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2020 Computer & Information Sciences Degree Guide

Computer programs, software and networks are used daily to run business operations. We rely heavily on technology to help with everything from scheduling to problem solving to keeping us connected. With a degree in Computer and Information Sciences, you will learn the skills to develop computer software, customize programs, build and maintain networks, and manage information technology projects.

There are a variety of majors to choose from in this field. Students interested in computer systems can major in Computer Information Systems, while those more interested in programming and development can choose a major in Computer Programming. Majors like Information Science, Computer Systems Analysis, Computer Science, Computer Software and Applications, Computer Systems Networking, and Information Technology well prepare students for working with computers and technology in businesses and organizations.

Before diving into specific classes based on your declared area of study, you will take classes in mathematics, computer science, programming, software, robotics, graphics, and more to give you a well-rounded introduction to the world of computers and information technology. These classes will introduce you to Computer and Information Sciences while preparing you for your major's more specialized curriculum.

A Recent Jump in Computer & Information Sciences Degrees

#5 Most Popular Major
2k Degrees Awarded
6.4% Increase in Graduates

Computer & Information Sciences was the 5th most popular major in the 2017-2018 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 209,723 degrees in this year alone. This is a difference of 13,454 over the prior year, a growth of 6.4%.

Approximately 1,512 colleges in the U.S. offer a computer and information sciences degree of some kind. Our 2020 Best Colleges for Computer & Information Sciences ranking analyzes 601 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for computer and information sciences students. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of computer and information sciences programs later in this article.

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Computer & Information Sciences

Those who succeed in the field of Computer and Information Sciences are those with a passion for technology and a desire to learn about the role it plays both in business and everyday life. A background in computer programs and software along with mathematics are a good base for pursuing a degree in Computer and Information Sciences. Students should also be critical thinkers, creative, and have the ability to work in a team and multitask.

Although many students decide to pursue a bachelor's degree, some occupations within this field only require an associate's degree supplemented with relevant work experience. This experience can be through an internship or job in the Computer and Information Sciences field. However, many companies require upper management to obtain a master's degree.

Computer & Information Sciences Degree Program Entry Requirements

computer and information sciences degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. Once you obtain your degree, additional computer and information sciences certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Computer & Information Sciences Degree Types

There are many different computer and information sciences degree levels. Computer & Information Sciences programs offered by schools range from a first year certificate to a research/scholarship based doctorate, which is the highest computer and information sciences degree you can get. Computer & Information Sciences programs can take anywhere between one to four or more years for a full-time student to complete.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to computer and information sciences, with approximately 52.7% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to computer and information sciences tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 52.4%
Master’s Degree 11.9%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 10.4%
Some College Courses 7.2%
High School Diploma 6.0%

About 71.9% of workers in careers related to computer and information sciences obtain at least bachelor's degree. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in computer and information sciences have received.

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This of course varies depending on which computer and information sciences career you choose.

Career Opportunities for Computer & Information Sciences Majors

Above Average Number of Jobs
$48.9k Average Starting Salary
10% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Computer and Information Science is a quickly growing field. Many companies in a variety of industries are working to improve their computer networks or incorporate new technology into their businesses, creating a high demand for graduates with knowledge of computers, software, and programs. After graduation, you should have no problem finding a job in all different industries.

Whether you are interested in building a robot, putting together a company's computer network, or personalizing software, a degree in the Computer and Information Sciences field will provide you with the skills to work in many exciting industries.

Solid Growth Projected for Computer & Information Sciences Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your computer and information sciences degree? Computer & Information Sciences careers are expected to grow 9.9% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to computer and information sciences.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Software Applications Developers 1,086,600 30.7%
Managers 1,071,700 8.0%
Computer User Support Specialists 708,700 11.3%
Computer Systems Analysts 654,900 9.1%
Systems Software Developers 472,100 11.1%

How Much Money Do Computer & Information Sciences Grads Make?

Computer & Information Sciences graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $48,861 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $11,000 to as high as $153,400. As you might expect, salaries for computer and information sciences graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.

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Highest Paid Computer & Information Sciences Careers

Salaries for computer and information sciences graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers computer and information sciences grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Computer and Information Systems Managers $152,860
Computer and Information Research Scientists $123,850
Managers $115,590
Systems Software Developers $114,000
Computer Network Architects $111,130

Getting Your Computer & Information Sciences Degree

With over 12,851 different computer and information sciences degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased computer and information sciences school rankings to help you with this.

Computer & Information Sciences Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Computer Information Systems 74,454
Computer Science 44,313
Information Technology 30,179
Information Science 17,384
Computer Systems Networking 13,791

View All Computer & Information Sciences Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Engineering 197,582
Biological & Biomedical Sciences 157,997
Engineering Technologies 92,253
Physical Sciences 53,768
Mathematics & Statistics 47,138

View All Computer & Information Sciences Related Majors >

References

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