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Which Master of Applied Computer Science Track is Right for You?

Applying for graduate school can be similar to any big financial decision. There are many options to weigh in addition to cost, including what your options are, the types of careers that are common for each track, earning potential and more. With five targeted tracks for the Master of Applied Computer Science (MACS) program, Saint Xavier University is here to help you figure out which track is the right fit.

Data Science

The Data Science track combines multiple disciplines, including data analysis, statistics, research methods and processes, and more. This track can be daunting for those unfamiliar with the territory, but keep in mind that you don’t have to be an expert at everything since companies will look for certain skills over others.

Prospective jobs include, but are not limited to, data analyst, market research analyst and data engineer. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most jobs within the data science track have a much faster than average growth outlook through 2028. With a median salary of $63,120, the market research analyst in particular is at 20 percent, which ranks it among the fastest growing occupations in the United States.

Networking and Cybersecurity

The Networking and Cybersecurity track will provide you with the knowledge and tools needed to build, evaluate, analyze and manage secure networks. With this track, the type of role that you’ll fill within a company, organization or even the government will be immensely valued as they require a high amount of responsibility.

Prospective jobs include, but are not limited to, computer network architect, digital forensics technician and network administrator. As BLS reports, growth in these occupations range from average to above average. For example, computer network architects are at a steady 5 percent growth through 2028, but also have one of the highest-paying median salaries at $109,020.

Software Engineering

Within the Software Engineering track, you’ll learn software design, software processes and computer system architecture and design, among other skills and topics. Generally, those new to the field will begin as a programmer. However, with a MACS degree, you’ll have more opportunities than others who tend to start their careers with an undergraduate degree.

Prospective jobs include, but are not limited to, software engineer, software developer, computer and information research scientist and computer support specialist. Jobs with this track have a faster than average growth outlook through 2028, according to BLS. Software developers in particular not only have the highest growth outlook through 2028, at 21 percent, but are also among the highest paid with a median salary of $105,590.

Web Development

In addition to developing a variety of websites, the Web Development track delves into mobile app development, managing data on the cloud and more. In this field, you’ll either work on the server-side development (ASP, Java, Python, Ruby, etc.), the front end (CCS, HTML, etc.) or both, depending on your workplace. Web developers tend to work for businesses or governments but are also known to freelance.

While prospective jobs mainly involve web development and other computer and information technology occupations, teaching web development may also be an option. The job growth outlook for web developers is at 13 percent through 2028, which is above the national average. According to BLS, the median salary is at $69,430.

General

The General track will place you in a position to acquire skills that are within the four other tracks to focus on specific career goals. As such, the courses that you choose will alter what your job outlook will be. Keep in mind that most students that enter this track tend to focus on web administration and other e-business routes. To learn more about this track and how you can focus courses to fit your aspirations, please contact the Office of Graduate Admission to get started.