Top Careers in Computer Science

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Updated September 26, 2022

Jump into our database of computer science careers. Learn about salary, career, and education information for any role you're interested in.

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Graduates seeking computer science careers can take advantage of a growing field.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for computer and information technology occupations will grow significantly — a 13% increase — from 2020 to 2030. This is significantly faster than the projected growth rate for all occupations nationwide. Some computer science jobs, such as computer and information research scientists, are projected to grow even more quickly.

Computer science job opportunities vary depending on the degree. Graduates with associate degrees often pursue roles as computer support specialists or web developers. Bachelor's degrees open doors to many more computer science careers in software development, database administration, and computer programming.

Employers typically expect computer and information research scientists to hold master's degrees at minimum. Read on to explore top careers in computer science.

Explore Computer Science Careers

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Computer Programmer

Write code to generate programs
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Hardware Engineer

Create, implement and test physical computer components
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Software Developer

Manage the creation of computer programs
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Systems Manager

Oversee and coordinate IT operations
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Web Developer

Plan and produce websites
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Software Engineer

Design and unify software creation
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Database Administrator

Store, order and protect company data
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IT Architect

Design data communication networks
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Network Administrator

Maintain the daily operations of computer networks
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Systems Analyst

Streamline existing IT infrastructures
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Security Analyst

Protect networks from cyberattacks
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Information Researcher

Create cutting-edge technology
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Video Game Developer

Design the next big game
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Health Information Technician

Protect patient-related data
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Data Scientist

Analyze data and address targeted problems
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Web Designer

Create engaging websites
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The Rise of the Computer Science Field

Since its inception during the Industrial Revolution, computer science has become essential to everyday life and changed nearly every part of society: Cybersecurity experts protect companies from foreign and domestic interference, while everyday people stream movies and connect with video conferencing technology.

The BLS projects jobs for information security analysts will grow 33% from 2020 to 2030. Web developers, who use digital design tools to create and update online sites, navigation systems, and search engines, can also expect faster-than-average job growth, according to the BLS.

The federal government has become one of the biggest employers of computer scientists and analysts thanks to the relationship between computer science and national security. The field is highly profitable and likely to stay profitable for the foreseeable future. Plus, computer science is strategically necessary to the world today. Computer science degrees open doors to exciting and lucrative professional opportunities, making the investment worthwhile.

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Career Outlook and Salary Potential in Computer Science

From 2020 to 2030, the BLS projects that the U.S. will add 667,600 new computer and information technology jobs, a 13% growth.

Some computer science jobs should grow even more quickly: The BLS projects a 22% growth in jobs for software developers and a 33% increase in positions for information security analysts. Projections for some computer science careers, such as network and computer systems administrator, indicate growth slower than the national average for all occupations — about 5% from 2020 to 2030.

The BLS reported a median annual salary of $91,250 across all computer and information technology careers as of May 2020. As the chart below demonstrates, median salary can vary by job title. Computer support specialists make an annual median salary of $55,510 while computer and information research scientists earn $126,830.

Computer Science Top Five Careers By Median Salary
Career Median Salary
Computer and Information Research Scientist $126,830
Computer Network Architect $116,780
Software Developer $110,140
Information Security Analyst $103,590
Database Administrator $98,860

Source: BLS, 2020

Computer Science Salary by Location

Location plays a major part in salary potential for computer science graduates. For computer and information research scientists, top-paying states include California, Virginia, and Washington. In Virginia, computer and information research scientists earn an average annual salary of $ 136,770, while Texas employees make $ 146,180

For computer network architects, New Jersey offers the highest average annual salary at $ 139,990. States like Rhode Island, Virginia, and Maryland also offer high salaries. Software developers earn the highest average annual salaries in Washington, California, and New York.

Software Developer Salaries by State

The BLS projected 189,200 software developer openings in the U.S. as of May 2020. This profession houses the lion's share of computer science professionals (computer support specialists are projected to have 70,400 job openings as of 2020). These employees are spread across the United States, their average salaries varying substantially by state.

Average Annual Wage and Employment for Software Developers by State, 2021

State

Source: BLS

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Major Employers of Computer Science Graduates

Google

One of the largest tech companies in the country, Google employs a broad array of software engineers and computer scientists. The company boasts expanding investments in new and emerging software, including search engine optimization, AI technology, and digital security in the cloud.

FAA

Computer scientists are in high demand in the public sector. The Federal Aviation Administration is actively seeking to expand the quality and strength of its software. For example, the FAA relies on cybersecurity technology to keep air travel safe and smooth both at home and abroad.

CGI

A big name in the financial sector, CGI needs skilled computer technicians and engineers to keep software and services updated as the business world expands. In addition to consulting, CGI also works in IT, infrastructure, and cybersecurity.

Netflix

At the intersection of entertainment and digital media, Netflix has evolved into a platform for emerging and established filmmakers, writers, and actors. At its core, Netflix is a media service that relies on talented software engineers to keep up with its growing demand.

Twitter

As one of the largest social media networks in the world, Twitter has also become one of the largest employers in the last 10 years. With a specific focus on making digital connections, Twitter employs data scientists, software engineers, and cloud data engineers among its ever-growing workforce.

Slack

The workforce is adapting to circumstances that require digital mass communication. Companies like Slack have stepped in to help companies easily and efficiently organize across and within departments. Slack uses digital and social media, plus the related skills of computer engineers, to help coworkers connect in their virtual office spaces.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the highest-paid job in computer science?

With a median annual salary of $126,830 as of 2020, computer and information research scientists earn high average wages while working to expand the field of computer science with new technology designs, platforms, and systems.

Is computer science in high demand?

The BLS projects jobs for experts in computer science to grow significantly from 2020 to 2030.

What can you do with a computer science degree?

With a computer science degree, you can work in technological design, maintenance, and analysis, among other areas. Professionals may work for tech companies, government agencies, or in other sectors.

Is computer science a good career?

Yes! High demand for qualified computer science professionals means high projected growth for many careers. These jobs are often lucrative, with average salaries ranging from $80,000 to $130,000.

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