Similar Titles

Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Computer Information Systems Instructor (CIS Instructor), Computer Science Instructor, Computer Science Professor, Faculty Member, Information Technology Instructor (IT Instructor), Instructor, Lecturer, Professor

Job Description

There are tons of academic subjects that middle and high school teachers can study to teach, but perhaps one of the most exciting — and relevant for modern society — is computer science (or CS)! Today’s youth grew up with technology and are generally adept at using it by the time they reach middle or high school. But learning the science behind computing will enrich their understanding and inspire many to explore computer science-related college degrees and careers. Computer Science Teachers are also employed by technical and business schools, junior colleges, and universities, where they can usually receive higher salaries teaching older students. 

If you enjoy working with computers and want to share your knowledge of hardware, software, programming languages, and more, then a CS teaching position just might be your dream job!

Rewarding Aspects of Career
  • Working with students and having a direct impact on their lives
  • Helping to ensure students have a positive educational experience
  • Expanding the world of computer science by educating future generations
The Inside Scoop
Job Responsibilities

Working Schedule

  • A Computer Science Teacher generally works full-time, Monday through Friday. During periods when school is out (i.e., summer and holiday breaks), there may be less work, but teachers still have to prepare for upcoming terms. 

Typical Duties

  • Develop a comprehensive CS curriculum appropriate for the grade being taught
  • Prepare daily lessons and activity materials. Incorporate digital classroom best practices 
  • Use a variety of teaching methods and instructional materials to keep students engaged
  • Give lectures and presentations 
  • Provide opportunities for students to get hands-on practice 
  • Introduce programming languages like Java and C++. Develop student computer literacy
  • Organize activities aimed at developing CS-specific skills
  • Set up audio/visual or computer equipment 
  • Monitor student behavior and progress during class 
  • Enforce classroom rules and model proper behavior
  • Record student performance and offer insights to students and parents, when necessary
  • Assign and grade homework. Review quiz and test subject matter
  • Track of attendance and calculate grades
  • Mentor individual students or assist small groups to offer personalized guidance with assigned tasks
  • Offer additional support to students facing unique learning challenges

Additional Responsibilities

  • Offer CS career advice
  • Collaborate with peers on creating and improving student programs
  • Work with teachers and parents to review student progress
  • Stay on top of CS trends and advances to ensure the curriculum is up-to-date
Skills Needed on the Job

Soft Skills

  • Ability to monitor and assess student behavior
  • Compassion
  • Composure 
  • Coordinating and instructing activities
  • Desire and aptitude to help others succeed
  • Empathy
  • Keen organizational skills
  • Leadership
  • Objectivity 
  • Patience
  • Resilience
  • Resourcefulness
  • Social and cultural awareness 
  • Sound judgment and decision-making
  • Strong communication skills, including active listening 

Technical Skills

  • Expertise in computer science and information technology
  • Knowledge of programming languages 
  • Knowledge of visual presentation equipment 
  • Knowledge of printers, scanners, and photocopy equipment
  • Microsoft Office, Google apps, Macintosh software
  • Using various school database automation systems 
  • Familiarity with educational software designed for students
Different Types of Organizations
  • Private and public schools
  • Technical, trade, and business schools
  • Junior/community colleges
  • Colleges and universities
Expectations and Sacrifices

Computer Science Teachers must exhibit both patience and enthusiasm while teaching in dynamic, fast-moving classrooms. Students come from very diverse backgrounds and may have different levels of experience with computer science, so it is important to proceed at a pace that keeps things moving forward without leaving anyone behind. 

Like all educators, CS Teachers should model exemplary behavior while managing their classrooms and keeping students focused and on track. They must come to work well-prepared for the technical lessons and activities planned for the day, yet stay flexible enough to answer detailed questions and encourage discussion on new topics. Computer science is ever-evolving and sometimes students have information to share that teachers aren’t fully aware of.

Current Trends

Computer Science Teachers will use an established curriculum but need to keep up with changes to ensure what they’re teaching is accurate and relevant. Hot topics they should keep their eyes on include virtual reality, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), computer vision and natural language processing (NLP), and robotics. Other areas that never stop advancing are the Internet of Things, quantum computing, cloud computing, big data, and cybersecurity. 

Teachers cannot be subject matter experts on all these topics, but it’s good to stay informed and be able to answer questions. Sometimes teachers may even find themselves learning from their students, so it is important to come in with an open mind, be willing to listen, and allow students to share knowledge.

What kinds of things did people in this career enjoy doing when they were young...

Most Computer Science Teachers probably enjoyed learning about programming languages through hours of practice. They may have taken math and IT-related classes in high school or participated in online forums where they could share information and ask questions. A lot of computer gurus read industry magazines and articles or watch video tutorials to pick up new skills. 

While the wide world of CS attracts people from all walks of life, sometimes introverted personality types are drawn to this field more than extroverts or people who feel a need to be outdoors all day.

