Online Master’s in Computer Science Degrees of 2022

Computers are important tools in our daily lives—connecting us to information, from the office to the classroom to our homes. If you have an interest in learning the intricacies of computer technology and how it impacts different industries, a career in computer science may be for you.

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Syracuse University info

Master of Science in Computer Science

Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science offers an online Master of Science in Computer Science focusing on subjects crucial to understanding emerging systems.

  • Complete in 15 months
  • No GRE currently required

Vanderbilt University info

Master of Science in Computer Science

Aspiring computer scientists can earn their M.S. online from the Vanderbilt School of Engineering.

  • Complete in as few as 12 months
  • No GRE scores required

info SPONSORED

To enter the field, you’ll likely start out with an undergraduate degree before settling on a specialization in graduate school. For instance, you could focus on areas like interaction and robotics, networking and systems, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, or software engineering while earning a master’s degree.

So, what is computer science? Broadly, it is the study of computers and software systems. To enter the field, you’ll likely start out with an undergraduate degree before settling on a specialization in graduate school. For instance, you could focus on areas like interaction and robotics, networking and systems, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, or software engineering while earning a master’s degree.

Online master’s in computer science degrees are a convenient way to grow your knowledge or advance your career. Many colleges and universities across the country offer part- or full-time online programs to suit your needs and professional goals.

College of Engineering and Computer Science info

Master of Science in Computer Science

Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science offers an online Master of Science in Computer Science focusing on subjects crucial to understanding emerging systems.

  • Complete in 15 months
  • No GRE currently required

infoSPONSORED

Check out our full list of Online Master’s in Computer Science programs

What to Expect from Your Online Master’s in Computer Science Degree?

While every program offering differs, many online master’s in computer science programs share some similarities. Generally, programs require students to complete 30 to 50 credits of coursework before earning their degree. This will be a mixture of required core classes and electives. To cap off your studies, you may  be required to work on a final, culminating thesis or research project, or take a final exam.

When it comes to admissions requirements, different universities ask for different things. Some programs might require that you have a working knowledge of computer programming language like C++ or Java. Others will only accept applications from candidates who have completed necessary coursework in areas like calculus.

Most online programs do well to mirror their on-campus offerings, prioritizing interactivity through videos and more. Some online programs include group projects with students and other hands-on learning opportunities that may require you to visit campus several times.

By the end of your degree program, you will have acquired the skills necessary for many roles in the field and made career connections with peers and professionals. At that point, you also have the option to earn a Ph.D., that’s if you are more interested in pursuing a profession in academics.

Vanderbilt University info

Master of Science in Computer Science

Aspiring computer scientists can earn their M.S. online from the Vanderbilt School of Engineering.

  • Complete in as few as 12 months
  • No GRE scores required

info SPONSORED

What Can Graduates Do with a Computer Science Degree?

A degree in computer science leads to a field that encompasses the following job titles, among others:

As you can tell, a computer scientist can branch in any number of directions. It is a multidisciplinary vocation. For example, computer scientists who choose to go the theoretical route, may end up working in academia. These professionals publish their own research, while also training the next generation of computer scientists.

Those with a specialization in analytics may find work as a business analyst. Think of these computer scientists as the “fix-it” people of the corporate world, working hard to help businesses improve how they function. They do this by identifying organizational problems and crafting solutions driven by a company’s data. They’re also responsible for setting expectations for how IT systems might run at an organization and carrying out training workshops and statistical analyses at a firm.

A completely separate role is that of a data scientist. This is the person who collects and analyzes a company’s huge sets of structured and unstructured data. They analyze, process and model data to develop useful plans for corporations and other organizations. They are essentially wrangling and rounding up all of the data churned out by a company—some of it fits neatly into a database, while some of it includes the chaotic information generated by a businesses’ email accounts and social media feeds. A person with a computer science programming background may be able to transition into this field but may need to master some data science skills, especially if that was not their area of focus during their graduate studies.

Online Master’s in Computer Science Curriculum

Online computer science degrees offer a curriculum that is equivalent to that of on-campus programs. Here’s a sampling of subjects you may cover while enrolled in an online master’s program:

Analysis of Algorithms. You’ll develop the skills needed to understand and graph computer algorithms. Courses in this area will also enable you to optimize, randomize and analyze algorithms so that you’re capable of applying algorithmic thinking in the real world, to produce solutions to sorting and searching.

Operating Systems Principles. You’ll develop the skills needed for design and implementation of different operating systems. Courses in this area will give you insight into process scheduling and coordination, memory management, and file system management and structuring.

Computer Architecture. You’ll develop the skills and knowledge needed to evaluate computer hardware design, from memory hierarchies to run-time optimization to parallel processing, and more. Courses in this area will also expose you to vector processing and instruction sets, namely RISC and CISC.

Software Engineering. You’ll learn about software life cycle models, which include software design techniques, data flow and structures, project and risk management, and coding and testing methods. Courses in this area place an emphasis on best practices in software engineering, by industry.

Online Master’s in Computer Science Faculty 

Earning a degree from an online master’s in computer science program can expose you to qualified experts in the field, who are currently working on real-world solutions and cutting-edge research. When assessing what program makes the most sense for your academic and career interests, review faculty member profiles and make sure that you have access to the same faculty and mentors as the students on campus.

It is also important to look at their work history and published research and reports if they have any. By doing so, you can determine if their work is aligned with your interests in computer science. And if they are, perhaps that person could become a mentor to help guide you in forging an academic and research path of your own, or toward another professional goal.

How to Choose the Best Online Master’s in Computer Science Program for You?

Think of your computer science career as a structure you’re building overtime. This sets the foundation, but the master’s degree helps you to hone your skills in a specific concentration. With an online master’s in computer science, you can pursue jobs in information security, data analytics, software engineering, or cryptography, among others. You can also compete for high-level roles in any one of these areas.

Choosing the right degree for you—one that will help you to advance your career—may seem overwhelming at first, given the many options available to you. But a wealth of choices can be a good thing. It allows you to compare the programs you’re most interested in, list the pros and cons of each (such as concentrations available), and determine which one aligns with your career goals. The right degree program for you should also accommodate your current lifestyle. 

You may find that an online master’s degree program is the best fit for you. There are many online learning advantages. For one, people with busy schedules find flexibility with these programs while still having access to a world-class education.

If you’re worried about whether you will get the support you need from universities as a distance learner, know that many schools provide students with services like online library access, career and academic counseling, and connections to alumni. All accredited online programs will see you working with knowledgeable faculty who are top professionals in their fields.

Online Masters in Computer Science Career and Salary Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics (BLS) projects employment of computer and information technology workers to grow 13 percent from 2020 and 2030. This rate is faster than the average for all occupations (5 percent).

A career in computer and information technology, such as a computer scientist, can be financially lucrative. The 2020 median annual salary for jobs in this field was $91,250, according to the BLS. That’s significantly higher than the median annual wage for all occupations, which was $41,950.

Computer and information research scientists, computer network architects and computer programmers are among the highest-paid professionals in the field, according to the BLS. The 2020 median annual pay for these positions were $126,830, $116,780, and $89,190 respectively.

While these averages give you an idea of earning potential, remember, pay varies by location, employer, industry and more. Take computer network architects for example. Those who worked for insurance carriers earned a median annual salary of $121,730 in 2020, while those in educational services earned a median annual salary of $84,570.

You may only need a bachelor’s degree to land an entry-level computer science job, but a master’s may increase your pay. Carefully review job descriptions to ensure you meet the minimum educational requirements.

FAQs

Is a master’s in computer science worth it?

A computer science master’s degree may be worth pursuing for someone interested in a computer science related field. The job outlook for computer and information research scientists is also projected to grow by 22% between 2020 and 2030 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What can you do with a master’s in computer science?

A master’s in computer science may provide opportunities in a variety of fields, including web development, software development, and a network architect. An individual with a master’s in computer science may also pursue a career in academia.

How long does it take to get a master’s degree in computer science?

A master’s degree in computer science typically takes two years to complete, however, this may change if someone pursues their program part time instead of full time.

Online Master’s in Computer Science Programs List

Here’s a comprehensive list of online master’s in computer science programs currently available nationwide. The university’s website is the best place to find the most up to date information on program offerings