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Best Online Computer Programming Master’s Degree Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

Princess Ogono-Dimaro - May 17, 2022


The best online master’s degrees in computer programming allow students to attend classes, take exams, and submit assignments remotely. Well-known and accredited institutions offer flexibility for working professionals and other students who want a unique learning experience.

By the time you get to an online computer programming master’s degree, you will already have a strong foundation in computing systems, as prospective students have already been in the university system and applied themselves to prerequisite coursework.

If you’re considering pursuing an online master’s degree in computer programming, this extensive guide will come in handy. We list the best online computer programming master’s degrees with possible career opportunities for graduates.

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Where Can I Get a Computer Programming Master’s Degree Online?

You can get a computer programming master’s degree online at prestigious universities like Southern New Hampshire University, Arizona State University, Drexel University, Syracuse University, Regent University, and others.

What Schools Offer the Best Computer Programming Master’s Degrees?

  • Drexel University
  • Syracuse University
  • Boston University
  • Columbia university
  • Regent University

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Computer Programming Master’s Degree?

The admission requirements for an online computer programming master’s degree program are a bachelor’s degree , transcripts, and a personal statement or admission essay. While some universities accept any bachelor’s degree as a prerequisite, applicants may need an undergraduate degree in a similar field, depending on the specific university you choose.

Some schools require a minimum GPA score. The minimum is usually a 3.0, although it varies between institutions. Some schools also require standardized test scores, such as SAT and ACT scores. Lastly, students must submit letters of recommendation from professors of their undergraduate degree programs.

Online Computer Programming Master’s Degree Admission Requirements

  • Transcripts
  • Minimum GPA score
  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Bachelor’s degree

How to Get a Computer Programming Master’s Degree Online

You can get a computer programming master’s degree online if you gain entry into a master’s program and fulfill the graduation requirements. To gain admission, you’ll need to meet all of the admission requirements and provide all the required documents, which vary based on your university’s criteria. Once enrolled, you’ll need to maintain a minimum GPA throughout the completion of core and elective courses, which should account for approximately 30 credits. You’ll also need to complete a thesis or other capstone project.

Computer Programming Degree Requirements

  • Thesis or research
  • Core courses
  • Elective courses
  • Cumulative GPA
  • 30 credits or more

Best Online Computer Programming Master’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Arizona State University Master of Computer Science Higher Learning Commission
Boston University Master of Science in Computer Information Systems Degree New England Commission of Higher Education
Columbia University Master of Science in Computer Science Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Drexel University Master of Science in Computer Science Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Penn State World Campus Master of Software Engineering Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Regent University Master of Science in Cybersecurity Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Southern New Hampshire University Master of Science in Information Technology New England Commission of Higher Education
Syracuse University Master of Science in Computer Science Middle States Commission on Higher Education
University of Maryland Global Campus Master of Science in IT: Software Engineering Concentration Middle States Commission on Higher Education
University of West Georgia Master of Science in Applied Computer Science Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Best Schools for Computer Programming: Top Online Computer Programming Master’s Degree Programs

Many of the best computer programming schools offer an online version of their master’s programs to ensure all students have access to quality education. See the list below to learn more about advanced online computer programming master’s degrees.

1

Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ

Founded in 1885, Arizona State University is one of the largest public research universities in the region. It is known for its high acceptance rate and notable online programs.

Master of Computer Science

The School of Computing and Augmented Intelligence offers an online master of computer science (MCS) degree program via a partnership with Coursera. By collaborating on real-world problems and projects, you'll gain a deep understanding of advanced topics such as artificial intelligence, cyber security, and big data. Students must complete 30 credits to graduate.

Master of Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $500/credit
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 2 semesters at 15 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 66%

Master of Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: None
  • Application Fee: $70
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Transcripts

Applying to Arizona State University

  1. Meet admission requirements
  2. Complete application
  3. Pay the required fee
  4. Submit additional materials

2

Boston University

Boston, MA

Boston University is a private, non-profit university that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. The university has a low acceptance rate and a high graduation rate.

Master of Science in Computer Information Systems Degree

Online learners gain hands-on experience building networks, developing apps, and fighting cyber crime with experts from the world's top companies. This MSCIS program has several concentrations to help students customize their programs. Some include web application development, computer networks, security, data analytics, IT project management, database management, and health informatics.

