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Computer Software Applications Major

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Computer Software Applications

2,495 Master's Degrees Annually
4 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#61 in Popularity (Master's)
$89,580 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Computer Software Applications Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many computer software and applications graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 2,495
Graduate Certificate 331
Doctor’s Degree 4

What Computer Software Applications Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to computer software 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 Software Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in computer software should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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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.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • 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.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Skills for Computer Software Majors

computer software majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • 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.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Abilities for Computer Software Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a computer software student include the following:

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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • 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 Software Applications Major?

People with a computer software degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Computer and Information Research Scientists 19.0% $118,370
Database Administrators 11.5% $90,070
Graphic Designers 4.2% $50,370
Multimedia Artists and Animators 8.4% $72,520
Software Developers, Applications 30.7% $103,620
Web Developers 14.9% $69,430

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Computer Software Applications?

2,495 Master's Degrees Annually
43% Percent Women
17% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This major tends to be male dominated. About 57% of recent graduates are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of computer software majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Computer Software Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 196
Black or African American 93
Hispanic or Latino 94
White 761
International Students 1,214
Other Races/Ethnicities 137

Geographic Diversity

Computer Software appeals to people across the globe. About 48.7% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • India
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Saudi Arabia

How Much Do Computer Software Applications Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

The median early-career salary of computer software and applications students with a master’s degree is $72,800 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $61,550 (25th percentile) and $86,700 (75th percentile).

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One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to computer software.

Salaries According to BLS

Computer Software majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $75,580 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.

Median Salary for a Computer Software Applications Major  ( 75580 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 degrees associated with computer software may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for computer software careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 0.7%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 2.6%
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) 4.2%
Some College Courses 8.0%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 8.2%
Bachelor’s Degree 64.4%
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. 0.7%
Master’s Degree 6.4%
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. 1.5%
Doctoral Degree 3.0%
Post-Doctoral Training 0.5%

Online Computer Software Applications Programs

In 2018-2019, 782 schools offered a computer software 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) 408 60
Certificate (1-2 years) 281 36
Certificate (2-4 Years) 30 8
Associate’s Degree 395 59
Bachelor’s Degree 38 14
Post-Baccalaureate 408 60
Master’s Degree 81 26
Post-Master’s 9 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 4 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Computer Software Applications Worth It?

The median salary for a computer software grad is $89,580 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 125% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $993,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to computer software.

Major Number of Grads
Computer Information Systems 76,482
Computer Science 47,906
Information Technology 33,399
Information Science 17,779
Computer Systems Networking 14,055
Computer Programming 10,688
Computer Systems Analysis 2,472
Data Processing 2,138
Data Entry 1,382
Other Computer & Information Sciences 1,243

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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