Doctoral Degree in Computer Science: Is It Worth the Money?
Before beginning an online PhD, computer science students must decide if it would be worth the financial commitment and time spent. Five or more years of education plus tens of thousands of dollars is a hefty investment. In order to resolve whether the PhD would be worth it, students should compare two important elements: The monetary cost of the degree and the salary that can be made after graduation.
Cost of an Online PhD: Computer Science Programs
When calculating the cost of an online PhD program in computer science, tuition is the single most influential number. Many institutions charge by the credit hour and provide financial aid packages for eligible applicants to help defray the cost of attendance. Students with exceptional academic credentials may be eligible for grants or scholarships that do not need to be paid back. Other students can apply for low interest loans, whether through private sources or the government. Some schools also offer discounts for military service.
Aspen University’s total cost of attendance, which includes tuition, books and other fees, is currently $23,860. Compare that with Colorado Technical University, whose cost of attendance is much higher, estimated at $58,500. Obviously there is a broad range of costs, which is something students should be very aware of when creating their short list.
Payback from Investment in Computer Science PhD
Basic salary information is provided below for specific professions that can take advantage of a computer science PhD:
In Millions of 2014 Dollars
|Computer network architects
|Information security analysts
|Computer systems analysts
|Information research scientists
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics
To put all those numbers in perspective, the job search site simplyhired.com states that the average salary for computer science PhD jobs was $75,000.
Growth is expected in fields related to computer science. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates employment growth rates of between 18 percent and 37 percent for computer programmers, computer network architects, database administrators, information security analysts, computer systems analysts and information research scientists. This is compared to the national average growth rate for all occupations projected at 11 percent for the same period between 2012 and 2022.