Master of Science in Computer Information Systems Degree Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition: $1,830/credit
  • Required Credits: 40 credits
  • Program Length: 4 semesters at 10 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 89%

Master of Science in Computer Information Systems Degree Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.4
  • Standardized Tests: None
  • Application Fee: $85
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Other Requirements: Personal statement

Applying to Boston University

  1. Apply online
  2. Submit transcripts
  3. Submit supporting documents
  4. Check application status

3

Columbia University

New York City, NY

Columbia University is a private university. Its programs develop successful graduates, including presidents, Nobel prize winners, and Olympians. The university also offers a long list of undergraduate and graduate degrees to students across the country.

Master of Science in Computer Science

This master of science program is for professionals interested in learning more about computer science and software architecture. Students have an opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge about specific disciplines within the computer science field in their online courses. There are currently eight concentration tracks available. This allows students to customize their learning experience.

Master of Science in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $2,272/credit
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 2 semesters at 15 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 96%

Master of Science in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE
  • Application Fee: $120
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Recommendation letters

Applying to Columbia University

  1. Apply online and pay the application fee
  2. Submit transcripts
  3. Submit other supporting documents
  4. Attend an interview

4

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

Drexel University is known for its college of engineering, as well as its law school and medical school. This private research university based in Philadelphia was founded in 1891. It is a large institution and is highly rated in the United States and throughout the world.

Master of Science in Computer Science

This 30-credit program uses four 10-week quarters each year. This system allows students to take more courses within a shorter time. Some topics cover cognitive modeling, computer science education, artificial intelligence, algorithms, data structures, human-computer interaction, software engineering, networking and security, computer vision, and intelligent systems.

Master of Science in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $1,342/credit
  • Required Credits: 45 credits
  • Program Length: 3 quarters at 15 credits per quarter
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 71%

Master of Science in Computer Science  Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE
  • Application Fee: $65
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Personal statement, resume, letters of recommendation

Applying to Drexel University

  1. Apply online
  2. Submit transcript
  3. Submit required documents
  4. Wait for acceptance

5

Penn State World Campus

University Park, PA

PennState World Campus was established in 1998 as the online section of the Pennsylvania State University. Its focus is mainly on distance education and it offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Master of Software Engineering

The master of software engineering program requires the completion of 36 credits. It uses a continuous seven-week term for two years to give students enough time to complete the program. Topics covered in this program include modern software techniques and concepts and project management. Students also take part in a software project as their final course.

Master of Software Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $996/credit
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 4 semesters at 9 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 73%

Master of Software Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $65
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Other Requirements: Letters of recommendation

Applying to PennState World Campus

  1. Review graduate bulletin
  2. Apply online
  3. Submit transcript
  4. Submit other documents
  5. Pay application fee

6

Regent University

Virginia Beach, VA

Regent University is a Virginia-based Christian university. It offers distance learning and on-campus learning to undergraduate and graduate students. It is an accredited and well-respected university in the United States.

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

The online technology program focuses on computer programming and gives a strong understanding of building and maintaining cyber defense strategies. Core classes include strategic planning, network security expertise, identity management, assurance frameworks, information systems security, and field practices and responsibilities.

Master of Science in Cybersecurity Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $695/credit
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 3 semesters at 10 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 61%

Master of Science in Cybersecurity Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $65
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Personal statement

Applying to Regent University

  1. Apply to Regent University
  2. Complete your admissions questionnaire
  3. Submit your unofficial college transcripts
  4. Verify your identity with your government-issued ID

7

Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, NH

Southern New Hampshire University is a private institution with a high acceptance rate and a long list of online degree programs. It is known for its education, business, health, and hospitality programs. It is also one of the most affordable schools on the list.

Master of Science in Information Technology

This online program offers several concentrations to give students solid foundations in database systems. These graduate studies include data analytics, information security, healthcare informatics, database draining, software application development, enterprise technology management, and web design. For a career in computer programming, the software application development concentration is ideal.

Online students in this concentration focus on the software development processes such as customer needs, software design, and product testing. They will also learn about various software design methodologies, distributed software applications, and how to develop mobile applications.

Master of Science in Information Technology Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition: $627/credit
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 4 semesters at 9 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 37%

Master of Science in Information Technology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.75
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Other Requirements: Letters of recommendation

Applying to Southern New Hampshire University

  1. Contact an admission counselor
  2. Explore financial options
  3. Complete a graduate application
  4. Provide undergraduate transcripts

8

Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY

This New York-based university is a non-profit private institution. The research university has 13 schools and colleges and is known for its psychology, economics, information sciences, finance, and political science campus program.

