What can you do with a Computer Science Degree?

Nov 13, 2014   |   Computer Science
What can you do with a Computer Science Degree?

If you're thinking about enrolling in any degree program, chances are, you're also considering the career path you'll take after graduation. While earning a specific degree doesn't guarantee you success in the job of your dreams, the Bureau of Labor Statistics does report a higher than average outlook for many computer and technology-related occupations.

In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) occupations account for nearly 13 percent of total national employment or 132,588,810 jobs. These occupations earn an annual average wage of $79,640, which is about 1.7 times the national annual average for all occupations.

Getting curious about what you can do with a computer science degree? To help you explore your options, we've identified the top technology-related occupations according to Burning Glass, so you can see what might be possible after you earn your computer science degree.

TOP 5 COMPUTER SCIENCE CAREERS

Below is an overview of the top five careers for CS graduates, shown in order of the number of entry-level job postings available (highest to lowest) in 2013.

1. Computer Support Specialist1

What they do: As a computer support specialist, you'll provide help and advice to people and organizations using computer equipment and software.

Available jobs in 2012: 722,400

Projected growth: 17 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than average

2012 Median Pay: $48,900 per year2

2. Software Developers3

What they do: Software developers design, customize, evaluate and modify computer application software that helps people and organizations complete specific tasks.

Available jobs in 2012: 1,018,100

Projected growth: 22 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average

2012 Median Pay: $93,350 per year4

3. Computer Systems Analysts5

What they do: Systems analysts help an organization run more efficiently and effectively by studying its computer systems and procedures, looking for ways to meet the needs and limitations of both.

Available jobs in 2012: 520,600

Projected growth: 25 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average

2012 Median Pay: $79,680 per year6

4. Network and Computer Systems Administrators 7

What they do: System administrators are responsible for the smooth, daily operation of an organization's computer network.

Available jobs in 2012: 366,400

Projected growth: 12 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average

2012 Median Pay: $72,560 per year

5. Database Administrators8

What they do: Database administrators, also known as DBAs, manage and analyze data. This role may also include the securing data from unauthorized access.

Available jobs in 2012: 118,700

Projected growth: 15 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than average

2012 Median Pay: $77,080 per year9

ADDITIONAL POSSIBILITIES

A computer science degree can open many other career options, including one as a Web Developer, an occupation that earns a median pay of $62,500 per year11 and is expected to grow faster than average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a Web Developer you'll develop the technical aspects of a website, and may also be responsible for managing the performance of the site.

Another growing occupation, as technology evolves and cybercrime increases, is the Information Security Analyst, who plans and executes security protocols to protect an organization's computer systems, networks and data. At a growth rate of 37 percent, this occupation is growing much faster than average and can earn a median pay of $86,170 per year12.

GETTING STARTED

Computer-related occupations are expected to grow significantly in the coming years and with higher earning potential compared to other non-technical fields13 you may think you've just found your ideal career path.

If that's true, a good first step is to assess what you want from your career outside of salary and projected industry growth. Start by conducting informational interviews with professionals already working in the jobs you're interested in pursuing, and then connect with potential universities to explore possible degree paths. You'll want to choose a university that offers the academic program you want, but also provides the learning environment that fits into your existing priorities.

Colorado Technical University offers a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science as well as masters and doctoral-level degrees in the area. Many of our programs are delivered online and can be completed in as little as 18 months.


1. Employment/job data and salary projections via http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-support-specialists.htm

2. All salary information is projected and based on figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website: http://www.bls.gov.

3. Employment/job data and salary projections via http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm

4. All salary information is projected and based on figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website: http://www.bls.gov.

5. Employment/job data and salary projections via http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm

6. All salary information is projected and based on figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website: http://www.bls.gov.

7. Employment/job data and salary projections via http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm

8. All salary information is projected and based on figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website: http://www.bls.gov.

9. All salary and job outlook information is projected and based on figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website: http://www.bls.gov.

10. Employment/job data and salary projections via http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/database-administrators.htm

11. All salary information is projected and based on figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website: http://www.bls.gov.

12. All salary information is projected and based on figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website: http://www.bls.gov.

13. According to http://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-3/an-overview-of-employment.htm