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

Ufuoma Ogono - May 16, 2022


Securing a Master’s Degree in Computer Science is a great way to advance your career. However, with a busy work schedule and other daily engagements, attending an in-person school may prove to be difficult. Online learning is a viable alternative to traditional on-campus education. All you have to do is find the best online computer science master’s degrees.

In this article, you are going to find a list of the most comprehensive online computer science master’s degrees. First, you will get a clear understanding of how a master’s degree in computer science can influence your career. Finally, you will find some of the highest-paying computer science master’s degree jobs.

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

Some of the best schools to get a computer science master’s degree online are Arizona State University, Boston University, and Columbia University. Additionally, Drexel University, Dakota State University, Franklin University, and Southern New Hampshire University are also great options.

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What Schools Offer the Best Computer Science Degrees?

  • Arizona State University
  • Boston University
  • Columbia University
  • Drexel University
  • Southern New Hampshire University

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

The admission requirements for an online computer science master’s degree are a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science , letters of recommendation, transcripts, some professional computer science work experience, and a GPA of 3.2 and above.

The prerequisite coursework may vary depending on the school but these are the most common. Some universities may demand high school Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) while others may require an entrance exam.

Online Computer Science Master’s Degree Admission Requirements

  • A Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science
  • Professional work experience
  • Above-average GPA
  • Above-average graduate record examination exam score
  • Undergraduate transcript

How to Get a Computer Science Master’s Degree Online

You get a computer science master’s degree online by enrolling and fulfilling the graduation requirements for an online computer science master’s degree program. These requirements include completing, on average, 30 to 60 credits, getting a CGPA of 3.0, and completing your capstone project. Some programs may require a thesis or a comprehensive exam to graduate.

Master’s Degree Requirements

  • 30 to 60 credits
  • Get a CGPA of 3.0
  • Submitting your capstone project
  • Thesis submission
  • Comprehensive examination

Best Online Computer Science 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
Dakota State University Master of Science in Computer Science Higher Learning
Franklin University Master of Science in Computer Science Higher Learning Commission
Kansas State University Master’s Degree in Computer Science Higher Learning Commission
Southern New Hampshire University Master’s in Information Technology New England Commission of Higher Education
University of Southern California Master of Science in Computer Science Western Association of Schools and Colleges
University of West Georgia Master of Science in Applied Computer Science Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Best Schools for Computer Science: Top Online Computer Science Master Degree Programs

The best online computer science master’s degrees are accredited by regulatory bodies and hold the same weight as in-person degrees. For more information about the degrees in the table above, check out the list below.

1

Arizona State University

Coolidge, AZ

Arizona State University is one of the foremost public research universities in the United States. It was founded in 1885 and currently has an amazing online program that is available to students from all around the world. Computer science is one of the 250 programs offered by this public university.

Master of Computer Science

This Master's Degree in Computer science is a 30-credit program that covers ten different aspects of computer science. The online coursework is an ideal option for people wanting to advance their careers in data mining, artificial intelligence, software security, mobile computing, applied cryptography, distributed computing, and a host of other key disciplines.

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
  • Grad Rate: 66%

Master of Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE/GMAT
  • Application Fee: $70
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a related field
  • Other Requirements: Bachelor's degree transcripts, English proficiency for international students

Applying to Arizona State University

  1. Visit ASU online and read the admission requirements
  2. Fill out the graduate application form
  3. Pay your application fee
  4. Submit your transcript, test scores, and other documents required
  5. Wait for your admission letter to complete your enrollment

2

Boston University

Boston, MA

Boston University is a top-rated school that was founded in 1839 by the United Methodist Church. It is one of the largest private research schools in the world, with over 650 courses and an exceptional technology department. The large private university campus is supported by a virtual campus for those who prefer remote learning.

Master of Science in Computer Information Systems

Boston University's online school has built a reputable computer science and engineering program since its foundation in 2004. You can complete the 40-credit program in 18 to 24 months. The program features seven specializations which include computer networks, data analytics, database management and business intelligence, health informatics, IT project management, security, and web application development.