Master of Science in Computer Science

This degree program has a unique curriculum that teaches students to create solutions to technological challenges in the future. Some topics include security and assurance, advanced programming, artificial intelligence, and computer architecture. This ensures that online students graduate ready to drive development in the software.

Master of Science in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $1,734/credit
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 3 semesters at 10 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 83%

Master of Science in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $75
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Other Requirements: Letters of recommendation

Applying to Syracuse University

  1. Apply online
  2. Pay the application fee
  3. Submit transcripts
  4. Submit supporting documents
  5. Check admission status

9

University of Maryland Global Campus

Adelphi, MD

The University of Maryland Global Campus is a part of the University of Maryland but it focuses on distance learning programs. It is an affordable university and it is known for its nursing school and high transfer rate from other universities.

Master of Science in IT: Software Engineering Concentration

This program offers a software engineering concentration for online students who want to pursue a career in computer programming. It covers coding, design, and advanced software methodology. Other topics in the curriculum include object oriented programming, aspect-oriented programming, and other software development technology and principles. The program uses a hands-on approach to give students some real-world experience.

Master of Science in IT: Software Engineering Concentration Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $514/credit (in-state); $659/credit (out-of-state)
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 4 semesters at 9 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 18%

Master of Science in IT: Software Engineering Concentration Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Other Requirements: Transcripts

Applying to University of Maryland Global Campus

  1. Apply online
  2. Pay the application fee
  3. Submit transcripts
  4. Submit supporting documents

10

University of West Georgia

Carrollton, GA

University of West Georgia is a public university founded in 1906. The school has a high acceptance rate and is known for its psychology, criminology, nursing, business administration, and journalism programs. It stands out in terms of affordability and expert faculty.

Master of Science in Applied Computer Science

This program includes topics like software development, web technologies, program construction, and databases. The program uses a cohort structure and has a final project that showcases what students have learned during the program. This helps online students develop hands-on experience to perform well when they enter the workforce.

Master of Science in Applied Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $241/credit
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 4 semesters at 9 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 44%

Master of Science in Applied Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.5
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: Not stated
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Transcripts

Applying to University of West Georgia

  1. Apply online
  2. Pay the application fee
  3. Submit transcripts
  4. Submit other supporting documents

What Is an Online Computer Programming Master’s Degree?

An online computer programming master’s degree is an advanced degree that gives students computer and software skills in modern operating systems. Through a master’s program, students develop a deep understanding of operating systems and programming languages to enter the tech job market.

Graduate programs are practical and online schools allow students to customize their training. They have the option to specialize in different areas of computer programming such as cyber security, program design, software development, and artificial intelligence. Skills they gather during their hours of study can be used to solve problems plaguing the technological space.

Online vs In-Person Computer Programming Degrees

Online computer programming degree programs take place remotely, so students can learn from the comfort of their homes. Online degrees have gained more recognition in recent times, which is important as they are often the most convenient and affordable options for prospective students.

Online students can complete their school work on their own time, allowing them to maintain other obligations. In-person computer programming degrees are traditional learning programs on the school campus. Some people prefer this learning arrangement because they want to get the whole college experience. Below we’ll discuss some of the top benefits of each format.

Top 5 Benefits of an Online Master’s Degree in Computer Programming

  • Convenience. The most common benefit online learning offers is convenience. For some people, especially working professionals, convenience is a major factor they consider before choosing a school to attend. Online programs allow students to study when it is convenient for them. They can be a thousand miles away and still study as long as there’s an Internet connection.
  • Cost. Online degree programs are often cheaper than in-person programs. Even if the tuition and fees aren’t less than on-campus programs, the associated cost of education may be reduced. Students do not need to spend money on transportation, rent, and parking on-campus.
  • Flexibility. Online degrees also stand out when it comes to flexibility. The program is part-time or self-paced. This allows students to schedule their time and attend to work and family. You can choose when to study and use the time left for other activities.
  • Hands-on learning. Online degree programs also include hands-on learning despite being remote. Students work on projects and group assignments to help them develop collaboration skills and build a portfolio.
  • Self-discipline. Studying online helps you develop self-discipline because you will be responsible for scheduling your time. Without organization, you may find it difficult to follow the class, which will affect your grades.

