Online Masters in Computer Science

By Shilpee Singh

Updated March 16, 2024

Shilpee Singh

Shilpee Singh is an English Literature graduate and a Linguistics postgraduate from Delhi University. She believes in sustainable living and tries to lead a holistic life. She has a knack for writing and puts together the best facts for the reader’s benefit.


BA. Hons. English Literature // MA in Linguistics // Batchelor in Education (Gold Medalist)

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Computer science was once a very niche area but has now become an essential part of our everyday lives. Professionals in the domains of science, technology, mathematics, and engineering, frequently pursue an online master’s in computer science, which science greatly expands their knowledge of the subject. Students typically concentrate on a specific field of computer science, such as software development or hardware development. They can use the degree to advance their careers and stay competitive in the job market. Computer science master’s degree online graduates can work in a variety of areas, including software publishing and computer hardware design, as well as in aerospace, medicine, business, and stock exchanges. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a growth of 13% in computer and information technology occupations, with over 667,600 additional jobs created between 2020 and 2030.

Computer Science

Best Online Masters in Computer
Science Programs

When looking for a college that ticks all the right boxes, students must consider several attributes critical to their decision. One must check if the college is reputed, has excellent infrastructure, provides student support services, is staffed by well-experienced and qualified faculty, and more. Finding the Best Online Masters and colleges based on these and several other factors is easier said than done. Fortunately, teams at Find Best Degrees (FBD) have scoured the country to find the best options to pick so that students can save themselves the trouble and time. Here is a list of the best online masters in computer science programs:*

The Georgia Institute of Technology, commonly known as Georgia Tech or, in the state of Georgia, as Tech, is a public research university in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1885, it initially offered only a degree in mechanical engineering, but today has six colleges and contains about 31 departments or units that focus on science and technology.
Univ Address Tuition Grad Rate
Georgia Institute of Technology 225 North Ave, Atlanta, Georgia 30332 $14,570 91%

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

What to expect from the Masters in
Computer Science Programs

The master’s in computer science degree is a typically 36-credit program that can either be pursued online, on-campus, or as a combination of both, called the hybrid model. Students who are also working professionals can benefit from an online computer science master’s degree. Online programs often follow the same rigorous curricula as traditional schools, providing graduates with equal learning outcomes and growth opportunities. Students with other commitments such as a child or family care on top of their employment and class schedules will benefit from the online format. Some colleges provide students with the option of three different degree variants – thesis-based degree, project-based, or coursework-only degree.

The computer science master’s builds on the fundamentals learned in prior degrees by teaching more advanced programming languages and methodologies, as well as scientific computing and software engineering. At the graduate level, the training approaches are substantially more research and practice-based. Computer Systems, programming, software development, computer security, and networking are just a few topics covered in an online masters in computer science program. Advanced courses in algorithms, data structures, computer architecture, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and operating systems are available to students, along with electives or coursework centered on a certain concentration that can be utilized to round out their curriculum. Students can also expect a capstone or internship to be completed towards the end of their programs. Graduates of online computer science master’s degrees are prepared for positions in development, management, research, engineering, and systems architecture.

While each master’s degree in computer science has its own curriculum, several topics exist in almost all of them, such as:

Fundamentals of Computer Systems

This course discovers how apps interact with systems and hardware, as well as processes and errors. Students learn to understand architectures and programming while analyzing and optimizing code. They deal with different data representations, memory systems, and machine languages, along with developing the ability to design software and use assembly programming languages.

Computer Architecture

In this course, students learn how computer hardware and software work together while examining the hierarchy of computer functions. The course teaches how to design and create processors and systems using architectural systems. Students will also learn about drives, system performance optimization, pipelines, memory allocation, and CPU and RAM performance.

Operating Systems

This course introduces the various operating system principles and structures. Students learn how to develop and run efficient programs by learning how to write and execute code. They also examine multimedia, distributed, and embedded systems and understand the various processes of storage management, along with systems and network security. The course also teaches how to build and diagnose operating system operations and components.

Algorithms & Data Structures

This course teaches students the many techniques, and data structures used to tackle the most prevalent computer issues. Students learn how to create, deploy, and analyze algorithms and data structures and use object-oriented programming and design. They also determine how best to use data structures like lists and stacks and how to search and sort algorithms.

