Many software developers are self-taught before they go on to complete a bachelor’s degree in software development. If you are a fast learner and quickly pick up on new technology and trends, you may not think it is necessary to get another degree. So, is it worthwhile to complete a master’s degree in software development? The short answer is yes, and here is why.
Reasons to get a master’s in software development
When you are thinking about obtaining a degree in software development, you might hesitate because you may worry about maintaining a work-life balance while also studying. However, when you consider the reasons to get a degree, you may decide to do it.
The first reason to continue your education in software development is to gain more skills that can give you an edge in the job market. If you pursue an advanced degree, you will have a higher chance of standing out among other job candidates.
The second reason is a master’s degree offers the opportunity to advance to a more senior or leadership role in your current organization or another business. To climb the career ladder, you may need a master’s degree that impresses the higher-ups at your work. You may be able to enter new branches of software development or manage others.
The third reason is a higher degree can lead to earning more money. The salary for a software developer with a master’s degree can range from $90,000 to $120,000 per year. The average is about $111,000 per year.
The fourth reason is employers see a greater value in candidates with a master’s degree in software development. When it is time for layoffs or other changes in your workforce, you may be less likely to be affected if you have a higher degree.
What type of jobs can you get with an advanced software development degree?
You may be wondering what you can do with a master’s degree in software development. You will have many career options with this type of degree. The first and most obvious is working as a software developer for a variety of businesses, such as apps.
You can also work as a software engineer who analyzes and modifies programs in addition to designing new programs. Another option is becoming a computer and information systems manager and overseeing other engineers or developers. You can also work as a database administrator, video game designer, or cybersecurity manager.
When is the right time to pursue a master’s in software development?
Going back to school costs money and requires an investment of time. Your individual circumstances, such as being a caregiver or having a family, can add other issues that make pursuing a degree even more difficult.
No one can tell you the perfect time to pursue a degree because it depends on your life and dreams. For example, if you just started a family, will you be able to find the time to study? Perhaps doing an online master’s degree in software development rather than an in-class program can help you fit your studies into your life more comfortably?
There is no perfect time to go after another degree since there will always be reasons to hesitate or excuses not to do it. You have to decide if you want it enough. Pursuing a degree needs to align with your life’s goals.
Can you afford a master’s degree?
Financial considerations are an important reason to think about getting a degree before signing up for a program. The first question you should ask is if your employer is willing to contribute toward your tuition fees. Some organizations will pay for their employees to go back to school.
If your job does not pay for tuition, then you have to think about how you will afford it. Are you able to pay using savings or investments? Will you need to take out a loan or multiple loans over time? Can you apply for financial aid or scholarships? You may want to talk to a financial counselor to get these answers.
The cost of a master’s degree varies widely based on the type of program you choose and its location. If you pursue an online degree, you will not have commuting costs. However, you will still have book fees and other costs. Before signing up for a program, make sure to carefully budget your money and figure out how much you will need.
Whether you are uncertain about a master’s degree in software development or ready to jump into a program, you should stop and evaluate your goals. Why are you interested in getting a master’s, and will it help your career? Once you have the answer to these questions, then you are ready to move forward.