Fortune Magazine: These 3 CS Master’s Jobs Pay at Least $120,000

Fortune magazine has identified three computer science master’s degrees for which graduates earn more than $120,000 per year. The article appears below. Read the original article.

These 3 computer science master’s jobs pay at least $120,000

By Sydney Lake. Published April 28, 2023.

Computer science jobs are among the most in-demand and fastest-growing in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Jobs that require just a bachelor’s degree bring in median salaries of more than $97,000, but students who complete a master’s degree in computer science can earn even more. 

Earning a master’s degree in computer science can be more lucrative than having just a bachelor’s degree because it can result in higher income potential and an ability to specialize your industry knowledge, shows data from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, which Fortune ranks as having premier online master’s in computer scienceonline master’s in data science, and online master’s in cybersecurity degrees.

“The numbers show that this extra one-to-two years of study paves the way to a job which pays, on average, $30,000 more in an annual salary than those holding just an undergrad degree in computing, and, on average, $60,000 more for those transitioning from outside the field of computing,” Craig Gotsman, computer science professor and dean of the Ying Wu College of Computing at the NJIT, previously told Fortune

Overall, network and computer systems administrators (common computer science job titles) who have a master’s degree can earn a premium of up to 26% more than people with just a bachelor’s, depending on the position, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Computer science master’s candidates: Below are three career options that could help you land a salary of at least $120,000 after graduation. 

Computer and information systems managers

This role within computer science oversees and directs daily operations of tech departments, including functions such as electronic data processing, information systems, systems analysis, and computer programming. Computer and information systems managers, therefore, also have strong interpersonal, organizational, and communications skills—along with technical chops.

According to the BLS, these workers can bring in nearly $160,000 per year, on average. Computer and information systems managers typically need at least five years of experience—and demand for these workers is growing rapidly. Employment is expected to jump 16% by 2031, which is much faster than the growth rate of all other occupations, according to the BLS.

Some top companies will pay computer and information systems managers much more than the national average. In fact, Glassdoor data shows that Apple will pay these workers as much as $260,000.

Computer and information research scientists

These computer science professionals design new computing technology and enhance existing tech and, on average, they can make more than $131,000 per year, according to the BLS. These professionals almost always are required to have a master’s degree in the field. The number of computer science and information research scientists is expected to skyrocket by 2031—at a 21% growth rate, BLS data shows.

These workers often find employment with the federal government, computer systems design firms, research and development departments at companies, as well as higher education institutions. Some top organizations and companies that often hire these professionals include Apple, Adobe, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Defense, and the Department of the Interior, according to Bay Atlantic University

Computer network architect

Computer network architects are in charge of designing and building data communication networks, which move data from one computer to another using wired and wireless channels. Common communication networks include local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and intranets.

These computer science professionals make $120,520 per year, on average, according to the BLS. Usually, these workers need five years of experience in the field. 

Top companies including IBMCisco SystemsAT&T, and Dell often hire computer network architects, according to Glassdoor. At these larger companies, computer network architects can earn even more than the average. For example, IBM will pay computer network architects an average of about $145,000, Glassdoor data shows

Check out all of Fortune’rankings of degree programs, and learn more about specific career paths.