Computer Scientist Salary in South Africa

We are in a jet age that is ruled by computers and computer science. This means that there are several amazing job opportunities for computer scientists these days. There is almost no sector of the economy that does not need the services of a computer scientist.

Since computer scientists are in high demand in South Africa, it is obvious that they will be among the highest earners in the country. Consider the fact that some of the richest people in the world have stakes in the information technology sector. This means there’s some good money in the sector.

computer scientist salary in south africa

In this post, we will be looking at the salary of computer scientists in South Africa. We will also consider the road to becoming a computer scientist in South Africa.

Who is a computer scientist?

It is important that we define who a computer scientist is before we go ahead to discuss the rest of this post. A computer scientist is an individual who has studied the intricacies of computer science gaining both theoretical and practical understanding.

There is a huge difference between computer scientists and computer engineers even though many people are confused with both terms. While a computer scientist works more with the theoretical and software aspects of computers, computer engineers focus on the hardware.

Make no mistake, there are certain situations where there is an overlap of responsibilities resulting from common knowledge. The foundation of knowledge for computer scientists is theoretical computing. It is from this point that the remaining fields branch out and they can begin specific research.

What is computer science?

Computer science should not be confused for computational science, they are two different fields of study. Computer science is also known as computing science or computation science. It is the study of the interaction of data and processes that are represented in the form of programs. It makes use of algorithms to store, manipulate, and communicate information.

There are several fields that fall under the umbrella of computer science and they can be divided into practical and theoretical disciplines. However, we would rather focus on the scientist rather than the science in this post.

An overview of computer science and the scientist in South Africa

Generally, it is expected that a computer scientist should have knowledge about the intricacies of the field and computers. This means that asides knowing the theory of computing, they should also know about programming, computer graphics, amongst others.

The truth is that computer scientists actually do specialize in different fields of computers. So even if they have general knowledge, they have a specific aspect where they concentrate their efforts. In South Africa, computer scientists are involved in several aspects of computer science. These include:

  1. Hardware electronics
  2. Operating systems
  3. Artificial intelligence
  4. Programming, amongst others.

Due to the flexibility of computer science and the general job description of computer scientists in most organizations, computer scientists have to be vast. They need to know beyond the periphery to understand the relationship between design and analysis of software and hardware. They should also focus on understanding usability and efficiency.

How much do computer scientists earn in South Africa?

The computer science sector is an interesting one and has a lot of opportunities to earn a huge fortune every year. Earning is usually dependent on the expertise of the personnel and years of experience.

The average salary of a computer scientist at Bachelor’s Degree level is R350 000 annually. The salary increases with more certifications and experience.

Personal requirements you must satisfy to become a computer scientist

For every career choice, there are certain characteristics an individual must possess to excel. Without these, that individual will most likely struggle and end up being mediocre. Here is a list of requirements you should satisfy to become a computer scientist.

  1. An inventive and inquisitive mind.
  2. Logical reasoning
  3. Excellent written and oral skills.
  4. Problem-solving and great decision-making skills.
  5. Have a flair for detailed work that requires lots of precision.
  6. Computer science and mathematical aptitude.
  7. Ability to organize and manage projects.

Requirements to study computer science in South Africa

It is compulsory that you have excelled in mathematics while it is required that you have some background in information technology. Added to this, you should meet the requirements of the university you want to study at. To know the exact requirements of an institution, you should make contact with the institution.

Who employs computer scientists in South Africa?

There are so many opportunities for computer scientists in South Africa beginning from entry-level to intermediate and experienced. Some of the top employers include:

  1. Government departments
  2. Computer bureaus
  3. Universities and other higher institutions
  4. Private companies
  5. Provincial administrations
  6. Telecommunication companies
  7. Self-employment


Now that you know how much you can earn as a computer scientist in South Africa, you must be pumped up. If you are, then make sure you do a lot of research and speak with people already working as computer scientists in the country. Good luck.

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