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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 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 46,014
Graduate Certificate 2,845
Doctor’s Degree 2,237

What Computer & Information Sciences Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to computer and information sciences 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 & Information Sciences Majors

Computer and Information Sciences 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.
  • 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

As a computer and information sciences major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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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?

Below is a list of occupations associated with computer and information sciences:

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 Master’s Degree in Computer & Information Sciences?

46,014 Master's Degrees Annually
33% Percent Women
19% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This major tends to be male dominated. About 67% 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:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Computer & Information Sciences Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 3,506
Black or African American 2,662
Hispanic or Latino 1,699
White 9,852
International Students 26,041
Other Races/Ethnicities 2,254

Geographic Diversity

Computer & Information Sciences appeals to people across the globe. About 56.6% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Computer & Information Sciences Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree in computer and information sciences made a median starting salary of $70,300 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $62,250 (25th percentile) and $88,700 (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 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 & 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 careers associated with computer and information sciences 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 computer and information sciences careers below.

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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 the 2018-2019 academic year, 2,740 schools offered some type of computer and information sciences program. 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) 2,456 439
Certificate (1-2 years) 1,640 205
Certificate (2-4 Years) 149 22
Associate’s Degree 3,167 550
Bachelor’s Degree 385 150
Post-Baccalaureate 2,456 439
Master’s Degree 1,211 416
Post-Master’s 55 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 273 23
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 200,684
Biological & Biomedical Sciences 162,961
Engineering Technologies 92,549
Physical Sciences 53,556
Mathematics & Statistics 49,748
Agriculture & Agriculture Operations 38,513
Natural Resources & Conservation 29,904
Architecture & Related Services 17,753
Communications Technologies & Support 15,972
Science Technologies / Technicians 7,448

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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