Master of Science in Computer Information Systems Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition: $1,830/credit (in-state); $1,830/credit (out-of-state)
  • Required Credits: 40 credits
  • Program Length: 2 semesters at 20 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Grad Rate: 89%

Master of Science in Computer Information Systems Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: None required
  • Application Fee: $85
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science or related fields
  • Other Requirements: Essay, undergraduate transcript, letters of recommendation, resume

Applying to Boston University

  1. Visit the Boston online admission portal
  2. Request additional information
  3. Fill out your application form
  4. Pay the application fee and submit your documents
  5. Wait for the admissions team to reach out

3

Columbia University

New York, NY

Columbia University is an Ivy League university that was founded in 1754. It is one of the oldest schools in the United States and the oldest tertiary institution in New York. The school is popularly known for the quality of the education in its computer science, engineering, and social science faculties.

Master of Science in Computer Science

Columbia University has one of the best online computer science master's degree programs that run for two semesters and offers several tracks to choose from. Enrolled students will need to maintain a 2.7 GPA overall to qualify for graduation. An online student may also decide on a personalized track that allows you to choose a selection of courses that suit your career goals.

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Master of Science in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $2,272/credit (in-state); $2,272/credit (out-of-state)
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 2 semesters at 15 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Grad Rate: 96%

Master of Science in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.3
  • Standardized Tests: GRE
  • Application Fee: $150
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a related field
  • Other Requirements: 3 Recommendation letters, English competency

Applying to Columbia University

  1. Visit the online website for Columbia University
  2. Create an account
  3. Apply for the CS master's degree track you want
  4. Pay the non-refundable admission fee
  5. Talk to an admissions advisor

4

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

Drexel University is a private university that was founded by Anthony J. Drexel in 1891. It is a globally recognized research institution known for its computer science, nursing, mechanical engineering, and accounting programs. Drexel University Online accepts applicants from all over the world as long as they can pass the English proficiency test.

Master of Science in Computer Science

This is a 45-credit program that covers game artificial intelligence, computer graphics, and software design. You can apply for the online Master’s Degree in Computer Science alone or combine it with another Drexel University graduate degree. You may also opt for the thesis program, which is great for students who want to explore pathways for a PhD .

Master of Science in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $1,342/credit (in-state); $1,342/credit (out-of-state)
  • Required Credits: 45 credits
  • Program Length: 4 quarters at 15 credits per quarter
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Grad Rate: 71%

Master of Science in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE/GMAT
  • Application Fee: None required
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or related fields
  • Other Requirements: Bachelor's degree transcript, letters of recommendation, English proficiency, personal statement

Applying to Drexel University

  1. Visit Drexel University Online and submit an application
  2. Submit the required documents and apply for financial aid
  3. Wait for a decision from the admission team
  4. Pay the deposit and complete your enrollment
  5. Talk to an academic advisor

5

Dakota State University

Madison, SD

Dakota State University was founded in Madison, South Dakota in 1881. Over the years, it has made technology one of its hallmarks since its foundation as a higher education institution. In 2020, Dakota State University was ranked as one of the best online colleges for undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Master of Science in Computer Science

In this degree program, students at the graduate level must complete five core classes and 15 credits of electives. This program has a focus on cyber security, which will teach you about networks, network security, and cyber defense. You can complete this computer science degree program at your desired pace, but unfortunately, there aren’t many remote student resources.

Master of Science in Computer Science

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $470.45/credit (in-state); $470.45/credit (out-of-state)
  • Required Credits: 30
  • Program Length: 2 semesters at 15 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Grad Rate: 49%

Master of Science in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE
  • Application Fee: $35
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree in Computer or a related field
  • Other Requirements: Bachelor's degree transcript

Applying to Dakota State University

  1. Create an account on the DSU admission portal
  2. Fill out the graduate application form
  3. Submit your transcript and GRE scores via mail to the DSU office
  4. Check your application status by logging into your account
  5. Fill out financial information

6

Franklin University

Columbus, OH

Franklin is a private university that was founded in 1902, with a focus on providing adult education. Franklin University has since become more flexible to the needs of all students over the years. While the school has a large campus, most students are enrolled in the online learning platform.

