In master's degree programs in computer science, students pursue advanced studies in computer hardware and software. Courses cover areas such as algorithms, artificial intelligence and information systems. Prior to graduation, students must submit a research-based thesis or capstone project that focuses on their particular area of interest.
Most programs take two years to complete, and some are offered online. In order to apply, students must hold a bachelor's degree and submit undergraduate transcripts and GRE scores.
Master's Degree Programs in Computer Science
In these programs, students learn how to understand programming languages, maintain various operating systems, and create safe and secure computer networks. Most courses are computer-based, but traditional coursework in statistics, research methodologies, and calculus is also offered. Typical courses include:
- Computer networking
- Database systems analysis
- Programming languages
- Data structures
- Computer operating systems
Popular Career Options
With a master's degree in computer science, students can pursue a number of computer-based careers with software, telecommunications and computer design companies. Common jobs include:
- Computer operator
- Information systems analyst
- Network administrator
- Computer support specialist
- Computer software engineer
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment growth for network and computer systems administrators is expected to be 8% from 2014 to 2024, which is faster than average. The mean annual salary for these professionals was $82,200 as of May 2015, while applications software developers working brought in a mean of $102,160, and systems software developers earned a mean of $108,760 annually.
Continuing Education Information
Depending on the chosen career path, computer science professionals can seek voluntary certifications to improve career prospects. For example, a computer programmer can become certified in a certain programming language, such as Java. Computer specialists can also seek membership in organizations like the Association of Logic Programming (ALP), the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and the Computing Research Association (CRA). Many of these organizations offer certification and career networking opportunities.
By earning a master's degree in computer science, students gain advanced computer skills that can advance their careers in the information technology industry.