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Become A Computer Science Instructor

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Working As A Computer Science Instructor

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Make Decisions

  • $79,250

    Average Salary

What Does A Computer Science Instructor Do

Postsecondary teachers instruct students in a wide variety of academic and career and technical subjects beyond the high school level. They also conduct research and publish scholarly papers and books.

Duties

Postsecondary teachers typically do the following:

  • Teach courses in their subject area
  • Work with students who are taking classes to improve their knowledge or career skills
  • Develop an instructional plan (known as a course outline or syllabus) for the course(s) they teach and ensure that it meets college and department standards
  • Plan lessons and assignments
  • Work with colleagues to develop or modify the curriculum for a degree or certificate program involving a series of courses
  • Assess students’ progress by grading assignments, papers, exams, and other work
  • Advise students about which classes to take and how to achieve their goals
  • Stay informed about changes and innovations in their field
  • Conduct research and experiments to advance knowledge in their field
  • Supervise graduate students who are working toward doctoral degrees
  • Publish original research and analysis in books and academic journals
  • Serve on academic and administrative committees that review and recommend policies, make budget decisions, or advise on hiring and promotions within their department

Postsecondary teachers, often referred to as professors or faculty, specialize in a variety of subjects and fields. Some teach academic subjects, such as English or philosophy. Others focus on career-related subjects, such as law, nursing, or culinary arts.

At colleges and universities, professors are organized into departments that specialize in a subject, such as history, science, business, or music. A professor may teach one or more courses within that department. For example, a mathematics professor may teach calculus, statistics, and a graduate seminar in a very specific area of mathematics.

Postsecondary teachers’ duties vary with their positions in a university or college. In large colleges or universities, they may spend their time teaching, conducting research or experiments, applying for grants to fund their research, or supervising graduate teaching assistants who are teaching classes.

Postsecondary teachers who work in small colleges and universities or in community colleges often spend more time teaching classes and working with students. They may spend some time conducting research, but they do not have as much time to devote to it.

Full-time professors, particularly those who have tenure (a professor who cannot be fired without just cause), often are expected to spend more time on their research. They also may be expected to serve on more college and university committees.

Part-time professors, often known as adjunct professors, spend most of their time teaching students.

Professors may teach large classes of several hundred students (often with the help of graduate teaching assistants), smaller classes of about 40 to 50 students, seminars with just a few students, or laboratories where students practice the subject matter. They work with an increasingly varied student population as more part-time, older, and culturally diverse students are going to postsecondary schools.

Professors need to keep up with developments in their field by reading scholarly articles, talking with colleagues, and participating in professional conferences. A tenured professor must do original research, such as experiments, document analysis, or critical reviews, and publish their findings.

Some postsecondary teachers work for online universities or teach online classes. They use websites to present lessons and information, to assign and accept students’ work, and to participate in course discussions. Online professors communicate with students by email and by phone and might never meet their students in person.

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How To Become A Computer Science Instructor

Educational requirements vary with the subject taught and the type of educational institution. Most commonly, postsecondary teachers must have a Ph.D. However, a master's degree may be enough for some postsecondary teachers at community colleges. In career and technical schools, work experience may be important for getting a postsecondary teaching job.

Education

Postsecondary teachers who work for 4-year colleges and universities typically need a doctoral degree in their field. Some schools may hire those with a master’s degree or those who are doctoral degree candidates for some specialties, such as fine arts, or for some part-time positions.

Doctoral programs generally take multiple years after the completion of a bachelor’s degree program. They spend time completing a master’s degree and then writing a doctoral dissertation, which is a paper presenting original research in the student’s field of study. Candidates usually specialize in a subfield, such as organic chemistry or European history.

Community colleges or career and technical schools also may hire those with a master’s degree. However, in some fields, there are more applicants than available positions. In these situations, institutions can be more selective, and they frequently choose applicants who have a Ph.D. over those with a master’s degree.

Postsecondary teachers who teach career and technical education courses, such as culinary arts or cosmetology, may not be required to have graduate-level education. At a minimum they must hold the degree of the program in which they are teaching. For example, the teacher must hold an associate’s degree if they teach a program that is at the associate’s degree level. In addition, work experience or certification may be just as important as education for getting a postsecondary teaching job at a career or technical school.

Other Experience

Some institutions may prefer to hire those with teaching or other work experience, but this is not a requirement for all fields or for all employers.

In health specialties, art, or education fields, hands-on work experience in the industry can be important. Postsecondary teachers in these fields often gain experience by working in an occupation related to their field of expertise.

