What Can I Do with a Degree in Computer Science?
A degree in computer science provides graduates with a robust set of skills that are focused in a very rapidly growing section of the economy. Basically every job can benefit from computer expertise, so the demand for computer science graduates is massive. In particular, fields like programming, business analysis, project management, and data administration employ a large number of computer scientists.
As for industries? You would have your pick. Healthcare and finance are both seeing a large surge in their IT sectors, but every industry has a high demand for the services a computer science graduate can provide.
What will I get from a degree in Computer Science?
A degree in Computer Science prepares you for a wide variety of jobs in technology, in part because of the skills it helps you develop:
- Experience communicating about IT issues in an accessible manner
- Fundamentals of programming so that you can make use of a wide variety of programming languages
- In-depth experience with programming logic and theory enabling you to quickly learn new languages
- Project-management skills, including time management, coordination, and delegation
- Data structures and database management
- Network security and management
- Specialized skills based on internships, independent study, and customized course paths
In addition to being well prepared to work in IT fields, having a solid understanding of computer programming and systems allows you to find programming solutions to new problems, fields, and businesses. A degree in computer science serves as a jumping off point into an industry that is primed to hire new employees and also provides the skills needed to ambitious students who want to carve their own path.
“Computer science as a major is really hot right now. The starting salaries are among the highest for college graduates and there are many opportunities available. In fact, computer science is the only discipline that has more jobs than actual employees available on the market.” -- Dr. Juan Gilbert, Andrew Banks Family Preeminence Endowed Professor and Chair, Computer and Information Science and Engineering Department
The Highest Return on Investment for any Online Computer Science Degree
The UF Online Computer Science undergraduate degree program has been ranked as the best Online Computer Science Bachelor’s degree based on students’ return on investment. Awarded by OnlineU, this ranking is based on real-world alumni outcomes which evaluate both income and debt of alumni to determine how beneficial the alumni’s computer science degree is to them.
To learn more about how UF Online can help you stand out, visit the University of Florida Online’s reputation page.
How much money can I make with a computer science degree?
An undergraduate computer science degree is a robust degree with a lot of in-demand skills. As a result, it has one of the highest median salaries of any undergraduate degree. According to Payscale.com, the median average salary for computer science undergraduates is $86,000. Of course, this rate will vary greatly depending on the position you work in, as well as the location.
Generally speaking, working for a larger business in a more metropolitan area will result in a higher salary and more organized career path. Of course, this isn’t a universal rule.
What jobs can I get with a computer science degree?
Below, we discuss a very small number of careers that a degree in computer science prepares you for. These are just to give you an idea of how to start your search and a sample of what kind of skills are most in-demand. That said, a computer science degree is one of the most versatile degrees available, so the list is far from exclusive.
Machine Learning Engineer – $112,000
Do you want to be on the cutting edge of modern algorithms? Does finding ways to organize data and find insights within it sound useful? Have you always wanted to improve the algorithms of your favorite online service? Are you tired of getting random movie recommendations just because your cousin watched that random indie film? If so, a Machine Learning Engineer could be perfect for you.
Machine Learning Engineers work with large pools of data and organize it so that a computer can act on it. Furthermore, they design software that can test, grade, and improve itself through iteration. This basically means that each time a software receives feedback, it can get better at a given task. These tools create the fundamental algorithms that do everything from improve driverless cars to display an ad on a new sale item the same day you receive your paycheck. In short, these algorithms are everywhere.
Working as a Machine Learning Engineer requires a deep understanding of data and how to make use of it for practical business use. A good foundation in statistics and data modeling are vital, and being able to clearly communicate what is and isn’t supported by a data point is indispensable. After all, before you can develop a software to act on feedback, you need to make sure the feedback actually correlates to the business outcome the software is supposed to help.
In addition, Machine Learning Engineers will need a high degree of programming skills (Python, R, and Java are commonplace) and with an understanding of machine learning frameworks like TensorFlow and Keras.
Artificial Intelligence at the University of Florida
The University of Florida and NVIDIA partnered together to create an AI-centered data center to support the development of AI-driven projects and curriculum. Anchored by donations from UF Alumnus and NVIDIA Co-Founder Chris Malachowsky and NVIDIA, this program created the fastest supercomputer within higher education.
Learn more about how UF is shaping the future with AI and how UF students can be involved by visiting UF’s Artificial Intelligence website.
IT Project Manager – $89,000
Do you want to be in charge of the next major software release? Does managing a team of IT experts sound appealing to you? Do you love being the bridge between the business and technical aspects of IT? If so, being an IT Project Manager might be perfect for you.