Some of the other core courses in a master’s in computer science online students will come across are:

  • Programming Languages
  • Software Engineering
  • Information Visualization
  • Machine Learning
  • Computer Vision
  • Interactive Computer Graphics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Mobile and Web Computing
  • Principles of Database Systems
  • Computer Networking
  • Information, Security, and Privacy
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Science
  • Enterprise Software Architecture and Design
  • Deep Learning
  • TCP/IP Networking
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Machine Learning: Fundamentals and Applications
  • Causal Inference
  • Distributed Systems and Cloud Computing

Some of the electives in a master’s in computer science online program include but are not limited to:

  • Design and Analysis of Algorithms
  • Biometrics
  • Compiler Design and Construction
  • Computational Geometry
  • Foundations of Computer Science
  • Applied Cryptography
  • Digital Forensics
  • Game Design
  • Robotics
  • Performance Evaluation of Computer Systems
  • Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Analysis
  • Distributed Operating Systems
  • Web Search Engines
  • Network Security
  • Large-scale Visual Analytics
  • Neural Network Computing
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Advanced Database Systems
  • Theory of Computation

To understand more about a master’s degree, read the Guide to Master Programs.

Degree Types for Masters in Computer
Science Programs

The master’s degree in computer science is divided into two types – the Master of Arts or MA in Computer Science and the Master of Science or MS in Computer Science. Nevertheless, many schools offer interdisciplinary master’s degrees, such as a Master of Technology in Computer Science and Engineering, a Master of Mathematics in Computer Science, or a Master of Engineering in Computer Science. The type of master’s degree students get may influence the upper-level coursework they must complete during their programs, but they will essentially gain similar knowledge and skills without affecting their job prospects.

Master of Arts in Computer Science

The Master of Arts in computer science or MA computer science is a more academic degree that heavily leans on humanities and liberal arts subjects. Those who wish to continue their education and enroll in a Ph.D. or pursue careers in academia are best suited for this type of degree.

Master of Science in Computer Science

The Master of Science in computer science or MS computer science is a more technical degree that leans on science and mathematics subjects. Those who want to work immediately after graduation or pursue a terminal degree are best suited for this type of degree.

Areas of Specialization for Masters
in Computer Science Programs

Specializations enhance the value of a master’s degree by giving additional knowledge and skills in a certain subject area. Having a specialization can increase one’s employability and work opportunities. The online master’s in computer science degree program provides unique specializations and certificates that support emerging trends, meet industry needs, and allow students to customize their education to their interests and future goals. The following concentrations are available to students:

