Types of Degrees Computer Science Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many computer science graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Computer Science Majors Need to Know
People with careers related to compsci were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.
Knowledge Areas for CompSci Majors
According to O*NET survey takers, a major in compsci should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Skills for CompSci Majors
A major in compsci prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:
- 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.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Abilities for CompSci Majors
As a compsci 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.
- Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- 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.
What Can You Do With a Computer Science Major?
People with a compsci 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 Support Specialists||8.2%||$62,770|
|Computer Science Professors||8.1%||$82,220|
|Computer Systems Engineers/Architects||9.3%||$90,270|
|Document Management Specialists||9.3%||$90,270|
|Geospatial Information Scientists and Technologists||9.3%||$90,270|
|Information Security Analysts||28.5%||$98,350|
|Search Marketing Strategists||9.3%||$90,270|
|Software Developers, Applications||30.7%||$103,620|
|Software Developers, Systems Software||11.1%||$110,000|
|Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers||9.3%||$90,270|
Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of compsci majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||1,361|
|Hispanic or Latino||3,033|
Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in CompSci. About 11.9% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
How Much Do Computer Science Majors Make?
Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary
The median starting salary of students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in compsci was $63,700 per year. These stats come from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $54,675 (25th percentile) and $73,125 (75th percentile).
One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to compsci.
Salaries According to BLS
Compsci majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $89,580 to $114,000 (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.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Computer Science
Some careers associated with compsci require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. 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.
Find out what the typical degree level is for compsci careers below.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|Less than a High School Diploma||0.3%|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||2.0%|
|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)||6.1%|
|Some College Courses||4.9%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||9.0%|
|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.||4.3%|
|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%|
|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.||0.1%|
Online Computer Science Programs
In the 2018-2019 academic year, 915 schools offered some type of computer 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)||27||0|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||23||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||1||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||111||5|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||1||1|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Computer Science Worth It?
The median salary for a compsci grad is $96,200 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 141% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,126,000 after 20 years!
Majors Related to Computer Science
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to compsci.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Computer Information Systems||76,482|
|Computer Systems Networking||14,055|
|Computer Software & Applications||12,793|
|Computer Systems Analysis||2,472|
|Other Computer & Information Sciences||1,243|
- 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
- Image Credit: By Negative Space under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.