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Why You Should Get a Master of Science in Computer Science

For students interested in technology and problem-solving, the online Master of Science (M.S.) in Computer Science program from Norfolk State University (NSU) may be the ticket to a high-demand, well-paying leadership role designing, configuring and managing the hardware and software that collects, organizes and analyzes data.

Computer science (CS) has “fantastic long-term career options and growth paths,” according to CareerSidekick. It adds that the expanding Internet of Things, e-commerce and anything else that depends on data — everything from non-profit agencies to global commerce — “means that employers will have more and more demand.”

What Is Computer Science?

CS is a multi-disciplinary profession that includes specializations such as software architecture and engineering and the field of cybersecurity, which protects network infrastructure and machine learning. Expertise in the development and innovation of algorithms — the mathematics-based sequences of instructions that process data — is essential knowledge to almost all CS disciplines.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that the highest-paying CS careers (median incomes topping $136,000) typically need at least a master’s degree. BLS further reports that the job market for CS professionals will expand by 23% through 2032 as employers add more than 8,000 positions annually.

Why Is a Computer Science Education Important?

A Microsoft education blog post declares that “understanding the principles of computing is quickly becoming an essential skill.” According to this post, only one-third of CS fields globally were filled in 2022, and this talent vacuum will represent an $8.5 trillion loss to annual global revenue in technology-related businesses, agriculture, healthcare, financial services and transportation, among other sectors.

On the other hand, gaining advanced CS insights and expertise opens doors to diverse, future-proof careers, high professional and personal satisfaction and portable skills in roles that are increasingly becoming remote work opportunities, according to

A CS master’s degree, the career advisor says in a separate article, is a path to specialized “work in a management or expert-level role.” Moreover, it says a graduate degree is essential “to a broader range of jobs within your field.”

What Can I Do With a Computer Science Degree?

The master’s degree curriculum offered online by NSU — recognized among the top 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with CS programs — includes studies focusing specifically on many of the fastest-growing CS specializations. Among them:

Software Engineering

Tech Times refers to this CS discipline as “the backbone of transformative technological advancements.” Computer professionals with expertise in designing algorithms and data communication are highly sought after for their contributions to productivity, innovation and reduced costs.

The magazine recommends that digitally dependent businesses invest significantly in software engineering — in-house or via vendors — to keep up with rapidly advancing technology solutions.

Glassdoor estimates the median annual pay for mid-career software engineers to be $210,390, comprising $153,263 in base salary and $57,127 in bonuses, stock, commissions and profit-sharing.

Software Architecture

Forbes notes that expertise in the organization of software modules, functions, or objects and how they are related is critical to business success. Effective software architecture is a roadmap for development teams and supports maintenance, optimization and scalability.

The NSU online M.S. in Computer Science program curriculum includes advanced computer architecture studies that focus on principles and practices in several layers of data processing that provide students with the “expertise needed in a sea of rapid development and technological change.”

The median annual salary for mid-career software architects is $165,484, according to Glassdoor.

Network Security

NSU’s online M.S. in Computer Science program curriculum immerses students in courses such as Computer Security, Management of Information Security, and Network Defense, providing them with a comprehensive background in a critical component of cybersecurity.

Network security protects data-flow pathways within computing infrastructures using encryption and secure communication protocols. It is an integral component of a comprehensive, cohesive cyber-defense strategy. “The cybersecurity workforce gap has reached a record high,” according to ISC2.

The estimated total pay for a mid-career network security engineer is $159,882 per year, according to Glassdoor.

With these crucial roles and many more awaiting driven problem-solvers, future tech leaders should consider NSU’s online M.S. in Computer Science program and become equipped to make a difference.

Learn more about Norfolk State University’s online Master of Science in Computer Science program.

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