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What is the Salary After Getting a Master’s in Computer Science?

March 5, 2020

In today’s information age, advanced computer science degrees are a surefire way to job security in a rapidly growing, competitive market. As an increasing number of industries and smaller companies move to the digital world to reach customers, conduct business and share and store data, the demand for computer science professionals will continue to flourish in years to come. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that computer science and information technology employment will grow 12 percent by 2028.

Computer science career paths encompass a varied range of jobs from web developers, network architects, and software developers, to training robots to perform medical operations. Whatever your interest or inherent skill set is, there are many choices and benefits to getting a master’s in computer science. While a bachelor’s might be enough to help you secure an entry-level job, a master’s degree will provide you with the specialized training needed to help you stand out from the competition and even help you land a senior role that demands a larger salary than your undergraduate counterparts. 

We’ve compiled a short list of growing and lucrative computer science positions you can obtain with a master’s degree:

Download SHU's Guide to Graduate Degrees in Cybersecurity, IT, or Computer  Science to learn more about jumpstarting your tech career!


A computer systems analyst evaluates an organization’s computer technology systems and creates solutions to improve the system’s efficiency and effectiveness. To achieve this end, the analyst will assess user requirements, existing procedures, and problems to design technological solutions that will enhance workflow and user experience within the system in a way that supports the organization’s goals.

In general, the responsibilities of a computer systems analyst include:

  • Auditing existing systems and identifying areas for improvement
  • Creating design systems that nurture the goals of the organization
  • Collaborating with others to build and implement the new system
  • Identifying and fixing bugs and glitches in the system
  • Conducting maintenance on hardware and software in the organization

Due to the complexity of the role, a computer systems analyst must be a forward-thinker with excellent critical thinking abilities. People in this role should have efficient communication and collaboration skills and the ability to think creatively. Computer systems analysts with advanced degrees will stand out among their competition with their comprehensive training and will be compensated accordingly.

Average Salary: $88,740

Growth Potential: 9%


A computer network architect builds data communication networks such as local area networks, wide area networks, and intranets for organizations. They create plans and layouts for the networks and upgrade the software and hardware necessary to support the network. An architect needs business acumen to synthesize the needs of the organization with the most suitable networks in anticipation of the organization’s current and predicted needs.

In general, the responsibilities of a computer network architect include:

  • Evaluating the existing networks and the future needs of the organization
  • Creating a plan and layout for the new network while considering information security
  • Presenting the plan to stakeholders and why it will benefit the organization
  • Determining the hardware needs and how they will be laid out
  • Implementing the new network

The more organizations move to digital communications systems, the more the demand for computer network architects will increase. In addition to business savvy, architects must have a collaborative nature as they need to work with software and hardware teams to implement the new network. Advanced training in computer networking and communication systems, coupled with project management and business acumen will help applicants stand out.

Average Salary: $109,020

Growth Potential: 5%


A software developer is typically involved in all aspects of the software development lifecycle including gathering and analyzing system requirements, designing and implementing the new software, responding to bugs and outages, and creating application system models. Developers usually participate in design meetings and work with clients to test and debug the software and improve it to meet the standards of the organization and its needs.

In general, the responsibilities of a software developer include:

  • Developing, testing, and implementing new software programs
  • Analyzing user requirements and determining how to best meet their needs
  • Communicating with management and other team members to achieve goals
  • Conducting root cause analysis and other testing to create and implement solutions
  • Creating documentation and reports about their decisions and progress

A software developer is a necessity of any organization wishing to stay relevant in the modern world. Software developers need to have a comprehensive understanding of software design, software development fundamentals, and the software development process. While a bachelor’s degree is typically enough to get a job as a software developer, the high demand for these professionals creates a competitive market where an advanced degree will give applicants the edge needed to secure an upper-level position.

Average Salary: $105,590

Growth Potential: 21%


A senior database administrator typically acts as a liaison between junior database administrators and management and are the recipients of escalated issues that other database administrators cannot solve. While they are not always managers, the senior role puts them in a position of more responsibility. Database administrators use customized software to store and organize data in a way that provides a seamless flow of information between the backend database and the frontend for the end-user.

In general, the responsibilities of a senior database administrator include:

  • Designing and building databases based on an organization’s needs
  • Maintaining the integrity and security of the organization’s data
  • Backing up and storing data to prevent data loss
  • Troubleshooting complex issues while maintaining best practices
  • Collaborating with senior members of other departments for database design and changes to meet the organization’s requirements

As a team lead, senior database administrators will need strong communication skills to delegate tasks to other members of the team and should know several programming languages to compete in this market. While a bachelor’s degree will get an applicant in the door, additional training provided by a master’s degree will position a candidate for a senior role. The salary difference between a database administrator and a senior database administrator was over $15,000, with entry-level bachelor degree candidates earning around $90,070.

Average Salary: $107,037  

Growth Potential: 9%


A senior web developer analyzes and identifies user and system requirements to design and create websites. As the website creator, they are responsible for the look and feel of the website and the technical aspects, such as the speed of the website and how much traffic it can handle. The senior web developer typically works with junior web developers to design and build websites and other online applications.

In general, the responsibilities of a senior web developer include:

  • Reviewing the organization’s needs combined with website user requirements
  • Creating timeframes and strategies for the workflow to achieve deadlines
  • Debugging websites and keeping documentation updated
  • Maintaining relationships with clients and website content creators
  • Supervising junior web developers and conducting training as necessary

An advanced degree creates a large income gap between senior and junior web developers, with bachelor level developers averaging at $69,430 per year – approximately $30,000 less than their senior counterparts. For those savvy in computer science, communication, and leadership, the senior web developer position may provide the type of challenge and financial reward you are looking for.  

Average Salary: $100,056

Growth Potential: 13%


A computer and information research scientist conducts research based on the fundamentals of computer and information science and works to theorize, design, and invent cutting-edge solutions to problems in the field. Since research is their primary focus, they use time and available resources to help solve complex computer problems that cannot otherwise be solved in the field. Many scientists work in the fields of medicine and robotic programming.

In general, the responsibilities of a computer and information research scientist include:

  • Researching existing and new technologies
  • Creating theories based on their research
  • Working with industry professionals to determine the most effective way to customize new hardware and software
  • Creating new software and hardware-based on research
  • Researching bugs or issues that arise in the field

In this high-demand field, a master’s degree is often the minimum requirement for applicants. Since much of the work involves theory and research, the extensive training from advanced degrees is the required preparation but also lends itself to job security and financial reward.

Average Salary: $118,370

Growth Potential: 16%

Get Started on A Career in Computer Science Today! 

As we continue to shift into the digital world, the need for computer science professionals will only increase at a faster rate. While a bachelor’s degree may be enough to get your foot in the door, gaining the specialized training from a master’s degree will increase your appeal to hiring managers and prepare you for senior-level roles with greater financial rewards.

If you are ready to get started on the path to a rewarding career in this field, consider contacting us today about earning your Master's in Computer Science at Sacred Heart University! 

To learn more about the career outlook for computer scientists and our masters degree program, download our guide — Protecting Critical Data and Building Digital Infrastructure for the Future.

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SHU Graduate Admissions Team

About the Author

We are the graduate admissions team at Sacred Heart University. We aspire to create a welcoming and supportive environment for students looking to continue their education while empowering them in mind, body and spirit. We hope you find our resources helpful and informative as you explore and pursue a graduate degree at Sacred Heart!

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