Back view of a man working on a laptop and monitors on his workstation.

As the world shifts ever more digital, the field of computer science has exploded. One of the attractive features of a master’s in computer science is the broad range of career options that pushes you beyond the technical operator role open to you with only a bachelor’s degree. With a master’s, whether you choose a path that is computer-centric, security-based, or has a focus on the web, you can be confident that your skills will carry into many different jobs and industries.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of hire for computer and information research scientists is predicted to level up greatly over the next few years. With projections for the field rising at a job rate of 22 percent, from 2020 to 2030, this is much higher than average in comparison to other job categories. The increase in demand also yields a boost in salary, but also a boost in competition. Earning a master’s degree may be just what you need to stay ahead of the workplace competition. 

Also according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for someone who holds a Master’s in Computer Science is $126,830, as of May 2020. Growth between 2019 and 2020 showed 3.6%.  

So, what can you do with a Master’s in Computer Science in order to maintain your competitive edge? For starters, you can explore the newest areas of study (i.e., AI, bioinformatics, cloud computing, machine learning, robotics, etc.) or learn what it takes to lead an engineering team and make the jump into management. 

Career Options with a Master’s in Computer Science

There are so many careers from which to choose in the field of computer science. While a bachelor opens the door to many entry-level, and maybe even mid-level positions, taking the next step and earning a master’s degree prepares you for more complex business and/or research situations that help you level up your career, skills, and ability. This can especially be the case if your goal is to move into management or switch career paths.

You can do a lot with a highly sought-after and cutting-edge advanced degree. The curriculum allows you to hone in on a special topic or subject and, if you desire, take a deep dive into the research end of the discipline. 

What jobs can you get with a master’s in computer science? As a professional in computer science, you have an abundance of diverse job prospects, some of which include: 

  • Programming languages and logic
  • Scientific computing applications
  • Theory of computation
  • Data structures and algorithms
  • Computer security in cryptography
  • Image and sound processing
  • Human and computer interaction
  • Information and coding theory
  • Computer graphics and visualization

Below are some possible and popular career options you can pursue with a master’s in computer science. 

Computer Network Architects

A computer network architect designs and builds data communication networks. Their chief task is creating the plans and layouts for LANS, WANS, and/or Intranets.

A computer network architect supports both the CIO and the organization to figure out where a network should be set up. They serve as the liaison between the highly technical and the business-geared. The core of work includes upgrading software, like network drives and hardware. The business relies on the architect to lead in the expert design of the network so that the company can reach its goals whether financial, production, sales, or any other strategic-level business objectives.

Computer Network Architect Infographic-$116,780 the average median salary with grown of 5% from 2020 to 2030.

Computer Systems Analyst

A computer systems analyst, a.k.a. systems architect, has a large set of high-level and advanced strategic responsibilities. The analyst must first and foremost assess the computer systems and plans central to its business ops. They are then charged with using their know-how to build solutions to bolster efficiencies within the operation. Most exciting in this role, is their need to research and be aware of new and emerging technology.

A systems architect is also required to lead discussions and communicate well with partners. A business seeks the advice of computer systems analysts to recommend key findings based on their cost-benefit analyses. Lastly, they must manage systems testing and launch end-user training. It calls for a fine balance between the extrovert and introvert which is a nice combination for many professional engineers who enjoy variation.

Computer Systems Analyst Infographic-$93,730 the median salary per year with growth of 7% from 2020 to 2030.

Information Security Manager

Security threats are at an all-time high globally. For this reason, information security managers have both intense responsibility and great compensation. Managers in the essential department of security must implement and oversee security controls within the organization. Their focus is on making sure that the business is well protected in terms of its assets, including computer networks and data.

The two main strategies of information security managers are to (1) reduce threats to the security of the business and (2) protect the integrity of the data at large. In today’s environment, small- to large-sized companies face cyber vulnerabilities, i.e., viruses, breaches, and attacks. This field is ever-changing and highly critical which makes it a viable and exciting area in which to specialize.

Information Security manager inforgraphic- $108,500 to $143,500 salary range with an anticipated salary growth of 11% from 2020 to 2030.

Information Security Analyst Infographic-$103,690 the average salary with an estimated grown of 33% from 2020 to 2030.

Software Developers

When professionals ask themselves, “what can I do with a master’s in computer science?” the first job title that pops to mind is often a software developer. A software developer, also referred to as a computer programmer or coder, is a creator of computer software. This can be in support of a specific program or app, or for the construct of a giant network.

 Aside from a day full of coding, the ultimate goal is to create and test software from beginning to end. The primary responsibilities of software developers are to identify, design (from level 0), install and test a software system. Master’s degrees in computer science help students gain more experience, insight, and awareness of computer science topics, giving them the credentials to lead teams, contribute to business decisions, and keep software at the forefront of technology. 

Daily tasks may include: 

  • Maintaining software performance
  • Fixing bugs and errors
  • Coding and creating software solutions

software developer infographic-$110,140 the average median pay with an estimated job growth of 22% from 2020 to 2030.

Web Developer

A web developer is a well-known field in the computer science sector. A web developer must be able to apply a variety of programming languages while also maintaining close client communications. There is a fine balance needed between remaining intent on the coding of website apps and assessing the needs and design specs of the web team.

The daily job tasks for a web developer with a master’s degree may include coding and scripting apps, conducting site audits, and maintaining ongoing support of web properties. Additionally, testing code and remaining in close contact with stakeholders is central to their responsibilities. 

web developer infographic-$77,200 the average salary with an estimated job growth of 13% from 2020 to 2030.

Explore a Master’s in Computer Science with Johns Hopkins

The better educated, the better the opportunities. As a constantly evolving field, what you studied in undergrad may no longer be as relevant to your job and your career as it once was. Much has changed in just a few years, and keeping up to date can either make or break your next career move. 

Knowing what to do with a master’s in computer science is a great question to ask yourself. There are so many uses for such a highly respected and coveted degree, and those making education and relevancy central to their career are securing these positions.

We invite you to get to know the Johns Hopkins Engineering for Professionals Master’s in Computer Science program better. This part-time, online program allows you to advance your career without pausing it or your life. If you still have questions or want to learn even more, do not hesitate to reach out to our admissions team. We are eager to help guide you in the decision-making process.