Master of Science in Computer Science

Within 20 months, students will complete a capstone course and learn data structures and database management. You can choose one of three focus areas, such as cyber security, software systems, or data analytics. If you’re interested in studying data science topics, this degree is a great choice for you.

Master of Science in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $670/credit (in-state); $670/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 2 semesters at 18 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Grad Rate: 42%

Master of Science in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.5
  • Standardized Tests: None required
  • Application Fee: $30
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a related field
  • Other Requirements: Bachelor's degree transcript, English proficiency, resume

Applying to Franklin University

  1. Read the admission requirement and get all your documents ready
  2. Apply online through the Franklin University admission portal
  3. Wait up to 48 hours to hear from the admissions team
  4. Submit your resume and other documents
  5. Get your acceptance letter and make a payment

7

Kansas State University

Manhattan, KS

Kansas State University is a public school that was founded in 1863, it is currently one of the largest land grant universities in the region. The school is known for going the extra mile to provide additional services to students other than simply teaching them technical skills.

Master’s Degree in Computer Science

This Master’s Degree in Computer Science consists of 30 to 33 credit hours and covers a wide range of skills and techniques. In this online program, you will study operating systems, programming, information security, and software design. Kansas State University provides online student support like career and testing resources.

Master’s Degree in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $800.30/credit (in-state); $800.30/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 30-33 credits
  • Program Length: 2 semesters at 15 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Grad Rate: 68%

Master’s Degree in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE
  • Application Fee: $65
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a related field
  • Other Requirements: Personal statement, transcripts

Applying to Kansas State University

  1. Go to the Kansas State University online admissions portal
  2. Create an account
  3. Fill out the graduate application form and pay the fee
  4. Wait for the application review
  5. Complete your enrollment

8

Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, NH

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) was founded in 1932 and is one of the fastest-growing schools in the United States. The private school is known for offering over 200 career-focused programs on-campus and online. Students in graduate programs at SNHU can transfer up to 12 credits of coursework from a previous institution.

Master's in Information Technology

While SNHU does not have an online computer science master's degree, it has a Master's Degree in Information Technology. A degree in information technology will include similar courses to those offered in a master’s of computer science program. Some such specialization options are data analytics, database design, information security, and software application development.

Master's in Information Technology Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition: $627/credit (in-state); $627/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 2 semesters at 18 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Grad Rate: 37%

Master's in Information Technology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.75
  • Standardized Tests: None required
  • Application Fee: None required
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology or related field
  • Other Requirements: Bachelor's degree transcript, personal resume

Applying to Southern New Hampshire University

  1. Visit SNHU online and choose your program
  2. Fill out the contact form
  3. Speak to an admissions advisor
  4. Submit the transcript release form from your previous university
  5. Wait for the acceptance letter

9

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA

The University of Southern California was founded in 1880 and is known for its research. It is the oldest private university in the city. It has excellent computer science programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The research-focused school is known for its high retention and graduation rates, making many students want to get into USC .

Master of Science in Computer Science

After the online computer science master’s degree program, you’ll have a deeper understanding of computer science and computer engineering techniques. There are many concentrations for this degree, but some require on-campus attendance. If you’re interested in a hybrid program, you’ll be able to choose from more concentrations than if you were to study solely online.

Master of Science in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition: $2,199-$2,309/credit
  • Required Credits: 28 credits
  • Program Length: 2 semesters at 14 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Grad Rate: 92%

Master of Science in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $90
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a related field
  • Other Requirements: Letters of recommendation, transcript, personal statement, English proficiency

Applying to the University of Southern California

  1. Go to the online application portal and view the checklist
  2. Fill out your application form
  3. Submit your resume, transcript, and other required documents
  4. Pay the application fee
  5. Track your application status and view the decision

10

University of West Georgia

Carrollton, GA

The University of West Georgia (UWG) is one of the top accredited colleges in Carrollton, Georgia. The school was established in 1906 as a space-grant university as part of the University System of Georgia. It is known as one of the most diverse schools in the region and has built an impressive online platform to match.

