Computer Science (CS) is among the most popular Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) undergraduate majors in the United States. Aside from its complex yet interesting scope, computer science is popular because of its promise of job security, high salaries, and diverse job opportunities. CS degree holders are needed in every trade, business organizations across every industry. According to the latest research from Data USA, 41,793 computer science degrees were awarded to college students in 2017 with a growth of 18.3% over the previous year.
As a field of study, Computer Science focuses on computers and computational systems, including both hardware and software. It is a diverse field which includes artificial intelligence, software engineering, bioinformatics, programming languages, and numerical analysis. Students majoring in Computer Science must complete extensive and rigorous coursework. They undergo rigorous academic and practical training in theory, design, development, and application of computer systems making them valuable members of every workforce. Data USA reports that there are 2.06 million Computer Science professionals in the country receiving an average annual salary of $99,998.
Computer Scientists are trained to be decisive and effect innovation in their practice. Having a strong background in the field is the first step towards your career development.
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- Top Computer Science Career Salaries
- Computer Science as a Degree
- Types of Computer Science Degrees
- Computer Science Specializations
- Financing Your Computer Science Education
- Online vs. Brick and Mortar Computer Science Degrees
- Computer Science Career Pathways, Information, and Outlook
- Computer Science Schools, Degrees, and Rankings
Top Computer Science Career Salaries
- Computer and Information Systems Manager Salary: $83,800 – $208,000
- Computer Network Architect Salary: $60,310 – $164,280
- Information Security Analyst Salary: $56,750 – $156,580
- Computer and Information Scientists and Researchers Salary: $77,000 – $125,000
- Solutions Architect Salary: $79,000 – $112,000
- Systems Software Engineers Salary: $76,000 – $111,000
- CRM Business Analyst Salary: $80,000 – $109,000
- Business Systems Analyst Salary: $75,000 – $109,000
- Systems Analyst/Engineer Salary: $50,000 – $108,000
- Data Modeler Salary: $75,000 – $103,000
Technology is continuously evolving, becoming more complex as new developments are introduced to every aspect of communication, medicine, research, and transportation. Computer Science is an ideal course, a gateway course, to a wide range of career opportunities and academic advancement. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were a total of 461,100 jobs for Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services professionals. This data is projected to increase by 11% by the year 2028.
Computer Science is a foundational science, allowing degree majors to acquire both specialized and general education courses after completing a four-year course. The program follows holistic coursework, integrating liberal arts subjects in a highly complex academic load. A standard computer science coursework includes Computer Architecture and Engineering, Feedback Control Systems, Analog Integrated Circuits, Software Engineering, Computation Structures, Introduction to Algorithms, Fundamentals of Programming, and Elements of Software Construction. This area-specific courses will equip computer science graduates the proficiency and expertise in analyzing an organization’s computer systems and ensure network security and standard compliance.
Associate Degree in Computer Science (ACS)
Earning an Associate Degree in Computer Science is often considered as the first educational step towards gaining entry-level employment in the field. Associate degree holders often find jobs in computers and technology industry having learned the fundamental concepts in computer science. The two-year credential provides students with the background knowledge, applicable skills, and training required of a computer science professional. Requirements for the program vary from school to school. Typically, an ACS required students to comply with a total of 64-semester hours.
Students can no earn an Associate in Computer Science online degree. Both on-campus and online academic instructions highlight major-area requirements. These core classes include calculus, database management, data structures, network security, programming, and networking. Following the standard curriculum allows students to develop a solid foundation to succeed in the workforce. More so, ACS graduates can easily transition to a bachelor’s or even to a graduate degree.
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BSCS)
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BSCS) degree program is centered on key concepts and techniques to design and develop computer systems. BSCS majors explore the complex theoretical and practical underpinnings of Computer Science. Among the focus of BSCS are the fundamentals of algorithms, operating systems, software engineering techniques, and programming languages. Computer Science graduates are holistically prepared to innovate cutting edge technologies and methodologies in the field.
Generally, BSCS requires 120 credit hours plus additional requirements. Every curriculum, be it traditional or online, computer science coursework includes a rich set of electives, such as computer graphics, artificial intelligence, computer architecture, and computer networks. Theses electives often lead students to their desired specialization. Before enrolling in the program, you must check whether the college or university offering computer science courses are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) or other regional or institutional accrediting agencies.
Master’s of Computer Science
A graduate degree is always a wise investment, especially in a highly technical field like computer science. The Master’s of Computer Science (MsSC) degree will open new career opportunities and landing more lucrative positions. MsSC coursework typically highlights areas such as computer language theory, computer architecture, and systems engineering. The master’s degree program equips Computer Science professionals with advanced tools and foresight to secure success in the competitive field.
Most Master’s of Computer Science programs are designed as terminal degrees, catering to those planning to pursue a Ph.D. in the field. This academic track follows a more research-based and theoretical nature of the subject. On the other hand, many academic institutions offer a more practical and hands-on approach. Many programs allow graduate candidates to pick their academic track. Upon graduating, MsSC degree holders are prepared to engage and resolve complex issues that affect organizations across all industries. Full-time students can complete the master’s degree in as little as two years. Candidates for graduation must complete a master’s thesis in a topic of their choice and culminate with a thesis defense.
Ph.D. in Computer Science
Considering a Ph.D. in Computer Science involves significant factors. Earning a doctorate will highly depend on prior knowledge of intricacies of the field. You must have a solid grounding of both the primary and advanced courses in computer science. Lastly, you must have secured actual experiences in the practical application of both your knowledge and education. Ph.D. in Computer Science is straightforward – it follows coursework that is heavily focused on research, and requires a final dissertation.