Area of SpecializationDescription Career Options
Information TechnologyIn this specialization, students learn how to integrate and apply information technology to develop computer-based solutions to commercial difficulties, create practices that are both ethical and technologically sound to assure compliance and security, and effectively collaborate and communicate in a wide range of IT environments.Systems Analyst, Systems Software Manager, Business Analyst, Director Of Information Technology, Data Processing Manager
Cyber Security / Information SecurityThis specialization teaches students about computer systems’ interconnection as well as computer networking principles. Within the IT area, students become familiar with basic cyber security policies, protocols, best practices, and security planning. They will also look into how legal and human factors influence the development of information security plans.Cyber Security Analyst, Information Systems Security Administrator, Cyber Incident Responder, Security Administrator, Information Assurance Manager, Information Systems Security Manager, Information Assurance Technician
Data ScienceData science is a specialty that stresses the ability to “mine” huge data sets for meaningful information or insight. Students learn how to obtain and analyze data using a variety of approaches, which are particularly useful when processing large, complicated, and occasionally unstructured data sets, sometimes known as “big data.”Data Analyst, Business Intelligence Analyst, Machine Learning Engineer, Data Scientist, Information Scientist, Database Administrator
Game DesignGame design studies artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) systems that control how players progress through a game, in addition to the photorealistic graphics that contribute to the overall attractiveness of today’s computer games. Students learn to consider how the game’s front-end designers and back-end developers should work together to provide a unified product experience.Video Game Designer, Video Game Developer, Software Engineer, Product Manager, UI/UX Developer
Machine Learning (ML)Machine learning is a discipline of computer science that focuses on training computers to solve problems rather than delivering solutions by learning from data and experience. The machine learning emphasis provides students with an understanding of fundamental and advanced machine learning concepts, approaches, and principles. This focus will include a variety of real-world applications and machine learning demos. Students will also be able to look at a variety of machine learning approaches, apply them to real-world data, and understand and display the results.Machine Learning Engineer, Data Scientist, Human-Centered Machine Learning Designer, Computational Linguist, Software Developer
Artificial Intelligence (AI)The ability of a computing system to solve problems, make predictions, or carry out difficult activities is referred to as “Artificial Intelligence” (AI). Students in this specialization learn to understand and build artificial intelligence applications that take advantage of emerging technologies like natural language processing, which deciphers both written and spoken language, and machine learning, which allows applications to predict and suggest actions.Artificial Intelligence Researcher, Machine Learning Engineer, Artificial Intelligence Architect, AI Specialist
Network SecurityThis specialization is for students who desire a basic understanding of how to analyze, investigate, evaluate, and assess network security risks and vulnerabilities to go along with their computer science degree. The course study lays the groundwork for understanding network communication protocols, network analysis tools, and hacking methodologies.Network Security Developer, Computer Network Architect, Computer and Information Systems Manager, Information Security Analyst, Network Administrator
Project Management (STEM)This concentration allows students to focus their studies on the processes and tools required for effective project management. Students will develop project management abilities by creating realistic project plans for real-world settings, emphasizing business procedures, goals, and methodologies.Project Manager, Operations Manager, Contract Analyzer, Project Contracting and Procurement Manager, Operations Analyst, Management Analyst, Resource Manager
Big Data Management & AnalyticsThis specialization gives an in-depth understanding of big data management technology. Students will learn about the design and administration of infrastructure for storing, accessing, and transporting massive amounts of data through wide area networks. They will learn how to design, create, and implement multi-terabyte data-handling information systems and applications, as the sheer volume and variety of data makes storing, retrieving, analyzing, and exploiting it extremely difficult.Software Development Engineer, Database Administrator, Computer Systems Analyst, Interface Designer, Big Data Developer/Engineer, Data Analyst/Architect, Systems Analyst, Computer Engineer
Software EngineeringThe basics, concepts, and techniques of software design and development are covered in this specialization. Students delve into the fundamentals and methods of user interface (UI) and user experience (UX), focusing on user-centricity and cutting-edge techniques. They will look at secure programming strategies, as well as testing and reverse engineering existing applications.Systems Architecture Designer, Software Engineer, Full-Stack Developer, UI/UX Developer, Secure Software Developer
Data AnalysisStudents learn how to build database settings, become adept in regression analysis, and make good use of analytical tools and technologies through a concentration on data analysis. They will learn how to clean data and design structured databases, as well as study a number of interesting challenges such as big data and data validation.Business Analyst, Data Analyst, Operations Analyst, Management Analyst, Database Administrator, Systems Analyst

Some of the other specializations in an online master’s in computer science are:

  • Visual Computing and Information Extraction
  • Secure Systems
  • Modeling, Simulation, and Visualization
  • Software Development
  • Web Application Development
  • Real-Time Computing
  • Cloud Computing & Databases
  • Mobile Systems
  • Programming Languages
  • Data Communications
  • Systems
  • Software Testing
  • Computer Graphics
  • Software Theory
  • Computer Programming
  • Computer Forensics
  • Network and Systems Administration
  • Mobile Apps Development
  • Information Systems Management

Why should I get into an Online Masters in
Computer Science Program?

While a master’s degree is not required for many careers in computer science, it can lead to greater salary and advancement to management positions. Master’s degrees may be required for occupations such as computer and information systems manager, computer and information research scientist, project manager, etc. A master’s degree in computer science may be required for teaching undergraduate students or pursuing a doctorate in computer science.

