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How Much Do Computer Scientists Make? Salary Stats From Around the Globe

Updated: June 19, 2024 | Published: January 23, 2019

Updated: June 19, 2024

Published: January 23, 2019

How Much Do Computer Scientists Make Salaries From Around the Globe

From the moment that it dawned on most of the civilization that computers and computer technology were here to stay, “You should go into computers” became a familiar refrain. The job market for computer scientists is expected to grow by 22% from 2020 to 2030. Those prospects look very good indeed but it’s also critical to consider whether it makes financial sense to pursue this degree by asking, “How much do computer scientists make?”

What is a Computer Scientist?

Computer science is a very broad term. Think of it as the trunk of a tree and the branches are the specialties or career paths that a computer scientist can take. Sometimes you can get your foot in the door with an entry-level position like data entry but better-paying jobs and career advancements will demand at least an associate’s degree in computer science.

In the briefest of definitions, computer scientists are concerned with the theories behind working with computers. In contrast, computer engineers are more practical in their approaches to computers and focus on the physicality of the hardware and the applications. A computer scientist will design a theory, or work with an existing one, and then see how it applies to the existing technology.

Software firms are the leading employers of computer scientists who work at creating theories around developing technology. Software developers build on those theories in order to take technology to the next level. As you can imagine, a computer scientist’s salary will reflect this level of expertise.

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Becoming a Computer Scientist

If becoming a computer scientist sounds like it would be a good fit career-wise for you, how do you go about getting the education you’ll need? How much do computer science majors make?

1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

The first step is higher education and that means pursuing a bachelor’s degree. In this major, you’ll take courses such as software engineering, computational theory, data structures and algorithms, and programming languages. Computer technology is ever-evolving and you’ll be challenged to learn and keep up with new trends!

2. Earn a Master’s Degree

People who hold master’s degrees generally earn more money over their working life than colleagues with bachelor’s degrees. A bachelor’s degree in computer science provides a solid foundation on which to build the knowledge you’ll get in a master’s program. This advanced degree hones your expertise and gives you a competitive edge.

And pursuing a master’s degree doesn’t mean that you have to quit your job and devote yourself to full-time studies. You can get your master’s online, giving you the freedom and flexibility to study when and where you decide!

3. Choose a Specialty (optional)

Becoming a specialist in any field tends to give you a competitive advantage over a generalist. If you can find a highly-regarded niche in computer science and choose to specialize in it, your career opportunities have increased. Possessing a specialty makes the answer to “How much does a computer scientist make?” much more attractive!

4. Apply for Jobs

With a bachelor’s and a master’s degree together with a specialty, you are ready to apply for the jobs that you may just have been eying from a distance! As a computer scientist, you’ll be applying theories to real-world problems and playing a significant role in the development of important technologies.

How Much Does a Computer Scientist Make?

Becoming a computer scientist is a major investment of your time and money and smart prospective computer students always ask, “How much do computer science majors make?” Is getting this education worth it? The answer is, yes it is.

In the United States, the average base salary for a computer scientist is $121,067 or $58 an hour. In the next 5 years, this base salary is expected to grow by 11% to $134, 983.

Globally, computer scientists can expect to earn well above the average. In China, for example, a computer scientist will make twice what the average worker does. In Australia, the salary will be almost twice as much as the average take-home pay.

What Factors Affect a Computer Scientist’s Salary?

The answer to the question of how much computer scientists make seems to be quite positive but it’s also important to step back and consider if there are factors that might affect the base salary.


The cost of living can vary quite dramatically even between different regions within one country. In the United States, the cost of living in a large city like Los Angeles or New York is significantly higher than a smaller urban area in the midwest. When we expand our vision globally, some countries have a much lower cost of living and the salary of the computer scientist affords an even better quality of life. Good companies tailor the salaries of their employees to the cost of living in their area but it’s prudent to consider expenses like housing, transportation, and food when negotiating your base salary.


The level of skills that graduates from computer programs bring to the table influences the answer to how much computer scientists make.  For example, artificial intelligence is booming and if AI is one of your specialties, you should expect to make more money. It really does pay to keep abreast of trends within an industry and to take advantage of learning opportunities!


It goes without saying that how much experience you have in the field will have an impact on how much you earn. That is why pursuing a master’s degree online, while you work, is an advantage. You end up logging important hands-on hours while gaining practical knowledge.

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Earning Your Degree Online

University of the People has forged a new path for people interested in pursuing higher education. They offer associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in computer science as well as specialized certificates. UoPeople also offers degrees in other disciplines including health science, education, and business administration.

For those looking to enroll in computer science programs or earn their Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT), the University of the People offers both! Students get to gain and hone in-demand skills, excel in current careers, or pick a new career path by learning at their own pace and on their own time.

UoPeople has removed the traditional barriers to college by being 100% online and tuition-free! And by lowering admission requirements so that prospective students need only show proficiency in English and possess a high school diploma or equivalent the final barrier has been eliminated.

Last Words

So, how much do computer scientists make? Enough to enjoy a very good standard of living! The tech field is an exciting and ever-changing one. Putting in the time to receive the education sets you up to not only be highly employable but it can open the door to jobs around the world. Imagine putting your skills to use and improving the technology that makes other people’s lives better!

Take that first step today and plan on getting your bachelor’s in computer science. The field offers great pay, benefits, the possibility of travel, and job security.

At UoPeople, our blog writers are thinkers, researchers, and experts dedicated to curating articles relevant to our mission: making higher education accessible to everyone.