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On average how much does someone with a Computer Science degree make right out of school?

I am interested in Majoring in Computer Science and was just curious how much someone right out of school would make in a base salary job and how easy it would be to find a job in that career field? computer-science computer-engineering information-technology

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Thomas’s Answer

Before I answer your question let me say that you shouldn't base your career on the amount of money you'll make. There's an adage out there saying something like "If you do what you love you'll never work a day in your life". Keep that in mind.


Now the good stuff!


Really depends on what kind of career you're interested in, IN the computer sciences. There's all kinds of opportunities (Software Developer, Network Administration, System Administrator) and they're all over the place as far as salaries are concerned. Top of the line are System Architects and Software Developers. They tend to make the most and then this can go all the way down to Help Desk people that work on putting computers together.


But, please don't think that any of these jobs aren't "necessary". Just some people are better at some jobs than others! And some are very specialized skills (architects for example) that not everyone can (or want) to do.


So, yeah, it depends on WHAT you want to do and WHERE you want to do it as far as what salary range you'd be looking at. I would recommend Googling Salary Calculators and finding a site that can help you with it. Salary.com is one I've used in the past. Look at those with a grain of salt too however, I've usually had to knock a percentage point or two off of what they thought was the median range.


As far as easy to get into the field? Computer Science jobs will continue to grow for years to come. If you're even reasonably good at it you'll always have a job. And it should also be easy to also find a job at the entry level positions. Just don't expect to be making 6 figures right out of the gate. Keep your expectations in line with what the market and job you're trying to get into and if you're good at what you do? You'll advance and be making the big bucks in no time!


Good luck!

Thank you for the answer! Reece E.
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Mike’s Answer

There are several resources out there like salary.com (already mentioned) that give you a range depending on where you live. Geography, company size and a lot of other factors weigh into software developer salaries, even at an entry level. In most major US cities, with a BS in Computer Science, entry level positions are in the 50k range. Depending on demand in your particular city, it may be more or less.

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Eric’s Answer

When deciding on your degree I would consider the opportunities. There are plenty in Computer Science. It is not all about how much you make, but what differences you can make. Working somewhere smaller lets you see new side of business vs going somewhere bigger lets you specialize in one thing.

Thank you for the answer! Reece E.
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Maria’s Answer

Depends on the area. You will see that the closer you are to larger cities and business " hubs" the better the money and benefits. Hospitals and universities, in my experience, pay lower wages for IT people than other businesses. Salary.com is a good place to start.

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Taryn’s Answer

Cybersecurity (Pen-tester, data security, Endpoint security, etc) average entry level salary is around $65,000/year.

Another trusted salary source states "As of Oct 23, 2019, the average annual pay for a Cyber Security in the United States is $107,172 a year. While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $310,000 and as low as $40,500, the majority of Cyber Security salaries currently range between $60,000 (25th percentile) to $107,000 (75th percentile) across the United States."

I know people who have started at a higher salary, but I also know some who have started lower. Usually larger companies pay higher for entry level. However, if you are very good at what you do a smaller company may pay higher for a specialist.

But I also think you should never work somewhere because it pays a lot. Make sure you love the work atmosphere and what you do. No amount of money is worth going to a job you hate everyday. I made a decent salary working at one place but I woke up every morning miserable thinking about having to go to work (Wont name any names).... now, I work at IBM and I wake up happy to do my job and the day zooms by because I love what I do.

Taryn recommends the following next steps:

Check salary.com or glassdoor to look up your specific technology career field. But also look at the reviews from people who work at that type of job. Gain insight on the type of company you want to work for (Large like IBM or small like someone's personal business) (Strict like military/state office or modern and less micro-managed like google)
Set goals and make it happen. (I went to a cyber day event at IBM when I was in school and I told the man giving the Security Operation Center Tour that I WILL work for IBM one day, then about 6 months later I walked up to his desk and said "Good morning co-worker" (I started at IBM in security working in the SOC)
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