If you’ve ever considered getting a master’s in computer science online degree, one question you might have asked yourself is, “Is it really worth it?” After all, attending school would require time and financial commitments, both of which can seem rather daunting. So, let’s look at why many of your peers are finding a master’s degree in computer science is worth the effort.
The Effort Vs. Reward Equation
Relevance is a major consideration. The computer science field is constantly changing what you learned in your undergraduate work, which was current then might or might not still be relevant now. By earning a master’s degree, you put yourself back into a learning environment where you can update and hone your skills and perhaps develop new specialties within computer science.
A master’s degree also can help increase your credibility and stature within your company and with customers. Your suggestions will begin to carry more weight because your ideas will be backed by experience and knowledge gained during your advanced studies in computer science.
Although there are many other reasons to earn a master’s in computer science online degree, one that is especially compelling is that it can also increase your earning potential. According to Payscale.com, the average annual salary for an individual with a master’s degree in computer science is $102,000. For those with a bachelor’s degree in the field, the average annual salary is $83,000.
Because the computer science field includes many occupations, salaries vary from position to position. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2017, median annual salaries within the computer and information technology industry included the following:
- Computer and information research scientists ($114,520).
- Computer network architects ($104, 650),.
- Computer programmers ($82,240).
- Computer support specialists ($52,810).
- Computer systems analysts ($88,270).
- Database administrators ($87,020).
- Information security analysts ($95,510).
- Network and computer systems administrators ($81,100).
- Software developers ($103,560).
- Web developers ($67,990).
Geography also can play a role in salary. California holds significant opportunities for computer and information technology industry professionals. As of May 2017, the state’s annual mean wages for occupations in this field include:
- Computer and information research scientists ($128,530).
- Computer network architects ($128,770).
- Computer programmers ($96,270).
- Computer network support specialists ($76,830).
- Computer systems analysts ($102,860).
- Database administrators ($95,630).
- Information security analysts ($108,090).
- Network and computer systems administrators ($96,420).
- Software developers/systems software ($127,230).
- Web developers ($84,270).
How in the World Will You Find the Time?
Once the question of “Is it really worth it?” has been answered in the affirmative, the question that often follows is: “How will I find time to take care of my personal responsibilities, go to class, study, and do homework?”
Thanks to the growing availability of online programs, getting a master’s in computer science online degree is an excellent (and viable) option for those who have families, full-time or part-time jobs, or everyday life commitments that require time, attention, and focus. Because online classes can be accessed anywhere there’s an internet connection, students are able to complete coursework during lunch breaks at work, at their child’s soccer game, at home in the evenings, or anywhere that life might take them.
The Advantages of Earning a Master’s in Computer Science Online at National University
In addition to being San Diego’s largest private nonprofit university, National University is also a top educational hub for active-duty servicemembers, those transitioning from the military, and for vets who have been out of the service for a while but want to advance their education. And, as a Yellow Ribbon school, National offers tuition discounts to servicemembers and their dependents. Attending a military-friendly college can play a big role in a successful degree experience for active-duty or veteran servicemembers.
Another advantage of National University’s Master of Science in Computer Science is that students take one class at a time, with each class lasting four weeks. This format allows for deeper dives into specific topics and greater flexibility for scheduling your education around other life or work commitments
The faculty in the master’s in computer science online degree program bring a wealth of business and academic experience to the virtual classroom. Faculty members are committed to their students’ learning experience and success; they take full advantage of the virtual learning environment by leading discussions and participating in other interactions, whether with the whole class or with an individual student. Online students are also able to interact among themselves, leading to a much more personal and engaging online experience.
The variety of coursework in the master’s in computer science online degree program allows students to hone computer and technology skills. Courses focus on advanced programming, software engineering, software architecture, modern operating systems, security, interface engineering, database design, and other related topics. Additionally, a final capstone project provides students the opportunity to put what they’ve learned to work, addressing the technological challenges of their employers or our society.
Every aspect of the master’s in computer science online degree program curriculum is devoted to developing communication skills, ethics, and standards of professionalism — soft skills that are necessary even in a highly technical field. Graduates leave the program ready to lead in the fast-paced and constantly changing world of computer science.
Interested in pursuing a Master of Science in Computer Science in a format that works for you? We invite you to explore the possibilities at National University. Our admissions advisors can answer your questions and guide you through the application process. To learn more about the program or request additional information, please visit the Master of Science in Computer Science program overview.