Is computer science a good major?
If a lucrative career with ample job opportunities sounds good to you, then, yes, getting a degree in computer science is a great career choice.
With every industry gearing towards digitalization and becoming increasingly dependent on technology, it is only natural for computer science majors to gain traction.
Studies show that the job outlook for graduates with computer science majors is projected to grow by 15% by 2029.
Plus, with a computer science major, you can get high-paying job positions with an average salary projection of $74,628, which increases as you gain more professional experience in the industry.
Intrigued? Read on to find out more about your computer science major and get clarity on other related questions like the following:
- What is a computer science major?
- What majors does computer science have?
- What are the best colleges for computer science majors?
- What are the best jobs for computer science majors?
Computer Science Definition
As the name suggests, a computer science major is a study that focuses on the use of computer systems, computing processes, artificial intelligence, technology, software, data, etc.
The coursework generally involves calculus, statistics, and linear algebra, including algorithm design and abstract data types.
Once students pursuing a computer science major get a firm grasp of the subject’s fundamentals, the coursework moves on to more complex topics, such as data visualization, cryptography, and neural networks.
Some colleges and universities also offer students the option to combine a computer science major with other disciplines like electrical engineering, architecture, etc.
Types of Computer Science Majors
Typically, there are four levels of computer science majors:
- Associate degree in computer science major:
Constituting around 60 credits, an associate degree in computer science major generally takes 2 years to complete. With an associate degree, you can get jobs for entry-level IT positions like computer system administrators, web developers, and computer programmers.
- Bachelor's degree in computer science major:
A bachelor’s degree in computer science takes 4 years to complete and you must earn 120 to 128 credits to graduate. Although a bachelor’s degree holds more value than an associate degree, you will qualify for similar entry-level positions in the tech industry.
- Master's degree in computer science major:
If you want to land senior-level job opportunities like information research scientists, data scientists, etc., getting a postgraduate degree in computer science is a suitable option for you. Getting a master’s degree in computer science takes 2 years to complete and requires you to earn 30 to 45 credits.
- Doctoral degree in computer science major:
A Ph.D. degree is the highest level of educational qualification you can get to advance your career in computer science. Like most doctoral programs, a Ph.D. in computer science will focus on research and theory and requires a lot of hard work and dedication to complete. It can take anywhere from 4 to 5 years to complete this degree.
And since computer science major is an umbrella term, a computer science major has the following concentrations that you can choose to study:
- Computer Engineering
- Network Administration
- Software Engineering
- Computer Forensics
- Computer Programming
- Web Development
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
- Data Science
- Information Technology
[Also Read: What is data science and its career path?
Best Colleges with Computer Science Majors
Besides looking great on your resume and stroking your ego, being a part of a prestigious college dictates the quality of education you receive and provides you with better job and internship opportunities.
With that in mind, listed below are some of the best colleges for a computer science major along with the approximate cost of 4-year study:
|COLLEGE||COST OF STUDY|
|University of California-Berkeley||$151,000|
|Harvey Mudd College||$303,000|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||$276,000|
|University of California-Berkeley||$264,000|
|Carnegie Mellon University||$285,000|
|University of California-San Diego||$131,000|
|California Institute of Technology||$283,000|
|University of Washington-Seattle Campus||$109,000|
|Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus||$115,000|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||$121,000|
|University of California-San Diego||$245,000|
|Johns Hopkins University||$283,000|
Computer Science Major Jobs
With a degree in computer science major, you can get jobs in any industry that you prefer and there are also ample choices when it comes to job profiles.
From creating a revolutionary application or a program to solving complex, real-world challenges, a CS degree will empower you with skills and knowledge to kickstart your career in information technology.
It will open doors to high-paying computer science career paths like the following:
IT consultants work individually or for companies to help clients plan, design, install, and leverage IT systems within their organizations to optimize business goals and processes.
They provide valuable insights to companies on how they can effectively overcome their problems, reduce manual work & errors, and improve their overall business structure with advanced technology.
As a fresh graduate with a degree in computer science major, you can land jobs as an entry-level IT consultant and earn an average salary of $72,972 per year in the US.
Computer System Analysts
Computer system analysts help companies and businesses install and maintain IT systems and programs by calculating memory, storage, and computing power requirements.
They are responsible for preparing diagrams for engineers and programmers to build IT systems and also for troubleshooting issues that arise after setting up these systems.
The job outlook for computer system analysts is projected to grow by 9% by 2031 and the annual average income for these professionals in the US is $72836.
Computer engineers manage and design hardware systems for corporations and resolve computer-related issues by providing technical support to the employees.
They are also tasked with researching, developing, and testing computer components like circuit boards, networks, processors, memory devices, and routers to reduce downtime and ensure optimum working conditions.
Depending on the employer, the job description of a computer engineer can also include overseeing the company’s cloud storage accounts to mitigate risks and maintain data security.
These professionals can earn an average yearly salary of $80,448 in the US.
Data scientists collect, analyze, and sort large volumes of data to derive data-backed solutions or conclusions for helping businesses grow and meet the evolving needs of the market.
Their job description also entails presenting these data in a simple way that company stakeholders, executives, and other team members can comprehend.
And since the role of a data scientist is imperative in any company or business, the job prospects for data scientists are projected to grow by a whopping 21% by 2031.
Data scientists take home a handsome average income of $101,460 per year, which can increase with experience and by acquiring additional specialized skills.
Key Points from the Blog
- The job outlook for graduates with computer science majors is projected to grow 15% by 2029. A computer science major is a study that focuses on the use of computer systems, computing processes, artificial intelligence, technology, software, data, etc.
- The coursework of a computer science major generally involves calculus, statistics, and linear algebra including algorithm design and abstract data types.
- There are four levels of computer science majors - associate, bachelor’s, master's, and doctoral degrees.
- Computer engineering, network administration, and software engineering are some of the computer science major concentrations.
- Stanford University, University of California-Berkeley, and Princeton University are some of the best colleges for a computer science major.
- With a degree in computer science major, you can get jobs across any industry as IT consultants, data scientists, computer engineers, etc.