Before investing time and money into a college degree it is important to take into consideration how your investment can be turned into profit. There are many ways to calculate the starting salaries and earning potential in your field of choice. Computer science degrees are some of the most employable types of degrees that students can choose. As many job markets are shrinking due to automation, computer science is one field that is projected to benefit and expand over the next few decades. Therefore, estimates of earning potential for computer science jobs might be understated at this time. As the Information Age continues to evolve more computer science jobs will be created, and there are already not enough qualified professionals to fill the demand in the job market place. Because of this there is great potential for promotion and salary growth since new positions open up on a regular basis. A computer science degree places graduates in one of the few job markets where they hold all the cards, as potential employers are looking for them, instead of the other way around. While a foot in the door with an associates degree will net you a comfortable salary, a more prestigious degree will grant you access to a higher starting salary, and will allow you to leap frog job applicants that are less qualified.
The computer science field has many various subsections: Information Assurance, Cyber Security, Information Systems, Information Technology, Computer Engineering, and the list goes on. Knowing what you have an affinity for is probably the most important factor in determining what kind of computer science degree to pursue, because they all have the potential to find high-salaried employment. If you are good at working with physical hardware, Computer Engineering could be the best route. If you are more comfortable doing high-level mathematics, Information Technology would be an appropriate degree to pursue. If you are interested in the political and social ramifications of online data breaches, Network Security would be a good path to follow. Let’s look at the average current salaries of some of the different jobs that students with computer science degrees are qualified for.
Associate’s Degrees in Computer Science
An associates degree in a computer science field will allow you to get your foot in the door for the least amount of investment. If you can see yourself climbing the company ladder towards promotion this might be the best route, though you should expect an entry-level job with a lower starting salary. Jobs in this field include Computer Support Specialist, who are expected to provide troubleshooting to private citizens or business employees that are using computer software and equipment. The median salary of a Computer Support Specialist is $52,160. Someone who has an associates in Network Security could land a job as a Vulnerability Assessment Analyst, where they would be expected to identify weak links in a company’s network that could be breached by a hacker. The average salary of a Vulnerability Assessment Analyst is $64,000. Someone with an associates in Information Technology would be qualified to become a Web Developer, where they would write code to create websites for companies. The median salary of a Web Developer is $66,130 per year. Associates degrees in computer science fields can therefore be expected to land you a job with a salary in the range of $50,000-$65,000.
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Bachelor’s Degrees in Computer Science
A bachelor’s degree in a computer science field will qualify graduates for a number of higher paying jobs. A bachelor’s degree in Information Assurance would qualify someone to become an Ethical Hacker, where they would be expected to test network security by finding weak points in their system and attempting to breach them in order to patch weak points and make them safer. Ethical Hackers have a median salary of $72,000. Someone with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science who has good command of coding languages would be qualified to become a Computer Programmer. Computer Programmers make an average of $79,840. Someone with a bachelor’s degree in Information Systems would be qualified to become a Network and Computer Systems Administrator, where they would be responsible for the daily operations of a company’s network. Network and Computer Systems Administrators have an average salary of $79,700. A bachelor’s degree in a Computer Science field can be expected to get you a salary in the range of $70,000-$80,000.
Master’s Degrees in Computer Science
A master’s degree in an area of computer science allows graduates to land jobs with high salary and position security. A master’s degree in Cyber Security would qualify you to become an Information Security Analyst. Information Security Analysts are expected to create networks that protect their company’s valuable data, and their average salary is $92,600. Someone with a master’s degree in Software Engineering would qualify them to become a Software Developer, where they would create apps and computer programs. Software Developers make an average yearly salary of $102,280. A graduate with a master’s degree in Information Systems could become a Computer Network Architect, where they would design data communication networks for private and public communications among businesses and their clients. Computer Network Architects earn an average salary of $101,210. A master’s degree in Computer Science can therefore be expected to net graduates a salary between $90,000-$105,000.
Think you might be interested in a master’s in computer science? Check out our ranking of the best online master’s in computer science degrees today.
Doctorates in Computer Science
Doctorates in Computer Science give graduates access to the upper echelon of salaries in their field. Computer and Information Research Scientists conduct research to create innovative uses for existing technology, applying their computer knowledge to fields like medicine, business, and science, and have an average salary of $111,840. Application Architects are expected to oversee a wide variety of software developments for tech-based companies, and have an average salary of $108,000. Data architects are responsible for archival maintenance and organization, and have an average salary of $119,000. The sky is the limit for graduates with doctorates in computer science, as they can expect to earn salaries of at least $105,000, with the potential to earn up to $150,000 and beyond.
Think you might be interested in a PhD in Computer Science? Check out ranking of the best computer science departments in the world today.