A fundamental requirement in entering a Ph.D. program is at a bachelor’s degree, in CS or a related field. Also, a master’s degree is always preferred. Earning a doctorate in computer science is an opportunity to highlight your expertise in a specific area. You will gain in-depth knowledge, skills, and practical experience in an area of specialization, including Forensic Science, Biochemistry, and Nanotechnology. Students who pursue a Ph.D. in Computer Science typically finish the degree in four to five years or after completing the requisite number of credits and depending on their academic load and class format. The program requires the completion of 72-90 credit hours.
Computer Science is an all-encompassing term that covers several fields and sub-fields. Professionals who specialize in the area are welcomed to diverse industries, making them flexible and highly-adaptive. CS degree holders can work in data analytics, computer and software engineering, information security, network administration, and systems management. The academic programs under computer science umbrella offer diverse choices for specialization. Remember to choose what interests you.
An exciting concentration, Computer Graphics provides students with the knowledge and training to create still and motion pictures. They can create two or three-dimensional imaging by highlighting available technologies and tools. Computer graphics designers are skilled in visual and geometric manipulation. They integrate computational techniques learned through mathematical and computational foundations. Professionals in the area do not only focus on aesthetics but emphasize image generation and processing. A solid background in Physics, materials science, light manipulation, data storage, and analysis, as well as data interpretation, allow computer graphics professionals to perfect their craft. With increasing demands in the gaming industry, a Computer Graphics concentration is a wise choice.
Computer and Network Security
In today’s highly digitized industries, Computer and Network Security are at the center of necessity. This Computer Science field evolves ensuring seamless service delivery to consumers while keeping employee satisfaction. Experts in Computer and Network Security gained advanced knowledge in database management, operating systems, encryption strategies, and cryptography. Network security puts a premium on protecting sensitive proprietary information from any breach of attack, which ultimately protects the business. An entry-level position as a Security Analyst can earn a yearly salary of $64,600 while an advanced career promises an annual salary of $94,800.
Mobile and Web Computing
Degree programs in the Mobile and Web Computing concentration focus on theory-based applications of various networking protocols. The subject is also touched on the different aspects of systems design and allows students to conceptualize new strategies for development in the field. Mobile and Web Computing curriculum integrates foundational computer science courses into the state-of-the-art knowledge in the field of web and mobile technologies. Students will be able to create websites or mobile applications that will cater to any business model in every industry.
Human-Computer Interaction is a growing field in computer science. This concentration is highly specialized and is designed to equip computer science professionals with the expertise to great the next generation computer systems. The coursework in Human-Computer Interaction concentration centers on design thinking and user research and studies. Also, subjects in behavioral sciences, planning, design and programming languages are included in the curriculum.
A popular Computer Science concentration, Software Engineering emphasizes the study and development of programming languages. Curricula in Software Engineering puts primacy on collaborative learning and discipline, training students to excel in interpersonal communication. This is the foundation of functional and credible software security. Students taking software engineering take courses on database management, programming language, computer systems, and compilers. According to BLS, Software Developers received an average annual salary of $105,590 in 2018.
Bioinformatics is a unique specialization in the field of Computer Science. It integrates the theoretical framework of CS into the biological sciences, preparing students for a rewarding career in biological data interpretation. Bioinformatics curriculum includes foundation courses in both computer science and biology. Students learn the application of technology to medical and genetic context
Information Management and Data Analytics
Students who choose to concentrate on Information Management and Data Analytics learn proven strategies in storing, organizing and analyzing large-scale data. Topics in the area include algorithms for data mining, data management, database architecture, and networking.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a controversial topic and one of today’s most evaded discourse. As a field of study, AI incorporates broad topics such as robotics, probability and modeling, logical reason, machine learning, and language processing. Many computer science professionals venture into Artificial Intelligence as they are nearing to perfect algorithms for human-like intelligence. Students and experts in the field of AI aim to design and create a viable substitute to perform the most menial to the most complex human tasks. As a degree concentration, it adopts a cross-disciplinary curriculum which includes applied mathematics, symbolic language, semiotics, electrical engineering, social intelligence, philosophy, and neurophysiology.
STEM-related courses are becoming more relevant, convincing many undergraduate students to major in the field. Among the top choice is Computer Science. Many prospective college and graduate students choose to major in CS because of the rewarding and exciting nature of the field. Scholarships for CS students are widely available. Internet giants like Google, Microsoft, and even the NSA are providing scholarships and academic grants for deserving individuals. Just do the necessary research and comply with the requirements. Below is a list of scholarship grants targeted to computer science students.
- Microsoft Scholarship Program is premised in the hopes of encouraging the underrepresented groups of men and women to pursue a career in the STEM industry. Microsoft awards tuition and conference scholarships every year to Computer Science students, especially to pursue an advanced degree in the field. Awardees must comply with the eligibility requirements set by the organization.
- AACE International Scholarships is a competitive scholarship granted to North American and International students who are pursuing a degree in cost engineering or cost management. Applicants must be a full-time Computer Science student and maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The AACE International Education Board determines the amount of award. The maximum award totals to $2,500.
- Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program is a scholarship program specifically designed to cater to students pursuing a career in research. The subject of concentrations includes natural science, mathematics or engineering. Any accredited 2- and 4-year colleges and universities may nominate a student for the scholarship through a Goldwater Campus Representative.
- Horatio Alger Association and Honeywell Award grant ten outstanding students every year to pursue STEM education. It is a need-based scholarship program that has awarded more than $159 million to 20,000 students. Applicants must be a first-year college student attending any of the organizations’ partner institutions.
- IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Awards Program emphasizes the collaborative nature of research. The program supports faculty, students, and academic institutions in making real innovative efforts in the STEM industry. Qualified students receive a stipend for living, travel expenses, as well as support for conferences. For the academic year 2020-2020, recipients are awarded $25,000 for their education.
Online academic institutions continue to expand their already diverse online degree offerings. On top of the list is Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Science (BS CS) online program. Traditionally, CS is a hands-on course, putting importance on in-person lectures and collaborative learning. However, both the online and the brick and mortar computer science degree adopts the same set of curriculum. Both highlight key courses in the field, development of core competencies among computer science majors. Graduates from both academic format secure high-paying and rewarding jobs after completing the degree.
The online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree requires the completion of 120 credit hours. Since technology has grown more advanced over the years, online learning has become more interactive. Online programs take advantage of the many online learning platforms, especially Blackboard. These technologies allow students to engage with their peers, professors, and other computer science professionals to expand their network. The level of sophistication in online discussions is now akin to having an in-person discussion. A survey revealed that 30% of students prefer taking classes completely online. Since CS majors are highly dependent on their computers, taking classes wherever, whenever is a sure advantage.
Most online schools encourage their students to build a profile where they can communicate with other students. Notably, American Sentinel University has set up a messaging platform where their students can exchange emails, notes, lectures, and other materials. Also, at the University of Michigan-Flint, Masters of Computer Science engage with their professors, and members of the different departments to develop software and programs for educational purposes. Opportunities in online education are endless. Find the perfect program for you and check whether or not it is accredited by ABET.
On the other hand, on-campus Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program is primarily designed to train students in an object-oriented curriculum. Most specialization is available in the traditional learning path. Students learn basic and advanced computer science concepts while taking on the most complicated concentration. Specialize in computing skills and backgrounds, and excel in the field of computer science. Standard 120-credit hour coursework is followed in a BS CS program. One key advantage in a brick and mortar CS program is the students’ freedom to choose their electives
Computer Science graduates are analytical, critical and innovative career professionals. They take calculated decisions in every aspect of their project may it be systems design, database management, software development, or cloud computing. Professionals in the field take technical positions in various organizations. They are sought-after by employers across all industries, creating a tight competition in the employment marketplace. Taking into consideration the fast-paced nature of the field, it is essential that computer science professionals foster creativity and innovation. Since graduates of the course can apply their academic and experiential knowledge can be used in every possible area of commerce, career opportunities are countless.
In whatever professional path you take, having a degree in CS is your gateway to many opportunities. The right job for you will depend on your education background and your work experiences, as well as your skills and interests.
10 Most Common Computer Science Occupations
Let’s take a look at 10 of the most popular career pathways for Computer Science degree holders:
Business Continuity Analyst
Just like calamity disaster response teams, disaster relief mediators exist to prevent further damage on an IT system. Business continuity analysts cover data recovery and prevention of system blackouts. Most of their expertise rely on research and preparation against risks and loss of data. With their extensive knowledge on securities and system risks, they are continuously learning management and planning against data corruption and hacking.
To qualify for this job, you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, business, or information management. Some companies hire analysts with a five-year work experience in any computer or technology related industry with exposure in project management or business analysis. On average, business continuity analysts earn around $54,932 to $81,527.
Also known as Computer Systems Analysts and Systems Engineer, the primary duty of Systems Analysts is in overseeing installation or improvement of a computer system. Equipped with technical skills set, you will probably analyze and create procedures for these systems, improve processes as necessary, and communicate with vendors, IT programmers, and designers. You are also required to get into the technical aspect of the business such as scrutinizing costs for systems upgrade and/or repairs and create a project timeline.
To qualify for this job, you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in IT or any related field. Other firms may require additional skills set such as liberal arts or business-related degrees with skills in computer programming. On average, expect salary range for this job is around $80,570 to $93,710.
Creative and computer savvy individuals with expertise on program applications can do software development. Software developers create various programs that allow us to do tasks using the computer to make daily tasks easier and accessible. You will perform tasks such as creating systems that control a certain network within an organization, develop software that meet the needs of your clients, work with programmers (or with other computer specialists) by providing all codes for the application, and test and maintain the integrity of the software.
To become a software developer, you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or software engineering with a strong analytical and programming skill. Software developers earn about $66,740 to $110,000 per annum.
Computer and Information Research Scientists
Your main job as a Computer and Information Research Scientist is to develop solutions for hardware and software issues. As research scientists, you will experiment on existing software and design new ones to improve quality of life. You will invent new tools and methods that will help people improve their tasks using a device or computer. You will also design experiments and have it published or presented in conferences. Your expertise will highly benefit organizations in the data science, programming, and robotics industries.
To become a computer information research scientist, you need to have at least a master’s degree in Computer Science or computer engineering. It would be beneficial for students to have a specialized degree in line with the industry they chose (e.g. licensed doctor with computer engineering degree for a biomedical company). On average, you can earn an average of $69,230 to $183,820 per year.
CRM Business Analyst
Also referred to as a CRM Analyst, this work entails you to do the marketing and business end of a company focused on customer relationship management (CRM). While this may not require high technical skills set, it requires you to be familiar with statistics, database, and use of CRM software. You will work with data coming from customer relations department such as product channels using the CRM software. From here, you recommend strategies to improve or maintain customer loyalty and document these procedures for management, staff, and future marketing references.
To become a CRM business analyst, you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business, economics, or Computer Science. Individuals holding a graduate level degree of any of these fields may be given higher opportunities as some companies require research analysis. Typically, an entry level CRM analyst will earn about $47,000 per year. For senior positions, CRM analysts will typically earn about $100,000 per annum.
