What is the pay increase if you have a Master's degree over a Bachelor's?

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Brian in Huntington, West Virginia

66 months ago

Well as of right now I'm in my second semester of my CS degree aiming for a job in software engineer. My current situation though is wondering if I should go to graduate school or not(the graduate degree would be MS software engineering).

I know it is something that is almost guaranteed to make your resume look better but the thing I'm worried about is the starting salary increase. I know money isn't everything when it comes to careers but if I'm going to spend an extra $30,000+ plus 2 years more of my life on further education I would at least hope there is a pay benefit to it.

So in your experience is there an average amount that a master's will yield over a bachelor's?

And another question: How often do you get raises in this field? I'm aware the pay is salary based in most cases, not hourly...but is there a annual pay increase? Or do the majority of companies do it on a performance based system?

Thanks for any information you can provide.

( The living area where this job will take place is Pittsburgh, PA by the way )

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Mike in Chicago, Illinois

64 months ago

Whether or not a masters matters depends on where you work. If you're looking for a massive company (e.g., Intel, Google) then a masters will help get a job, and have higher pay. I'm not talking massive pay over a bachelors; seems like it's normally only a few grand more per year. If there's a specific field of CS you want to study then go for the masters, if you just want to code then get a job.

As for raises, my current company is 2x a year, each raise is ~3-10% depending on performance. Most companies I know of are 1x a year. Most of my software engineering friends see consistent raises until they hit a certain threshold. The threshold varies greatly depending on your industry and company.

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