Bachelors In

Computer Science Degrees

The complete guide on what you’ll learn, job prospects, university programs, and saving time and money.
on February 19, 2024

Why We Love It

  • $84,360
    Potential Avg. Salary*

* Salary & growth data is based on the recent Bureau of Labor and Statistics data published at for 15-1131 Computer programmers 11/2021. Based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.

While studying for a bachelor of science in computer science, students gain an education in the science, math, and theory of computing.

They study programming, algorithms, computer architecture, and data structures, allowing them to qualify for work in a variety of careers after graduation. Graduates of computer science programs commonly as data scientists, in IT support roles, and as programmers.

What is a Degree in Computer Science?

Computer science programs allow students to take a deep dive into the inner workings of modern computer systems.

By studying logic, math, computing architecture, and the history of computing, students learn how computers work from a functional perspective and understand how to build infrastructures, databases, software, and operating systems that expand the technology of computing. Students study a variety of programming languages, such as C++, Java, SQL, OpenGL, and MATLAB.

The advantage of a bachelor’s degree in computer science is that it’s a foundational degree that prepares students for nearly any job in the information technology industry. From website development to database management, system architecture to software development, graduates of computer science programs have the basic education background needed to build their education after graduation within any field that interests them.

Many move on to executive leadership roles, working as CTOs and CROs.

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What Courses Would I Take For a Major in Computer Science?

  • Programming with C++
  • Data Structures with C++
  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Advanced Java Programming
  • Computer Architecture
  • Computer Networks
  • Database Management
  • Operating Systems

What Jobs Can You Get with a Degree in Computer Science?

Technology jobs are growing at a rate faster than that of almost any other industry. In fact, it’s been predicted that the demand for talented and educated IT professionals will soon exceed supply, putting graduates of computer science programs in an ideal position for negotiating favorable job terms.

Additionally, many employers are willing to relocate IT professionals to desirable locations in the U.S.—such as Silicon Valley—or to allow employees to work remotely from anywhere in the world.

How Long does it take?

A bachelors in Computer Science will have a typical length of 4 years in a full time schedule. That said, there are many ways to speed up the timeframe by either taking more units via online coursework, community college, or taking free classes at that could transfer to universities in the US.

Online Computer Science Degree

Computer science bachelor degree programs are popular with many universities offering them online.

Students are allowed to add a second concentration in fields as economics, business, and digital media which significantly improves their chances in the job market after graduation.

What Can You Do With a Computer Science Degree?

Computer science is a field of study that focuses on computation theory and the design of software systems. Computer scientists are responsible for developing new computational methods starting from the fundamental binary language to developing supercomputers and quantum computers.

They also develop systems for manipulating, storing and transferring data. This field of study is attractive for students taking into consideration the major role that computers play in shaping our world in the information age. Graduates of computer science have a large variety of highly rewarding career opportunities in world-leading companies such as Intel, IBM, Google, Facebook and Microsoft.

What does a computer science student learn?

The complexity of the computing problems and technologies resulted in the development of various approaches to deal with it. Courses studied in computer science programs can generally be divided into theoretical and practical disciplines.

The following list shows the courses commonly studied in computer science programs:

  1. Computer science is mainly based on mathematical sciences. Students will have to complete advanced courses in mathematics such as linear algebra, calculus, probability theory, statistics, combinatorics, discrete mathematics and differential calculus
  2. Computer architecture: this course introduces the basic principles underlying the design of computer hardware including the circuits, processors and data storage elements
  3. Logic and computation: this course introduces the methods for writing logic sentences that can be perceived by computers including arithmetical and non-arithmetical steps
  4. Computer programming: refers to designing and building computer codes that can be executed into computational results. Programming can be divided into analysis, writing algorithms, testing algorithm accuracy, evaluating resource consumption and implementing the algorithm using certain programming languages.
  5. Programming paradigms: these are the ways to classify programming languages as functional programming and process-oriented programming
  6. Compilers and compiler design: a compiler is a program that translates a code written in a programming language to another language.
  7. Computer graphics: this branch of science deals with the methods by which a computer generates and stores an image. Scientists try to increase the resolution of the images while minimizing the storage space it requires using more efficient formats.
  8. Human-computer interaction: this discipline of computer science focuses on developing methods for interaction between humans and computers including input methods such as the keyboard, mouse, camera, fingerprint capture and motion sensors. They also focus on making the computer interface user-friendly for common people.

Now I have a computer science degree…where can I work after graduating?

The computer industry has grown massively in the last decades opening great opportunities for computer science graduates. Working as a computer scientist is an exciting career with much space for innovation and creativity. You will also have the chance to see your work leaving a good impact on lives.

The following is a list of career options that you may consider after earning your degree in computer science:

  1. Computer programmers: they work on developing codes that translate the designs provided by software designers and engineers into working reality. More talented programmers may also have the chance to develop a new programming language or coding technology
  2. Hardware engineers: they work on developing the physical components of computers. They have developed technologies as touch screens, integrated cameras, new generations of processors and higher storage capacities.
  3. Software developers: they work on the design and development of new programs or applications. They usually tend to use ready-made templates or available drafts for programs. The aim is to complete the task at the lowest cost and shortest time.
  4. Systems managers: their role is to coordinate the computer systems within organizations. They evaluate the performance of the system and recommend updates or modifications.
  5. Data scientists: computer scientists can use their knowledge in statistics and computation to analyze and utilize data for new applications including artificial intelligence and deep learning
  6. Video game developers: this is probably one of the most exciting careers in the field of computer science. Games are usually more advanced programs that use higher computational and graphic power compared to other applications or programs
  7. Health information scientist: this can be considered a specialization of data scientists. It received more attention in recent years, particularly with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic

Should I choose a computer science degree?

Computer scientists deal with huge amounts of data with codes reaching millions of lines in some programs. The following skills are important for all computer scientists:

  1. Analytical skills: you should be able to analyze the problem within a system, network or code with close attention to details
  2. Problem-solving skills: you should have an organized approach when dealing with the problem to reach a reasonable and efficient solution
  3. Creativity
  4. Critical thinking skills
  5. Resilience, patience and persistence

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Best Jobs for Computer Science Degrees

The advantage of a bachelor’s degree in in computer science is its flexibility. Students can work in many different fields of IT. Some develop websites, applications, or software. Some go into database or systems administration.

Some work their way up the ladder to take on IT Director or Chief Technology Officer roles. Some even go on to work for Google, helping refine the company’s search algorithm.

How to save time and money

Our mission is to help you to avoid paying full price for college. We want your Computer Science degree to be affordable and accessible. Here’s how you could save:

Create Your Free SmartPlan

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That’s why we created a helpful tool called SmartPlan.

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Get a Certificate in Programming First

Many—but not all—employers require a bachelor’s degree for IT-related positions. By earning a certificate in programming first, you may be able to find work with one of the employers with less strict prerequisites, gaining professional experience and an income sooner.

Then, you can earn your bachelor’s degree to qualify for higher-paying or more prestigious positions, and the credits from your certificate program may even transfer to reduce the overall course load you’ll have to take.

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About the Author
Grant founded with a purpose-driven mission: make college accessible and affordable for everyone. After graduating college with an overwhelming amount of debt, he was determined to change how students embark on their education. He's a frequent speaker and author in higher education, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader's Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.

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