How to Become a Computer & Information Research Scientist

Overview & Salaries

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you to become a computer research scientist depends on the industry and company you apply at.

Those looking for an entry position will likely need a Ph.D in computer science or computer programming. If you are looking to get into a position with the government, then a bachelors or master’s degree could be enough to get you started.

Start your career path today by signing up for free information from one of our accredited colleges below that offer programs to help get you started as a computer and information research scientist.

How Much Does a Computer Research Scientist Make? 
$102,190 (national median salary, to see salaries in your state click on the “Best Places to Work” tab up top)

Expected Growth from 2012-2020:
+4,100 additional people employed

(all information above provided by the 2012 BLS Computer & Information Research Scientist page) 

Discover the Best Places Become a Computer & Information Research Scientist

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are nearly 30,000 computer and information research scientists in America, with the majority of those working for computer systems design firms, research and development companies, and the federal government.

The following industries employed the most computer and information research scientists:

  • Federal government 24%
  • Computer systems design and related services 23%
  • Scientific research and development services 13%
  • Educational services; state, local, and private 9%
  • Software publishers 5%

Employment and Information Data for Computer & Information Research Scientist

Why Become a Computer Research Scientist?

The median annual wage of computer and information research scientists is $100,660, according to the U.S. Bureau Labor Statistics, making this a very well paying career. Moore’s Law says computer processors power, or processing speeds, double every two years. And since 1970 when Gordon Moore (Intel Co-founder) formulated this theory has remained true. And it’s this type of complexity and advancement that requires a continued pipeline of computer and information research scientists to keep America’s technological edge.

These computer and information research scientists help lead advancements on a more theoretical level than other computer professionals.

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Degree Options for Computer Information Research Careers

Owing in part to the theoretical nature of computer and information research scientists work, most people employed by the government have a PhD in one of several disciplines.

However, it isn’t necessary to jump right into a PhD program. The path can begin with the first step and that may include taking a certificate program or even a single class.

Many students that end up in PhD programs in computer science generally take a computer and mathematics classes while perusing their undergraduate bachelor’s degree.

A master’s degree in computer science can also be matriculated to many PhD programs.

A Ph.D. in computer science or a related subject is required for most computer and information research scientist jobs. In the federal government, a bachelor’s degree may be sufficient for some jobs.