Top 5 Benefits of an In-Person Master’s Degree in Computer Programming

  • No distractions. In-person master’s degree programs teach students without distractions. It is often a better option for people who struggle with distractions while studying.
  • Sociability. The traditional college experience is still highly coveted because it gives students a chance to socialize and make new friends. They can also learn new things that are unrelated to their field of study.
  • One-on-one access. Some students do better with one-on-one real-time access to their professors and instructors. They can ask questions in real-time while in class.
  • Peer collaboration. It is easier to collaborate with your peers in in-person programs. Some students even learn better when they join study groups.
  • Practical application. In-person master’s degree programs also make it easier to apply what you are learning in assignments and practice. Teachers can provide feedback and recommend new ideas in real-time.

What Types of Online Master’s Degrees Can You Get in Computer Programming?

Types of master’s degrees in computer programming include a master of science, master of applied computer science, and master of arts degrees. The degree types differ in the courses they offer. Depending on the type of degree you pursue, you might focus on computer science, cyber security, or software engineering.

Is It Better to Get a Master of Science or Master of Art in Computer Programming?

It is better to get a Master of Science in Computer Programming if you want to study more technical and scientific subjects and cyber operations. A master of science degree program focuses on topics like math and science, while the master of arts is focused more on humanities and understanding theory.

If you know how you want to apply your degree to your career goals, you should choose the degree program that best aligns with your needs. Go over the program curriculum to see which one covers the subjects you’d like to study.

How Much Does a Computer Programming Master’s Degree Cost?

A computer programming master’s degree tuition costs between $10,000 to $60,000 per year, depending on the school type. On average, the tuition for a single year of graduate school at a public institution was $11,673 in 2019 to 2020 reports, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This cost does not include textbook costs, rent, and miscellaneous expenses.

The cost of tuition is determined by the type of instruction, whether it is private or public, or for-profit or non-profit. Public schools are far cheaper than their counterparts, and the same applies to non-profit schools.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Computer Programming Master’s Degree Online?

It takes two years to get an online computer programming master’s degree, in most cases. Students are required to complete 30 credits within four semesters. They usually take 15 credits per year. While the timeline is two years, some programs may be slightly longer if self-paced. Other programs allow students to complete their credits at an accelerated rate.

Are Online Computer Programming Degrees Respected?

Online computer programming degrees are respected today because they help more people get into the tech space. According to the NCES, distance learning students in 2019 surpassed 7,313,623 people in all levels of education.

Is Computer Programming Hard to Learn Online?

No, computer programming is not difficult to learn online. This is because of the structured learning systems with hands-on application. This way, students learn the basics before moving to more complex topics. They also work on projects and build a portfolio in the process.

Computer Programming Bootcamp vs Online Computer Programming Master’s Degree: Which Is Better?

Choosing between a computer programming bootcamp and an online computer programming master’s degree can be difficult. The better option ultimately depends on your long-term career goals, educational background, and resources.

There are several drawbacks and benefits to each educational path. This section offers an overview of the major benefits of both learning programs, so you can decide if you want to enroll in a bootcamp or earn a master’s degree.

Top 5 Benefits of an Online Computer Programming Master’s Degree

  • Professional networking . Master’s degree holders in computer science will have networking opportunities with other professors and current students, as well as with potential employers. With more people around, graduate students are able to work, learn and meet more people.
  • Advanced knowledge . Programming, architecture, algorithms, and data structures are among the topics typically covered in computer science programs. Students who are studying for a master’s degree usually have exclusive access to cutting-edge computer labs and digital libraries where they can get direct, hands-on experience with computer science professionals.
  • Career advancement . Applicants who are competing for a popular computer job are likely to benefit from an advanced degree in computer science. In some cases, master’s degrees are the only way for a student to enter a particular field or industry.
  • Skill development. Online master’s degree programs enable you to develop new skills or update already learned skills to make you more relevant in your field. With new skills come better opportunities as employers are often willing to pay a premium price for skilled professionals.
  • Variety of schools. Many quality schools offer online master’s degree programs. You don’t have to stick to a school in your state. Studying for a master’s degree online gives you opportunities to pick the best schools in the country.

Top 5 Benefits of a Computer Programming Bootcamp

  • Specialization . A coding bootcamp usually offers the most current and in-demand knowledge according to employers’ needs. You’ll become an expert in programming and have specialized knowledge in your chosen area of expertise.
  • Job preparation . Coding bootcamps are affordable programs that will teach you the exact skills employers want from their candidates. A majority of coding bootcamps include career services, from resume writing assistance to mastering technical interviews.
  • Certification . Coding bootcamps allow you to save money while quickly developing and specializing your theoretical foundations in programming. Since most high-end programming jobs require a college education, getting certified from a coding bootcamp is a great way to show off your high levels of expertise to a potential employer.
  • Affordability. Coding bootcamps are far cheaper than traditional degrees. They’re usually under $20,000 for the entire program.
  • Shorter completion time. Unlike a master’s degree program that takes two years, coding bootcamps are much shorter. The intensive training takes around six months or less, depending on the bootcamp. This gives you a faster time frame to enter the workforce.