For those interested in computers and machines, a master’s degree in computer science combines theoretical and practical content and builds on previous knowledge and skills. Students can easily find the best area with the subject that they want to dive into and specialize in that area. This program has something for everyone – from processors and data science to cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

A computer science master’s can prepare a person for high-paying upper-level or managerial positions in administration and leadership. Other niche roles are also available and pay well. For example, computer and information research scientists earned median incomes of more than $131,490 in 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Upon completing an online master’s in computer science degree program, graduates would have acquired the ability to:

  • develop, maintain, and administer enterprise architecture (EA), as well as define architecture review processes and integrate them with related business methodologies and strategies;
  • use best practices in relational database design to create data models quickly and efficiently;
  • satisfy corporate needs, and create and maintain high-performance distributed systems;
  • utilize data mining techniques to make discoveries in big data sets and apply relational algebra to query optimization employing heuristics;
  • review requirements specifications to verify testability and compliance with quality control standards and ensure software fulfills design specifications and performance criteria;
  • create relational database architecture, handle complicated SQL queries, and efficiently manage transaction processing to create dynamic, data-driven applications;
  • assist in the creation of advanced algorithms for next-generation functions by establishing algorithm requirements that provide support for software development roadmaps;
  • enable scalable applications, analyze distributed algorithms, and create efficient data structures;
  • evaluate the efficiency of algorithms and select the most elegant program logic for situations of complexity; and
  • promote software development approaches to product teams through training, influence, and role modeling.

Free Courses for Online Masters in
Computer Science Students

Students pursuing a master’s degree in computer science online have the option of enrolling in free classes offered by a variety of reputable colleges located all over the world. Even though most free courses do not come with a credential that would be considered valuable in the workplace, students can still benefit from taking them to extend their horizons and for increasing their understanding of computer science. Listed below are some websites that provide access to free online courses:

CourseDescriptionProvided by
Various Topics Related to Computer ScienceMIT OpenCourseWare offers graduate courses on a variety of computer science topics. Courses include Computational Science and Engineering, Algorithms for Computer Animation, Topics in Theoretical Computer Science: Internet Research Problems, Computational Mechanics of Materials, and many more.MIT OpenCourseWare
Various Topics Related to Computer ScienceCoursera has several courses in computer science-related topics at the advanced level (suitable for master’s degree students). While not all these courses come free, some free ones include I/O-efficient Algorithms, Analysis of Algorithms, Operations Research Theory, System Validation: Requirements by Modal Formulas, etc.Coursera
Various Topics Related to Computer ScienceClass Central has over 80 free courses in computer science at the advanced level. Topics include Cybersecurity Fundamentals, Artificial Intelligence for Robotics, Network Security, Computability, Complexity & Algorithms, etc.Class Central

How to get into the Online Masters in
Computer Science Programs?

So, how to get a computer science degree? Although normally simple, applying to university can be challenging and requires careful consideration. Colleges are selective, and each has its own admissions standards. Extracurricular activities are a plus, as are a high Grade Point Average (GPA), an undergraduate degree, good test results, and better proficiency in Math and English. The exact prerequisites for one’s preferred college may differ, so it is always a good idea to double-check with the admissions office for the most up-to-date information. In addition to the standard requirements, other master’s in computer science admissions requirements include:

Online Application & Application Fee

Completing an online application and paying the prescribed application fee.

Academic Transcripts

An official copy of academic transcripts from each college/university attended.

Undergraduate Degree + Grade Point Average

An undergraduate degree and Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.8 or more.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) Scores

An official copy of GRE or GMAT scores no older than 5 years.

Graduate Résumé or Curriculum Vitae

The latest résumé or CV that provides personal information and work experience.

Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose

A statement outlining how the program relates to the applicant’s career goals.

Letters of Recommendation

At least 2 letters of recommendation from those who can provide a thorough evaluation of the applicant’s abilities at the graduate level.

Proof of English Proficiency

A document proving proficiency in English (if the native tongue is or education was not in English).

Online Masters in Computer Science
no GRE Programs

When applying for a master’s degree, most universities in the United States ask candidates to submit their GRE or GMAT scores. Fortunately, many institutions now offer online master’s in computer science without the GRE, as this requirement has been eliminated in recent years. Instead of GRE or GMAT scores, schools consider additional factors such as an applicant’s Grade Point Average (GPA) and proficiency in specific subjects. If a student’s GPA falls short of expectations, they may be asked to produce test scores. Here are a few examples of colleges offering No GRE computer science masters:

Troy University

offers a Master of Science in Computer Science, for which the GRE requirement has been temporarily waived (through term 2/fall semester 2024).