Master of Science in Applied Computer Science

This is the online version of the face-to-face master's of applied science in computer science degree offered by UWG. It runs part-time for two years, covering 11 core courses in web development, database systems, software development, and program construction. You will be expected to submit a capstone project to qualify for the degree.

Master of Science in Applied Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $241/credit (in-state); $241/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 2 semesters at 18 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Grad Rate: 44%

Master of Science in Applied Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE/GMAT
  • Application Fee: $39.99
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a related field
  • Other Requirements: Letters of recommendation, English proficiency

Applying to the University of West Georgia

  1. Turn in the online application
  2. Send hard copies of your official documents to UWG
  3. Take the GRE or any other standardized test if you haven't already
  4. Check your application status online
  5. Make the payment

What Is an Online Computer Science Master’s Degree?

A computer science master’s degree is an advanced university degree in computer science that is awarded by an online school. The best online computer science master’s degrees require the same credits and hours of coursework as on-campus degree programs. The primary difference is that the classes are attended virtually over the Internet.

Online master’s degrees are offered by accredited colleges that dispense an in-depth understanding of course content through pre-recorded video lectures, video conferencing platforms, live chats, and other interactive channels on the Internet. Hands-on projects are completed remotely and submitted for grading to professors.

Online vs In-Person Computer Science Degrees

An online computer science master’s degree is a viable alternative to an in-person or on-campus degree. The online classes are designed to make learning accessible to anyone, irrespective of their location. Online schools are typically more affordable because they eliminate the cost of campus facilities, on-campus housing, and transportation.

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

  • Convenience. Online degrees are completed online from the first day of orientation to the day of graduation. You do not need to be present in a physical location to get the education you need. This convenience provides flexibility with no set schedule and caters to those who work or have other commitments.
  • Affordability. The tuition for online schools is usually lower than the tuition for conventional schools. When you study online, you do not need to worry about the traditional expenses such as books, transportation costs, or campus-related fees.
  • Master time management. Opting for an online degree will make it easier for you to control how you spend your time. Online programs may have less rigid deadlines than on-campus programs. You may also take some self-paced classes that allow you to improve your time management skills.
  • Borderless education. Since all classes and projects take place virtually, there are no geographical restrictions to learning. You do not need to travel from one region to the other and you can attend school in any location that has Internet. It also means that you can travel and learn at the same time.
  • Promotes self-motivation. Learning online requires self-motivation that you may not get by taking traditional classes. You’ll learn how to motivate yourself to complete assignments, learn, and ultimately, graduate.

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

  • Social interaction. One of the foremost benefits of learning on a campus is social interaction. If you are a student who thrives in group learning environments, a traditional in-person master’s degree may benefit you more than an online degree program.
  • Full college experience. For most people, college isn’t just an opportunity to learn. It is a great place to build a social and professional network while you make meaningful friendships. It does not matter if it is an undergraduate or graduate school.
  • Keep distractions at bay. When it comes to in-person classes, there are limited distractions. Class time is set up to maximize your learning experience and build your skills. It is an ideal option for people who are easily distracted.
  • Structured learning. In-person degrees tend to provide more structure than online degrees. Whether you stay on or off-campus, the sense of purpose that comes with attending classes and participating in face-to-face projects will provide you with the much-needed structure to thrive.
  • Interpersonal development. When you learn on campus and socialize face-to-face with others, you learn more about yourself and build interpersonal skills. These include skills like communication, conflict resolution, tolerance, empathy, and face-to-face collaboration among others.

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

Some of the master’s degrees you can get in computer science are a Master of Science in Computer Science, a Masters of Arts in Computer Science, or a Master of Science in Applied Computer Science. You can also opt for a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree program in an online school that provides this option.

Is It Better to Get a Master of Science Degree or Master of Applied Science Degree in Computer Science?

