Online Degrees Blog at New York Tech
Why Get a Master’s Degree in Computer Science?

Why Get a Master’s Degree in Computer Science?

A Concept of computer science data analysis for performance and create insight report.

Computer science professionals play a central role in shaping the technological landscapes of today and tomorrow. According to a recent report by the McKinsey Technology Council, the tech industry has invested over $1 trillion in new trends like artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing. These technologies offer many benefits for businesses, individuals, and society. For example, cloud computing protects network security by distributing sensitive data across secure remote servers, while generative AI helps companies streamline processes and work faster.1

As enthusiasm for new technologies rises, companies have increasingly recruited skilled workers to develop and use these tools. Job postings related to the latest tech trends increased by 15% between 2021 and 2022.1 Current and aspiring tech professionals can prepare for these exciting roles by earning a master's degree in computer science, which has numerous professional and personal benefits.

In-Demand Knowledge and Expertise

Participating in a computer science master's degree program is one of the most effective ways to develop in-depth knowledge of this field. You’ll study advanced computational methods and theories, including data science, software engineering, and the design of algorithms. You’ll also learn about practical applications for information technology, such as the use of wearable devices in healthcare to monitor patients’ vital signs.2

A computer science master’s program also requires you to strengthen your critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Learning how to identify and fix bugs in programming languages, for example, will sharpen your analytical abilities. In addition, you’ll expand your creativity and reasoning skills as you study issues in computer science, such as biases in AI, and develop potential solutions.3

Students in many master's programs hone their expertise by completing a specialization in computer science. You could focus your studies on cybersecurity, data science, machine learning, or other in-demand niches. A specialization can help you gain advanced knowledge and prepare you for a rewarding career at the forefront of a dynamic, growing professional sector.

Career Advancement and Opportunities

Because this discipline is so in demand, you'll be opened to countless new job opportunities by earning a master's in computer science. According to a recent survey by Cengage Group, 81% of employers in the technology industry require a bachelor’s degree for entry-level jobs.4 Developing additional expertise by earning a graduate degree can give you a competitive edge over other candidates.

Additionally, a master’s degree can ease your advancement into higher-level positions and leadership roles. Senior professionals such as computer and information research scientists and computer and information systems managers often hold, or are expected to hold, graduate or master's degrees.5,6

Even better, earning your master’s degree is likely to increase your earning potential. According to Fortune, people in the industry with a master's in computer science earn an average of $30,000 more annually than peers with only an undergraduate degree.7

Research and Innovation

Enrolling in a master’s program allows you to contribute to ground-breaking research in computer science. Many colleges provide access to state-of-the-art facilities and resources, such as academic databases and grants for research projects. Some computer science programs will also have graduate students work with faculty as research assistants in exchange for tuition waivers or scholarships. By maximizing these collaborative opportunities, graduate students can make breakthrough discoveries and spur innovation through, for example, the development of new machine learning techniques or research into the societal implications of generative AI.

Networking and Collaboration

One of the overlooked but equally important benefits of a master's degree in computer science is that it will expand your professional network. You’ll interact with like-minded professionals and experts as you take classes, participate in conferences, and attend industry events. Research shows that building strong interpersonal relationships enables graduate students to thrive and receive support.8

Make the most of this opportunity to gain practical experience and test your academic learning in real-world situations. Working in areas of computer science you are not familiar with, or deepening your experience in the ones with which you are, can help you decide on a specialization to pursue.

You can also build connections by engaging in research groups. The people you meet during your master's program can become collaborators with whom you conduct new research, mentors who recommend you for jobs, and sources of information that lead to new professional opportunities.9 For example, that web developer you chatted with at a conference could be a momentary acquaintance or the next person who hires you as a consultant.

Adaptability and Versatility

Like every other field in tech, computer science is constantly evolving. This is not a discipline in which to do things "the old way" or "the way it's always been done." New developments like quantum computing and immersive reality have emerged, pushing the boundaries of what is possible—and computer scientists need to be open and adaptable enough to move along with it.1

A master’s program or advanced degree in computer science also instills transferable skills that you can use in many positions—some of which may not have been created yet. For example, learning to code helps you develop valuable competencies such as abstract thinking, problem-solving, and applying algorithms.10 You can rely on these skills as you work with new technologies and develop innovations in emerging areas within the industry.

Personal and Intellectual Growth

A master's degree program in computer science provides ample opportunities for personal and intellectual development. You’ll discover diverse ideas and perspectives as you complete coursework and interact with colleagues. These encounters can expand your mind and challenge your assumptions.9

In graduate school, you’ll be called upon to sharpen interpersonal skills like spoken and written communication, leadership, and teamwork. These abilities will help you collaborate successfully with professionals at all levels in the workplace and bridge the gap between different business departments.9

Academic and Research Opportunities

Going to graduate school opens new academic opportunities that were not previously available. You’ll learn from renowned faculty and mentors with years of experience. You may collaborate with them to produce research projects and peer-reviewed publications. This research can advance the field of computer science and help you market yourself to potential employers.

Additionally, a master's degree curriculum prepares you for future academic pursuits, including teaching positions. Colleges and universities hire people with this credential as adjunct instructors of computer science. You could also continue your studies by earning a Ph.D. in computer science, which can help you qualify for tenure-track academic positions.11

New York Institute of Technology has engaged Everspring, a leading provider of education and technology services, to support select aspects of program delivery.