Information Security Analysts
As the title says, your job as an information security analyst is to protect company data and maintain the integrity of its systems and networks. Technology has become more accessible, thus hacking personal (and government) sites has been rampant more than ever. Your job is to prevent these cyberattacks by monitoring breaches, investigate when there’s a breach in the security network, install data encryption programs to protect sensitive information such as personal client details, prepare reports in case a breach happens, look for vulnerabilities in the company’s network before it will be exploited, and look into the latest trends in cybersecurity.
To become an information security analyst, you need to have at least an undergraduate degree in programming, Computer Science, or information assurance. Most companies would highly prefer hiring individuals with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree specializing in information systems with a knack for learning as this entails continuous learning with technology becoming more sophisticated. On average, your expected salary will be around $98,350.
Programmers work on the test codes of applications designed by software developers/engineers. It’s a technical job that requires you to write codes and have it tested to see if it needed further improvements or adjustments. When the application is not working as it should, you will be the one fixing errors. In some work environments, computer programmers overlap duties of software developers. In this case, you will need to design programs, create application models, write codes and/or debugging, and create an application interface. You will need to have at least an undergraduate degree in computer programming for you to be hired. Considering there are a lot of job opportunities for computer programmers, you won’t have a hard time getting hired even on entry-level jobs. Programmers with specialized knowledge such as business, healthcare, or marketing may have better job opportunities and higher salaries. On average, computer programmers earn roughly $84,280 per year.
Computer Network Architects
Also known as network engineers, computer network architects work on designing and building data communication networks including LANs (local area network), WANs (wide area networks), and intranets. You will work on local or large networks (which may include cloud infrastructure) depending on the organization’s needs. You need to be knowledgeable on handling business plans and goals so you can design a network accordingly. On top of designing a communication network, you will need to work on preventing network breach which may include having to work with a security analyst. Computer network architects are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, engineering, or information systems. Some employers will require a graduate level degree in business or information systems as you will need to work with your client on their business’ growth. On average, network engineers earn $109,020 per year.
As a database administrator (DBA), you will handle information of customer relations and transactions coming and out of the company. Your job is to find suitable solutions to storing and organizing crucial data such as financial and personal client records. Cyberattacks are common so maintenance of security and prevention of unauthorized accesses are of utmost importance as a data administrator. Loss of data from unusual network activities or hacking should be prevented using a back-up system and enhanced security networks. There are two types of work you will encounter as a DBA: system DBAs are responsible for the security and enhancement of databases where your knowledge in system architecture may come in handy; application DBAs design applications and would likely be more amendable for programmers or those with a security analyst background. To become a DBA, you will need to have at least an undergraduate degree in information system or Computer Science. On average, DBAs earn $90,070 per year.
Web developers usually develop websites and maintain its integrity. It is technical nature, so you need to be familiar with programming languages, structures, capacity, and performance of that website. Web developers are often doing consultation or freelance work with some exceptional ones doing some creative work in designing websites for businesses and other organizations. You will need to work with people from different departments so you can create the site with the necessary content. You will land on one (or two) of the following specializations: back-end web development (industrial construction of the site), front-end web development (aesthetic design of the website), and webmaster (maintenance and renovation of the website). To become a web developer, you will need at least an associate’s degree in a computer-related program. For back-end web development, you will need a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or programming. On average, web developers earn $69,430 per year.
Other Computer Science occupations:
- Solutions Architect
- E-commerce Analyst
- ERP Business Analyst
- Computer Support Specialists
- CRM Technical Developer
- Wireless Engineer
- Telecommunications Manager
- Project Manager (Applications Development)
- Data Warehouse Developer
- Business Intelligence Analyst
The available data is promising for computer science professionals. Employment growth is projected to grow by 4.33% annually and with an average wage of $948, more and more students major in the program. In the most common occupations, the average yearly salary is estimated at right around 100k. Those includes are software developers, applications & systems software, computer programmers, and other computer occupations. It is worth noting that software developers account for 20% of the entire workforce.
30 Highest Paying Computer Science Careers
Computer and Information Systems Manager / IT Project Manager
As a computer and information systems manager, your task will be overseeing all computer-related tasks and processes in the organization. You will see to it that all IT requirements are met and that it’s implemented accordingly. You will need to be up-to-date of the latest technology, analyzing the organization’s needs, plan and direct improvements to top executives for consideration, and look for other means to improve the computer system necessary for optimum use in the long run. Your role may include one of the following: Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO), IT director, and IT security manager. An IT Manager’s job is not easy and requires at least a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or Information Science with at least some work experience (5 to 15 years for CTOs and directors). Some companies opt to hire employees with a graduate degree in business, as some research and analysis may be needed.
Computer and Information Systems Manager: $83,800 – $208,000
Computer Network Architect
Your responsibilities will revolve around assessment and recommending appropriate communication networks for the organization. You will look into the company’s needs and design local area networks (LANs), Intranets, and extensive area networks (WANs). You should also know the business settings and environment before recommending the right network installation. As a computer network architect, you should be familiar with the software, routers, adaptors, and support computer networks. Because of the constant shift of technology, it’s essential to be up-to-date on the latest communication settings (such as cloud infrastructures) in helping the business achieve its goals. The minimum educational requirement is a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, information technology, or engineering with some work experience in the industry you’d like to participate in.
