Computer Science Salaries Outlook for 2023

September 14, 2023

Laptops. Tablets. Phones. Even washers and dryers. Everything in our lives is connected through software. Those who make the future a reality play a critical role in how we experience life. With a position that’s so important, it’s natural to wonder what a master’s in computer science salaries looks like.

To best understand the pay these computer scientists, we first need to talk about what computer science entails. It requires understanding multiple disciplines such as coding, design, information programming and problem-solving. Once mastered, they open up nearly limitless opportunities and applications.

This potential puts those with a computer science background at the forefront of innovation. Computers are just tools for the job. It’s computer scientists that give them purpose.

Positions in this field can be incredibly rewarding. It boils down to where your ambitions lie. Some people thrive on the fact that every project has its unique challenges. Problem-solving delivers moments of great satisfaction.

Others see it as a way to make a difference. Research and government positions offer the opportunity to drive real impact. Whether it’s moving the medical field forward or performing your civic duty, computer scientists are desperately needed in arenas that look to improve the public good.

For others, their draw to computer science is more exciting. The thrills experienced on the job may not be the same as cliff diving, but there are many emotional rewards in creating something that people use around the world. Seeing a creation of your own come to life and perform as programmed is something that’s truly special.

The broad demand for computer science professionals gives them the ability to work in fields that align with their passion. On top of that, there are specialties within the profession as well. Programming, information technology, cyber security, computer networking, research, data analysis and artificial intelligence all fall into the computer science category.

And right now it’s a very healthy field. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the annual average of computer scientists’ salaries is a very healthy $131,490. Even more, they predict technology-related positions are expected to grow 21% between 2021 and 2031. 

Factors Influencing Computer Science Salaries

That said, there are factors that affect salaries, with many opportunities to earn more than the average salaries. Experience is one, simply because those who have been working longer have also developed more skills. But computer scientists can get around that by learning proficiencies in tough-to-fill positions. This can help accelerate career growth and result in higher salaries to fill the demand.

The type of company you work at also affects pay. Larger companies and tech-forward offices pay more since their processes are reliant on their technology. If their systems stop working, their business stops working. When a role is mission-critical, their compensation reflects the importance.

Start-ups may not have a reliable cash flow at the beginning, resulting in lower salaries. However, with higher risk comes the chance for a higher reward. If the start-up finds success, those involved in the first stages are typically rewarded.

Another factor in salaries is location. Quite simply, some places pay more than others. Proximity to urban centers typically plays a role in salary. However, more money doesn’t necessarily equate to greater wealth. The cost of living can vary significantly across the country. What’s key is to find the right balance of income and location.

The good news in this regard is that times are changing. Remote work is becoming more and more common, especially in tech-driven industries. This freedom gives applicants the ability to find the right combination of desired role and location. While not all companies are transitioning to remote work, many are adopting this policy as a perk to remain competitive.

The certificates a person has can also have a positive impact on salaries. These programs offer the opportunity to stay current with trends. There are both vendor-specific trainings (Cisco, Microsoft) but also vendor-neutral certificates that apply to broader concepts, like software and programming languages. These can help grow your skills as well as aid in progressing within your company.

The last factor that can affect salary is education. Unlike boot camps, master’s degrees go deeper and wider in the subjects that are taught, ultimately making it more beneficial. When comparing advanced education to certificates, a master’s is a stronger addition to your resume because the process of earning builds upon your bachelor degree to bolster your skillset in significant ways.

These benefits are why Stevens Institute of Technology offers a computer science master’s program that sets graduates up for success in the professional world. Stevens was named number 13 in the nation for Private Schools in the Best Career Placement category by The Princeton Review (2022).

On top of that, 97% of MSCS graduates in the Class of 2021 accepted job offers within three months of graduating (based on data from 63% of spring 2021 full-time program graduates). What you accomplish after completing our program is just as important as what you learn in it. Our alumni have gone on to work at companies like Amazon, Meta, Google and IBM. The doors a master’s opens can be a good indicator of the strength of the degree.

We’ve honed and refined our program with this in mind to focus on the areas that make you stand out. The curriculum is designed to emphasize high-demand areas such as software development, web programming, mobile systems and applications, cloud computing, human-computer interaction and enterprise software design. These topics develop skills crucial to software development leaders and high-quality coders.

These courses establish a foundational understanding of the field and then build upon that. The first year focuses on programming, data structures, database management, web programming, mobile systems and machine learning. The second year follows up on those pillars with courses centered around algorithms, systems programming, operating systems, software development and human computer interaction.

What makes this online program stand out is the fact Stevens has invested heavily in remote learning. This flexibility helps accommodate your schedule and allows for you to continue working while enrolled. We want to break down barriers so the best students can enroll.

As we said before, the success of our students is of the utmost importance to us. We’ve been diligent in designing our program around that goal. We’re fortunate enough to be a seven-time winner of the U.S. Distance Learning Association’s 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning.

The median salaries for computer scientists are already quite impressive. It tells the story of the health of the industry and the direction things are headed. With several factors kept in mind, one can easily earn an even higher wage.

One of the most reliable ways to accelerate your career is through a master’s degree. Stevens is set up to help you achieve your professional goals. The world of computer science can be competitive, but our program helps give you an edge to stand out.