Getting Your Computer Science DegreeA degree in computer science can take you down many different career paths. From programming to networking to IT. You can work in:
- Software Development
- Information systems
- Computer Tech Support
- Web Development
Associate’s Degree in Computer ScienceWith an associate’s degree in computer science, you can prepare for a good entry-level job or it can be a stepping stone for more education. While getting your associate’s degree, you will develop an understanding of how to program and maintain computers, and computer systems. You would have many hands-on experiences which would prepare you for a decent career path.
There are different types of associate’s degrees when it comes to computer science and they might be under different names depending on where you get your degree. You might find an Associate of Arts in Computer Information Systems, an Associate of Science in Information Science, or an Associate of Science in Information Technology, or similar degrees.
Your local community or junior college most likely has a program you can attend. You can also look at online programs, which can be found at many different schools across the country. Programs will be two years in length.
Jobs you can get with an Associate’s Degree in Computer Science:
- Computer Systems Analysts: work with a company’s systems and procedures to help them run smoothly and efficiently. Computer Systems Analysts have an average salary of $64,394.
- Computer Programmers: create, design, work with troubleshooting issues, and maintain source codes in computer programs. Programmers have an average salary of $76,526.
- Web Developers: create a responsive and functional website, and have an average salary of $68,524.
Bachelor’s Degree in Computer ScienceA bachelor’s degree in computer science will take about four years. You might get your Bachelor of Science in Computer Science or a Bachelor’s in Arts in Computer Science depending on the school and program.
You would likely be building on classes at the associate’s level and could take classes on calculus, advanced programming, and computer architecture.
With a bachelor’s degree in computer science, you can go further with your career and potentially make more money. It can also be a step toward a master’s degree or higher. You can attend school online, or in person.
Highly rated online computer science programs:online computer science programs.
Highly rated in-person Computer Science degree programs:
- University of California-Berkeley
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
- California Institute of Technology
Jobs you can get with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science
- Software Engineers: work with code that allows computer applications to run smoothly and function correctly. Software Engineers have an average salary of $92,046.
- Data Engineers: develop and maintain large and complex databases. Data Engineers have an average salary of $102,864.
- Game Designers: create, animate, test, and receive feedback on video games. Game Designers have an average salary of $58,627.
Master’s Degree in Computer ScienceIn a master’s degree in a computer science program, you would learn how to solve problems and effectively communicate with programming languages. Some of your classes might include, a focus on programming, algorithms, artificial intelligence, and computer and network security.
There are different types of master’s degree programs you could go to, depending on the school and what area of computer science you want to focus on. Some programs are made for those who want to pursue a Ph.D. and others are for those who want to get a job after receiving the degree. There are both online and in-person master’s degree programs.
Some of the more highly-rated online master’s programs can be found at Stanford University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Columbia University. Yale University, Harvard University, and the California Institute of Technology all have highly rated in-person programs.
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Jobs you can get with a Master’s Degree in Computer Science
- Computer Network Architects: build data communication networks, local area networks, wide area networks, and intranets. Computer Network Architects have an average salary of $84,428.
- Senior Database Administrators: use software to organize and store data, work with advertising and sales and more. Senior Database Administrators have an average salary of $98,052.
- Security Engineers: responsible for developing and implementing security systems and protocols. Security Engineers have an average salary of $99,834.
Doctorate Degrees in Computer ScienceGoing even further in your education with computer science with a Ph.D. or doctorate degree can help you find a career:
- as a Tenured professor
- working for a larger company
- help you start your own company
- working in a research lab
Computer Science ScholarshipsThere are many scholarships for those going into computer science. Here is a couple of them:
- NSHSS Foundation - This foundation provides STEM scholarships for underrepresented groups in order to help reduce financial barriers for those with academic and leadership potential and the desire to pursue STEM careers. They provide a $1,000 scholarship. For more info, please go here.
- IEEE Presidents’ Scholarship - This scholarship recognizes a deserving student for an outstanding project that demonstrates an understanding of electrical engineering, electronics engineering, computer science, or other IEEE fields of interest. They offer $10,000 over four years, plus a complimentary IEEE student membership. For more info, please go here.