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2023 Computer Software & Applications Degree Guide

Have you ever had a great idea for a computer program or smartphone app but didn't know how to create it? Major in Computer Software and Applications and you can make your ideas a reality.

Computer Software and Applications majors work to create, test, and develop new computer programs to meet customers' demands. They also work to maintain older software and ensure it runs properly. Through classes like computer engineering, computer science, game and interactive media design, software engineering, mathematics, and statistics, students will gain the skills to create unique and useful software.

While students have the option to major in general Computer Software and Applications, they can also specialize in areas, such as Web Page, Digital/Multimedia and Information Resources Design, Data Modeling and Warehousing and Database Administration, Computer Graphics, and Virtual Environments and Simulation Modeling.

A Spike in Computer Software & Applications Degrees

#84 Most Popular Major
14.3k Degrees Awarded
8.1% Increase in Graduates

Computer Software & Applications was the 84th most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 14,336 degrees in this year alone. This is a difference of 1,156 over the prior year, a growth of 8.1%.

This year's Best Computer Software & Applications Schools ranking compares 172 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Explore this or one of our many other custom computer software rankings further below.

2023 Best Colleges for Computer Software & Applications
2023 Overall Best Computer Software & Applications Colleges >

Best Computer Software & Applications Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in Computer Software & Applications
Bachelor's Degrees in Computer Software & Applications
Master's Degrees in Computer Software & Applications
Doctorate Degrees in Computer Software & Applications


What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Computer Software & Applications

A strong background in computer programming is necessary for a career in Computer Software and Applications. Professionals must be familiar with codes and up to date on tools and computer languages. Analytical and problem-solving skills along with creativity are necessary when developing new software. Successful professionals also pay close attention to detail and have strong communication and customer service skills.

A career in Computer Software and Applications is a full time job. Professionals often work over 40 hours a week during the testing and development phases of projects. Most professionals work in an office setting.

Internships and summer jobs in this field are suggested because they will give students exposure to computer programming and give them hands-on experience working with software and applications.

Computer Software Degree Program Entry Requirements

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. In addition to these basic computer software and applications program qualifications, to serve in some computer software careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Types of Computer Software & Applications Degrees

Computer Software degree levels vary. You can spend many years getting as high as a in computer software and applications to something that takes less time like a . Computer Software & Applications 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 software, with approximately 63.0% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to computer software tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 64.4%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 8.2%
Some College Courses 8.0%
Master’s Degree 6.4%
Post-Secondary Certificate 4.2%

Most workers in computer software have at least a bachelor's degree. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in computer software and applications have obtained.


The education level required is different depending on the computer software career you are seeking.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Computer Software Graduate

Above Average Number of Jobs
$39.6k Average Starting Salary
17% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Computer Software and Applications graduates are typically hired by software development companies or software publishers. Other graduates have gone on to work for computer and other electronic product companies. There is a high demand for computer software along with the increase in smartphone applications use.

High Growth Projected for Computer Software Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your computer software degree? Computer Software & Applications careers are expected to grow 16.6% between 2016 and 2026.

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

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Software Applications Developers 1,086,600 30.7%
Graphic Designers 277,400 4.2%
Computer Programmers 273,600 -7.2%
Web Developers 187,200 14.9%
Database Administrators 133,200 11.5%

How Much Money Do People With a Computer Software Degree Make?

Recently graduated computer software and applications students earned an average of $39,551 in 2019-2020. Earnings can range from as low as $14,203 to as high as $102,047. As you might expect, salaries for computer software graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Computer Software Majors

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

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Computer and Information Research Scientists $123,850
Software Applications Developers $108,080
Database Administrators $92,030
Computer Programmers $89,580
Multimedia Artists and Animators $78,230

Getting Your Computer Software & Applications Degree

With over 1,483 different computer software 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 software school rankings to help you with this.


Computer Software & Applications is one of 10 different types of Computer & Information Sciences programs to choose from.

Computer Software Concentrations

Major Annual Graduates
Web & Multimedia Design 5,300
Data Modeling/Warehousing & Database Administration 3,756
Computer Graphics 2,988
Other Computer Software & Media Applications 1,438
Modeling, Virtual Environments & Simulation 854

View All Computer Software Concentrations >

Majors Similar to Computer Software

Related Major Annual Graduates
Computer Information Systems 88,434
Computer Science 59,565
Information Technology 40,555
Information Science 18,325
Computer Systems Networking 14,700

View All Computer Software Related Majors >


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