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Computer & Information Sciences Major

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Computer & Information Sciences

$92,030 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Computer & Information Sciences Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many computer and information sciences graduations there were in 2019-2020 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 101,570
Master’s Degree 51,856
Basic Certificate 36,102
Associate Degree 32,413
Undergraduate Certificate 10,241
Graduate Certificate 3,142
Doctor’s Degree 2,421

What Computer & Information Sciences Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to computer and information sciences 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 Computer & Information Sciences Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Skills for Computer & Information Sciences Majors

A major in computer and information sciences prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • 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.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Abilities for Computer & Information Sciences Majors

Computer and Information Sciences 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.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • 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.

What Can You Do With a Computer & Information Sciences Major?

People with a computer and information sciences degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Business Intelligence Analysts 9.3% $90,270
Compliance Managers 8.0% $107,480
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 Network Support Specialists 8.2% $62,770
Computer Science Professors 8.1% $82,220
Computer Systems Analysts 9.1% $88,740
Computer Systems Engineers/Architects 9.3% $90,270
Computer User Support Specialists 11.3% $50,980
Data Warehousing Specialists 9.3% $90,270
Database Administrators 11.5% $90,070
Database Architects 9.3% $90,270
Document Management Specialists 9.3% $90,270
Geographic Information Systems Technicians 9.3% $90,270
Geospatial Information Scientists and Technologists 9.3% $90,270
Graphic Designers 4.2% $50,370
Informatics Nurse Specialists 9.1% $88,740
Information Security Analysts 28.5% $98,350
Information Technology Project Managers 9.3% $90,270
Loss Prevention Managers 8.0% $107,480
Multimedia Artists and Animators 8.4% $72,520
Network and Computer Systems Administrators 6.1% $82,050
Regulatory Affairs Managers 8.0% $107,480
Search Marketing Strategists 9.3% $90,270
Security Managers 8.0% $107,480
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
Supply Chain Managers 8.0% $107,480
Telecommunications Engineering Specialists 6.5% $109,020
Web Administrators 9.3% $90,270
Web Developers 14.9% $69,430
Wind Energy Operations Managers 8.0% $107,480
Wind Energy Project Managers 8.0% $107,480

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer & Information Sciences?

101,570 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
22% Percent Women
39% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major tends to be male dominated. About 78% of recent graduates are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

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Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 16,835
Black or African American 7,844
Hispanic or Latino 11,042
White 47,101
International Students 10,437
Other Races/Ethnicities 8,311

Geographic Diversity

Computer & Information Sciences appeals to people across the globe. About 10.3% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Computer & Information Sciences Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that computer and information sciences students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree made a median starting salary of $51,300 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $45,900 (25th percentile) and $61,000 (75th percentile).

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We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to computer and information sciences so take that into consideration.

Salaries According to BLS

Computer and Information Sciences majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $68,050 to $108,080 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

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 & Information Sciences Major  ( 68050 to 108080 )
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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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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. 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 computer and information sciences have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 0.2%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 6.0%
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) 5.7%
Some College Courses 7.2%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 10.4%
Bachelor’s Degree 52.4%
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. 3.6%
Master’s Degree 11.9%
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. 0.3%
Doctoral Degree 2.0%
Post-Doctoral Training 0.1%

Online Computer & Information Sciences Programs

In 2019-2020, 2,668 schools offered a computer and information sciences 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) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 1,614 180
Certificate (2-4 Years) 145 27
Associate’s Degree 3,174 480
Bachelor’s Degree 442 157
Post-Baccalaureate 0 0
Master’s Degree 1,247 335
Post-Master’s 52 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 288 18
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 1 1
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Computer & Information Sciences Worth It?

The median salary for a computer and information sciences 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 information sciences.

Major Number of Grads
Engineering 200,458
Biological & Biomedical Sciences 169,876
Engineering Technologies 86,730
Physical Sciences 52,879
Mathematics & Statistics 51,937
Agriculture & Agriculture Operations 51,300
Natural Resources & Conservation 30,341
Architecture & Related Services 17,480
Communications Technologies & Support 15,192
Science Technologies / Technicians 7,387

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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