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Is a Computer Science Degree Worth It?
Technology is driving change in every industry, making computer science one of the fastest growing careers. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the computer and information technology field is expected to grow 13% by 2026—faster than the average growth rate of all occupations. Startups, Fortune 500s, nonprofits and government are all looking for top talent.
Some believe you don’t need a degree to compete for these jobs, but is that true? While there are numerous ways to gain the technical skills you need—from self-learning to coding bootcamps—a computer science (CS) degree can get you further, faster. Here’s why investing in a CS degree is worthwhile.
5 In-Demand Careers You Can Get With a Computer Science Degree
From hardware and software development to systems and cybersecurity, computer science is a broad field with extremely competitive pay.
A computer science degree is the most comprehensive technology degree program—covering topics in all of these specialties—which opens the door to a wide variety of career paths. Here are some of the fastest-growing and highest paying careers that prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree.
Software Developers, Applications
Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. From research through end-user testing, they are responsible for the entire development process for computer and mobile applications software or specialized utility programs.
Median Salary: $103,626
Projected Job Growth (2029): 27%
Computer Systems Analysts
Computer systems analysts study an organization’s current computer systems and identify opportunities to make them more efficient and effective. They use data modeling and conduct in-depth research to identify trends and performance issues, providing a roadmap for improvements to the development team.
Median Salary: $88,733
Projected Job Growth (2029): 11%
Information Security Analysts
Information security analysts, or cybersecurity professionals, plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems. They must keep up with security trends to prepare for security breaches, investigate a violation, and implement a disaster recovery plan.
Median Salary: $98,342
Projected Job Growth (2029): 24%
Database administrators store and organize data, like financial information or customer records, using specialized software. They make sure that data is available to authorized users and protected from unauthorized use, while optimizing performance and conducting support services.
Median Salary: $90,085
Projected Job Growth (2029): 12%
Software Developers, Systems Software
Systems software developers research, design, develop, and test operating systems-level software. They create the operating systems that control most consumer electronics in use today, including those used by cell phones and cars.
Median Salary: $110,011
Projected Job Growth (2029): 12%
What You Get From a Computer Science Degree (That’s Hard to Get Elsewhere)
Today, there’s a seemingly endless number of ways to gain coding skills—intensive bootcamps, mobile apps, workshops, certificate programs, and even self-teaching. Most of these options focus on specific computer language skills. What they lack, however, is comprehensive education that includes both technical and interpersonal skills.
If you’re comparing a CS degree to another technical program, here’s what makes a CS degree program different:
- A B.S. in Computer Science is a lifetime credential. While technology will change, a bachelor’s degree will always be relevant and never expires.
- You will gain an unmatched breadth of industry knowledge. You will learn much more than how to code in a computer science degree program. You will learn fundamental data structures and algorithms, computer networks and architecture, database management, cybersecurity and much more to provide exceptional career flexibility.
- You’ll focus on building critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Through both major and general education courses you will gain transferable skills that help you creatively solve problems of all shapes and sizes.
- Learn to work in teams to solve large-scale challenges. Development is more collaborative than ever before. You not only have to be an expert in your area, but also be able to work in cross-functional teams and communicate across departments.
While a bachelor’s in computer science degree is a significant commitment, it’s a long-term investment in your career. Other programs may be faster or less expensive upfront, but the cost can add up over time with the need of continuing education. You may also experience lower salaries or a more difficult time advancing without a bachelor’s degree.
And, if you already have a bachelor’s degree in another field, you can also consider getting a master’s degree in computer science. Even if you have no computer science background, you can take prerequisite courses in computer science before diving into a master’s program. This can immediately increase your salary opportunities and clear the way to leadership positions.
When it comes to paying for school, grants are among your best options. But do you know how to find them? Remove the guesswork by downloading this free guide.
What You Need to Know to Be Successful in a Computer Science Program
Computer science is a highly technical field that also requires creativity and teamwork. Because of the depth and breadth of knowledge and skills you gain, completing a CS degree takes time, commitment, and perseverance. Make sure you’re prepared to be successful.
Here are a few tips to set yourself up for success:
- Don’t be afraid to experiment. Mastering computer science skills takes a lot of trial and error. Be prepared to constantly try new things and learn through failure.
- Take advantage of all the resources available to you. Reach out to faculty, collaborate with classmates, join structured study or tutoring sessions. Find out everything your program has to offer to help you get ahead.
- Don’t procrastinate. Waiting until the last minute to cram for an exam or complete a project won’t work in a CS program. You need time to write, test, and fix your code. Make sure you’re consistent in your study habits and make a plan for completing your work on time.
- Focus on building soft skills just as much as technical skills. Don’t get lost in the code. Make sure you’re working to become a well-rounded employee who communicates effectively, collaborates well, and is a critical and creative problem solver.
5 Top Reasons You Should Get a Computer Science Degree
Getting your computer science degree is an undertaking—but it’s well worth the investment if you are looking to:
- Get into a technology field, but don’t have any existing technical knowledge or skills.
- Make yourself a more attractive job candidate in a competitive talent pool.
- Apply for a promotion or accelerate your climb up the ladder.
- Land a job with industry-leading employers.
- Take your technical skills to the next level with a comprehensive degree.
Interested in pursuing your degree in computer science, but not sure how you will make it happen? Getting an online computer science degree is a great way to balance your current career, personal life and education.
Get Your Computer Science Degree Online at Franklin University
Franklin University’s B.S. in Computer Science is designed specifically to meet the needs of working adults. Taught completely online, Franklin’s CS degree teaches a language-independent curriculum using hands-on assignments to give you the skills you need to succeed in today’s fast-paced industry. Explore program details to see how our CS degree can help you get ahead.