A computer scientist is a person who has acquired knowledge of computer science. It is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their application. They're the ones that develop software for various sites and programs that we use daily.

To become an accomplished computer scientist, some of the essential skills required include excellent mathematical skills, excellent computer and technology knowledge and skills, the ability to analyze problems, trace them to their core, and a systematic approach to work and problem-solving. Other requirements include a bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering, math, or a related subject.

A master's degree in software engineering may be necessary for advancement into lead engineering and management positions. A computer science student may only start off with $60,000 a year, but they can work their way up to $100,000 or $120,000 a year within four to five years. Computer scientists' employment is projected to grow 15% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Job prospects are expected to be excellent.

What Does a Computer Scientist Do

Computer and information research scientists invent and design new approaches to computing technology and find innovative uses for existing technology. They study and solve complex problems in computing for business, science, medicine, and other fields.

Learn more about what a Computer Scientist does

How To Become a Computer Scientist

Most jobs for computer and information research scientists require a Ph.D. in computer science or a related field. In the federal government, a bachelor’s degree may be sufficient for some jobs.

Learn More About How To Become a Computer Scientist

Computer Scientist Career Paths

Average Salary for a Computer Scientist

Computer Scientists in America make an average salary of $103,238 per year or $50 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $144,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $74,000 per year.
Average Computer Scientist Salary
$103,238 Yearly
$49.63 hourly
$74,000
10 %
$103,000
Median
$144,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Computer Scientist Education

Computer Scientist Majors

Computer Scientist Degrees

Bachelors

66.1 %

Masters

19.2 %

Associate

6.7 %

Top Colleges for Computer Scientists

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

2. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

3. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

4. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

5. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

6. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

7. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

8. Georgetown University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,104
Enrollment
7,089

9. Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,453
Enrollment
4,312

10. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

Top Skills For a Computer Scientist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 12.1% of computer scientists listed clearance on their resume, but soft skills such as logical thinking and math skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Computer Scientist Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Computer Scientist templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Computer Scientist resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Computer Scientist Demographics

Computer Scientist Gender Distribution

Male
Male
79%
Female
Female
21%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among computer scientists, 21.2% of them are women, while 78.8% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among computer scientists is White, which makes up 66.1% of all computer scientists.

  • The most common foreign language among computer scientists is Spanish at 18.5%.

Online Courses For Computer Scientist That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Unit Testing & Other Embedded Software Catalysts
udemy
4.5
(400)

Dr. Surlys School for Mad Scientists: Introduction to Test Driven Development for Embedded & System Software in C...

Introduction to Computational Statistics for Data Scientists
coursera

The purpose of this series of courses is to teach the basics of Computational Statistics for the purpose of performing inference to aspiring or new Data Scientists. This is not intended to be a comprehensive course that teaches the basics of statistics and probability nor does it cover Frequentist statistical techniques based on the Hypothesis Significance Testing (NHST). What it does cover is:\n\nThe basics of Bayesian statistics and probability\n\nUnderstanding Bayesian inference and how it wo...

C# Console and Windows Forms Development with LINQ & ADO.NET
udemy
4.5
(427)

Learn to build a practical Data Driven Windows Forms Application using C#, LINQ and SQL Server Express...

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Best States For a Computer Scientist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a computer scientist. The best states for people in this position are California, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Computer scientists make the most in California with an average salary of $126,688. Whereas in Washington and Oregon, they would average $117,530 and $115,892, respectively. While computer scientists would only make an average of $100,313 in Idaho, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Computer Scientist Jobs:
846
Highest 10% Earn:
$172,000
Location Quotient:
1.44 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. California

Total Computer Scientist Jobs:
2,729
Highest 10% Earn:
$186,000
Location Quotient:
1.16 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Oregon

Total Computer Scientist Jobs:
340
Highest 10% Earn:
$170,000
Location Quotient:
1.02 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Computer Scientists

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Top Computer Scientist Employers

Most Common Employers For Computer Scientist

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Brookhaven National Laboratory$116,043$55.7939
2Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory$113,844$54.7357
3Oak Ridge National Laboratory$113,501$54.5794
4Amazon$112,213$53.9531
5Adobe$110,326$53.04420
6General Electric$109,064$52.4333
7Country-Wide Insurance$103,216$49.62100
8CSC Holdings LLC$102,821$49.4351
9Univ. Of Texas Cancer Ctr.$102,386$49.2228
10SAIC$99,941$48.0522

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