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Computer & IS Security Major

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Computer & IS Security

4,872 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
5,229 Master's Degrees Annually
#5 in Popularity
$92,030 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Computer & IS Security Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many computer and IS security graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 5,229
Bachelor’s Degree 4,882
Basic Certificate 3,226
Associate’s Degree 2,468
Graduate Certificate 991
Undergraduate Certificate 843
Doctor’s Degree 56

What Computer & IS Security Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to computer and IS security 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 Computer & IS Security Majors

Computer and IS Security majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • 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.
  • Telecommunications - Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
  • 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.

Skills for Computer & IS Security Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to computer and IS security:

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  • 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.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • 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 & IS Security Majors

Computer and IS Security majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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  • 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.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • 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 Computer & IS Security Major?

People with a computer and IS security degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Computer and Information Systems Managers 12.0% $142,530
Computer Network Architects 6.5% $109,020
Computer Network Support Specialists 8.2% $62,770
Database Administrators 11.5% $90,070
Information Security Analysts 28.5% $98,350
Network and Computer Systems Administrators 6.1% $82,050
Telecommunications Engineering Specialists 6.5% $109,020

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer & IS Security?

4,882 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
16% Percent Women
33% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major attracts more men than women. About 84% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of computer and IS security majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Computer & IS Security Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 337
Black or African American 579
Hispanic or Latino 497
White 2,870
International Students 126
Other Races/Ethnicities 473

Geographic Diversity

Computer & IS Security appeals to people across the globe. About 2.6% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Computer & IS Security Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $87,070 to $111,130 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to computer and IS security. 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 Computer & IS Security Major  ( 87070 to 111130 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
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 careers associated with computer and IS security 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 computer and IS security careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 1.5%
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) 8.5%
Some College Courses 9.7%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 13.9%
Bachelor’s Degree 49.7%
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. 5.4%
Master’s Degree 9.6%
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. 1.4%
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. 1.0%

Online Computer & IS Security Programs

In 2018-2019, 701 schools offered a computer and IS security program of some type. 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) 246 39
Certificate (1-2 years) 127 19
Certificate (2-4 Years) 5 1
Associate’s Degree 242 39
Bachelor’s Degree 88 38
Post-Baccalaureate 246 39
Master’s Degree 154 83
Post-Master’s 11 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 7 4
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Computer & IS Security Worth It?

The median salary for a computer and IS security grad is $92,030 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 131% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,042,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to computer and IS security.

Major Number of Grads
Network & System Administration/Administrator 5,778
Information Technology Management 3,066
Computer Support Specialist 2,955
Information Technology Project Management 1,614
System, Networking, & LAN/WAN Management/Manager 1,521
Web/Multimedia Management & Webmaster 770

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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