Computer science students should consider getting a master’s degree

Richard Ho, Staff Writer

For every computer science major, junior year is when they begin to plan for the future. Students have to decide whether to find an internship in hopes of landing a job offer or go to graduate school.  

While most students decide to obtain an internship and land a job after graduation, some prefer to get some career experience in an experienced workforce for a few years in a company and then consider obtaining a masters’ degree to advance their career.

Few students pursue a master’s degree due to the belief that obtaining a graduate degree is helpful when applying to a high-position job in the technology sector.   

While there are various perspectives on the importance of obtaining a master’s degree in computer science, obtaining a master’s degree in computer science can broaden one’s horizons and improve one’s professional career. 

Still, while there are benefits behind a master’s degree in computer science, students interested in obtaining their master’s degree might ask themselves: how can I afford expensive tuition from a graduate program at a university? 

Some of my colleagues prefer working at a company initially to start their professional career and obtain a stable salary, until their employer offers to pay their master’s degree tuition for them.  However, there is a catch to this, since most companies are likely to pay only a portion of the tuition. 

Additionally, some software engineers must juggle their work, home and academic lives, which causes them stress and difficulty in achieving career goals. 

Even though some students obtain their master’s degree after having a stable professional career for a few years, they avoid taking out a student loan to pay for their degree. However, this can also create more obstacles if they have a family to take care of on top of their studies and job. 

Obtaining a master’s degree after their undergraduate career is a preferable option because of students’ energetic approach to learning intense material and the opportunities of paying graduate tuition, such as becoming a research assistant. There are also merit-based scholarship opportunities for paying graduate tuition. 

Furthermore, research assistant positions aid in paying graduate tuition based on academic criteria and connections with a professor. This can help improve research abilities in the computer science discipline along with applying practical abilities in a master’s research program. Thus, there are many financial opportunities to assist in paying graduate tuition or obtaining a master’s degree after undergraduate education.

Although there are various methods one can obtain a master’s degree in computer science, it also comes down to an individual’s motivation to perform well and meet graduate admission criteria, in addition to maintaining a stable career. 

Obtaining a master’s degree is suitable for students to make a difference and manage more responsibilities  at a company in computer science, have higher salaries and better job security in a professional workforce. 

Richard Ho is a staff writer for The Cougar Chronicle. He is currently a junior computer science major and mathematics minor. Richard is considering applying to graduate school with the emphasis of artificial intelligence next year.  During his free time, he enjoys running outside early in the morning and being with his family.