Skip to main content

Learn While You Earn: How to Balance a Full-Time Job and an Online MSCS

July 1, 2024

The computer science job market is growing rapidly; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 26% employment growth for software developers and 23% growth for computer research scientists between 2022 and 2032. Candidates looking to enter or advance in this competitive job market can improve their prospects with a computer science master’s degree, an advanced credential that signals aptitude in foundational principles and advanced applications. 

For many, a part-time online degree program represents the perfect fit. Consider the Online Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) at Stevens Institute of Technology. The part-time online format offers the convenience and scheduling flexibility working students need, while the program’s two available tracks make it equally welcoming to experienced computing professionals and those looking to join the profession. Ranked the 11th-best online computer information technology program in 2024 by U.S. News & World Report, Stevens delivers an innovative curriculum taught by an experienced faculty committed to student success. 

Online programs provide many advantages. Even so, balancing work and study commitments has its challenges. This article explores the benefits of an online MSCS and suggests ways students who are full-time workers can manage their time effectively.

Discover the Benefits of Online Learning for Working Professionals

Online education has grown increasingly popular because it offers several advantages: 

  • Flexibility: Many online programs deliver course content asynchronously, enabling students to study when convenient. 
  • Accessibility: Online students can study from anywhere, eliminating the need to relocate or commute to campus.
  • Continued professional development: Online students can pursue their degrees while continuing their careers, using their income to offset costs. They may also benefit from opportunities to apply what they learn to their professional lives.  
  • Tailored education: Some programs feature customizable options, allowing students to tailor their education to fit their interests and career goals. The Online MSCS at Stevens offers two tracks, traditional and advanced, for students at different career stages.

How to Balance a Full-Time Job and a Computer Science Master’s Degree

Balancing a full-time job and earning a master’s degree is manageable with the right strategies. Thousands of students manage it every year. Here’s how you can, too:

  • Manage your time: Use a planner to track your classes, projects, work commitments and family obligations, and create a study schedule to ensure you meet your deadlines. 
  • Set realistic goals: Break large assignments into smaller tasks, prioritize these tasks and set attainable goals to complete each component. 
  • Limit distractions: Distractions during study time adversely impact exam results. Find a quiet place to study and ask your family to respect your study time.
  • Communicate with your employer: Many employers support continuing education with flexible or remote work options. Many even offer a tuition assistance benefit, yet another reason to let your employer know you’re studying part time.  
  • Use support services: Most universities provide resources to support online students. Stevens maintains an academic support center that includes workshops and tutoring services.
  • Connect with your peers. Programs with a cohort model, like Stevens’ Online MSCS, promote collaboration and foster support and camaraderie. Gaining Technical Depth at Stevens: Overview of the Online MSCS Program

Students in the Stevens Online MSCS program choose from two academic tracks. The Traditional Coursework track includes foundational courses tailored for those looking to pivot from non-computing backgrounds. The Advanced Coursework track is designed for those with undergraduate degrees in computing disciplines and for computing professionals. Both tracks provide opportunities to customize the degree with additional coursework in artificial intelligence and machine learning, business intelligence and analytics, and software development.

Through class discussions and projects, students deepen their understanding of computer science principles. The program’s cohort model means students progress through the program together, often forming lasting professional bonds. The faculty includes thought leaders and industry insiders.

Stevens’ Online MSCS graduates gain the technical depth and specialized skills to make informed decisions, solve complex challenges and drive innovation. With 97% of alumni securing job offers within three months of graduation, the Online MSCS can be your gateway to a rewarding career in computer science.

Advance Your Earning Potential in a Growing Field

Computer science mastery leads to diverse career paths, high demand and competitive salaries. Computer scientists earn a median income of $136,620. Factors including professional experience, location and company size can impact that figure significantly.

Stevens’ Online MSCS helps students advance by emphasizing collaboration and fostering a systemic approach to computer science that promotes lifelong learning. A seven-time winner of the 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning, Stevens boasts a history of delivering quality online programs. The program’s supportive environment enables students to reach their goals while maintaining professional momentum.

Achieve Your Degree Without Stalling Your Career 

A master’s in computer science can lead to management and leadership roles, higher pay and new careers. Online programs offer flexibility, accessibility and professional advancement, valuable features for those looking to pivot careers. Balancing work and school isn’t easy but many, many students manage it. You can succeed with the right strategies. As an Online MSCS student at Stevens, you’ll have the added support of your cohort and faculty. If you’re unsure whether the program is right for you, read our article exploring the question, “Who is a good fit for Stevens’ Online MSCS?.” 

Ready to take the next step? Schedule a call with an enrollment advisor for personalized advice, or start your application