In fields such as biological science, physics, and chemistry, some postsecondary teachers have postdoctoral research experience. These short-term jobs, sometimes called “post-docs,” usually involve working for 2 to 3 years as a research associate or in a similar position, often at a college or university.

Some postsecondary teachers gain teaching experience by working as graduate teaching assistants—students who are enrolled in a graduate program and teach classes in the institution in which they are enrolled.

Some postsecondary teachers, especially adjunct professors, have another job in addition to teaching.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Postsecondary teachers who prepare students for an occupation that requires a license, certification, or registration, may need to have—or they may benefit from having—the same credential. For example, a postsecondary nursing teacher might need a nursing license or a postsecondary education teacher might need a teaching license.

Advancement

A major goal for postsecondary teachers with a doctoral degree is attaining a tenure—a guarantee that a professor cannot be fired without just cause. It can take up to 7 years of moving up the ranks in tenure-track positions. The ranks are assistant professor, associate professor, and professor. Tenure is granted through a review of the candidate’s research, contribution to the institution, and teaching.

Tenure and tenure track positions are declining as institutions are relying more heavily on part-time faculty.

Some tenured professors advance to administrative positions, such as dean or president. For information on deans and other administrative positions, see the profile on postsecondary education administrators. For more information about college and university presidents, see the profile on top executives.

Important Qualities

Critical-thinking skills. To challenge established theories and beliefs, conduct original research, and design experiments, postsecondary teachers need good critical-thinking skills.

Interpersonal skills. Most postsecondary teachers need to be able to work well with others and must have good communication skills to serve on committees and give lectures.

Resourcefulness. Postsecondary teachers need to be able to present information in a way that students will understand. They need to adapt to the different learning styles of their students and teach students who have little or no experience with the subject.

Speaking skills. Postsecondary teachers need good communication skills to give lectures.

Writing skills. Most postsecondary teachers need to be skilled writers to publish original research and analysis.

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Computer Science Instructor Jobs

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Computer Science Instructor Career Paths

Computer Science Instructor
Instructor Case Manager Special Education Teacher
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Assistant Professor Project Manager Program Manager
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Assistant Professor Program Director Senior Consultant
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Systems Analyst Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Systems Analyst Information Systems Manager
Director Of Information Services
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Systems Administrator Director Of Information
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Instructor Senior Technician Specialist Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Systems Engineer Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Marketing Manager Search Engine Optimizer
Online Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Information Technology Manager Chief Technology Officer
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Substitute Teacher Social Studies Teacher
School Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Senior Software Engineer Technical Manager
Technical Director
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Computer Science Instructor?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Science Instructor 3.0 years
Instructor 2.8 years
Top Employers Before
Instructor 8.6%
Internship 6.4%
Programmer 4.9%
Teacher 3.4%
Consultant 3.4%
Top Employers After
Instructor 11.2%
Consultant 4.6%
Teacher 4.3%
Owner 3.6%

Do you work as a Computer Science Instructor?

Computer Science Instructor Demographics

Gender

Male

64.5%

Female

32.2%

Unknown

3.3%
Ethnicity

White

74.5%

Asian

11.7%

Hispanic or Latino

8.4%

Unknown

4.6%

Black or African American

0.9%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

29.5%

French

13.6%

Chinese

9.1%

Italian

9.1%

German

6.8%

Mandarin

6.8%

Arabic

6.8%

Portuguese

2.3%

Dutch

2.3%

Hungarian

2.3%

Turkish

2.3%

Vietnamese

2.3%

Japanese

2.3%

Russian

2.3%

Hindi

2.3%
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Computer Science Instructor Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

