Computer & Information Sciences
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|
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
This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:
- 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
When studying computer and information sciences, 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:
- 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:
- 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:
Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Computer & Information Sciences?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of computer and information sciences majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||2,662|
|Hispanic or Latino||1,699|
Students from other countries are interested in Computer & Information Sciences, too. 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).
Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a computer and information sciences degree.
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.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Computer & Information Sciences
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.
|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%|
|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%|
|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%|
Online Computer & Information Sciences Programs
In 2018-2019, 2,740 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)||2,456||439|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||1,640||205|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||149||22|
|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!
Top Ranking Lists for Computer & Information Sciences
Explore Major by State
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Majors Related to Computer & Information Sciences
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to computer and information sciences.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Biological & Biomedical Sciences||27,505|
|Mathematics & Statistics||13,820|
|Architecture & Related Services||7,816|
|Natural Resources & Conservation||5,491|
|Agriculture & Agriculture Operations||3,975|
|Communications Technologies & Support||604|
|Science Technologies / Technicians||70|
*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.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By Almonroth under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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