Why This Matters

  • JOBS EXPECTED TO INCREASE BY 13% BY 2026

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the U.S. will add 557,100 new computer and information technology-related jobs in the next seven years. This growth rate is faster than the average for all other occupations.

  • THE U.S. NEEDS 44,200 MORE TECH MANAGERS

    Companies typically seek individuals with advanced degrees for management positions, such as computer and information systems managers. Employment of these positions will rise 12% in the coming years.

  • EARN $14,000 MORE WITH A MASTER’S DEGREE

    According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers 2019 Winter Salary Survey, the starting salary for someone with a master’s in computer science is $81,466, compared to $67,539 for a bachelor’s-level employee.

Our Research

Traditionally, advanced degrees in STEM fields like computer science are a Master of Science, although we also included Professional Science Master’s programs on our list. A Professional Science Master’s (PSM) is a new type of degree developed to integrate science, math, and professional experience to meet the evolving needs of STEM-related careers. Both types of programs will give you the knowledge and training you need to advance your computer science career.

Coursera, a popular online learning platform, to provide their instruction. All schools are regionally accredited, guaranteeing that your degree meets high quality standards and will be recognized and respected by employers.

We calculated the Intelligent Score of each degree on a scale from 0 to 100, based on reviews of the programs’ course offerings, flexibility, cost, and reputation. The top 16 online master’s degrees in computer science are highly regarded, affordable, and customizable.(For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 73 hours to write this article
  • 117 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 446 education programs we compared

The Top 40 Online Master’s Degrees in Computer Science

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What You Should Know About This Degree

Earning a graduate degree is an excellent way to advance your career, move into a leadership role, and earn more money. However, as the computer and information technology sector gets more specialized, schools are developing more degree programs in particular areas of computer science, such as cybersecurity, data science, and software engineering. It’s important to think about your career goals, and if a different degree besides computer science is better suited to helping you achieve them.

Likewise, a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) is also a popular degree for individuals who want to pursue management positions. Employers may look for individuals with business knowledge as well as tech skills. Many MBA programs offer a concentration in computer science or information technology, allowing you to blend technical skills with business acumen.

Because of the specialized nature of this field, most master’s programs want students who already have a degree or prerequisite coursework in computer science. If you have a different educational background, but are thinking about getting a master’s in computer science, be sure to review the program’s eligibility requirements, talk to a program representative about your options, and plan accordingly to take any prerequisite courses you may need.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Masters Computer Science programs:

  • Does this program have the specialization I want? Under the umbrella of computer science, there are many different specializations, such as data management and analysis; software development; information assurance, and more. If you know you want to focus on a specific area within computer science, check to see if the program you’re exploring offers that type of specialization.
  • What type of standardized tests are required for admission? Many schools require either the GRE or MAT as part of the admissions process for graduate programs. Find out what test the school accepts, and what the minimum score is, and make arrangements to take the test prior to applying.

Researching application processes and deadlines is an important part of the college search process as well. Visit the program’s website or talk to an admissions representative to find out what is required for an application, and how to submit those materials.

Financing your education is another important consideration. Find out what the program offers in terms of scholarships, assistantships, and financial aid. You should also check with your employer to see if they offer tuition assistance benefits.