Computer Network Architect salary: $60,310 – $164,280
Information Security Analyst
Your primary concern as an information security analyst is to prevent the system from cyber attacks. The influx of cyber attacks happening in recent years is alarming. Your tasks will be to place inefficient security systems to prevent unauthorized access to these data from anyone outside the organization using advanced security methods such as data encryption programs and firewalls. You also must detect any vulnerability in the system through testing before hackers and malware can exploit it. You will be the one orienting and educating other staff members about these safety programs or help your clients install and learn about the program. Planning and strategizing for computer infiltrations is also part of your routine tasks with technology becoming more advanced and sophisticated. Information security analysts usually require an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, programming, or information science as part of the requirement. Work experience or having a graduate degree in business or marketing may land you a higher paying job in this niche.
Information Security Analyst Salary: $56,750 – $156,580
Computer and Information Scientists and Researchers
Your responsibility as a computer and information scientist and researcher is in the development of new technology to improve the quality of life. Your industry may cover from health to tech-based sectors that will allow humans to optimize skills set or improve performance using a tool or device. Innovation will be your driving force where you will test and experiment theories in real-world situations. You will need to have a comprehensive understanding of business, science, engineering, technology, academe, and governmental agencies as you will be partnering with these institutions in your research and scientific exploration. To get this job, you will need to have at least a Ph.D. in Computer Science, information technology, computer engineering, or software engineering. It’s an added plus to have a dual degree in marketing or business.
Computer and Information Scientists and Researchers Salary: $77,000 – $125,000
Solutions architects are almost similar to architects except that it’s focused on the IT arena. You will need an in-depth understanding of software systems, hardware set-ups, and knowledge about business. Solutions architect usually hold the title of a Chief Technical Officer (CTO). You also need to learn Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), computer systems, process flow analysis, and finding innovative methods to fulfill client or business needs (functional design), comprehensive knowledge about databases, and collaborate with other tech-based staff members in the organization in developing and upgrading computer systems. In-depth understanding of Computer Science or database management is a must to become a solutions architect.
Solutions Architect salary: $79,000 – $112,000
Software Systems Engineer
Your responsibility will be in the development and upgrade of software systems in the organization. Your job is to interact with the data and security management staff and assess, recommend, and install the necessary programs to maintain the efficiency of the tech workspace. Part of your job is to design, create, and test software, join in review meetings, and partake in the research of new applications for the betterment of data management and computer systems in the organization. To become a systems software engineer, you will need at least an undergraduate degree in Computer Science or system architecture.
Systems Software Engineers salary: $76,000 – $111,000
CRM Business Analyst
A customer relationship management (CRM) business analyst is a full front office job. Your responsibility is establishing efficient customer relations for the business. You will need to be familiar with the business structure of the company and from here assess, analyze, and derive solutions that will improve the business’s marketability to its target customers. With your expertise on data analysis and systems, you will need to communicate these into comprehensible reports for the staff and top executives. It will require less technical knowledge but you will need to be efficient in marketing or business. To become a CRM business analyst, you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, business, or marketing.
CRM Business Analyst salary: $80,000 – $109,000
Business Systems Analyst
Business systems analysts cover the computer aspect of the business. Compared to a business analyst, your role is analyzing processes and network systems in the organization. This requires analytical skills so having a business administration background would benefit you greatly in your job especially in dealing with other staff members, workflow management, and business practices/procedures. You will be working with the project manager and create new plans to improve workflow. You will also create reports, monitor the life cycle of the business, and communicate these with top executives of the company. You should have at least an undergraduate degree in business administration, accounting, or finance with work experience in technology-related settings. You will be collaborating with various individuals and need to have a highly organized working strategy.
Business Systems Analyst Salary: $75,000 – $109,000
Often referred to as Computer Systems Analyst, your role is to work in the installation and improvement of the organization’s computer systems. While it may overlap with the job of the IT project manager, your primary concern is to analyze the computer’s system, recommend processes to help improve those systems, communicate with programmers and/or analysts, and other technical roles such as cost management for improvement of computer systems, creating project timelines, fulfilling IT requirements, and provide guidance for the technical team to maintain or improve these networks. The basic requirement to be hired for this job is a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, computer information systems, or information science. Dual degrees such as business or marketing may improve your chances of getting a higher paying position.
Systems Analyst/Engineer Salary: $50,000 – $108,000
Business Continuity Analyst
While having a computer is a boon from heaven, it eventually breaks down or goes through ‘challenging’ times when it’s not performing to its optimum. Business continuity analysts act like disaster relief teams that ensure your computer system is running optimally after mishaps or blackouts. Your task will be to plan and prepare recovery strategies in case there are risks and data losses. You’ll be extensively knowledgeable on risk management and will be training employees to execute these defensive plans in case of a disaster. A bachelor’s degree of Computer Science, business, or management is required to qualify for the job.
Business Continuity Analyst: $95,000 – $105,000
Your responsibility is creating conceptual to physical models specifically intended for the binary processes in computers. Your job is to provide efficient flow of data without it taking too much space and appearing repeatedly in the systems. You will also need to identify what the business needs and activities so you can recommend the necessary data solutions. Considering ‘not every shoe fits’, you need to be creative and flexible with your approach in data modeling. It’s also imperative to be able to communicate complex and technical details of the model to simple information that your audience can fully understand. You will need to have at least an undergraduate degree in applied mathematics, computer or information science, or information systems management to become a data modeler. Graduate level degrees and work experience in the software development and use of business intelligence tools (Power BI) could help you greatly in this career path.