A master of science degree and a master of applied science degree are similar in terms of what you’ll learn and be prepared for. Generally, a master of applied science is more beneficial for students who are interested in the theoretical aspects of computer science, while a master of science focuses more on the application of computer science. The better option is fully determined by your academic and professional goals.

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

A computer science master’s degree costs about $19,314 , according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Public schools cost about $12,171 annually, while private schools cost $27,776 on average. The cost may vary for international and out-of-state students.

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

It takes about two to three years to get an online computer science master’s degree. Some schools may offer accelerated degrees that can be completed online in 18 months or less. Part-time programs may take up to four years, especially if they are self-paced.

Are Online Computer Science Master’s Degrees Respected?

Yes, an online computer science master’s degree is as respected in the tech industry as a conventional degree. When you receive your master’s degree in computer science, it typically won’t specify whether it was completed online or in-person. The degree should only state the school and your graduating GPA. This is because the mode of teaching doesn’t affect the quality of education.

Is Computer Science Hard to Learn Online?

No, computer science degree programs are not hard to learn online. It is one of the easiest to learn remotely since all the hands-on projects can be completed online, as long as you have a computer. As an online student, your classes take place over video conferencing platforms and assignments can be shared through similar platforms, as well.

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

A computer science master’s degree is a much higher level of education than a computer science bootcamp credential. The two achievements can’t be compared as they serve totally different purposes. A bootcamp is ideal for students who wish to upskill or advance their existing careers, while a master’s degree will qualify holders for positions and salaries that are otherwise inaccessible to candidates.

Benefits of a Computer Science Master’s Degree

  • Work in a senior role. After earning a Master’s Degree in Computer Science, you can take on leadership positions. This is ideal for progress in your career.
  • Earn a high salary. Master’s degree graduates have the professional competence needed to earn a generous salary. Your annual salary will be way above average for computer science professions.
  • Gain industry-expert certifications. Studying for a master’s degree prepares you to earn various certifications. You can get certifications in software programs, communication networks, and advanced algorithms.
  • Join world-renowned companies. A master’s degree proves you have professional experience and skills. In turn, working for companies like Google and Microsoft will be much easier, along with various other career opportunities.
  • Start working on a PhD. Once you’re done with your master’s degree and understand the required application process, you can work toward a PhD. Your doctoral degree will invite countless career opportunities, specifically in teaching and academia.

Benefits of a Computer Science Bootcamp

  • Study on your own time. Computer science bootcamps allow for more flexible studying compared to degree programs. Many programs allow you to study part-time or accelerate your learning.
  • Learn quickly. Unlike degree programs, bootcamps allow you to gain career-ready skills within months. If you don’t want to study for years, this might be a more appealing option for you. In one year or less, you will be ready to start your career in technology.
  • Save money. Since computer science bootcamp programs aren’t as lengthy as degree programs, your tuition costs will be more affordable.
  • Network among peers. A strong professional network is vital for anybody who wants to become recognized in the computer science industry. Online programs from bootcamps make this possible through workshops and events.
  • Get in easily. Getting into a computer science bootcamp is easier than getting into a master’s degree program. For a master’s degree, you must have a bachelor’s degree . However, for a bootcamp, you just need foundational skills.

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

You should get a computer science master’s degree online because it is more flexible, affordable, and accessible than a traditional degree program. An online degree has the same value as an in-person degree even though it is offered virtually. You have a more personalized learning experience and can explore other interests while you complete a master’s degree online.

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

Some of the courses you will take during an online Master’s Degree in Computer Science program are Theory of Computation, Operating Systems Design and Implementation, and Computer Networks. You may also learn about advanced database organization and software engineering.

Theory of Computation

This is a vital part of every computer science master’s degree curriculum that covers models of computation and teaches you how to solve problems with algorithms. Although the theory of computation is usually covered during a bachelor’s degree program, it is covered in more depth during the advanced degree program.

