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Computational Science Major

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Computational Science

$93,350 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Computational Science Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many computational science graduations there were in 2019-2020 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 832
Bachelor’s Degree 174
Graduate Certificate 75
Basic Certificate 53
Doctor’s Degree 34
Associate Degree 12
Undergraduate Certificate 4

What Computational Science Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to scientific computing and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Scientific Computing Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills for Scientific Computing Majors

scientific computing majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities for Scientific Computing Majors

Scientific Computing majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Computational Science Major?

People with a scientific computing degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Business Intelligence Analysts 9.3% $90,270
Data Warehousing Specialists 9.3% $90,270
Database Architects 9.3% $90,270
Geospatial Information Scientists and Technologists 9.3% $90,270

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Computational Science?

174 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
31% Percent Women
24% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major attracts more men than women. About 69% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of scientific computing majors is as follows:

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Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 16
Black or African American 2
Hispanic or Latino 20
White 78
International Students 53
Other Races/Ethnicities 5

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Scientific Computing. About 30.5% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Computational Science Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Scientific Computing majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $76,990 to $139,680 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Computational Science Major  ( 76990 to 139680 )
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with scientific computing may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to scientific computing have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 2.3%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 2.3%
Some College Courses 1.3%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 3.3%
Bachelor’s Degree 57.2%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 4.6%
Master’s Degree 20.6%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.7%
Doctoral Degree 5.1%
Post-Doctoral Training 2.8%

Online Computational Science Programs

In the 2019-2020 academic year, 79 schools offered some type of computational science program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 1 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 1 0
Bachelor’s Degree 11 2
Post-Baccalaureate 0 0
Master’s Degree 46 4
Post-Master’s 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 10 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Computational Science Worth It?

The median salary for a scientific computing grad is $93,350 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 134% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,069,000 after 20 years!

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References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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