Bachelor of Science (BS): Computer Science Degree Overview

A Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Science degree program offers a broad education in the practical and theoretical aspects of computer science, computer engineering and mathematics.

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Essential Information

In BS programs in computer science, students are introduced to the fundamental concepts of the field. Some of these four-year programs require that students complete a software engineering project in which they design and create an original program. Some also require students to participate in an internship to gain hands-on experience.

Applicants must have a high school diploma or its GED equivalent in order to enroll. It is not uncommon for schools to require students to complete several computer science courses before declaring a computer science major.


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Bachelor of Science in Computer Science Degree

In these programs, students can expect to study topics such as:

  • Programming languages
  • Software systems
  • Data structures
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Computational structures
  • Software engineering
  • Imperative computation
  • Industry-specific computer applications

Popular Careers

A bachelor's degree is a common requirement for entry-level careers in the field of computer science. Graduates may be prepared for a variety of careers, including:

  • Computer systems analyst
  • Computer programmer
  • Computer systems administrator

Salary and Employment Outlook

In 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) listed average annual salaries of $90,180 for computer systems analysts, $84,360 for computer programmers and $82,200 for computer systems administrators. In addition, the BLS has projected a likely 21% job growth rate for systems analysts from 2014-2024, while indicating that programmers are likely to see an employment decrease of 8% and systems administrators an increase of 8% during the same period.

Continuing Education

Individuals wishing to learn more about computer science may continue on to earn a Master of Science in Computer Science. Some schools base these programs on specific course requirements, while others allow students to design their own curriculum. These programs may include the study of artificial intelligence, computer science theory and various computer systems, like operating systems (OS) and storage systems. Depending on the program and the goals of the student, a master's project or thesis may be required for graduation. Beyond the master's degree level, students can also enroll in Ph.D. in Computer Science programs. These programs typically require students to complete a dissertation based on original research for graduation.

BS programs in computer science provide a comprehensive overview of the field to students who want to pursue careers in the field or advance to graduate programs in the subject.

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