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2023 Computer Science Degree Guide

If you've ever wanted to build a robot or create a computer you can have a conversation with, Computer Science might be the major for you.

Computer Science majors analyze the way computers and humans interact so they can build programs or systems that aid people in solving problems. Classes in calculus, data logic, information management, artificial intelligence, software engineering, and data structures and algorithms among others will give students the skills to help engineers solve complex math problems, design and test new operating systems, and improve computer user interfaces.

A Recent Jump in Computer Science Degrees

#12 Most Popular Major
59.6k Degrees Awarded
9.8% Increase in Graduates

In 2020-2021, computer science was the 12th most popular major nationwide with 59,565 degrees awarded. This is a difference of 5,843 over the prior year, a growth of 9.8%.

Our 2023 Best Computer Science Schools ranking analyzes 386 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for computer science students. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of compsci programs later in this article.

2023 Best Colleges for Computer Science
2023 Overall Best Computer Science Colleges >

Best Computer Science Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in Computer Science
Bachelor's Degrees in Computer Science
Master's Degrees in Computer Science
Doctorate Degrees in Computer Science


What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Computer Science

Computer scientists often have a background in mathematics and enjoy problem solving. You will be responsible for creating programs and computer systems that will assist humans with projects or complex computing problems. Successful computer scientists are able to work as part of a team, have strong critical-thinking and analytical skills, and have ingenuity and creativity.

Most computer scientists work full time with a typical 40-hour workweek. However, when conducting research, computer scientists are able to set their own hours, which may be more flexible. Internships and summer jobs within the field will be beneficial since employers are looking for employees with concrete skills.

CompSci Degree Program Entry Requirements

computer science 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. Specific compsci careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Computer Science Degree Types

CompSci degree levels vary. You can spend many years getting as high as a in computer science to something that takes less time like a . Computer Science 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 compsci, with approximately 56.6% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for compsci workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 57.3%
Master’s Degree 11.2%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 9.0%
Post-Secondary Certificate 6.1%
Some College Courses 4.9%

77.9% of compsci workers have at least a bachelor's. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in computer science have obtained.


This of course varies depending on which compsci career you choose.

CompSci Careers

Above Average Number of Jobs
$67.5k Average Starting Salary
16% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

There are multiple routes that Computer Science graduates may choose. Previous graduates have gone on to work for computer system development companies, software publishers, research and development companies, and the federal government. This major equips students with the skills to pursue any career that deals with interactions between humans and computers. Those who want a career in computer and information research will have to earn their Ph.D.

High Growth Projected for CompSci Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your compsci degree? Computer Science careers are expected to grow 15.7% between 2016 and 2026.

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

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Software Applications Developers 1,086,600 30.7%
Systems Software Developers 472,100 11.1%
Computer and Information Systems Managers 411,800 12.0%
Computer Workers 313,800 9.3%
Computer Programmers 273,600 -7.2%

CompSci Degree Salary Potential

Recently graduated computer science students earned an average of $67,513 in 2019-2020. Earnings can range from as low as $17,177 to as high as $161,723. As you might expect, salaries for compsci graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid CompSci Careers

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

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Computer and Information Systems Managers $152,860
Computer and Information Research Scientists $123,850
Systems Software Developers $114,000
Software Applications Developers $108,080
Information Security Analysts $102,470

Getting Your Computer Science Degree

With over 1,683 different compsci 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 compsci school rankings to help you with this.


One of 10 majors within the Computer & Information Sciences area of study, Computer Science has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Computer Information Systems 88,434
Information Technology 40,555
Information Science 18,325
Computer Systems Networking 14,700
Computer Software & Applications 14,336

View All CompSci Related Majors >


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