If you have an interest in both computer science and accounting, you might be wondering which would be a better major. This post will show you the advantages and disadvantages of each and help you decide which would be a better major for you.
At a glance:
|Ease of finding a job||Moderate/High||High|
|Types of jobs|
you can qualify for
|Difficulty of the|
|Key things to note|
Often necessary to
complete the CPA
exam to progress
into senior positions
and to get the more
lucrative jobs. A
master’s degree will
also help significantly.
Lower level bookkeeping
roles are likely to become
Has good overall job prospects.
Can be a path into a number of
different fields including finance
|A very employable|
degree with just a
bachelor’s degree. A
master’s degree can
help in obtaining more
The jobs typically pay
very well, have reasonable
hours and high satisfaction.
A good major if you are
interested in remote work.
Can give you access to
data science and
machine learning roles
if you choose the right
Source for accounting salary and jobs
There are many things to consider when choosing between the two degrees and there are also some important things to be aware of when choosing either of them.
Details about a degree in accounting
Below are some details about the accounting major.
According to payscale, the average pay of someone with a bachelor’s degree in accounting is $70,762. This is higher than most other majors but lower than computer science which is one of the best paying majors right now.
Something to consider, is that completing the CPA exam and getting an accounting master’s degree will increase your earnings potential significantly.
A degree in accounting should give you good opportunities with just a bachelor’s degree. This is because the degree can qualify you for a number of accounting roles and it can also qualify you for roles in related fields such as finance and business since accounting knowledge is useful in many business applications.
However, a lot of the more lucrative accounting roles require you to be a CPA and most people that become a CPA also get a master’s degree in accounting.
Jobs that you can qualify for with a bachelor’s degree in accounting can include:
- Account manager
- Financial analyst
- Tax manager
- Financial advisor
Some other jobs that you can get with a master’s degree would include:
- Forensic accountant
- Managerial accountant
- Chief financial officer
An accounting degree can be difficult especially in the junior and senior years when the classes become more specialized. Overall, accounting is generally considered as a moderately difficult degree. When compared with computer science, you can expect accounting to be of the same difficulty or slightly easier.
Things to consider
If you are thinking of majoring in accounting, it could also help to minor in finance. This is because many people with accounting degrees end up in finance. Getting a finance minor should help you when looking for jobs within finance. Getting an internship, in the field, could also help a lot.
If you want to go far in accounting, it would help you to complete the CPA exam as soon as you are able to. This is because many of the more desirable jobs require that you have completed the exam.
While accounting is a degree with good job opportunities, it can still be competitive. With that being the case, it would help you a lot to try to get some summer internships while you are completing the degree.
Details about a computer science major
Below are some details about a major in computer science.
According to Payscale, the average salary of a person with a bachelor’s degree in computer science is $85,235. This makes computer science one of the best paying degrees available right now. With that being said, some of these salaries may be slightly inflated since a lot of computer science jobs are in very high cost of living areas such as San Francisco.
Many of the alternative degrees to computer science, such as statistics or applied math, will also have high average salaries. However, not only is computer science one of the best-paying degrees, but it also puts you in a good position with just a bachelor’s degree. On the other hand, many of the alternatives require a master’s degree to be competitive when seeking a job.
Also, many people that get alternative degrees to CS actually end up finding themselves in CS type roles. For example, it is not uncommon for applied mathematics or statistics majors to find themselves working in programming roles after graduating. This is why computer science can also be a very good minor. If you have decided to get an accounting degree, it would help to at least choose computer science as a minor since it will drastically improve your job prospects.
Types of jobs the degree will qualify you for
There are many different types of jobs that a computer science degree will open you up to. These can include:
- Software engineer
- Database administrator
- Data scientist
- Machine learning engineer
- App developer
- Web developer
- Computer systems administrator
Most CS majors will end up taking jobs as a software engineer which is one of the highest-rated jobs available. When interviewing for these roles, you will be tested mainly on algorithms and data structures that you’ll learn about during your time in the major. Make sure to be very comfortable with algorithms and data structures when interviewing.
Data science is another career that is becoming popular among CS majors. If you want to get a job in data science, it would help to take classes in data analysis and machine learning, to learn Python programming, and to complete data science projects. A CS degree combined with classes relevant to data science should put you in a good position to get data science and software engineering jobs.
It would also help to try to get internships during the summer since that will also help you a lot in getting into big tech companies that have very high salaries.
How difficult it is as a major
Computer science can have some difficult classes. Most CS degrees will require you to take calculus 1,2, and 3; linear algebra; and discrete mathematics as well as a number of computer science classes that can be difficult. When compared with an accounting degree, you can expect computer science to be equally difficult or slightly harder.
Types of classes you will study
Some classes that you can expect to take include:
You can also expect to take some mathematics classes including:
If your university does not require that you take those math classes, I would strongly recommend that you take them as electives. This is because they are key classes for machine learning and, if you want to go to grad school, they will be important classes to have on your transcript.
Some classes that you might have the choice of taking could also include
Important things to be aware of when taking the degree
Before you start taking the degree, it would be very important to consider what you think you would like to do with the degree. By doing so you will be able to optimize your classes to be suited towards what you want to do after graduation.
If your goal is to get into data science or machine learning type roles, it would be important to make sure to take machine learning classes, to do machine learning projects, to take classes in data analysis and to take some statistics classes. It would also be important to make sure to take calculus and linear algebra as a freshman or sophomore if they are not required in your major.
Whereas, if your goal is to get a job as a software engineer, it would be more important to take classes that focus on algorithms and systems architecture type classes.
If you think that you want to go to grad school, it would be important to take up research opportunities and to take classes related to what you think you would like to research as a grad student. It would also be important to look at what classes graduate schools want to see when accepting CS master’s applicants.
More details about the computer science major
As mentioned above, a computer science degree should qualify you for many jobs that pay well and have high levels of job satisfaction. With that being the case, a computer science degree is arguably the best degree that you can get right now overall.
Also, the combination of math and computer science that a CS degree provides can help you qualify for jobs that are quickly growing in popularity including data science and machine learning engineering.
Furthermore, if you think that you would be interested in remote work, a computer science degree would also be one of the best degrees to get since there are many remote software engineering and developer jobs. However, if you are looking to maximize your earnings, it will likely be necessary to move to areas such as Silicon Valley or New York where there are more high-paying CS jobs for software engineering.
While computer science is one of the best degrees to get right now, it might still be the case that it might not be for you. It is a degree that involves a moderate amount of mathematics including calculus and linear algebra. If you are not great at math right now, I would still recommend a CS major since you can quickly improve your math skills using the website khanacademy.org.
An accounting degree can also qualify you for a number of different jobs and can be a good path towards a stable career. However, the number of jobs are not expected to grow as much as in computer science and the jobs will often require longer hours for equivalent pay. Although, the number of jobs in accounting is already high, so the slower growth shouldn’t be a significant issue.
If you decide to get an accounting degree, it would help a lot to make sure to become a CPA and it would help to also consider getting a master’s degree. Minoring in finance could also be a good way to broaden your job prospects.