An IT Project Manager makes sure that an IT project is developed on time, doesn’t exceed the projected cost, and meets the organization’s business goals. This involves managing a team of IT specialists and may cover everything from developing a new software to managing a hardware rollout for a large corporation.
A great deal of this job relies on good communication, as an IT Project Manager will be communicating both with a team of specialists (who may understand industry terms and IT fundamentals) and to organization stakeholders (who could have any number of backgrounds). As a result, good IT Project Managers know how to communicate complicated IT issues in accessible ways.
In addition, as an IT Project Manager, you’ll be in charge of a team of people. This means being good at utilizing people for their strengths and helping them improve on their weaknesses. Good interpersonal skills are a must when you’ll be balancing the needs of different employees to maximize their performance.
Finally, your own IT skills need to be excellent. Oftentimes, the best leaders lead from the front, so being able to get in the trenches, so to speak, and do the work yourself can also be pretty valuable. Not to mention, it will help you keep your IT skills sharp for the next project.
Web Developer – $60,000
Nowadays, many businesses only exist to the public via their website. This, in turn, has made the role of the web developer even more important, as a poorly designed website can cost an organization millions in lost revenue. If you’re someone who wants to make functional and stylish websites, work with a wide variety of clients, and have their work displayed for the world to see, you would be well suited for a position as a Web Developer.
The primary role of a Web Developer is to build and maintain websites for an organization or multiple clients. This includes everything from creating a website plan, discussing the needs of the users, navigating accessibility for any applicable laws, and actually coding the website. While many Web Developers will work alongside a Web Designer, who focuses on the style and look of the website, a Web Developer must still keep the aesthetic side of the website in mind when they’re developing the backend.
UF CISE Career Fair
The CISE Career Fair is a biannual job and internship fair held by the University of Florida Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering. Students and alumni with a computer engineering, computer science, or digital arts and sciences backgrounds are encouraged to attend and interview with potential employers.
“At the University of Florida, the Computer & Information Science and Engineering (CISE) department offers the CISE Career Fair each semester. During the event, employers from all over the world come to recruit our students. That’s just one example of how the CISE UF Online program stands above the others.”
To learn more about the CISE Career Fair, visit the CISE Career Fair website.
Information Security Analyst – $73,000
Do you like reading about the latest IT security breach? How about being the primary defense between an organization’s sensitive data and would-be abusers? Do you want to be an important voice within your organization’s IT team? If so, becoming an IT Security Analyst might be the perfect fit for you.
Information Security Analysts provide IT security solutions for their organization. IT Security Analysts conduct research and develop security strategies for organizations. They also ensure the implemented policies are being followed correctly and do not leave the organization vulnerable to IT vulnerabilities. Between a rise in data leaks and ransomware attacks, organizations of all sizes are investing heavily in IT security, meaning the field is growing faster than positions can be filled.
As with most IT positions, communication skills are paramount as you will often be working with other auditors, analysts, and business stakeholders. In addition, IT Security Analysts must stay up-to-date on security best practices, new security risks, and even hardware developments as more and more devices are connected to an organization’s internal network via The Internet of Things.
Do you have a solution to a problem not yet solved by IT? Do you want to be your own boss and set your own hours? Are you driven to provide a better service than the current industry standard? Well then, taking your computer science degree and starting your own business might be the perfect opportunity for you.
There are few degrees as suited to entrepreneurship as a Computer Science degree. Not only do you come out of it with in-demand skills, but a lot of tasks within the field don’t require extensive teams or areas of operations. In-fact, we’ve seen small businesses run by people with a passion for computers and a drive to succeed overthrow countless larger organizations just because they innovated better and raised the standard within a given industry.
Taking your communication, project management, data analysis, and programming skills into the workforce as your own boss could have you developing websites for local businesses to support a community you care about, converting an existing brick-and-mortar business into the e-commerce space, joining forces with not-for-profits to assist with a hardware rollout for in-need schools, or even developing a new software. In other words, a Computer Science degree can give you the tools you need to get started on nearly any path you’re looking towards.
Getting an undergraduate degree in computer science
Start enjoying some of the flexibility that a computer science degree offers while studying by joining the University of Florida Online. UF Online is nationally ranked #3 for best online bachelor’s program by U.S. News and World Report 2021. In addition, OnlineU has ranked the UF Online Computer Science degree as the highest return on investment based on real-world alumni outcomes. Students earning this degree will learn from some of the nation’s top professors and will receive their degree from the nationally recognized University of Florida. All of this, while being able to learn from anywhere.