Computer science is one of the fastest-growing fields. It is also a popular major at colleges and universities. But why do people want to break into the field? The main reason is the money. You can earn good wages right out of college.
In this article, we unpack questions college students have about a computer science degree. We answer the following:
- Is a CS degree worth it?
- Should I get a computer science degree?
- What kind of computer science degree should I get?
We also cover how much money you can make in computer science jobs and computer science pros and cons.
So, is a computer science degree worth it? Read on to find out.
What is a Computer Science Degree?
Computer science combines many different STEM subjects. But you learn about more than computers. You cover topics in math, science, and engineering.
Most CS programs focus on computer engineering, information technology, and programming. Computer programming is the art of speaking to a computer. Financial firms to game development startups hire programmers with a computer science background.
To land computer science jobs, you need a computer science degree and experience. But most jobs want only a bachelor’s degree in CS. That’s right! After four years of schooling, computer science graduates find work in and out of the IT field.
Computer Science Courses
In a bachelor’s degree computer science program, you study basic and advanced principles. Most computer science courses are theory-based, but some offer practical application. You learn how to program and code. You also study computer-specific problems. But most of your computer science classes cover topics in:
- Computer software
- Computer technology
- Machine learning
- Programming languages
Pros and Cons of a Computer Science Degree
Computer science is a broad and applicable field. It’s no surprise that computer science graduates have a great job market to look forward to after they graduate. The job outlook is favorable and there’s high demand for skilled computer science majors. If you’re wondering: Is computer science worth it? Here are the pros and cons.
Pros of Getting a Computer Science Degree
Are computer science degrees worth it for college students? Let’s take a look at the advantages for computer science graduates.
High Demand for Jobs
Is a degree in computer science worth it? Yes! If you’re passionate about the field. Computer scientists can expect a 21% job growth over the next decade. The number of job openings makes it one of the fastest-growing fields.
Opens the Door to Good Paying Jobs
If pay is a driver, consider a computer science major. Computer science is one of the highest-paying majors. It offers a good return-on-investment and high wages right out of college.
Prepares You for Versatile Job Opportunities
CS graduates have versatile skills. Since the major offers many different courses, students graduate skilled in a wide range of fields. You can take these skills into any industry. Computer scientists find work in modern business, education, or healthcare. The sky’s the limit.
Takes You into a Growing Field
Is a BA in computer science worth it? It is if you’re interested in being a part of an emerging field. There’s nothing stagnant about technology. And since it’s always changing, the industry needs skilled computer scientists.
Cons of Getting a Computer Science Degree
Here’s a look at the disadvantages of computer science degree programs. If you’re wondering: Should I get a degree in computer science, consider the following.
A computer science major is a challenging one. You study engineering, math, and science. These are all heavy subjects students struggle with in college. But if you’re interested in these areas, computer and math occupations offer many benefits.
High Cost for Degree
The best four-year colleges and universities aren’t cheap even with financial aid. So, is a computer science degree worth it? If you plan to work for big tech companies like Apple or Google, you need to study computer science. You also need a degree. To cut costs, opt for an online computer science degree program. You can also earn certifications online at a fraction of the cost.
Due to its popularity, some experts claim there are too many computer science graduates. To make your resumé stand out, you need to go back to school. Some computer science majors go to graduate school and earn a master’s degree. To meet demand, there are online graduate programs in computer science.
You can also earn a graduate degree in:
- Artificial intelligence
- Data analysis
- Software engineering
- Video game arts
With its big focus on mathematics, computer science majors spend a lot of time studying. This degree will not work for you if you struggle with math and problem-solving. But if you enjoy it, you can find enjoyment and big payoffs.
What About A Master’s Degree in Computer Science?
With a growing number of students with bachelor’s degrees in computer science, it is important to make your resumé shine. To do this, you can get a master’s degree in CS. You can make your computer science degree worth it with advanced study.
Because graduate programs help you increase your earnings potential. They also help you advance in your career.
Many computer science graduates entering the workforce have the same skills. But by completing advanced computer science curriculum, you show your potential employer that you have specialized knowledge and skills. And you’re rewarded for your efforts! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with advanced degrees in computer science earn over $30,000/year more than those who don’t.
So, if you want your computer science salary to increase, consider a master’s degree in:
- Computer science
- Computer systems
- Software engineering
- Video game arts
Advantages for Advanced Computer Science Degrees
An article on the Northeastern University website points out that a Master of Science in Computer Science gives degree holders more career options. Master’s degrees in CS today provide students with experiential learning. These degree programs give students real-world problems to solve. This also gives them advantages in their careers.
One advantage is that a computer science degree prepares students for different jobs. In the classroom, they learn how to solve common computer science problems. The experience makes it easier to solve them on the job.
Another advantage is job stability. A bachelor’s degree in CS offers access to jobs. Right out of college, you can find work. There’s a 21% job growth expected over the next 10 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Growth means access to more jobs, even for recent college graduates.
