Computer science master's graduates can pursue a number of careers.
We are living in a digital age with advancing technologies, and that means that professionals with advanced degrees in computer science are increasingly in demand. A master's and/or PhD in computer science can educate students in a number of areas, dependent on where they wish to specialize. Operating systems, software engineering, algorithm analysis, computer language theory and artificial intelligence are all potential areas of study that an advanced degree in computer science can cover.
Given the broad scope of knowledge that computer science programs can provide, there are a number of career paths that a graduate in this field can follow. Below is a guide to five of the most common and lucrative job options.
1. Software Designer.
One of the most common career paths for a computer science master's graduate is to become a software designer. According to the Association for Computing Machinery, software designers can work in many areas and specialize in different things – think web development, mobile computing or security software design. Software designers can also be found across pretty much all industries, and will typically work in organizations such as healthcare companies, banks and of course, software design companies. Salary.com reported that compensation in this kind of career is generally high. Average base salaries start at just over $60,000 a year, and typically rise to near $100,000 throughout an individual's career. In certain positions, with the right amount of experience, software designers can expect to make in excess of $120,000.
"Software designers can make in excess of $120,000 a year."
2. Systems Integration Engineer.
For this kind of career you will be required to have in-depth knowledge of both hardware and software systems, which computer science programs can provide. Software Engineer Insider explained that a systems integration engineer will write code and develop systems. For example, many systems integration engineers work for large companies to build customized business solutions and IT systems within that particular organization. Systems integration engineers can also be found in some of the very highest levels of government. Salaries are again lucrative, with mean mid-career salaries in excess of $100,000 per anum.
A master's degree in computer science can lead to a researcher position, either with the government or an academic institution. The Association for Computing Machinery stated that a researcher will have deep knowledge of algorithms, and will look for new and innovative ways to apply computer theory to help solve a range of IT issues. The source elaborated that most researchers will have a PhD as well as some experience working in a research laboratory.
Software Engineer Insider reported that organizations such as Google hire researchers to work for them, while government bodies such as the National Security Agency hire researchers to help develop new computer-based strategies for defense purposes.
In terms of salary, Pay Scale reported that typically compensation stands at over $85,000 a year.
4. Animation programmer.
An animation programmer will work to design games or movies, and can work for leading companies such as Walt Disney and Dreamworks, Software Engineer Insider explained. This kind of position, in addition to being very lucrative, is also highly competitive.
5. Infrastructure management.
A number of computer science master's graduates will secure positions as managers for large IT infrastructures within organizations, such as healthcare firms, The Association for Computing Machinery detailed. As TechTarget elaborated, infrastructure managers and planners will oversee all aspects of an organization's IT system, including policies, processes, data, human resources and safety and security – a pressing concern in the age of rising cyber crime and fraud.