Data Modeler salary: $75,000 – $103,000
Blockchain developers are the ones handling the software development of cryptocurrencies. This is a specialized skill focusing on blockchain software that is not limited to cryptocurrencies (or digital currencies) but also for creating smart contracts. Your responsibilities are researching, analysis, designing, and execution of blockchain applications. You will be using numerous programming languages to creating these applications hence the necessity for in-depth knowing on computer programming. You will also be responsible for creating security measures against cyberattacks, educating staff personnel about the technology, and create a framework for best practices for the staff to follow. You may also need to collaborate with fellow tech personnel such as network security and engineers in designing these blockchain applications. A bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or information technology is a pre-requisite since this job requires intensive programming knowledge and skills set.
Blockchain Developer Salary: $103,560
Network Security Administrator
Your responsibility will revolve around maintenance of the integrity of the computer systems within the organization. As a systems administrator, you will be handling the improvement of computer systems by researching and looking for the latest systems your organization will benefit from. You will also be recommending computer systems and servers and collaborate with other IT staff members for training and consultation. Considering this is a technical job, you will need to have some technical knowledge about programming, staff management, and quick problem-solving skills. You need to have an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, engineering, information technology, or information science for this job.
Network Security Administrator salary: $68,000 – $88,000
Consumers are also using alternative payments such as cryptocurrencies in purchasing for goods and services. Blockchain engineers are responsible for developing payment solutions using this type of program. You’ll be primarily working with businesses in the data services and technology industry. You will handle assessment and development of technological solutions that suits business’ needs. Extensive knowledge in analyzing codes and maintaining backend functionality are some skills you’ll need for the job. A bachelor’s degree in information technology or Computer Science is a pre-requisite for entry-level blockchain engineers.
Blockchain Engineer salary: $122,000 – $179,000
Ecommerce analysts analyze and work on various roles for the business. Acting also as the E-commerce business analyst, you will need to analyze the economic standing for the organization, assess and recommend appropriate computer systems and applications, integrate financial and statistical data in assessing appropriate programs used, as well as marketing and management skills. You will also analyze web analytics to understand customer behavior and trends. For entry-level jobs, you will only need an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, statistics, finance, or business. However, better opportunities are given to those with dual degrees (business and Computer Science). For senior positions, a graduate degree will be a pre-requisite.
Ecommerce Analyst salary: $79,000 – $114,000
ERP Business Analyst
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) business analyst is a pre-dominantly a back-office job. You’ll be assessing various aspects of the organization such as the CRM (Customer Relationship Management), accounting, management, and sales. It’s important that you are knowledgeable about ERP systems so you can make appropriate recommendations to businesses and organizations. You’ll need to collaborate with other IT admins and developers to consult as to the network’s capacity and optimization. Considering the technical nature of your job, there will be instances where you’ll need to communicate findings and reports to stakeholders hence the necessity of being able to talk in non-technical terms about these technical details. To be an ERP business analyst, you’ll need an undergraduate degree in Computer Science with a business, accounting, or finance background.
ERP Business Analyst Salary: $83,000 – $115,000
Web developers work on creating and designing websites. Usually working with visual artists, a web developer’s main responsibility is making sure the technical structures are fully functional and safe from hackers and malwares. Whether it’s for a small organization or government sites, your job is in creating the ‘face’ of that entity when people search for them online. You will need to be familiar with programming and codes since you’ll be working on customized applications and programs for your clients. Some web developers are hired part-time for small businesses making this a good sideline for students or those taking on two jobs. Some web developers are also hired on a per-project basis. You will need an in-depth understanding of coding and computer programming to be able to land a lucrative job (or freelancing career) as a web developer.
Web Developer salary: $37,930 – $124,480
Cloud engineers are responsible for creating, implementing, and maintaining network settings for cloud storage. For businesses utilizing heavy data, taking these documents in cloud storage would save up time and money. More businesses are turning to cloud solutions to optimize business process and increase productivity. Cloud engineers may also work anywhere around the globe and can do consultations on a part-time or per- project basis. To become a cloud engineer, you will need to have a degree in Computer Science, engineering (MIS), or business. Considering the technical nature of the job, you will need to have a background in computer systems and business.
Cloud Engineer salary: $67,000 – $182,000
Pre-Sales Engineer / Technical Engineer
Your work entails having to talk with potential consumers for your product/s or talk with the staff who will handle the software prior delivering or installing the programs. As the frontliner of the product, you will be handling product education and technical tasks such as Requests for Information (RFI). You need to relate with non-technical staff and effectively educate them in handling the program installed in their systems. Your role is vital in passing information properly from the Product Managers to other customers. Aside from an undergraduate degree in Computer Science or information technology, it’s advantageous to have a background in marketing since you’ll be doing a lot of demo for potential customers.
Pre-Sales Engineer / Technical Engineer salary: $82,000 – $116,000
Computer programmers deal with codes and writing those codes into programs to increase human efficiency and business profitability. You will collaborate with other IT personnel such as software engineers and web developers to create logical instructions to follow. You will also be tasked to repair, maintain, or enhance existing programs in line with the business’ goals. Computer programmers will often work on a freelance basis where everything can be done online. Seasoned computer programmers also do consultation on a part-time basis helping organizations and businesses. A pre-requisite will include an extensive knowledge in coding and programming.
Computer Programmer salary: $48,790 – $134,630
CRM Technical Developer
Compared to the CRM business analyst, your job is primary working on CRM software and programs. Experts in this field have an enhanced understanding on the technical aspect of CRM programs where you create solutions for both internal (administrators, sales staff) and external (researchers, consumers) factors. Businesses, organizations, and private entities have specific needs where customer relations are concerned. Your tasks are to assess and create software appropriate for their needs, find out what needs improvement with their existing systems, and create modules comprehensible for technical and non-technical individuals. Freelancers and part-time consultations are often the most frequented route for this type of job. A CRM technical developer will often need an associate’s degree or undergraduate degree in computer engineering or programming.