The University of Minnesota

offers a Master of Science in Computer Science that does not require the GRE score for admission.

Stevens Institute of Technology

offers a Master’s in Computer Science for which part-time students are exempted from submitting a GRE score.

How long does it take to complete Online Masters in
Computer Science Degree Programs

How long is a master’s degree in computer science? In virtually all cases, students will need roughly two years to complete an online master’s in computer science degree if they are pursuing it full-time. Part-time students will take longer to graduate. However, factors such as course selection, electives, concentration area, and whether classes are synchronous or asynchronous will impact the overall time to graduation. A capstone or internship can potentially extend the program’s duration as well. The following is a general timeframe for a 36-credit computer science degree:

  • Time to complete a full-time masters in computer science online: about 2 years
  • Time to complete a part-time masters in computer science online: between 2 and 4 years

Accelerated Online Masters in
Computer Science Programs

Accelerated degrees are a great alternative for students who want to finish their studies and get into the workforce as soon as they can. Many colleges and universities offer accelerated programs that combine a four-year undergraduate degree with a one-year graduate degree, allowing students to complete their studies in five years rather than the traditional six. In rare instances, schools simply allow students to take more classes, allowing them to finish their degrees in significantly less time than the normal two years. Here are a few examples of accelerated computer science master’s degree online:

The University of Colorado Boulder

offers accelerated programs through which students can receive their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science within 5 years, instead of the standard 6 years.

Michigan Tech

allows students to earn their master’s in computer science with only one additional year of study in addition to their bachelor’s, requiring 5 years in all instead of 6.

Indiana University Bloomington

offers a combined bachelor’s and master’s program in computer science in which students take graduate-level courses in the last year of their bachelor’s. The time to graduate will be 5 years, instead of the usual 6 years.

Accreditation for Online Master Degree
in Computer Science Programs

It is vital for students considering online or distance learning to understand college accreditation; they should read the Guide to College Accreditation. Understanding accreditation can assist students in making informed decisions about which college and program are best suited for them, as well as if their education will be valuable to potential employers. Accreditation may be awarded to schools by national, regional, or specialized agencies recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE), the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), or both. Most institutions offering master’s degrees are regionally accredited by one of six recognized regional accrediting agencies in the United States, which are:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Students pursuing a master’s degree in computer science can also enroll in programmatically accredited degree programs. Programmatic accreditation refers to the accreditation of the program rather than the institution that offers it. Typically, the Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredits computer science master’s programs.

The accreditation status of a college can be checked on the official websites of the USDE or CHEA. Discover why accreditation is a critical component of college education in the Guide to College Accreditation.

How to Pay for Online Masters
Computer Science Programs?

The cost of an online master’s degree in computer science is determined by various factors. Because some schools and universities charge higher tuition for out-of-state students, state residency is a significant issue. However, for online students, colleges usually charge set tuition, regardless of where they live. It is noteworthy that online students may be charged technology fees, which generally do not apply to their brick-and-mortar counterparts. An online computer science degree typically costs between $500 and $2,000 per credit. Students can expect to pay anywhere from $12,000 to $72,000 in tuition. With such higher costs to bear, How to Pay for College? Here are some of the funding options students can consider:


Many individuals, community groups, for-profit organizations, and non-profit institutions, including universities, give out scholarships to deserving students who demonstrate excellent academic progress. Most scholarships are merit-based, and students do not need to pay back the scholarship amount at any time, making them a popular choice to fund graduate studies.


Like scholarships, grants too are awarded by individuals, community groups, for-profit organizations, and non-profit institutions, including universities. And like scholarships, grant money is also not required to be paid back. What distinguishes a grant from a scholarship is that a grant is usually need-based rather than merit-based, in that the applicant’s financial need is the main criterion.


