Do I Need to Take the ETS® Major Field Test After Getting my Computer Science Degree?

If you are interested in using standardized tests to help advance your career in the field of computer science, an important question has probably crossed your mind: Is taking the ETS Major Field Test after getting my computer science degree required or advantageous? By reviewing the information found below, you can obtain an answer to this question and several others that pertain to career development within the computer science sector. 

What is the ETS Major Field Test?

The ETS Major Field Test is a comprehensive exam designed to assess the student’s understanding and knowledge obtained within a specific field of study. To accomplish this objective, the ETS test goes beyond assessing factual knowledge in order to evaluate the student’s analytical and problem-solving abilities, proficiency in material interpretation, and efficacy in understanding relationships within their field of study. The ETS is primarily designed to enable educators and learning institutions to gauge the student’s proficiency in mastering the material taught within a specific subject. Once this is done, instructors and educational institutions can evaluate their program’s efficacy and compare it to similar programs throughout the nation. As ETS notes in discussing its exam, the Major Field Test is offered in over twelve undergraduate fields of study (including computer science) and helps educators:

  • prepare their students to excel academically by using test results to improve teaching strategies and curriculum
  • prove the strengths of their program to prospective faculty and students
  • compete for funding
  • ensure that students have mastered their chosen field of study
  • use their time to focus on other components of accreditation

Do I Need to Take This Exam?

If you are wondering whether you need to take the ETS Major Field Test after you graduate with your degree in computer science, you should know that the answer is no. The exam is not a prerequisite to grad school or the attainment of a job.

Should I Take This Exam?

Although you are not required to take the ETS Major Field Test after you obtain your computer science degree, doing so can be useful to both you and the educational institution that you graduated from. Specifically, taking the exam will provide you with a basic understanding of how well you have mastered the material you learned while obtaining your degree. Additionally, the ETS Major Field Test enables your educators to grasp the strengths and weaknesses of their program and subsequently make improvements such that the quality and efficacy of the program undergoes continual improvement.

You should note that there is no indication that employers will request your ETS Major Field Test results in the event that you do take the exam. In fact, the score results are confidential. In the event that you perform exceptionally well on the exam and are seeking measurable evidence to indicate your aptitude for a job position within the field of computer science, it may be advisable to share your high score with the prospective employer.


If you are planning to pursue a career in the field of computer science, you should know that taking the ETS Major Field Test can help you gain an understanding of how much you learned throughout your undergraduate career. However, you are not required to take the exam. Now that you have obtained an answer to the important question “Is taking the ETS Major Field Test after getting my computer science degree required or advantageous?,” you can determine whether doing so would be appropriate or advantageous for you.

For those interested in furthering their education in the Computer Science field, please see our list on MBA programs, “Top 10 Best Online Master’s in Computer Science Degree Programs“.