9.5%

Northcentral University

8.4%

Webster University

7.4%

American InterContinental University

7.4%

Walden University

6.3%

Capella University

6.3%

Eastern Kentucky University

5.3%

Nova Southeastern University

5.3%

Temple University

4.2%

Harvard University

4.2%

San Diego State University

4.2%

Florida State University

4.2%

Portland State University

4.2%

California State University - Los Angeles

4.2%

Texas Southern University

3.2%

University of South Dakota

3.2%

San Jose State University

3.2%

Winthrop University

3.2%

Ohio State University

3.2%

Wayne State University

3.2%
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Majors

Computer Science

35.8%

Business

8.2%

Computer Information Systems

5.8%

Electrical Engineering

5.3%

Computer Engineering

5.3%

Elementary Education

4.2%

Information Technology

4.0%

Information Systems

3.7%

Mathematics

3.7%

Education

3.4%

Educational Technology

3.4%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.7%

Educational Leadership

2.4%

Graphic Design

2.1%

Management Information Systems

1.9%

Management

1.9%

Physics

1.9%

English

1.6%

Communication

1.3%

Finance

1.3%
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Degrees

Masters

45.9%

Bachelors

26.2%

Other

12.0%

Doctorate

10.7%

Certificate

2.5%

Associate

2.1%

Diploma

0.6%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Computer Science Instructor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Instructor of Computer Science Central Connecticut State University New Britain, CT Jun 01, 2011 $190,460
Computer Science Lecturer/Instructor Digipen (USA) Corporation Redmond, WA Feb 15, 2015 $120,000
Computer Science Instructor Digipen (USA) Corporation Redmond, WA Jul 27, 2015 $110,000 -
$120,000
Computer Science Instructor Digipen (USA) Corporation Redmond, WA Feb 15, 2015 $110,000
Computer Science Instructor Digipen (USA) Corporation Redmond, WA Aug 04, 2015 $110,000 -
$120,000
Computer Science Instructor Digipen (USA) Corporation Redmond, WA Jul 15, 2012 $95,000
Computer Science Instructor Digipen (USA) Corpoation Redmond, WA Jul 15, 2012 $85,000
Computer Science Instructor N.A.F.A. Catalonia Consultants & Employment Agency, Corp Miami, FL Mar 02, 2011 $82,250
Computer Science Instructor N.A.F.A. Consultants & Employment Agency, Corp. Miami, FL Jan 21, 2011 $81,600
Instructor of Computer Science Northeastern Illinois University Chicago, IL Aug 24, 2015 $74,000
Instructor of Computer Science Connecticut College New London, CT Jul 01, 2013 $69,503 -
$85,000
Computer Science Instructor Harrisburg University of Science and Technology Harrisburg, PA Jan 12, 2016 $68,000
Computer Science Instructor Georgia Christian University, Inc. Atlanta, GA Jan 05, 2016 $66,784
Instructor of Computer Science Georgia Christian University, Inc. Atlanta, GA Jan 03, 2016 $66,784
Visiting Instructor of Computer Science Whitman College Walla Walla, WA Aug 01, 2015 $63,000
Computer Science Instructor Shepherd University Los Angeles, CA Oct 17, 2011 $62,422
Computer Information Science Instructor ECPI University Glen Allen, VA Sep 15, 2012 $62,100
Computer Science Instructor Lansing Community College Lansing, MI Apr 01, 2011 $62,008
Computer Science Instructor Lansing Community College MI Apr 01, 2011 $62,008
Instructor In Computer Science Western Washington University Bellingham, WA Sep 16, 2016 $60,231
Mathematics & Computer Science Instructor The Young Socratics Cupertino, CA Jan 20, 2015 $60,210 -
$79,306
Instructor of Computer Science University of New Orleans New Orleans, LA Aug 12, 2015 $60,000
Instructor of Computer Science Texas A&M University Corpus Christi Corpus Christi, TX Aug 25, 2016 $53,483
Instructor of Computer Science Dickinson State University Dickinson, ND Aug 16, 2014 $53,000
Instructor of Computer Science Texas A&M University Corpus Christi Corpus Christi, TX Aug 26, 2013 $52,000
Instructor I of Computer Science Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, KY Dec 14, 2016 $50,004
Computer Science Instructor Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA Dec 01, 2016 $49,000
Instructor of Mathematics and Computer Science Fort Hays State University Hays, KS May 06, 2014 $47,500
Computer Science Instructor New Horizons Regional Education Centers Hampton, VA Sep 14, 2014 $47,496
Instructor of Computer Science Central Connecticut State University New Britain, CT Apr 01, 2010 $46,766

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Top Skills for A Computer Science Instructor

ClassroomInstructionScienceCurriculumLanguagesWebDesignDataCommunicationsMathematicsComputerScienceCoursesWindowsServerC/C++PowerpointComputerApplicationsHtmlDataStructuresInternetJavascriptLessonPlansSQLServerPythonUnixAlgebra

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  1. Classroom Instruction
  2. Science Curriculum
  3. Languages
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Delivered classroom instruction for Introduction to Networking and Security courses.
  • Conducted training on integrating NASA Direct web casts into Earth Science curriculum.
  • Stay current by learning new software and programming languages to maintain instructor status.
  • Assigned to teach CS courses that were Mathematics oriented: Discrete Mathematics, Language and Computation Theory, Artificial Intelligence, others
  • Selected to develop web-based distance-learning software for all Computer Science courses in the Continuing Education department.

How Would You Rate Working As a Computer Science Instructor?

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Top Computer Science Instructor Employers

Computer Science Instructor Videos

Careers in Computer Science

Faculty Panel: Challenges in Computer Science

Computer science education: why does it suck so much and what if it didn’t? | Ashley Gavin | TEDxNYU