Computer Science graduates usually will start out as a computer programmer writing code to create software programs. They implement the program designs created by software engineers into software programs that the computer can execute. Nevertheless, there is a wide variety of choices in what specialty computer professionals can focus their interest in, because computer technology has become part of nearly every aspect of modern life. As a computer professional, you can choose to work alone programming a computer, or interact with your clients while performing systems analysis. Computer professionals can be found designing web sites, creating and maintaining cloud databases, writing specialized applications to process large amounts of financial data for banks or scientific data for research, creating computer games, writing mobile device apps, and designing control systems for spacecraft or medical devices. Some computer science graduates may choose to pursue an advance graduate degree to eventually work in research and development, or in academia. People working in a computer related occupation usually report working in an environment that is clean and welcoming, having a flexible work schedule, and enjoying a very good quality of life, besides getting a higher-than-average starting pay. The job outlook is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations.

Educational Qualifications

A bachelor’s degree in computer science is sufficient for entry-level computer programmer and software engineering jobs. A Master's degree is helpful for promotion. And a Ph.D. degree is usually necessary for many high-profile computer research and development jobs.

Job Outlook

Demand for computer scientists is expected to be much faster than the average growth for all occupations in the U.S. in the coming years. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the job growth outlook for computer scientists is estimated at 25% from 2012 to 2022.

A new graduate of computer science can get a starting average annual salary of $65,000. This is one of the highest entry-level pay for a graduate with only a bachelor's degree!

Entering Salary

The 2012 median annual wages for sample jobs for computer science graduates are as follows:

Computer support specialist$48,900
Web developer$62,500
Computer programmer$74,280
Computer systems analyst$79,680
Information security analyst$86,170
Computer Network architects$91,000
Software engineer$93,350
Computer and information research scientists$102,190

The 2012 median annual wages for sample jobs for information systems graduates are as follows:

Computer support specialists$48,900
Web developer$62,500
Computer programmer$74,280
Database administrators$77,080
Computer systems analyst$79,680
Software engineer$93,350
IT manager$120,950

Career information adapted from:

  • U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2013). Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/ooh