Top Computer Science
Careers: 2021 List

We live in the digital age, and most industries rely on software programs and data. Computer science impacts everything around us, including health development, scientific research, banking, transport, and communication.

If you’re interested in a computer science career, look no further. This guide will cover the best computer science careers and their salaries. It will also cover the roles of experts in the field and why you should pursue one of these jobs. You could become a data scientist, network security engineer, and anything in between.

Why Pursue a Computer Science Career?

You should pursue computer science because it is a dynamic field and an integral part of our lives. A career in this field will give you a thorough understanding of emerging technologies. You will be able to develop solutions to address challenges as they come in the future.

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This career also allows you to be part of other industries like cyber security, business, engineering, information assurance, public policy, biology, and economics. This gives you more career possibilities.

Having expertise in computer science allows you to solve challenging problems to make a positive difference in today’s world. You also have an opportunity to get a lucrative career because the jobs are available almost everywhere.

What Industries Are Hiring Computer Science Professionals?

Some of the departments where computer science professionals can work include financial services, aerospace, and defense. These professionals can also pursue careers in healthcare, retail, telecommunications, manufacturing, and agriculture. There are also opportunities in entrepreneurship to provide IT services to others.

Computer science professionals can work in many industries. The field is vast, and experts can choose to specialize almost anywhere. For instance, computer science professionals can work in the healthcare industry handling databases and medical software. They can work in financial institutions as well.

The most common employers of computer science professionals are IT service providers and IT consultants. Several industries require computers to function so there is an opportunity to work in different departments.

Highest-Paying Computer Science Careers at a Glance

The table below contains the highest-paying computer science careers. It also covers the required education needed to land a job, along with median pay and job outlook from PayScale and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Job growth data refers to the projected number of new job opportunities between 2019 and 2029.

Job Title Minimum Education Job Outlook Median Pay
Data Scientist Bachelor’s Degree 15% $126,830
Software Architect Bachelor’s Degree 5% $116,780
Network Security Engineer Bachelor’s Degree 31% $103,590
DevOps Engineer Bachelor’s Degree 22%* $96,423
Software Engineer Bachelor’s Degree 22%* $87,403
Software Test Engineer Bachelor’s Degree 22%* $80,327
Front End Developer Bachelor’s Degree 8%** $77,200
Java Developer Bachelor’s Degree 8%** $76,023
Mobile Developer Bachelor’s Degree 22%* $73,051
.NET Developer Bachelor’s Degree 22%* $71,688

*Job growth statistics have been sourced from BLS data on software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers.
**Job growth statistics have been sourced from BLS data on web developers and digital designers.

The Best Computer Science Careers in 2021

The Best Computer Science Careers in 2021

The computer science field offers lots of career pathways. You can choose to specialize in anything from software development or cyber security. Below are the top computer science careers and their job descriptions.

Data Scientist

Data scientists are responsible for analyzing, interpreting, and synthesizing raw data to make it more understandable. These experts have computer programming skills. They use these skills to convert the data into different forms. They also create algorithms to resolve problems.

These professionals oversee the analysis of datasets to solve real-world issues faced by organizations and businesses. They solve problems like how to create products more affordably.

Data Scientist Responsibilities

  • Acquires data
  • Asks questions to start the discovery process
  • Processes the data
  • Integrates and stores the data

Software Architect

These experts design and develop software and system applications. This software is created according to the requirements of the client. Some of the software includes games for mobile phones and desktop applications. Software architects also play the role of high-level decision-makers. They make design choices according to technical standards.

Software Application Developer Responsibilities

  • Tracks, plans, and schedules software deliverables
  • Assesses software to find solutions according to the requirements of the clients
  • Finds and directs resolutions for issues related to software and hardware interface
  • Works with software engineers and product managers

Network Security Engineer

This expert is responsible for configuring, provisioning, deploying, and maintaining the network and other security-related hardware and software. It includes network monitoring tools, virtual private networks, routers, switches, and firewalls.

Network security engineers protect the organization in case there is a cyber attack or threat. They know how to mitigate security threats. These experts must think ahead to prevent attacks. To work as a network security engineer, you can try taking one of the best cyber security courses.

Network Security Engineer Responsibilities

  • Maintains hardware and software related to security
  • Understands technical issues and handles them in a fast-paced environment
  • Documents security certification
  • Follows current trends in security

DevOps Engineer

DevOps engineers, also known as development operations engineers, are responsible for implementing automated applications. They also transition organizations to cloud technology. These experts develop methods to ensure transparency and work with product managers or engineers to find and fix issues that may arise.

DevOps Engineer Responsibilities

  • Sets up and builds new infrastructure and development tools
  • Tests and examines codes other experts have written
  • Understands the stakeholder’s needs and sends them to developers
  • Finds ways to automate release processes and development

Software Engineer

Software engineers oversee software development in different industries. They take part in researching, developing, designing, and testing the software they have created. Some of the experts focus on developing software for operating systems. Others create specialized programs and computer applications.

Professionals in this field also manage support systems needed to run organizations. In other cases, they may be expected to communicate with others and translate the needs of the team into systems development. You can become a software developer or engineer with a bachelor’s degree.

