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Information on Master of Science (MS) Degree in Computer Science

Majors Overview July 11, 2015

This article talks about Master of Science (M.S.) degree programs in Computer Science and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master of Science (M.S.) Programs in Computer Science

Students enrolled in a Master of Science (M.S.) in Computer Science program gain expertise in programming, processing, artificial intelligence and software engineering. Hands-on projects are available to students – these projects involve networks, security, and embedded systems. In some programs, enrollees may be allowed to choose an emphasis within computer science, such as artificial intelligence. Non-thesis and thesis options are available to students. Participation in an internship is usually a requirement, whereby students gain real-world experience.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree. If the undergraduate degree is in a non-computer science major, applicants may have to complete prerequisite courses in programming, operating systems, and computer networking among other topics.


Coursework may be devised to impart skills involved in working with informatics, database systems, and computer networks. The focus of programs is typically on applying theories related to real-world scenarios, such as software engineering and digital game development. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Computer architecture
•Advanced computer graphics
•Operating systems
•Algorithm analysis
•Computer networking

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek jobs with digital gaming companies and information technology firms apart from positions in programming, web development, and software engineering, in fields such as Internet technology, biomedicine, and digital gaming. They may choose from job positions such as:

•Systems administrator
•Database Developer
•Software Engineer
•Programming specialist
•Database Analyst

Job and Wage Outlook

In May 2012, computer programmers brought in an average annual wage of $74,280. During that month, software engineers earned between $55,110 and $138,880, while systems administrators banked $72,560, per annum on average (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In January 2014, database analysts earned an average annual wage of $55,850, while database developers brought in $71,894 per annum, during that month.

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates may seek continuing education by earning a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Computer Science program with a focus on research. Schools may offer concentrations in cognitive science, bioinformatics, programming theory and computer networks. Students may develop software or create new technology to contribute to the field.

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