Why You Should Get a Computer Programming Master’s Degree Online

You should get a computer programming master’s degree online because it will help advance your career and secure a better-paying job. Online computer programming degrees will allow you to study without neglecting your current obligations. Due to the recent popularity of online learning, you can receive the same quality of education that you would receive on-campus.

What Courses Do You Take in an Online Master’s Degree Program in Computer Programming?

The courses you take in an online master’s degree program in computer programming focus on advanced algorithms, network security, advanced software engineering, software design, and machine learning. There may be concentrations available for each academic program, but these are some of the most popular topics.

Advanced Algorithms

Students build on their knowledge of algorithms by gaining a solid understanding of designing algorithms and implementing them. The course teaches how to solve problems with algorithms, linear programming, and network flows.

Network Security

Network security teaches students to maintain a secure system by detecting vulnerabilities and inefficiencies in a network. Topics in this course include cryptographic tools, authentication protocols, and algorithms. It touches on topics like threat detection, digital forensics, and preventative measures to prevent cyber attacks.

Software Design

This course covers design patterns, software engineering, software element modeling, and other software design best practices. The course aims to teach students how to use different programming languages to create software.

Advanced Software Engineering

Advanced software engineering topics include the implementation and design of large software systems. The course incorporates program metrics, programming environments, software testing, software reliability, and design methodologies.

Machine Learning

This form of artificial intelligence teaches students to learn from algorithms and solve problems by reading data. Students learn to build intelligent systems with essential algorithms.

Continuing Education Paths for Online Computer Programming Master’s Degree Graduates

Continuing education paths for online computer programming master’s degree graduates would be a doctorate degree . Doctoratel degrees take about two years to complete once you’ve earned your master’s degree. You research a specific area of interest and write a thesis about it.  Those who hold a doctorate degree in computer programming are highly respected in the tech field.

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What to Look For in the Best Computer Programming Master’s Degree Programs

Things to look for in the best computer programming master’s degree programs include accreditation, cost, employment outcomes, flexibility, and student-to-faculty ratio.

Accreditation

It is important to select an accredited university with a good reputation for your master’s program. An accredited school is respected and has met quality standards in education. Studying at an accredited school helps future employers trust the education you received. Without accreditation, you can’t apply for federal aid or transfer your credits to another school.

Cost

Many people choose online schooling to cut costs. It would be counterproductive to choose an expensive online degree program. Look out for a prestigious public institutions as they are cheaper than private ones.

Flexibility

It helps to know how flexible your program is. You should check to see if your online program is part-time or full-time and if it’s asynchronous or synchronous.  A good school will allow you the flexibility you need to take full advantage of the benefits of learning online.

Employment Outcomes

Many schools have their employment outcomes on their website to show successful alumni. If you’re a full-time student, you’ll want to find a school that supports post-grad careers by helping you search for relevant jobs.

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

The good thing about online learning is that it also encourages one-on-one learning. An online computer programming master’s degree program will maintain smaller class sizes to promote this learning style.

What Is the Most Affordable Online Computer Programming Master’s Degree?

The most affordable online computer programming master’s degree program on our list is offered by University of West Georgia, which costs $6,521 per year. Following that is University of Maryland Global Campus and Arizona State University.

Can I Get a Computer Programming Master’s Degree Online for Free?

No, you can’t get a computer programming master’s degree online for free. However, you can apply for scholarships and financial aid, which can fully or partially cover your tuition and fees. If you don’t qualify for financial aid, you can also apply for student loans.

Salary and Job Outlook for Online Computer Programming Master’s Degree Graduates

graduate holding a scroll
Online master’s degree programs can save you money.

According to the US  Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for computer programmers was $93,000 in 2021. This figure is for bachelor’s degree holders as master’s degree holders in the field earn 18 percent higher wages than those with an undergraduate degree. For those who specialize in other fields like data science, the earning potential is far higher.

How Hard Is It to Get a Job With a Computer Programming Master’s Degree?