Operating Systems Design and Implementation

The right curriculum covers details about popular operating systems and how they work. This is especially important if you are opting for a specialization that has to do with the design and development of an operating system. This knowledge allows you to create low-level software for computers and computer-based devices, and learn about modern operating systems.

Computer Networks

Almost every computer science master’s degree covers computer networks and administration. You will learn how interconnected devices work in an organization for communications and other protocols. It also covers how information is transmitted through wireless and wired devices.

Advanced Database Organization

In the technology world, a database is a collection of structured information that is stored digitally on a computer-based system. A master’s degree program will cover advanced database organization and management to provide a deep understanding and hands-on experience to pursue a career in database administration.

Software Engineering

Software engineering is at the heart of computer science. Irrespective of specialization, a computer scientist should know how to apply engineering principles to computer science. While there are different types of software engineers, software engineering is all based on the same foundation.

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

After getting your online Master’s Degree in Computer Science, you may choose to continue your academic career and pursue a PhD. However, PhDs are usually pursued by academics and research scientists. If you do not have interests in these fields, you may not need a PhD to advance your career.

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

Some things you should look for in an online computer science master’s degree program are student retention, admission rates, graduation rates, and curriculum. You may also consider the specialization options and how they relate to your career goals. The flexibility and post-graduation services are also key factors you should consider.

Student Retention, Admission, and Graduation Rates

These variables are typically used to determine the overall quality of education and learning experience at a school. Student retention refers to how many students remain in the school and complete their program. The admission rate is determined by how many students get accepted, and the graduation rate refers to how many students graduate.

Curriculum

Online schools usually outline their curriculum on their official websites. Check to make sure the school teaches modern technologies that are in demand and highly beneficial to your career development. Look for topics on machine learning, software engineering, programming with modern programming languages, and database management.

Flexibility

An online computer science master’s degree is supposed to be flexible so you can work and focus on other activities while you study. Find out how many hours of learning are required daily, weekly, and monthly. Look to see if attendance for live classes is mandatory and if they are recorded, as well as if there is any provision for self-paced learning.

Specialization Options

If you’re interested in a specific career path, check to see if there are specialization options available. If you plan to explore artificial intelligence (AI), you need to make sure that the online computer science master’s degree has an AI specialization. The same thing applies to any other specialization.

Post-Graduation Services

Check to see if there are any career services put in place to help you secure a high-paying job after your master’s degree program. Some schools may offer post-graduate benefits for attending their programs, along with job placement services.

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

The most affordable computer science master’s degree program is the Master in Applied Science in Computer Science offered by the University of West Georgia. Tuition for this program is about $241 per credit, allowing students to complete the entire program for less than $5,000.

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

Yes, you can get a Master’s Degree in Computer Science online for free if you get awarded a fully-funded academic scholarship. You can also get a free online computer science master’s degree through employee sponsorship or reimbursement. Check to see if any of these options apply to you.

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

Online computer science degrees student working on computing systems at work  Online Computer Science Master's Degrees
With a solid foundation in computer science you will be able to make practical applications to real-world problems.

A career in computer science is a promising choice that can be elevated with a master’s degree. Once you’ve graduated, you will have the skills, knowledge, and hands-on experience to enter the workforce. Your education will have paved the way for some of the best computer science master’s degree jobs.

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

It is not hard to get a job with a computer science master’s degree. Currently, computer science is one of the most in-demand fields in the world today. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts computer science and information technology jobs will rise by 13 percent between 2020 and 2030 . This allows for a promising outlook for job prospects in the tech industry.

Your Master’s Degree in Computer Science will have prepared you with the proper tools to work in many growing fields like software engineering, computer network architecture, and web development.

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

A computer science master’s degree graduate makes an average salary of $70,418 according to ZipRecruiter. This amounts to $34 hours per hour. The salary may range between $20,000 and $146,500 depending on your specific field, years of experience, and location. Computer science master’s degree holders earn the same salary whether they get their degree online or in person. Specialized and management roles tend to attract a higher salary than other roles.

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

With an online computer science master’s degree, you can work as a software engineer, web developer, computer network architect, and computer and information systems manager. You can also work as a data scientist, data analyst, or cyber security analyst.

