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7 Reasons to Pursue an Online Master’s in Computer Science

September 7, 2023

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computing constitutes the second-fastest growing sector of the U.S. job market, expanding at a 15 percent rate from 2021 to 2031. The field should add nearly 700,000 new jobs over the decade — and growth and replacement together should result in over 400,000 open positions in the industry each year. Three computing and mathematics occupations rank among the nation’s ten fastest-growing professions: data scientist, information security analyst, and statistician. Only the healthcare sector is growing faster.

By shaping the future of computing and computing technologies, computer scientists will substantially impact the course of business, medicine, academics, and other essential enterprises in the coming years and decades. Those with advanced skills — the sort you can develop in a Master of Science in Computer Science degree program — should exert the greatest influence. Not coincidentally, they likely will earn higher salaries. If all that sounds appealing to you, you may be an excellent candidate for an MSCS.

You can pursue your degree in an on-campus program or earn it online. Which better suits your needs? Each option offers unique benefits. This article focuses on why an online degree program, such as the Online Master of Science in Computer Science offered by Tulane University, might be the right choice for you.

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7 Reasons to Pursue an Online Master’s in Computer Science

Relatively recent advances in computing have made it possible to deliver a robust online master’s degree program in computer science. Here are seven reasons you might want to take advantage of that opportunity.


Most online programs facilitate a high degree of scheduling flexibility so students can set their own pace. The Online Master of Science in Computer Science at Tulane University, for example, offers both full-time and part-time options. Students can take two to three courses per semester (on a full-time basis) and complete the program in 20-28 months, or they can take one or two courses per semester (on a part-time schedule) to earn their degrees in 28-36 months, making it easier to plan their present and their future.

Online programs typically deliver significant amounts of content asynchronously, enabling students to study anytime, anywhere they can access the internet. Evening live classes typically meet only once a week. All other study is completed on your own schedule. Finally, online programs vastly broaden students’ choice of programs: Online delivery means they are not confined to local options. With online study, you can attend an MSCS program anywhere in the world.

Work-Life Balance

Most online computer science programs are designed to accommodate those who work full time. Part-time study options enable students with full-time professional responsibilities (and, often, family obligations) to continue their professional development. Classes scheduled in the evenings accommodate those working from 9 to 5.

Online study also eliminates the need to commute to and from campus, saving precious time that would otherwise be wasted in traffic or on mass transit. Part-time online study offers working professionals one further advantage: the opportunity to apply what they learn in the classroom immediately to real-world work situations. 

Network Building

Online programs attract students from across professional and geographical backgrounds, meaning your online peers will bring a wealth of professional and life experience to your live class discussions, group projects, and online study groups. At Tulane University’s Online MSCS, small class sizes ensure the opportunity to build close relationships with each of your classmates so you can establish an invaluable peer network to benefit you throughout your career. Live classes and office hours likewise enable students to build relationships with faculty.


Online programs provide opportunities to customize your MSCS. That’s important in all disciplines, but especially in a field like computer science, which is both broad and complex. Specialization is key to defining your niche in the job market. The Online Master of Science in Computer Science at Tulane University offers six areas of specialization: computational geometry, computational biology and bioinformatics, algorithms and theory, systems, data science, and artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Career Advancement

Computer science is a career that requires highly developed skills and knowledge. Credentials like the MSCS demonstrate the acquisition of both. Equally important, they signal a commitment to bolstering your abilities and remaining up-to-date on the latest developments in computer science. Because it digs deep into foundational theory and fundamentals, an MSCS lays the groundwork for lifelong learning and self-improvement. These are attributes employers value when seeking new hires and determining promotions.

Improved Income Opportunities

Improving your skills and deepening your knowledge should qualify you for more complex, higher-responsibility roles. That’s why advanced credentials, such as certifications and graduate degrees, typically lead to opportunities for career advancement. Promotions of this sort frequently result in higher salaries and increased opportunities for incentive benefits like stock options, profit sharing, and bonuses. You’ll want to consider these future opportunities as you calculate the potential return on investment your Master of Science in Computer Science yields.

Doctorate Prerequisite

Perhaps you’re thinking that doctorates are only relevant to researchers and academics, but it turns out that many computer science PhDs work in the private sector or government. According to the National Science Foundation, more than half of all computer and information science professionals with a PhD work for private for-profit organizations. Another five percent work for nonprofits or federal, state, or local governments. A PhD can boost your earning potential considerably. Computer and information science PhDs in management, sales, or administration earned median salaries of $200,000 annually in 2021. Those in design earned only slightly less, while those in professional services drew an average annual salary of $157,000.

Your Master of Science makes you a more competitive candidate for a PhD program; many PhD programs require the degree. An MS from a prestigious institution like Tulane University bolsters your CV while preparing you for PhD study. In fact, the core courses in Tulane’s Online Master of Science in Computer Science are the same courses its PhD students are required to complete.

Earn Your Online MSCS at Tulane

Online study offers a degree of convenience that can be a difference-maker. Students too busy to attend an on-campus program or too entrenched to relocate can take advantage of online education to pursue higher education from their office or home. Online programs bring the university to you.

Tulane University offers a 100 percent Online Master of Science in Computer Science program; no campus visit is ever necessary. Flexible scheduling enables students to fit the program into their work schedules while completing their degrees anywhere from 20 to 36 months. The degree is highly customizable, with six specialization areas to choose from. Studying at a world-class university like Tulane University ensures you’ll learn from industry insiders and thought leaders.

Intrigued? Why not take the next step to learn more? Contact us to explore the benefits of earning your master’s in computer science online at Tulane.

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