General Computer Science
Types of Degrees General Computer Science Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many general computer and information sciences graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What General Computer Science Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, computer and information sciences majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.
Knowledge Areas for Computer and Information Sciences Majors
This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- 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.
- Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- 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.
Skills for Computer and Information Sciences Majors
When studying computer and information sciences, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- 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.
- Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Abilities for Computer and Information Sciences Majors
As a computer and information sciences major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- 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.
- Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
What Can You Do With a General Computer Science Major?
People with a computer and information sciences degree often go into the following careers:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Computer and Information Research Scientists||19.0%||$118,370|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||12.0%||$142,530|
|Computer Network Architects||6.5%||$109,020|
|Computer Science Professors||8.1%||$82,220|
|Informatics Nurse Specialists||9.1%||$88,740|
|Network and Computer Systems Administrators||6.1%||$82,050|
|Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers||9.3%||$90,270|
|Telecommunications Engineering Specialists||6.5%||$109,020|
Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in General Computer Science?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of computer and information sciences majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||1,683|
|Hispanic or Latino||2,394|
Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Computer and Information Sciences. About 10.1% of those with this major are international students.
How Much Do General Computer Science Majors Make?
Salaries According to BLS
Average salaries range from $92,030 to $111,130 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to computer and information sciences. 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.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to General Computer Science
Some degrees associated with computer and information sciences may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to computer and information sciences have obtained the following education levels.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||1.4%|
|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)||5.6%|
|Some College Courses||7.1%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||9.5%|
|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.||2.4%|
|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.||1.2%|
|First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession.||0.9%|
Online General Computer Science Programs
In the 2018-2019 academic year, 1,043 schools offered some type of general computer and information sciences 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)||201||43|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||112||18|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||4||1|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||81||5|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in General Computer Science Worth It?
The median salary for a computer and information sciences grad is $93,610 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 135% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,074,200 after 20 years!
Explore Major by State
District of Columbia
Majors Related to General Computer Science
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to computer and information sciences.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Other Computer & Information Sciences||1,143|
*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.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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