Students at many educational institutions are given the opportunity to participate in specific classroom activities or academic duties in exchange for a stipend or a reduction in their tuition costs. Graduate Teaching Assistant is the term given to those students who work part-time in assisting teaching activities while pursuing their graduate degrees. Graduate Research Assistants are those who lend a hand in various aspects of the research process at a university.


Students can also work for their educational institution in non-academic capacities part-time in exchange for perks such as free or reduced tuition, subsidized accommodation, or other reimbursements. These opportunities are similar to assistantships. Work-Study employments are available on campus and off in various venues, including residence halls, fitness centers, libraries, and research labs, as well as other places in the local community. Students who attend classes in person can take advantage of the work-study program, which may not be accessible to those who take classes online.

Student Loans

Taking out a student loan is another option for paying for a college education. Loan interest, while cheaper than most other loans, nevertheless adds to the entire expense of schooling. Student loans must be repaid in full, or in equal amounts, over a predetermined length of time. Donors for Student Loans and Grants for Student Loans help students learn how to qualify for loan forgiveness and avoid having to pay back a loan out of their own pocket.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is a federal financial aid application that all prospective and current college students must complete to see if they are eligible for financial aid and to obtain the best financial aid package possible. To learn more, consult the FAFSA Student Aid Guide.

Learn about ways of funding college in the What is Financial Aid? guide.

Scholarships for Online Masters
in Computer Science Students

With the high cost of a master’s degree, students in need of financial assistance might turn to scholarships for help with their education expenses. Several scholarships are geared toward students obtaining a computer science education. Here are a few online master in computer science scholarships to explore:

ScholarshipDescription Award/AmountApplication Deadline
Generation Google Scholarship (North America)The Generation Google Scholarship was developed to help students who want to pursue a career in computer technology and become leaders in the field. The Scholarship is given to a deserving student who has shown leadership potential, academic excellence, and a commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the classroom.$10,000Closed for 2021 | TBA for 2024
Upsilon Pi Epsilon ScholarshipThe Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE) Scholarship is awarded for fostering academic achievement among students majoring in computing and information-related fields. Applicants must list their contributions to their individual UPE chapters, relevant student activities at their respective universities, as well as their long-term career goals.$1,000 to $3,000July 1, 2024
Richard E. Merwin Student ScholarshipThe Computer Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) grants $36,000 in student scholarships to active student volunteer leaders in IEEE Student Branches or IEEE Computer Society Student Branch Chapters who demonstrate academic and professional promise. In honor of the late Richard E. Merwin, former president of the IEEE Computer Society, this fellowship was established to promote and support student leadership.$1,000 to $5,00030 April & 30 September each year
Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) ScholarshipsScience, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) scholarships are offered for students seeking a degree in one of the 21 STEM disciplines at various levels – bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral. Full tuition, annual stipends, internships, and guaranteed employment with the Department of Defense are provided to SMART scholars.VariesVaries

FAQs Related to Online Masters in
Computer Science Programs

Is a computer science masters online?

Yes! A master’s degree in computer science can be completed entirely online. For someone who works full-time and wants to earn this degree to change occupations or develop in their current ones, earning it online is a sensible option. Students at many online universities have the option of scheduling classes at times that are most convenient for them. Additionally, students enrolled in online computer science courses have the freedom to attend lessons from wherever they want. Students can take online classes from the comfort of their own home, a library study space, or a cafe.

How long is a masters in computer science?

What can you do with masters in computer science?

How much is a computer science masters?

Is a computer science degree worth it?

How hard is a degree in computer science?

Which is better – an MS in computer science or engineering in computer science?

What are the prerequisites for a computer science master’s?

