Computer science is one of the faster-growing industries in the country, as computers and technology continue to evolve. If you're contemplating a master's degree program in computer science, we've compiled some pros and cons for comparison.
Pros of Earning a Master's in Computer Science
If you're interested in continuing with your master's degree in computer science, you'll find better pay, good job outlook, and the opportunity to stand out from other job applicants. Check out our positives below.
Stand Out Among Competition
Pew Research Center completed a study in 2016 stating that at least 40% of millennials seek out their bachelor's degree. This is a much higher number in comparison with previous generations. This means that a bachelor's degree will not help you to stand out nearly as much from your fellow applicants as it did in the past. Earning a master's degree in computer science may set you apart from those who only hold their bachelor's.
Those who work with computers will often find good pay. However, if you're trying to decide whether or not a computer science master's degree will be worth it, we take a look at Payscale.com. Those who held a bachelor's degree in computer science had an average salary of $87,000, as of 2020. Those who earned their master's in the same subject earned an average of $5,000 a year more than their bachelor's counterparts, with an average salary of $91,000.
Computer science is one of the few advanced degrees that can be completed wholly online. Many online and hybrid master's degree programs in computer science are offered by highly rated schools. These online opportunities mean you may have the option to study from nearly anywhere in the world where there is an Internet connection. These programs also offer a lot of flexibility in your schedule.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, you'll find that many jobs related to computer science have good growth predicted from 2018-2028. For example, computer and information research scientists, who are usually required to have a master's degree, expect a 16% increase in job opportunities. Software developers, who are preferred by many employers to hold a master's degree, have an expected job growth of 21% for the same time period.
Cons of Earning a Master's in Computer Science
Earning a master's degree in computer science can provide some great benefits, but what are the downsides of continuing your education? Let's look below.
More Student Debt
It's often said that more education can lead to more student debt. But, what are we really looking at here? Well, given that we compared millennials to groups that preceded them, before, let's look at the comparison for what the average student pays in student monthly loans. According to CNBC, in 2005, the average monthly payment was $227, but in 2016, it had nearly doubled to $393. Of course, the more years you attend school, the more you may borrow and owe in student loans.
While you'll stand out among your fellow peers, there may be more peers in the future to stand against. According to Northwestern University in 2016, the increase in computers in our daily lives is causing a huge need for computer science classes at universities. Because of this, there are more courses and majors in that field offered. In fact, Northwestern has noted an increase of three times as many applicants for the computer science program. If you can, get in before the crowds gather even more steam.
Deciding if a master's degree in computer science is for you may not be an easy choice. It's best to consider the positive and negative outcomes of continuing your education. If you want to stand out from the competition, a master's degree will definitely increase those chances, but be sure to get in before the programs explode with students.