Computer Scientist: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Computer scientists develop new technologies, systems and computer-based solutions. They usually hold at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or a similar field. Graduate degree programs prepare students for advanced research positions.

View 20 Popular Schools »

Job Description

Computer scientists, also called computer and information scientists, can work for government agencies and private software publishers, engineering firms or academic institutions. Businesses and government agencies usually employ these scientists to develop new products or solve computing problems. Computer scientists employed by academic institutions are typically involved in more theoretical explorations of computing issues, often using experimentation and modeling in their research.


Computer scientists often work as part of a research team with computer programmers, information technology professionals, and mechanical or electrical engineers. Their research often is used to design new computer technology. They typically investigate technological topics like artificial intelligence, robotics or virtual reality. The results of their research can lead to the improved performance of existing computer systems and software as well as the development of new hardware or computing techniques and materials.


Most computer scientists hold a bachelor's degree with a major in computer science, information systems or software engineering. After completing this 4-year program, computer scientists often earn a Ph.D. in computer science, computer engineering or a similar area of study. This additional program includes coursework in hardware and software systems, program languages and computational modeling as well as a research project.

Job Outlook

In May 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that computer scientists earned a mean annual wage of approximately $104,000 ( The BLS also forecast that the job growth rate for this career path would be 19% between 2010 and 2020.

Show me popular schools

Related to Computer Scientist: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
From the Classroom to Your Computer: A Conversation with Curt Newton of MIT OCW recently attended the OpenCourseWare Consortium (OCWC), a gathering of educators and professionals...

Computer Literacy in the Workforce

Our world has undergone a technological revolution over the past few decades that has affected virtually every aspect of life,...

Computer Courses: Common Adult School Courses in Computers

Computer classes for adults cover topics that range from a basic introduction to Web design. These courses are often offered...

10 Places to Find Free Computer Networking Tutorials on the Web

Free online courses in networking are offered by some real schools. Learn which networking courses are available, what topics...

Learn Computer Repair in the Blogosphere: 10 Top Computer Repair Blogs

Popular Schools

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics