Colorado School of Mines Graduate Programs

Is an MS in computer science worth the investment?

The decision to pursue a master’s in computer science depends on what you are hoping to achieve. Many computer science occupations do not require a master’s degree, but there is often a wage premium associated with advanced study, particularly in STEM fields.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, network and computer systems administrators with bachelor’s degrees earned a median annual wage of $70,000 in 2013. Those with master’s degrees, on the other hand, earned $88,000—an increase of $18,000, or 26 percent.

Web developers saw an increase in median pay from $61,000 to $75,000 with a master’s degree, while annual wages for information security analysts jumped from $85,000 to $100,000. Computer systems analyst and computer programmer positions also offer a wage premium for master’s degree holders.

Colorado School of Mines awarded 26 master’s degrees in computer science in 2019. The average salary offer for that group was $81,056, with a high of $116,000.

But there are other benefits to an advanced degree in computer science outside of any potential wage premium.

Some computer science fields, such as computer information research scientist, do require an advanced degree for entry.

A master’s degree in computer science can also be a worthwhile investment for those without a computer science background, given the high demand for computer and information science skills in numerous industries.

Learn how you can add a master’s in computer science to your bachelor of arts »

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