CRM Technical Developer salary: $89,000 – $119,000
Consumers are predominantly guided by visuals hence the necessity to have a graphic designer work on a logo or marketing material for a business or organization. Software such as Adobe illustrator will let you create art that inspire, captivate, or inform others about a cause or product. You will create a layout used by magazines, placed in brochures, or used as templates for reports. A graphic designer will require some technical knowledge on art software and have the creativity to deliver according to the client’s preference.
Graphic Designer salary: $29,610 – $85,760
You’ll be working with Web portals such as IBM WebSphere and Microsoft SharePoint. The job is technical in nature and will require an in-depth understanding about software and programming. You will often be collaborating with other IT personnel such as the system administrator and web developers in overseeing the integrity of your web portal. Since there’s a constant improvement in technology, portal administrators need to be up-to-date with the latest programs and upgrades. A computer programming or information system background is a crucial requirement for this job.
Portal Administrator salary: $91,000 – $121,000
Computer Support Specialist
Individuals with a technical background about programming and computers with a natural flair for teaching may look into this job. You will be helping and assessing user computers and other organizations. Whether it’s a computer glitch or a need for an upgrade, you will be providing recommendations and upgrades for the systems your clients are currently using. Some computer support specialists do this on a part-time basis where they can work on flexible schedules. A computer-related associate’s degree or undergraduate degree may be a requirement.
Computer Support Specialist salary: $38,270 – $105,770
Software developers create applications made for human efficiency through the use of technology or devices. In this day and age of rapid growth, software developers are constantly on the lookout for upgrades. You will work with your clients so you can develop the right program to help them achieve their goals. You will also collaborate with other IT specialists such as web developers and system administrators for security and maintenance. To become a software developer, you need to have an in-depth background in IT or computer programming with a flair for creativity.
Software Developer salary: $ 61,660 – $161,290
Wireless engineers deal with wireless networking and other communication systems. You will be in charge of designing and creating infrastructure appropriate for that institution. Upgrading and maintaining these communication systems are also part of your routine jobs. You will be performing tests and set-up wireless networks. To become a wireless engineer, you will need a degree in structural or civil engineering. Your transition to high-tech communication systems may be easier if you have a background in Computer Science or information system.
Wireless Engineer salary: $46,000- $125,000
Your tasks will involve researching and interpreting data. An increasing number of businesses and organizations now rely on data to get statistics to help their business grow, understand consumer behavior, and to help their systems improve. Data scientists need to be critical and use tools and software to pull out results from the collected data. It’s a highly cerebral work that will require you to be knowledgeable in mathematics, Computer Science, and programming.
Data Scientist salary: $113,400
Your main tasks to maintain the flow of software used for database purposes. If the institution is focused on data use, database administrators make sure that they are accessible to the right people and quickly accessed by multiple users. Web traffic can often choke access flow hence the necessity for database administrators to keep the systems efficient. You will need an undergraduate degree in information systems or a graduate degree in Computer Science or Mathematics.
Database Administrator salary: $48,000 – $132,400
Data Warehouse Developer
Companies use data to derive statistical results such as how their products are doing, consumer’s identification with the brand, and current trend. Your job is in storing these data or upgrading software to get them from the system for reporting quickly. You will also need to work with a business analyst to help you understand the business logic. Some tasks may overlap that of a database developer and use of 3rd party applications. This is a technical job hence the necessity to have extensive knowledge of statistics, data science, and management.
Data Warehouse Developer salary: $60,000 – $133,000
Quality Assurance (QA) engineers handle computer programs and systems mishaps and make sure that the system is running optimally. Your primary responsibility is to assess, plan, report, and implement these solutions to maintain workflow and accessibility of the computer network. Your job requires critical thinking and technical knowledge of programming and network security. You will also be collaborating with IT personnel to keep systems locally (or cloud) from these cyber attacks. You will need an undergraduate degree in Computer Science or information system to become a QA engineer.
QA Engineer salary: $49,000 – $93,000
Unique Computer Science Careers
During the Industrial Age, one out of four Americans is employed in a manufacturing company. It was the time where iron and coal are high-value commodities. Today, you get more people working and interested to work in the tech arena than in any other fields. Indeed, technology is driving an influx of digital experts in the workforce.
Unlike any STEM or standard occupations after graduation, Computer Science graduates can also find ‘unusual’ jobs outside the four corners of the office. Furthermore, tech jobs are projected to increase up to 13% until 2028, so it’s still a good time to go with the flow.
This unusual job title may elicit either curiosity or confusion. Your responsibility is to bring ‘rapid’ growth to the company. Your strong marketing skills on top of your Computer Science background will come in handy. You will need to collaborate with IT professionals, marketing and sales team, product management, and engineering staff. There’s a special mix of statistics thrown in hence you need to be aware of analytics and data. From here, you can structure a plan and implement these strategies to helping the company grow as fast as possible.
Health Information Technology (HIT)
The reliance of healthcare staff in technology use is a signal to hire more Computer Science and IT grads in the workforce. Smacked in a growing industry, finding tenure in the healthcare sector is something you don’t want to miss. HIT is a specialized field for information technology professionals employed in medical facilities and organization to create, innovate, and upgrade healthcare systems and organizations through the use of applications and programs. You should have a strong understanding of management and coding systems.
