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Master's Degrees for Java Professionals

Master's degree programs in computer science and computer information systems may offer classes in Java, however there are no programs devoted just to Java language. Keep reading to learn about common courses, online availability, available Java certification programs, and the career outlook.

What Courses Will I Take in a Java Master's Degree Program?

Java is a computer programming language used in several technical applications, such as for websites, computer animation games, and cell phones. Colleges do not tend to offer a specific degree in Java programming. Instead, it is usually part of another computer or technology program. You can find Java programming courses in graduate degree programs, such as a Master of Science in Computer Information Systems, Master of Science in Software Engineering, Master of Science in Computer Science, Master of Science in Software Design and Programming or Master of Science in Information Technology.

These degree programs incorporate Java into their curriculum to explain object-oriented programming, how applets are used and how Java is used in various applications. Post-master's degree certificates in Java software development are also available. Many graduate degree programs in this field require you to have some basic competence in Java programming as part of their admissions requirements. Here is a sampling of classes often found in computer-related graduate degree programs:

  • Database systems
  • Computer networks
  • Operating systems
  • Database security
  • Data structures for Java
  • Advanced Java programming
  • Analysis of algorithms
  • Web applications development
  • Object-oriented methods

Common Courses Database systems, database security, advanced java programming
Online Availability Blended
Certification Java certification: Associate, professional, master's certificates
Median Salary $89,190 (computer programmers, 2020); $110,140 (computer software developers, 2020)
Job Outlook 22% growth (computer software developers, 2019-2029)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Can I Obtain This Degree Online?

Some colleges have begun to offer online master's degree programs in computer science or computer information systems that include Java programming as core or elective classes. You may also take advantage of programs that offer blended learning, where you can split your time between on-campus classes and online learning. If you participate in distance learning, you will need a computer with Internet access and likely an e-mail account to communicate with your instructor.

Do I Need to Be Certified?

Oracle, which purchased Java developer Sun Microsystems in 2009, offers a variety of courses and training programs to acquire certification in Java. While not always required, Java certification may help you expand your job opportunities and show employers your expertise in the field. Some graduate degree programs include certification material in their courses, which would allow you to sit for certification exams. Java certification is offered at the associate, professional and master levels.

What Can I Expect Regarding Salary and Job Outlook?

According to the company Oracle, Java technology is now used in over 4.5 billion devices (www.java.com). Java can be used in many different platforms, such as writing software in handheld devices or inside a Web browser. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for computer software engineers are expected to grow by 22% within the 2019-2029 decade. It is one of the highest growth rates for all jobs. According to the Bureau's website (www.bls.gov), computer programmers earned a median annual income of $89,190, while computer software engineers focusing on applications earned a median wage of $110,140 annually in 2020.