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Average Salary for a Masters in Computer Science Graduate

Master's degree programs in computer science typically cover algorithms, numerical analysis and database systems. Find out about career options, job growth and salary info for master's-level computer science graduates.

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There are a wide variety of occupations available for someone with a master's in computer science, though salaries vary significantly. A professional with a master's degree in computer science can expect to earn between $80,000 to $140,000 a year.

Essential Information

Opportunities for graduates with master's degrees in computer science vary from technically oriented jobs to positions handling the overall computer needs of an organization. While some companies hire individuals with only a bachelor's degree in computer science, others require a master's degree in this field.

Career Titles Network and Computer Systems Administrators Computer Programmers Software Developers Computer and Information Systems Managers
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree in computer or information science Bachelor's degree in computer science Bachelor's degree in computer science or software engineering Bachelor's degree in computer or information science
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 8% -8% 17% 15%
Mean Annual Salary (May 2015)* $82,200 $84,360 $108,760 $141,000

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

A master's degree in computer science could pave the way toward several technical careers. For instance, students might pursue career opportunities that include network and computer systems administrators, computer programmers, software developers and computer information systems managers.

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  • Computer and Information Sciences, General
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Average Salaries by Job Title

Network and Computer Systems Administrators

Network and computer systems administrators design, install and maintain network segments, WANs, LANs and Internet systems. Their job is to maintain efficiency throughout the whole computer system within a business environment. These professionals work in small or large businesses and educational and governmental organizations. In 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the mean annual salary of network and computer systems administrators to be $82,200 (www.bls.gov).

Computer Programmers

Computer programmers are responsible for writing the code designed by software engineers. With the evolution of software design and the automation of certain coding functions, some programmers have begun to assume responsibilities similar to those of software engineers, such as the planning and design of computer programs. The BLS shows that the mean annual salary for computer programmers in 2015 was $84,360.

Computer Software Developers

Computer software developers are responsible for developing and updating software programs. Opportunities are available as in-house engineers at a company or with a software company as part of a team designing and implementing software for outside clients. According to the BLS, the mean annual wage of software developers working in systems software was $108,760 in 2015.

Computer Information Systems Managers

Professionals working in this area may be further defined as chief technology officers, management information systems directors or IT project managers. These managers direct the work of other computer specialists, coordinating the research on the computer-related activities of an organization. They work with other managers and with computer programmers, network security personnel and systems administrators to meet the technological goals of an organization. The BLS shows that mean annual earnings for computer information systems managers in 2015 were $141,000.

Earning a master's degree in computer science is a great way to advance your career and increase your salary. When compared in terms of career outlook and salary, the top two opportunities for graduates are in the fields of software development and information systems management.

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