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Master’s Degree Programs in Computer Systems Overview

Majors Overview September 9, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in computer systems and their education requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Programs in Computer Systems

Graduates from master’s degree programs in computer systems can gain a broad grasp of problem-solving, computer systems, and analytical skills. These skills allow them to seek leadership roles in network administration, software engineering, systems development and systems planning. Many schools devise programs aimed at working professionals and offer evening and/or online classes.

Most schools offer the programs as a Master of Science (M.S.) and enrollees are allowed to specialize in an area of choice, such as software engineering, computer security, or data communications. Students take two years to complete the program that includes courses such as programming, computer architecture, information systems design and software engineering. Students may have to complete a thesis or capstone project. Program graduates may seek employment as systems analysts or systems architects for business, scientific, and government organizations.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to have an accredited bachelor’s degree in computer science or engineering, in addition to a strong grasp of C programming and an advanced technical background.


Students typically take two years to complete computer systems master’s degree programs that is usually offered in a school’s computer science department. The curriculum incorporates information systems, data storage, applications, network systems, and engineering principles through core courses in topic areas such as:

•Security systems engineering
•Programming in Web contexts
•JAVA programming
•Object-oriented design
•Engineering project management
•Computer architecture
•Information systems design
•Software Engineering

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, computer systems analysts are expected to see a 25% job growth, mainly driven by corporations using increasingly sophisticated technologies, in addition to a growing need for information security. In 2012, computer systems analysts brought in an average annual wage of $79,680 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates may seek continuing education to stay abreast of technological advances in computer science. They may seek admission in professional development courses offered through private training institutions, software and hardware vendors, as well as universities and colleges.

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