Artificial Intelligence Specialist
Being an AI Specialist is a job straight out of a Terminator movie. Your job is to create a technology that thinks like us. You will work on systems that not only produce routine functions but also to decide and act on particular info fed in the system (such is the case for voice recognition). While this field is yet to be fully developed, artificial intelligence is no stranger for the more curious explorations. If you have a keen understanding of robotics and innovation, this is an exciting field to be in.
Bioinformatics Software Engineer
If you’ve followed the Human Genome Project (HGP), you will have an opportunity to work in innovating software in organizing HGP data. A lot remains to be discovered in the human genome hence you will be working with scientists, fellow IT specialists, and health experts in decoding the human genome, developing a cure, and understanding further the intricacies of human DNA. You will also work on algorithms and design programs.
While this may sound like an ‘odd’ job for a Computer Science graduate, it’s a lucrative career to cultivate in the long run. If you have a particularly high visual skill, marketing, and business acumen, a book designer will not only get you income but leverage with publishers and authors looking for a skill set that you have. You’ll be working on art software such as Adobe Illustrator or other programs to help develop customized book covers for your clients.
The cinematic universe may be an unexplored arena that you have yet to look into. Cinematic artists work on turning virtual games into exciting alter realities. Your task is to make sure each scene maintains a coherent flow and provide aesthetics appropriate for the scene. In your encounter with WoW in school, this is where you’ll likely use it the most. High attention to detail, storytelling abilities, composition, and editing skills are some of the unique attributes of an efficient cinematic artist.
Computer Forensics Investigator
These are the Sherlock Holmes in tech space. Computer Forensics Investigators are the ones unearthing evidences locked in the cyberworld. With your expertise in Computer Science, digging up evidences takes a lot of patience and exceptional sleuthing skills. It’s also not uncommon to be hired in the CIA department or testify in court. Outside the corporate realm, you can specialize in this industry and take on a private practice where you can investigate buried financial records or photographs of deleted files from a spouse’s hard drive.
The professional gaming field used to be an obscure industry—but not so much today. Game developers create games for mobile applications to pro gamer tournaments. Students with a liberal arts background, mathematics, and engineering may land a lucrative career as a game developer. You will need to have an in-depth understanding of computer programming and coding. With a good story to develop and create, game developers may often get a chance to become ‘one of the next best game yet’.
When you see the Avengers, Game of Thrones, and Harry Potter, there is an obscure aspect of these movies that play a critical role to its ‘coherence’. Matte Painters are those that create the backdrops for these movies to turn fantasy into reality. Working with other IT personnel and digital artists on board, you will complement these elements whether it’s using your computer or with a traditional paint and brush. You are a skilled illusionist where you take these characters out of the reality and placing them in an alter world. Some programming and storytelling skills may give you an edge against your competitors.
Nurses with a Computer Science background may find a fulfilling career in this industry. You will be assessing healthcare systems in the hospital, develop systems, and promote program to maintain the efficiency of work for nurses. You will either create the programs or provide education to fellow nurses on how to use these programs. In instances where patients need to use in-home care equipment, you will be the one demonstrating to them how to use it.
Travel Computer Science Careers
Jobs and career paths in technology and computers are showing no signs of dwindling. There is, in fact, a high demand for digital natives in almost any industry. This is due the increasing dependence of organizations on data and analytics to increase productivity, drive profitability, and increase their market value. If you’re looking for a more exciting experience outside the country, here are some exceptional jobs to get into to bring more life to your work.
If you’ve been hired as a college professor for many years, you may have cultivated an ability to communicate effectively with your students. Some teaching jobs may be available for short courses outside U.S due to the high demand for that expertise. Schools abroad may hire you to teach students certain courses so you can stay in that country for days to weeks. To be a postsecondary teacher, you will need a master’s degree in a specialized field and a teaching experience in a university.
For those who have been in a specialized industry such as Computer Science and mathematics, taking project offshore is not uncommon. Some businesses and organizations hire consultants to help them with their goals by learning what you know. This is a job suited for experts who have a long streak of experience in a given industry.
Technology is constantly shifting. The latest software products are promoted by pre-sales support staff but it’s often the post-sales support team that assesses the effectivity and usefulness of such products. The job of the post-sales support staff goes beyond educating clients on software and programs features. They also provide troubleshooting expertise. If you choose to do post-sales support for high-end enterprise software companies, you can be the “go-to-guy” for quick fixes and complicated troubleshooting work. This work can take you places, particularly if you work for an agency that is multinational and handle clients from all over the globe.
Administrators, on the other hand, handle computer systems and networks. They train staff and clients on how to use and manage these programs. There are instances where offshore outsourcing may be required to help clients outside the country install and learn more about the product. Some technical skills, degrees, and work expertise are required to get this opportunity.
Solutions architects are those that design and manage solutions specific to that business. Working as a consultant will get you to travel in various countries working with foreign businesses looking to hire you for your expertise. You will need to collaborate with the enterprise architect and technical architecture in looking for customized solutions fit for the organization. It would be beneficial to look for companies that offer B2B solutions.
You will be in-charge of creating applications to meet the needs of the user using technology. For exceptional software developers, there’s a high chance that companies will be willing to fly them out and work abroad. If you develop a unique software and pitch them for potential customers, there’s a high possibility that you’ll also need to walk them through personally. You will be collaborating with other IT personnel, sales team, and marketing team abroad to help them better understand and use the product.
Information Security Analyst
Consider your role crucial in any computer system within an organization. Considered as ‘gatekeepers of the IT system’, your job is to assess, plan, and manage security systems against hackers and malwares. For a specialized software, it may require expertise with integration and management in the network hence the necessity to fly them from abroad. If you have a highly specialized skill, work experience, and skill in running that program, B2B solutions may become a bridge for travel opportunities.