It is not hard to get a job with a computer programming master’s degree. Most employers hire candidates with a bachelor’s degree in the field. However, a master’s degree will give you an edge over other candidates. Those that hold a master’s degree offer more value to the company.

What’s the Average Online Computer Programming Master’s Degree Salary?

The average salary of someone with an online computer programming master’s degree is $109,000 per year, according to PayScale. This amount can increase, depending on the location, company, job title, and level of experience.

What Jobs Can You Get With an Online Computer Programming Master’s Degree?

Jobs you can get with an online computer programming master’s degree include computer research scientist, systems manager, or software developer. There are other roles available to computer programmers and computer systems analysts.

Computer Programming Degree Jobs

  • Computer programmer
  • Software developer
  • Computer systems analyst
  • Computer research scientist
  • Computer network architect

Potential Careers With an Online Computer Programming Degree

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How Much Money Can You Make With an Online Computer Programming Master’s Degree?

You can make between $89,000 and $120,000 per year with a master’s degree in computer programming. The amount you earn mostly depends on the company, location, and industry. For instance, industries like transportation, communication, and education typically pay tech workers more than other industries.

Highest-Paying Online Computer Programming Master’s Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

Computer Programming Master’s Degree Jobs Average Salary
Computer Network Architect $122,110
Computer Research Scientist $120,000
Software Developer $73,418
Computer Systems Analyst $72,335
Computer Programmer $65,395

Best Jobs for Online Computer Programming Master’s Degree Grads

The best computer programming master’s degree jobs offer competitive salaries and all are above the national average. Below we’ll explore some of the top positions you can qualify for with an online computer programming master’s degree.

1

Computer Network Architect

Average Salary: $112,110

Computer network architects are responsible for designing and building data communication networks. Their work includes developing local area networks, intranets, and wide area networks. They also handle hardware and software upgrades to keep them running in optimum condition.

2

Computer Research Scientist

Average Salary: $120,000

Computer research scientists are responsible for exploring problems in computing and creating models and theories to address problems. These experts work with engineers and scientists to solve computing problems. They also help determine the system requirements and computing needs when necessary.

3

Software Developer

Average Salary: $73,418

Software developers are responsible for analyzing users' needs and designing software to meet those needs. Experts also develop applications and plan how they will work together. They work on software upgrades for existing systems and programs.

4

Computer Systems Analyst

Average Salary: $72,335

Computer systems analysts are responsible for researching hardware and software used by an organization to improve systems and analyze new software and hardware costs. These experts train the staff to use the tools.

5

Computer Programmer

Average Salary: $65,395

Computer programmers are responsible for writing, modifying, and testing scripts and code for applications and software. These experts work with engineers and software developers to develop instructions for computer software.

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Is an Online Computer Programming Master’s Degree Worth It?

Yes, an online computer programming master’s degree is worth it because it opens up new opportunities in a broader range of computer programming fields. Perks include a higher salary potential and job availability due to your higher qualifications. Online programs are ideal for those who want to advance their careers without having to quit their current job. They are flexible and often more affordable than in-person degrees.

Additional Reading About Computer Programming

This article introduces the best computer programming master's degrees available online and on-campus. Learn about the best coding jobs and more.

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Online Computer Programming Master’s Degree FAQ

Which university is best for online master’s degree in computer programming?

Columbia University is best for an online master’s degree in computer programming. It has a high graduation rate and an excellent reputation for producing capable and successful graduates. Even though this university is more expensive than most on the list, it offers a solid curriculum with flexible options.

Can you get a master’s in computer programming without a computer science background?

Yes, you can get a master’s in computer programming without a computer science background at some schools. However, it will take a lot of extra work. You will need to take bridging courses in computer science to get you up to date. These courses are useful in helping you choose a direction you’d like to follow.

What specializations are available for a master’s degree in computer programming?

The specializations for master’s degree programs in computer programming include information systems, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cyber security, human-computer interaction, data science, and cloud computing.

Will a master’s degree increase my salary?

Yes, a master’s degree will increase your salary. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with a high school diploma earn an average of $809 per week, while college graduates earn $1,334 per week. Those with master’s degrees earn an average of $1,574 per week.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Princess Ogono-Dimaro

About the author: Princess is an expert tech content writer whose work has appeared on Raffela, Play Junkie, Blockster, and Smartereum. She writes about arts and tech, and she has studied blockchain, cryptocurrency, and digital marketing. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Benin and also attended The Nigerian Law School.

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