How Long Does it Take to Get a Master’s Degree in Computer Science?

If you’re looking to get a master’s degree in computer science, then you already know that computer science is a complex field of study that opens the door to a variety of career opportunities.

Earning your master’s degree in computer science will set you apart from your peers and move you forward in your career possibilities.

With that said, graduate school is no piece of cake. It will require a lot of time and effort on your part to earn this degree, but there are plenty of degree programs out there that will work with you on balancing your full-time work schedule while still managing your graduate requirements.

In order to be considered for a computer science graduate program, you’ll need to have obtained your undergraduate degree in computer science or a related field of study. Some graduate programs might require a certain amount of years of experience before entering a higher education program. However, with so many programs available online and in-person, you will be able to find a program that fits your needs, level of experience, and interests.

When Can I Expect to Graduate From a Computer Science Master’s Degree Program?

On average, it will take two years to earn your master’s degree in computer science. There are different degree tracks offered at every university, so it’s important to consider how much time you have to complete the degree program before enrolling.

Some programs will offer accelerated learning, which allows students to graduate within as little as one year; whereas others will offer self-paced learning, which allows students to take courses at their own pace and study part-time. Students who decide to study their degree part-time typically graduate within three to five years. 

If you like the idea of an in-person experience but can’t commit to attending your classes on campus full-time, there are programs that provide hybrid learning opportunities, which means half of your courses will be online and the other half on campus. Whatever your situation may be, there is a master’s program out there for you. Most graduate programs have exceptional academic advisors to help guide your degree track and set you up for optimal success.

Is a Master’s Degree in Computer Science Worth it?

When you earn your undergraduate degree in a specific field, you’re studying that field on a very broad level. When you decide to further your education and enroll within a graduate degree program, you get the opportunity to study that field in much more depth. A master’s degree allows you to hone in on the specific areas of study that interest you the most within the general discipline. When you decide to study at this level, your course requirements will most likely reflect a certain concentration of your choice. An example of a concentration within a computer science degree is software engineering or computer security.

Beyond mastering a specialization, another great benefit of earning your master’s degree is the increase in income. Earning a Master of Science in Computer Science puts you in a different salary bracket and can lead to advancement in your career. You will qualify for higher-paying positions and may find yourself managing or guiding others within a leadership role. Needless to say, a master’s degree in computer science is a smart investment in your future.

How Much Can You Make With a Master’s in Computer Science Degree?

Since computer science is such a vast industry, career opportunities are practically endless. According to PayScale, the average salary for a master of computer science graduate is $102,000. 

Specializing in software engineering is the most common path for an MCS graduate. However, software engineering is just one of the many specializations available throughout these programs. Other specializations include artificial intelligence, game design, networks, information security, data science, programming languages, systems, theory, and much more.

As you can see, a master’s degree provides you with the opportunity to specialize while making you a much more valuable asset within the workforce. You’ll increase your salary, qualify for expert-level roles, and narrow your job duties to the skills that interest you most.