Career Opportunities and Salaries after
Online Masters in Computer Science Programs

Year after year, the field of computer science expands. A computer science master’s degree will prepare graduates for jobs in a number of organizations and settings. A computer scientist, for example, can work for any corporation in any location worldwide. They can work as programmers, software analysts, database administrators, or even teach or start their own businesses. Graduates of this degree progress through the software and hardware development life cycle to become system analysts, general managers, or project managers. Here are some common careers graduates will be eligible for with an online master’s degree in computer science:

  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Web Designer or Developer
  • Computer Systems Administrator
  • Network Administrator
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Back-End Web Developer
  • Full-Stack Web Developer
  • Software Developer
  • Front-End Web Developer
  • Data Scientist
  • Software Tester
  • Computer Science Teacher
  • Computer Network Architects
  • Applications Analyst
  • Software Developer
  • Programmer Analyst
  • Applications Developer
  • Network Technician
  • Information Security Analysts
  • Computer Programmer
  • Computer and Information Systems Manager
  • Software Quality Assurance Analyst
  • Software Quality Assurance
  • Programmer Database Administrator

Jobs in computer science appear to have a promising future in the next years. In industries such as health and medical insurance, there is a growing demand for innovative mobile-friendly applications as well as creative software. Software engineers, quality assurance analysts, and testers will be in more demand than the national average – 22% by 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Here are a few computer science-related jobs, together with their median yearly salary, expected job growth, and required skills:

Occupation Job Description Skills RequiredMedian Annual Salary Job Growth (up to 2030)
Computer Network ArchitectsComputer network architects are in charge of networks ranging from remote connections between offices to next-generation networking capabilities such as cloud infrastructure. They design networks by gaining a thorough grasp of the company’s needs and business strategy, as well as supporting the achievement of the organization’s objectives. Network architects can estimate future network requirements by analyzing current data traffic and forecasting how growth might influence the network.Leadership skills, interpersonal skills, organizational skills, detail-oriented, analytical skills$120,5205% (slower than average)
Network and Computer Systems AdministratorsThe day-to-day operation of computer networks, which are key components of practically any firm, is the responsibility of network and computer systems administrators. Network segments, intranets, LANs, WANs, and other data transmission systems, as well as network segments and intranets, are organized, installed, and supported by them. They also keep employees’ workstations connected to the central computer network, ensuring the operation of email and data storage networks, as well as the proper functioning of email and data storage networks.Multitasking skills, communication skills, analytical skills, problem-solving skills$80,6005% (slower than average)
Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and TestersSoftware developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers are all involved in the development of a software application. They look at how users want to use software to determine the most essential features, as well as other considerations like security. They create programs and work closely with programmers who create the code. Analysts and testers in software quality assurance build and conduct product tests to detect defects and examine how the program runs and functions.Interpersonal skills, communication skills, analytical skills, problem-solving skills, creativity, detail-oriented$110,14022% (much fast than average)
Information Security AnalystsInformation security analysts are in charge of developing and enforcing security rules that protect a company’s computer networks and systems. They are crucial in the development of their company’s disaster recovery plan, which is a procedure that IT specialists follow in the event of a crisis. They scan computer and network systems for flaws, develop company-wide security standards and best practices, and provide security recommendations to management or senior IT employees.Creative skills, communication skills, problem-solving skills, analytical skills, detail-oriented$102,60033% (much faster than average)
Computer Systems AnalystsComputer systems analysts look into a company’s present computer systems and processes to see how they might be improved. As a result, these analysts contribute to the company’s increased productivity. Computer systems analysts collaborate with other IT employees to help business leaders understand how computer systems may best serve their company. They are also in charge of the installation and deployment of new systems, as well as the modification of such systems for the firm.Communication skills, business skills, organizational skills, detail-oriented, creativity, analytical skills$99,2707% (as fast as average)

Certifications and Licensing for Online
Masters in Computer Science Students

To demonstrate their knowledge in a particular sector, learn new abilities, and advance their careers, computer science professionals can choose from a variety of non-degree computer science certifications. A computer science certification online verifies a professional’s technical knowledge and experience with specific products, methodologies, or practices. Certification may also be required for occupations such as network administrator, systems engineer, software developer, security manager, and project manager. Because they demand technical expertise to manage and secure key operations and sensitive data, employers appreciate and frequently require verifiable certifications in these high-paying occupations.

