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  • Average Salary for Master’s Level Computer Science Grads Nears $100,000

    September 27, 2021 | By Kevin Gray

    Compensation
    A computer science graduate at work.

    TAGS: first destination, compensation, salaries, surveys, spotlight

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    Class of 2020 graduates in the computer and information sciences discipline received the highest average starting salaries at the advanced degree levels, according to results of NACE’s Summer 2021 Salary Survey report.

    Graduates earning master’s degrees in the computer and information sciences discipline received an average starting salary of $99,268—the highest average starting salary at the master’s degree level. (See Figure 1.) Those earning a doctorate in this discipline exceeded that with an average of $130,072, placing them at the top among doctoral degree graduates. (See Figure 2.)

    When these salaries are compared to the average starting salary for graduates earning bachelor’s degrees ($80,477) in the computer and information sciences discipline, the value of going on for advanced degrees is clear. The average starting salary for master’s graduates in this discipline is 23.4% higher than that of their bachelor’s counterparts; the differential swells to 61.6% when comparing the starting salaries of bachelor’s and doctoral graduates.   

    The Summer 2021 Salary Survey report provides actual starting salaries and serves as the final salary report for the college Class of 2020. The figures reported are for base salaries only and do not include bonuses, commissions, fringe benefits, or overtime rates. Data were gathered from Class of 2020 graduates through December 31, 2020, and reported to NACE through May 15, 2021. The salary data presented here were reported to NACE through its national Class of 2020 First-Destination Survey and are based on the 249 schools that provided salary data by specific program or major. The Summer 2021 Salary Survey report is available to members in MyNACE.  

    Figure 1: Average starting salaries by discipline, master’s degrees (minimum of 100 responses)

    Broad Category Number of Responses Average Starting Salary
    Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services 1,814 $99,268
    Engineering 2,846 $90,963
    Engineering Technologies 324 $83,686
    Transportation and Materials Moving 133 $82,769
    Mathematics and Statistics 284 $80,786
    Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 6,010 $76,996
    Health Professions and Related Programs 3,216 $72,950
    Biological and Biomedical Sciences 582 $71,031
    Social Sciences 389 $62,185
    Physical Sciences 151 $61,942
    Source: Summer 2021 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    Figure 2: Average starting salaries by discipline, doctoral degrees (minimum of 100 responses)

    Broad Category Number of Responses Average Starting Salary
    Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services 181 $130,072
    Engineering 688 $97,814
    Social Sciences 110 $85,458
    Education 523 $76,990
    Agriculture 182 $74,295
    Health Professions and Related Programs 880 $73,672
    Physical Sciences 227 $70,582
    Legal Studies 105 $68,378
    Biological and Biomedical Sciences 244 $66,403
    Psychology 185 $61,460
    Source: Summer 2021 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers
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