Computer Science / Programming Degree Overview
Are you excited about the potential of learning how to do program analysis, design, implementation, and testing? Do you want to learn how to use different programming languages, algorithms, and data programs to create usable tools, websites, or applications? If you said “yes”, a computer science or programming degree may be for you.
In a computer science program, you will learn the foundational elements of computer programming as well as the theories, science, and mathematics that drive it. Depending on the degree program you choose, you may become familiar with or learn different programming languages like HTML, Java, CSS, C++, and SQL. All of which allow you to manipulate and edit database backends, website and application front-ends, and various data outputs.
Listed below are specific study areas in the information technology field that can help you find the right specialization for your computer science or programming degree.
Information Technology Study Areas
Computer Science / Programming Career Outlook
Computer and information technology is one of the fastest-growing occupations. Cloud computing, along with the collection of data, will likely drive greater demand for computer programming and information professionals.
Employment in this field is projected to grow by 12% in the next ten years, adding more than 546,200 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Concerns about computer and information security and protection against leaks and hackers will also fuel growth. For example, information security analyst positions, the fastest growing computer science field, are anticipated to increase by 28%, according to the BLS.
Many people who earn computer science degrees work for technology companies as consultants, subcontractors, or self-employed professionals.
Growth in this field depends on each different specialty. Take a look at the following computer science careers and the predicted job growth for each through 2028, according to the BLS:
Predicted Job Growth, 2018 to 2028
- Computer Information Research Scientists: 16%
- Computer Network Architects: 5%
- Computer Programmers: -7%
- Computer Support Specialists: 10%
- Computer Systems Analysts: 9%
- Database Administrators: 9%
- Information Security Analyst: 32%
- Network Administrators: 5%
- Software Developers: 21%
- Web Developers: 13%
Featured Online Computer Science / Programming Colleges
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Computer Science / Programming Salary Information
A degree in computer science or programming will open doors to a variety of fields, many of which have a high earning potential. According to 2019 data from the BLS, the average annual salary for all computer and information technology jobs was $88,240. The highest earning position was computer and information research scientists at a median average of $122,840 (Note that this position requires a master’s degree).
There are many factors that will determine the salary of a graduate in computer science, including experience, education level, employer, industry, and supply and demand. Additionally, each type of computer science career has a different earning potential. The list below outlines the average salaries as of May 2019 for popular computer science and information technology careers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Average Annual Salary
- Computer Information Research Scientists: $122,840
- Computer Network Architects: $112,690
- Software Developers: $105,590
- Information Security Analyst: $99,730
- Computer Systems Analysts: $90,920
- Database Administrators: $93,750
- Computer Programmers: $86,550
- Network Administrators: $83,510
- Web Developers: $73,760
- Computer Support Specialists: $54,760
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Computer Science / Programming Required Job Skills and Knowledge
Computer science is a highly technical field that offers job security and high earning potential. Students and professionals who succeed in this fieldwork hard and have a specialized skill set that includes problem-solving, analytical skills, resilience, and critical thinking. It also requires a measure of creativity, especially in finding the solution or answer to a difficult problem.
When you apply for a job in computer science, most employers look to see if you have earned a bachelor’s degree. For more advanced, research-based positions, a master’s or doctorate degree may be required. You will likely be able to find a computer science job with an associate’s degree and related experience, though your chances of employment will increase with more education.
Degree Requirements for Computer Science / Programming
Landing a job in computer science and programing usually requires a college degree. Research positions will need an advanced degree, while computer support and web development positions depend more on skill and experience than education level. Each employer and position will have different requirements, but in general, the following degrees are required for an entry position:
- Computer Information Research Scientists: Master’s degree
- Computer Network Architects: Bachelor’s degree
- Computer Programmers: Bachelor’s degree
- Computer Support Specialists: High school or associate’s degree
- Computer Systems Analysts: Bachelor’s degree
- Database Administrators: Bachelor’s degree
- Information Security Analyst: Bachelor’s degree
- Network Administrators: Bachelor’s degree
- Software Developers: Bachelor’s degree
- Web Developers: Associates degree
Colleges For Computer Science / Programming Degrees
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