Aside from an online master’s degree in computer science, these are a few certifications to consider:

Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Certifications

Cisco offers several professional-level certifications that prepare students for today’s IT roles. These certificates verify the extent of the candidate’s knowledge, including the key principles that span a technical field, while also allowing them to choose a focus area. Each professional-level certification requires only two exams: one core exam and one concentration exam of one’s choice, allowing the candidate to concentrate on your specific interests and requirements. Each CCNP technology track’s core examinations also act as qualifying exams for CCIE lab exams. Some of the CCNP certifications are:

Microsoft Certifications

Microsoft provides over a hundred certifications across a variety of subjects, from Azure Support Engineer for Connectivity Specialty and Dynamics 365 Customer Service Functional Consultant Associate to Dynamics 365 + Power Platform Solution Architect Expert, Power Platform Developer Associate, and more.

Professional Software Engineering Master Certification

The Professional Software Engineering Master Certification verifies a candidate’s competency in software requirements, design, construction, and testing. This professional certification requires applicants to successfully complete Certificates of Proficiency in twelve key knowledge areas: Software Engineering Requirements, Software Engineering Design, Software Engineering Construction, Software Engineering Testing, Software Engineering Maintenance, Software Engineering Configuration Management, Software Engineering Quality, Software Engineering Processes, Software Engineering, Models & Methods, Software Engineering Management, Software Engineering, and Software Engineering Economics. The IEEE Computer Society Online Exam must be passed with a passing score to qualify for this professional competency certification.

CompTIA Security+ Certification

The CompTIA Security+ Certification establishes the foundational knowledge needed for any cybersecurity profession and serves as a stepping-stone to intermediate-level cybersecurity positions. Best practices in hands-on troubleshooting are incorporated into Security+, ensuring that candidates have the practical security problem-solving abilities in security assessment, monitoring, operation, and troubleshooting.

Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

Those familiar with Scrum (“a lightweight framework that helps people, teams and organizations generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems.”) and are ready to become more agile with it should consider the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) credential. Through this certification, candidates will learn how to steer their team through the Scrum framework and get an understanding of team accountabilities, events, and artifacts. CSM training provides students with practical skills they can use right away in the real world to advance their careers.

Additional Resources for Online
Masters in Computer Science Students

Computer science evolves at a rapid pace. New technological advancements are frequently being made, often rendering one’s knowledge in a particular area of computer science redundant. Therefore, it is essential that computer science students and professionals stay connected with their peers and learn everything new and the latest. Tapping into networks of professionals, reading journals and publications, attending seminars, etc., can help in this pursuit. Here are some resources to help computer science students and professionals:

Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

The Association for Computer Machinery (ACM), the world’s biggest educational and scientific computing organization, provides resources to develop computing as a science and a career. ACM hosts the premier Digital Library in the computing area and delivers cutting-edge publications, seminars, and career tools to its members and the computing profession.

Computer Research Association (CRA)

At every stage of the computer research pipeline, the Computer Research Association (CRA) has programs to mentor and promote individuals to assist more computing researchers to realize their full potential. In North America, the CRA has more than 200 members, including computer science and computer engineering departments in colleges and universities, as well as industrial and government labs and institutes and affiliated professional groups. CRA makes scholarly publications, research updates, employment history information, and a slew of other things readily available.

Association for Information Systems (AIS)

The Association for Information Systems (AIS) advances knowledge and promotes excellence in the profession and research of information systems to benefit society. It is the world’s foremost professional association for individuals and organizations at the forefront of information system research, teaching, practice, and study. AIS offers educational webinars, holds conferences, provides career assistance and connects computer science professionals to a global professional network.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is the world’s largest technical professional organization. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of technology for the benefit of humanity. By providing job boards, papers, webinars, podcasts, and other tools to its members, the IEEE Computer Society advances computer and information science and technology theory, design, practice, and application.

Association for Women in Computing (AWC)

The Association for Women in Computing (AWC) was one of the first professional organizations for women in computing. Through networking and educational activities, the AWC is dedicated to promoting the advancement of women in the computer field. Members have access to a variety of resources, including educational and networking events, job search support, and news and information about the industry.

Author Bio:

Shilpee Singh

Shilpee Singh is an English Literature graduate and a Linguistics postgraduate from Delhi University. She believes in sustainable living and tries to lead a holistic life. She has a knack for writing and puts together the best facts for the reader’s benefit.


BA. Hons. English Literature // MA in Linguistics // Batchelor in Education (Gold Medalist)

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

I have been in the domain for about a decade


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