Software Engineer Responsibilities

  • Writes codes and tests them
  • Researches, writes, and designs new software programs
  • Evaluates systems and software that make hardware work
  • Develops programs by identifying and analyzing areas for modification

Software Test Engineer

This expert coordinates the processes for software program analysis. They work on creating and implementing the various testing methods. It also involves recording the results and offering recommendations to enhance software programs. Software test engineers work in different industries.

Their job duties include using programming languages to create scripts for testing and collaborating with the management team to streamline operations. They also handle documentation of software testing procedures.

Software Test Engineer Responsibilities

  • Understands the needs of the customer
  • Creates documentation and test cases
  • Analyzes testing results
  • Runs tests according to best practices

Front End Developer

Front end developers implement visual and interactive elements. The experts work alongside the backend developers who handle server-side application logic. They work together on the website to make it seamless.

These experts make applications and sites user-friendly. They also work with designers to ensure that the design plan does not hinder the flow of the website. Front end developers may also identify and fix issues.

Front End Developer Responsibilities

  • Optimizes apps for maximum scalability and speed
  • Develops user-friendly features
  • Ensures the technical feasibility of user interface designs
  • Builds reusable libraries and codes for future use

Java Developer

This expert is also called a Java applications developer. They are responsible for the creation and implementation of Java applications. Also, these experts ensure that the website authenticates user data and recognizes the need to update applications.

These professionals produce design documents and take part in program testing. They use the Java programming language when they work on website design. They may also examine technical issues and solve them.

Java Developer Responsibilities

  • Delivers high performance
  • Designs, maintains, and implements Java apps
  • Writes efficient and well-designed code
  • Contributes to the phases of the Java development cycle

Mobile Developer

Mobile developers specialize in mobile technology. They build apps for iOS, Android, and Windows phones. In some cases, they may choose which platform to work on. These experts learn programming languages for the platform they choose to work with.

There are many major mobile platforms with core languages and unique development environments. For instance, there is Java for Android, C# for Windows, and Objective-C for iOS. These platforms are dynamic, and developers must be ready to learn new ones.

Mobile Developer Responsibilities

  • Discusses the requirements of the clients
  • Develops the application programming interfaces for mobile functionality
  • Adapts web apps for mobile applications
  • Learns and keeps up to date with concepts, terminology, and best practices in the field

.NET Developer

.NET developers are responsible for designing web applications used by business systems. They integrate applications into business systems and create application maintenance logs, coding documentation, and project progress reports.

These experts must have organizational, problem solving, and analytical skills to thrive in the field. They are also team players that pay strong attention to detail. .NET developers must also have good communication skills.

.NET Developer Responsibilities

  • Writes clean codes with .NET programming languages
  • Takes part in requirement analysis
  • Tests and deploys systems and apps
  • Collaborates with internal teams for the production of software architecture and design
What Role Does Location Play in Computer Science Salaries?

What Role Does Location Play in Computer Science Salaries?

Location plays a large role in how much you earn, no matter what industry you work in. Computer science professionals also earn higher or lower salaries according to location. Experts in this field tend to earn more in states that are known as tech hubs.

For instance, New York, New Hampshire, and California are the highest-paying states for computer science professionals, according to ZipRecruiter. Data scientists can earn $132,826, $128,704, and $127,388 respectively. ZipRecruiter also reports that the lowest-paying states include Texas, Missouri, and North Carolina.

Common Entry-Level Jobs in Computer Science

This career path offers a lot of entry-level jobs that require minimal experience. Such jobs open the doors to advanced professional opportunities in the future. Some entry-level positions include terms like assistant, junior, or associate. These show that the job has minimal responsibility compared to senior positions.

Job Title Min. Education Entry-Level Pay
Software Developer Bachelor’s Degree $63,264
Information Security Analyst Bachelor’s Degree $60,271
Business Intelligence Analyst Bachelor’s Degree $59,771
Computer Systems Analyst Bachelor’s Degree $56,121
Computer Support Specialist Associate Degree $41,039

What Education Is Required for a Career in Computer Science?

While some employers require bachelor’s or master’s degrees for high-paying roles, others may not even ask for a certificate. However, other roles require a graduate degree. Some employers may be willing to hire candidates who have an associate degree or a high school diploma. This is because the industry emphasizes skill-based training over degrees.

In most cases, professionals with any education level can hold positions in this field. People with different educational backgrounds can work as programmers, computer network architects, web developers, and personal computer technicians.

Can I Study Computer Science Online?

Yes, lots of universities and institutions offer computer science programs online. It is possible to study online or even enjoy a mixture of both online and in-person learning. You can get a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from the comfort of your own home. Computer science degrees are the best way to get a job in the field.

Classes are held remotely so you can attend from almost anywhere. In some cases, classes are live to encourage interaction. Other classes are recorded so students can learn at their own pace.

Common Personality Traits in Computer Science Professionals

As a computer science professional, you need to have strong analytical skills to help you make sense of problems. You also need to be able to analyze and evaluate different solutions. Another necessary skill is the ability to solve problems logically and systematically. Most projects require conceptualizing and turning these solutions into reality.

Critical thinking skills are important because these professionals work on different projects using various methodologies. Knowing the best methodology to use at any given time is a key part of getting the job done.

Is a Computer Science Job Good for Me?

Yes, a high-demand computer science job is good for you. It allows you to sharpen your skills for the digital world today. With experience in this field, you will almost always find a job because of the abundance of opportunities in the field. You can specialize in any computer science career that fits your interests.

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