Computer Science Major
Computer science is a major that typically falls into the Computer & Information Sciences category.
There are 213 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in compsci, 651 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 250 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 111 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.
Who Is Getting a CompSci Degree?
Computer science runs middle of the road when it comes to popularity, ranking #23 out of all the majors we track. In 2017, about 23,700 graduates completed their bachelor’s degree in this major. This major attracts more men than women. About 81.2% of the graduates in this field are male.
At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of compsci majors is as follows:
- Asian: 20.9%
- Black or African American: 4.2%
- Hispanic or Latino: 9%
- White: 47%
- Non-Resident Alien: 11.5%
- Other Races: 7.4%
Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in compsci. About 11.5% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending compsci majors to the U.S. are India, China and Saudi Arabia.
What Will You Learn as a Computer Science Major?
An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to compsci to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.
Knowledge Areas for CompSci Majors
Compsci majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:
Skills for CompSci Majors
When studying compsci, 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:
Abilities for CompSci Majors
A major in compsci will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:
What Can You Do With a CompSci Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with compsci:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Computer Science Professors||8.1%||$82,220|
|Computer and Information Research Scientists||19%||$118,370|
|Computer Network Support Specialists||8.2%||$62,770|
|Software Developers, Applications||30.7%||$103,620|
|Geospatial Information Scientists and Technologists||9.3%||$90,270|
|Computer Systems Engineers/Architects||9.3%||$90,270|
|Search Marketing Strategists||9.3%||$90,270|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||12%||$142,530|
Computer Science Major Salary
Average salaries range from $90,000 to $114,000 for careers related to compsci. 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, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.
The area of the country you choose to work in will also affect your career and salary prospects. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.
Amount of Education Required for Computer Science Major Jobs
Some careers associated with compsci require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.
Find out what the typical degree level is for compsci careers below.
|Level of Education||Percentage of Workers|
|Less Than a High School Diploma||0.3%|
|High School Diploma or Equivalent||2%|
|Some College Courses||4.9%|
|Associate's Degree or Equivalent||9%|
|First Professional Degree||0.1%|
Online Computer Science Programs
There are 651 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in computer science, with 35 of them offering at least some courses online.
Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.
Online learners benefit from being able to watch lectures remotely and complete coursework on their schedule, but they also take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to dropout.
Is a Computer Science Major Worth It?
The median salary for a compsci grad is $96,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 147% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,146,000 after 20 years!
- Computer Information Systems
- Computer Programming
- Data Processing
- Information Science
- Computer Systems Analysis
- Data Entry
- Computer Science
- Computer Software Applications
- Computer Systems Networking
- Information Technology
- Other Computer Sciences
Featured Computer Science / Programming Schools
|Request Info||Southern New Hampshire University You have goals. Southern New Hampshire University can help you get there. Whether you need a bachelor's degree to get into a career or want a master's degree to move up in your current career, SNHU has an online program for you. Find your degree from over 200 online programs. Learn More >|