Education and Training Needed
  • Education and training requirements vary based on state, school type, and personal career goals, but about 65% of Computer Science Teachers have a bachelor’s. 24% have a master’s, per Zippia
    • Middle and high school teachers need a bachelor’s whereas college-level instructors or professors usually need a master’s or PhD
  • The most common major is computer science, with math coming in second 
  • Public middle and high school teachers must finish a teaching program in college, pass a background check, and pass two exams — a general teaching exam plus a subject matter exam
    • Requirements vary by state but two general exam options are the Praxis (administered by ETS) and National Evaluation Series (administered by Pearson)
  • Most states offer alternative teaching certification programs so teachers can start faster
  • Public school teachers need to be state licensed or certified, whereas private schools and college-level teachers don’t usually require licensure
    • Optional - Teachers can obtain a National Board of Professional Teaching Standards certification after three years of teaching experience 
  • CS Teachers should strive to learn about and promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion  
  • Familiarity with a second language is often beneficial
Things to look for in a program
  • STEM-related college programs should be accredited by ABET
  • Consider the cost of tuition, discounts, and local scholarship opportunities (in addition to federal aid)
  • Think about your schedule and flexibility, when deciding whether to enroll in an on-campus, online, or hybrid program
  • If needed, find a school that offers a teacher training program as well
Things to do in High School and College
  • Ask your high school teachers for guidance and mentorship about becoming a teacher
  • Decide if you want to teach middle school, high school, or beyond
  • Volunteer to help at your school. Behind-the-scenes exposure is beneficial to understanding a teacher’s daily routine and how the school operates
  • Take computer-related courses, as well as English, writing, math, and public speaking 
  • Participate in computer clubs, online programming forums, and related activities aimed at learning
  • Expand your knowledge of concepts related to diversity and social justice standards within educational settings
  • Look for volunteer or paid opportunities outside the school, such as with youth organizations, religious activities, for-profit businesses, or other places where interaction with youth and young adults is possible 
    • Seek roles that offer leadership and organizational skills practice where you must manage small groups of people 
  • Read industry magazines and articles. Subscribe to CS YouTube Channels.
  • If you do a teacher training program, make a great impression, learn all you can, and stay in touch with your supervisor 
  • Sign up for a CS bootcamp if you want to learn a new skill (or freshen up an old one) without doing a college course. Popular bootcamps include coding, DevOps, and cybersecurity
    • Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), like the ones offered by edX or Udemy, are another way to polish up your skills 
    • There are many other free websites to learn about CS topics, such as Tutorialspoint, Studytonight, W3Schools, StackOverflow, Computer Hope, JavaTpoint, and Khan Academy
  • Keep track of all your work and academic accomplishments for your resume and/or college applications. A Word document or Google Doc is a great way to keep track of things (just make sure to keep a backup!)
Typical Roadmap
Computer Science Gladeo Roadmap
How to land your 1st job
  • Many Computer Science Teachers start out as teacher assistants until they get a bit more experience in the classroom. Assistant roles may only require an associate’s degree
  • Apply for open positions found on,, and other job-seeking sites
  • Use quantifiable results on your resume, when possible (data, statistics, and numbers, such as how many students you were responsible for in a role)
  • List all practical experience you have of working with youth, including internships or volunteer work
  • Stay connected to your network and ask for leads on upcoming job openings
  • Keep up-to-date on the latest CS developments because things change quickly
  • Ask previous teachers and supervisors to write recommendation letters or request their consent (in advance) to list them as references
  • Do your research on potential employers. Learn their mission, values, and priorities
  • During interviews, demonstrate awareness of trends related to computer science. Know your business and terminology
  • Review CS Teacher interview questions.
  • Clearly articulate your enthusiasm for working with youth or young adults. Explain why you are the best candidate to teach CS
How to Climb the Ladder
  • Knock out some extra education and training, such as a master’s or a new certification
  • Get specialized in a challenging CS area like artificial intelligence by taking advanced courses
  • When you have gained enough experience, get an optional National Board of Professional Teaching Standards certification to boost your resume
  • Demonstrate sincere care and compassion for students 
  • Become a DEI expert and advocate for student rights
  • Build your reputation as a subject matter expert beyond the boundaries of the school
  • Get published in CS journals, write online content, produce tutorial videos, and mentor others
  • Consider making a website where users around the world can access and share information
  • Never stop growing your professional network. Most jobs these days are found through connections
  • Join professional associations and read relevant trade publications that will expand your awareness of topics
  • Serve on high-visibility school and district committees and make an impression
  • Strengthen relationships with students, staff, teachers, and administrators
  • Get creative! Learn fresh new ways to teach subjects and keep students motivated, such as eLearning, blended learning, flipped classromms and other techniques 
  • Join mailing lists of education centers and attend conferences and workshops
Plan B

If being a Computer Science Teacher isn’t right for your goals, ask yourself — do you want a CS job, but without the teaching aspect? Or do you still want to be a teacher but of a different subject? The answer to that question will guide your path to discovering which occupations to explore. 

Career and technical education teachers have lots of related careers to check out.


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