Computer Science Degree Jobs

  • Computer and Information Systems Manager
  • Computer Network Architect
  • Software Engineer
  • Information Security Analyst
  • Web Developer

Potential Careers With an Online Computer Science Master’s Degree

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

You can make between $77,200 and $151,150 yearly with a Master’s Degree in Computer Science. However, many variables will influence how much you earn. These variables may include your specialization, years of experience, location, job description, industry, and career path. In any case, the highest-paying states for computer science master’s degree holders are California, Washington, and Massachusetts.

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

Computer Forensics Bachelor’s Degree Jobs Average Salary
Cyber Security Analyst $77,254 per year
Forensic Computer Analyst $74,798 per year
Information Security Analyst $73,450 per year
Forensic Accountant $71,970 per year
Information Technology Auditor $70,582 per year

Best Jobs for Online Computer Science Master’s Degree Grads

The best jobs for online computer science master’s degree graduates are software engineering, information security analysis, computer network architectural design, web development, and computer and information systems management. Below is a description of what each job entails.

1

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Average Salary: $159,010

These experts hold management positions in major technology companies, typically overseeing all technical and computer-related activities in a firm. They come up with strategies for increased technological growth and smoother operations. While you may get the job with a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science, a master's degree increases your chances.

2

Computer Network Architect

Average Salary: $120,520

A computer network architect is a professional who specializes in creating and maintaining computer networks. They build wide area networks (WANs) and local area networks (LANs) for companies that require on-demand network and telecommunications services.

3

Software Engineer

Average Salary: $110,140

A software engineer is an information technology expert who combines engineering principles with computer science. They are responsible for creating software for digital devices, industrial machinery, and automobiles. To learn how to become a software engineer, you can get a master's degree in computer science with a specialization in software engineering.

4

Information Security Analysts

Average Salary: $102,600

An information security analyst is charged with ensuring network security across a computer system. There are different types of information security analysis, but all the branches attract high pay and good job prospects. These IT security experts can work in any firm that requires a secure system.

5

Web Developer

Average Salary: $77,200

Web developers are software developers who specialize in the development and maintenance of websites and web-based applications. You can learn how to become a web developer by opting for a master's degree in computer science with a web development specialization.

Best Jobs According to Your Major

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

Yes, an online computer science master’s degree is worth it for anyone who wants to advance their career in technology. There are several computer science specializations to explore with a master’s degree and all of them come with high-paying jobs. A Master’s Degree in Computer Science allows you to work in a lucrative field, with hands-on experience, knowledge, and a promising job outlook. With many options to choose from, this is a good career choice.

Additional Reading About Computer Science

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Online Computer Science Master’s Degree FAQ

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

Yes, it is possible to get a master’s degree if you have a bachelor’s degree in another field that isn’t related. However, the university may demand that you gain some knowledge of programming, math, and basic computer science. There are pre-masters programs you can explore to help you meet the basic requirements.

What master’s degree can I pursue in the computer science field?

You can pursue a master’s degree in information technology, data science, software engineering, network architecture, or information security analysis in the computer science field. You can also explore database administration, system engineering, or cyber security

Which specialization is best in computer science for a master’s degree?

Artificial intelligence, cyber security, machine learning, cloud computing, and software engineering are the best specializations in computer science for a master’s degree. Other options are human-computer interaction and data science. Ultimately it will depend on your interests and goals.

What is the highest paying job with a computer science degree?

Chief technology officer is the highest paying position for someone with a computer science degree. These experts earn an average salary of about $165,182 , annually, according to ZipRecruiter. The median salary could go as high as $295,000, depending on your level of experience and location.

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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Ufuoma Ogono

About the author: Ufuoma is a veteran freelance writer whose work has also appeared in Smartereum, Cyber Jam Limited, and Binance. Her goal as a content writer is to help readers chase their careers in technology and follow their dreams. Ufuoma attended Delta State University, where she earned her BSc in Sociology and Psychology.

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