Comp Sci Master's vs. MBA: Salary and Job Outlook

Sara Lindberg Updated on July 9, 2018

The way we think about higher education has changed drastically over the last decade. More students are opting for master’s programs in computer science, rather than the traditional MBA track. But is that the right move for you?

It just might be ... that is, if you're looking for a highly compensated field that has a lot of job openings. 

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High starting salary for comp sci grads

The first thing to know is that the salaries among computer-related occupations are on the rise.

And if you have an advanced degree, such as a master’s in computer science, you can expect to earn even more. 

According to a recent article in U.S. News and World Report, recent computer science graduates with a master’s degree are earning more than those graduating with an MBA. 

This comes as no surprise since there’s currently a shortage of technology workers. 

And with experts predicting an even bigger increase in high-tech jobs, opting for a degree in computer science sounds like a good move. Even better, the article also reports that computer science is one of the few disciplines where more jobs than degrees are being produced in the country. 

But wait, it gets better. The jobs come with a hefty paycheck: Many 2017 computer science graduates  with master's degrees earn more than $100,000 on average. 

Pretty impressive, right? Sure is, especially when you consider that only slightly more than half of business school graduate students earn this much.

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Computer science career options

If you’re thinking about a career in computer science, you might be wondering which jobs pay the most. 

The U.S. News and World Report Best Jobs Ranking lists the following jobs as some of the best in technology (in order of highest to lowest paying):

  • IT Manager—43,800 projected jobs and a median salary of $135,800.
  • Computer Network Architect—10,400 projected jobs and a median income of $101,210.
  • Software Developer— 253,400 projected jobs and a median salary of $100,080.
  • Information Security Analyst—28,400 projected jobs and a median salary of $92,600. 
  • Computer Systems Analyst—53,000 projected jobs and a median salary of $87,220.
  • Database Administrator—13,700 projected jobs and a median income of $84,950.
  • Computer Programmer—this is the job on this field that is projected to decline in the number of jobs, but the median income is $79,840.
  • Computer Systems Administrator—23,900 projected jobs and a median income of $79,700
  • Web Developer—21,300 projected jobs and a median income of $66,130.
  • Computer Support Specialist—87,100 projected jobs and a median income of $52,160.

If you're thinking about pursuing a graduate degree and need more information about how to pay for it, check out our guide to the Best Private Student Loans of 2018

Published in: College 101, Careers

About the Author
Sara Lindberg

Sara Lindberg, B.S., M.Ed., is a freelance writer specializing in business, finance, health, and wellness. She holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Exercise Science and a Master's Degree in Counseling. When she’s not writing, Sara can be found at the gym lifting weights, running the back roads to train for her next half-marathon, and spending time with her husband and two children. Read more by Sara Lindberg

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