Earning a master’s degree in computer science is an interesting challenge, and the career opportunities it can open for you make it worth the time and effort. If you’re wondering whether or not it’s worth it to earn a master’s degree in this field, we’ve provided a number of career options to consider as you make up your mind. Note: While a master’s degree isn’t always required for these jobs, you can expect to earn more and have more advanced job opportunities available with a graduate degree, and it can broaden your job opportunities at a senior level position.
1. Software Engineer
Software engineers have a thorough understanding of computer systems including software and hardware, and must keep track of emerging technologies and tools. They use their skills in computer science and mathematical analysis to design and develop software solutions. As a software engineers, you will be responsible for recognizing hardware capacity and limitations and design the software accordingly. You’ll be required to make wise decisions on what processes, methodologies, techniques, and tools should be used to design and develop the software while maintaining budget constraints.
According to ERI Economic Research Institute, software engineers earn a median salary of $117,222 per year.
2. Software Developer
Software developers are responsible for creating programs for computers, tablets, smartphones, and other devices. As a software developer, you might work on developing applications for devices or the systems these devices run on. This type of job involves determining the needs of device users, then designing and developing programs to fit these needs. You’ll also typically be working with programmers and other IT professionals as part of the job.
Software developers earn a median salary of $107,510 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). A job outlook of 22 percent for this career, which is much higher than average, indicates that you’ll have many opportunities to choose from.
3. Artificial Intelligence Engineer
Artificial intelligence engineers use programming algorithms to develop and train AI models. These engineers use data from different sources in order to design and develop AI models for various industries, including finance, health care, and manufacturing. This type of job is in high demand as more and more organizations and businesses use AI and machine learning. AI engineers need technical skills to do their jobs, such as programming and data analysis, as well as critical thinking skills and business acumen.
Artificial intelligence engineers earn a median salary of $119,942 per year, according to ERI Economic Research Institute.
4. Database Administrator
Database administrators serve an important role in making sure data from organizations stays secure. These administrators store data for an organization or company and keep it organized and secure. When you work as a database administrator, you might be responsible for storing and protecting financial data, shipping records, medical records, or other sensitive information. Some of the tasks database administrators do include modifying database structures as needed, creating and maintaining databases based on user needs, and backing up or restoring databases.
5. Web Developer
Web developers are responsible for designing websites and maintaining them for organizations, businesses, or clients. These developers handle website capacity, performance, and other aspects, as well. Some of the tasks that web developers do on a regular basis include creating interfaces and applications, writing code for websites, putting videos or graphics on websites, and determining a website’s layout. As a web developer, you might focus on one aspect of website development, such as the layout and graphics, or you might handle everything involved in creating a website.
6. Cloud Computing Specialist
Cloud computing specialists are responsible for helping businesses move information to the cloud safely without data loss. These specialists might also help businesses choose the type of cloud technology used. As a cloud computing specialist, you might also be expected to identify weaknesses that could put data at risk on the cloud or during migration and come up with ways to prevent this. With more companies using cloud technology for storing information, this type of job is experiencing increased demand.
Payscale offers insight into this area, listing salaries for cloud computing skills averaging $125,502 annually.
7. Network Architect
Network architects create networks for businesses and organizations based on their needs for data communication. These IT professionals are responsible for planning and building networks and upgrading software and hardware, as needed. As a network architect, you can also expect to predict a business or organization’s network needs in the near future by staying up to date on networking technology. You might work with other professionals, such as network administrators, while doing this kind of job. Network architect jobs might include building wide area networks, Intranets, or local networks.
8. Information Security Analyst
Information security analysts are in high demand, especially with cyberattacks on business and other organizations on the rise in recent years. These analysts are responsible for planning and implementing security protocols and measures to keep computer systems and networks as safe and secure as possible. As an information security analyst, you might work for a tech company, corporation, consulting firm, or other organization. Some of the tasks you might handle in this position include checking for security breaches or other attacks, installing and maintaining firewalls and other security software, and coming up with security standards for organizations or businesses.
Information security analysts have a median salary of $99,730 per year, according to BLS. With a job outlook of 31 percent, which is significantly higher than average, you will likely have plenty of job opportunities to choose from.
9. Data Scientist
Data scientists spend their time analyzing unstructured and structured data from a variety of sources. This involves having skills and knowledge in computer science, math, and statistics. As a data scientist, you can expect to analyze data, then use your findings to come up with steps or plans that businesses and organizations can use to improve processes and products. Some of the skills you might need for this kind of job include data visualization, machine learning techniques, cloud tools, programming, software engineering, and statistical analysis.
According to BLS, data scientists have a median salary of $122,840 per year. A job outlook of 15 percent means that there should be many job opportunities available, especially for those with a master’s degree in computer science.
10. Business Analyst
Business analysts use computer science skills, such as data analytics, to help companies and organizations improve. These analysts typically create detailed business analyses, highlight specific issues, and come up with solutions. As a business analyst, you can expect to collaborate with project managers, often working on multiple projects at a time. This kind of job requires a thorough understanding of a company’s processes in order to identify problems and create workable solutions.
According to BLS, business or management analysts have a median salary of $85,260 per year. The job outlook for this type of career is 11 percent, which is considerably higher than the average job outlook.
11. Business Intelligence Developer
Business intelligence developers use software for interpreting data for businesses and other organizations. These developers are responsible for coming up with business intelligence solutions for companies and updating these solutions as needed. They typically design tools to help businesses improve their research methods, such as technical queries. These developers often work with other developers, as well as business analysts, in order to gather and interpret data and present findings to department heads or business leaders.
These tech-savvy professionals are making their marks in both the IT and the business worlds. According to Payscale, business intelligence developers average $80,430 annually.
12. Computer Science Professor
Computer science professors have the opportunity to share their knowledge and teach students the skills needed for jobs in this field. If you prefer working in an educational setting, this type of work can provide you with a rewarding career. Computer science professors can work at colleges and universities, technical schools, business schools, and other educational institutions. Depending on your goals, you might teach general courses on computer science or focus on a particular area, such as research analysis.
According to BLS, computer science professors earn an average salary of $98,430 per year. The job outlook for these postsecondary teachers is 9 percent, which is more than double the average job outlook for all professions.
Are You Considering Starting or Advancing Your Career in a Computer Science Field?
If you believe your career would benefit from earning the highest certifications and degrees possible, take it step by step. Earning a master’s degree is the next step toward a PhD. And a PhD can open the door to even more career opportunities and may improve your chances of getting an academic teaching position or a professional training position. These opportunities, and more, open when you take the first step of getting your master’s degree.
Thinking about career in computer science? We have an awesome event that will give you the opportunity to listen to professionals who work in computer science and many other fields. Our Virtual Graduate Open House event is designed to tell you all about our various programs; how you can balance work, school and family; and give you a chance to ask program directors questions. All so you can discover the next step in your career. Register here to join us for this free event you’re not going to want to miss.