Top Skills Computer Science Majors Bring Employers
Employers look for more than programming skills when hiring a computer science major. They look for unique skills even when filling a programming position. A computer science degree prepares you with a unique skillset other majors don’t offer. Here are some of the main skills you can get:
Programmers don’t have to be solitary animals. If you know how to comment on your code clearly to your team, your communication skills can help you reach your goal sooner. Good communication skills are important for a computer scientist to have. This is especially true when working on group projects.
Coding is problem solving. The nature of the work calls for the ability to:
You repeat processes until your code works and you reach your goal or end result. Sometimes you have to get creative to solve a problem. Having excellent problem-solving skills helps.
Popular computer science careers want project management experience. You can make your computer science degree worth it by showcasing your project management skills from college. Show potential employers the projects you’ve worked on. Highlight your time management skills and success meeting deadlines.
Making computer science projects a highlight of your resumé will help improve your career prospects. Employers love to see a computer scientist with stellar project management skills.
Team Building Skills
Computer science graduates entering the workforce have strong team building skills. How? You develop them in school through group projects. The computer science field wants team players. Few companies have a lone wolf calling all the shots. If you have team building skills, show them off. Highlight your ability to turn someone else’s weaknesses into strengths. Your employer will value your teamwork.
So, now that you’ve majored in CS and have your degree in-hand, now what? You’re ready for the job market. Here are some popular jobs to consider.
Popular Computer Science Degree Jobs
Is a computer science degree good for high-paying jobs? There are many good paying jobs out there for computer science majors. From computer systems analysts to software developers, you can find strong wages if you know where to look. Here are some of the best jobs for a computer science major.
A finance programmer deals with the programs and codes that manage the money a bank processes in a day. They develop and update software programs used by financial institutions.
The job is stressful, but rewarding. These specialized programmers can earn an average salary of $99,260/year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
But with advances in digital currency, you will need to stay on top of technology. Learning new programs or taking new computer science classes helps. Most finance programmers have degrees in CS and finance. Many also have advanced degrees.
Game developers create games that fuel the ever-growing game industry. Whether it’s for mobile game apps or console gaming, there is a huge demand for qualified game programmers.
But to work as a modern game developer, you need training and knowledge. Some CS programs offer specializations in game development. You take courses such as:
- 3D Modeling and Animation
- Digital Game Development
- Game Mechanics
- Game Systems and Integration
- How to Maintain Digital Architecture
- Online Learning Platforms
- Software Development
The IT manager is both a computer specialist and computer systems generalist. This person helps an organization upgrade its computer systems. The job requires that you work to protect an office system’s computer network from malware and hackers.
Technical skills aside, an IT manager spends most of the day meeting with team leaders and other key people. They work with software developers and programmers. They have both hard and soft skills, which translate into higher pay. The median salary for the IT manager is over $100,000/year.
Information Security Analyst
An information security analyst handles cybersecurity threats and computer viruses. They create ways to protect computer systems.
Due to surges in cyberattacks, demand for these jobs has increased. The job growth is highly favorable with a 32% employment growth expected through 2028.
Many people who hold this job have a related degree in CS. They earn specializations in cybersecurity and undergo training that earns them certifications in the field.
With the right training and schooling, you can earn good wages and advance. Some experienced information security analysts bring home close to $160,000/year. But college grads with a couple years of experience can earn six figures.
Is the degree worth the cost? With financial aid, students can graduate with little to no debt. Financial aid awards help you cut costs of tuition and other expenses. Most schools offer generous financial aid packages to qualifying students.
A web developer creates and maintains websites. Their responsibilities vary. They can range from creating simple websites for restaurants to full-blown web applications for startups.
Web developer job titles vary. Some include:
- Front and back end developer
- Software developer
- UX/ UI designer
But these specialized skills allow you to earn good wages after college. The median salary for a web developer is $78,300/year, according to the BLS. Job prospects are also strong. A 23% job growth should result over the next 10 years.
Because growth is good and wages are strong, competition for jobs will increase. To stand out, you’ll need to specialize your degree in niche areas like animation and AI.
Salary and degrees don’t mean much to people who hate their jobs. The highest-paid job can become drudgery if your work is stressful. But computer science remains one of the top jobs for career satisfaction. Many people who hold computer science degrees enjoy their jobs.
This is one of the reasons why U.S. News and World Report ranks computer programmer among the best technology jobs. Also on the list of best tech jobs is software developer, web developer, and IT manager.
Computer scientists work in the field and enjoy their careers into their 60s. They love their jobs, so they stay in them for a long time.
Is a Computer Science Degree Worth it?
Like most jobs, there are pros and cons in computers. But the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. With a degree in CS, there are many things to look forward to. For starters, the pay and job outlook are favorable. The job market looks strong for the next decade if you have the right degree and training.
Right out of college, CS majors find jobs. Many people with degrees find work as software developers and other popular computer science careers. Because the job is diverse, you can find work in different fields. You find jobs in:
- Information security
- IT management
- Video game development
You can also move into other fields outside technology. College graduates find work in education, finance, or healthcare. The degree allows them to tailor their studies toward different industries that they are interested in working.
So, is computer science degree worth it? Given the income and the satisfaction that results from this degree, it’s safe to say it is.