is $120,000. 

“Most pupils getting into a master’s in computer system science plan have a target to turn into application builders,” Perkovic suggests. “Many graduates obtain that, with ‘software engineer’ often getting their to start with work title.”

Tech is not the only business in which computing work opportunities are on the increase businesses across all industries are seeking to develop their computing ability. Large progress in the amount of money of obtainable knowledge warrants the want for additional industry experts to manage and make price out of that details. Finally, as Fortune claimed in June, cybersecurity is a increasing concern across all industries—and extra than 700,000 positions however need to have to be loaded in the U.S. 

“Every sector of the financial system now relies on computing and computing pros,” Perkovic states. “A master’s in laptop or computer science is a pathway for college students to make an impact on culture, though also offering social mobility and monetary balance.”