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The Best Computer Science Careers of 2021

In 2021, there are more computer science careers available than ever before. Professionals in computer science work with mobile devices, computer systems, software programs, and other tech. These experts are quick problem solvers who love diversity and flexibility in their careers.

Database administration, software development, web development, project management, and data science are all careers in computer science. We cover entry-level careers and the highest-paying computer science jobs in this article. Take a look below at the best computer science careers of 2021.

Why Study Computer Science?

You should enter computer science because it is a fast-paced, quickly growing industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts an eleven percent job increase between 2019 and 2029 for computer and information technology occupations. Computer science offers high job security and high job demand.

Computer science is all about finding solutions to computational problems and leading professionals in the field to gain a well-rounded skillset. This covers problem-solving, analytical thinking, decision-making, creativity, and attention to detail. These skills grant you a firm foundation to transition into any industry related to computer science.

Choosing a computer science career also means you have the opportunity for a high earning potential. The same report on computer and information technology jobs by the BLS states that these professions pay an average salary of $91,250. This is twice the national average that it also reports.

Where Do Computer Science Professionals Work?

According to the BLS, the industries with the highest demand for computer science experts include federal agencies, information technology companies, and research-based industries. Software publishers and educational institutions like universities and professional schools are industries that also hire these professionals the most.

Computer science professionals typically work full-time in an office environment. However, specialists can also work remotely or become self-employed and perform contract work. Depending on your position and experience, you can work in many different environments.

The Highest-Paying Computer Science Careers: 2021 List

The Highest-Paying Computer Science Careers: 2021 List

If you’re interested in getting a career in tech, you have abundant well-paying careers to select. All of these careers have a bachelor’s degree as the minimum education requirement. Earning a master’s or doctoral degree can help increase your salary potential. All job growth statistics are based on the ten-year period between 2019 and 2029.

IT Project Manager

Median Salary: $151,150

Projected Job Growth: 10%

Min. Education Required: Bachelor Degree in Business or Information Technology

Working as an IT project manager entails developing project plans, goals, budgets, and schedules. It also includes organizing and managing every project phase. You should have strong leadership, communication, and analytical skills to fulfill these tasks.

According to the BLS, the top three industries hiring these professionals are information technology services, information organizations, and finance and insurance companies. If you want a high-paying job in tech, you should become an IT manager.

Data Scientist

Median Salary: $126,830

Projected Job Growth: 15%*

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Data Science

Data scientists work with datasets, collecting large and small sets of unorganized and organized data. These professionals build data models and predictive models to develop algorithms. They also work with big data.

The tasks data scientists have to complete require you to be a patient and analytical person who loves research. According to the BLS, industries hiring the most data science professionals are the federal government, computer systems design, and research and development.

Computer Network Architect

Median Salary: $116,780

Projected Job Growth: 5%

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Information Systems

Computer network architects design layouts for data communication systems according to an organization’s best interests and requirements. Experts build local area networks (LANs), intranets, and wide area networks (WANs).

The BLS confirms the top two industries hiring these professionals are information technology and telecommunications companies. To become a computer network architect, you need to have interpersonal, organizational, and analytical skills.

DevOps Engineer

Median Salary: $96,220

Projected Job Growth: 22%**

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science

Development operations (DevOps) engineers are flexible professionals who make strategic decisions and work well in a team. These experts create and configure improved tools, and communicate the requirements of stakeholders to developers.

As a DevOps engineer, you are always looking for more efficient and effective methods for development processes. If you enjoy coding and solving problems on the job, you should become a DevOps engineer.

Computer Systems Analyst

Median Salary: $93,730

Projected Job Growth: 7%

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Information Technology

Becoming a computer systems analyst includes mapping data, advising on system upgrades, designing processing systems, and responding to end-user requirements. Computer systems analysts aim to improve the efficiency of an organization’s computer systems.

Professionals in this field are adaptive, investigative, analytical, and communicative. According to the BLS, the top industries hiring these experts are information technology companies, finance and insurance businesses, and management of companies and enterprises.

Security Consultant

Median Salary: $88,053

Projected Job Growth: 31%**

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Cyber Security or Computer Science

As a security consultant, you have to test and analyze infrastructures for security threats and design and maintain security protocols. These experts are responsible for identifying potential security threats and developing the most effective methods to solve those threats.

To excel in this profession, you must have outstanding communication, decision-making, and analytical skills. Every industry needs security consultants in order to protect its data. This is an important computer science career.

Network Security Engineer

Median Salary: $87,780

Projected Job Growth: 31%

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Programming or Network Security

To become a network security engineer, you need to be detail-driven and have a knack for learning new concepts. These professionals also typically have leadership, reasoning, and teamwork skills. Most of this profession includes conducting risk assessments, creating firewalls, and updating existing security infrastructure.

Just like security consultants, network security engineers are vital to the computer science industry. Instead of consulting, however, they focus more on programming and software engineering. The job might also include ethical hacking and penetration testing.

Java Developer

Median Salary: $76,023

Projected Job Growth: 22%***

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science

If you have learned how to use Java and love working with this programming language, consider becoming a Java developer. You will have to design and develop Java-based applications and test software systems.

Java developers have patience, a strong interest in research, and meticulous attention to detail. Since Java is one of the most popular programming languages, this job has a high demand in the tech industry.

Database Developer

Median Salary: $75,510

Projected Job Growth: 22%***

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Data Science

If you’re thinking about becoming a database developer, you must be a quick thinker who has strong problem-solving and analytical skills. Database developers guide application development, create SQL patches, review code, and improve schema and data.

Database development is one of the best data science careers. It includes both computer programming and database administration. You can learn everything you need to know about databases in a bachelor’s degree program.

IT Auditor

Median Salary: $68,910

Projected Job Growth: 22%***

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Systems or Information Technology

IT auditors create internal reports, plan internal processes, and develop an IT infrastructure. IT auditors have to implement network security policies and detect weaknesses in computer systems.

Becoming an IT auditor demands refined skills in innovation, communication, collaboration, and integrity. Any company or institution that uses information technology will need an IT auditor. This means the job has a high demand.

*Job growth statistics from BLS based on computer and information research scientists
**Job growth statistics from BLS based on information security analysts
***Job growth statistics from BLS based on software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers

What Education Is Required to Pursue a Career in Computer Science?

What Education Is Required to Pursue a Career in Computer Science?

For most computer science jobs, you need a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. A Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology or a related area of study will also suffice. It takes four years to complete a bachelor’s degree, and finding a computer science job will be much easier once you have one.

Some entry-level roles or employers may accept an Associate Degree in Computer Science or a similar program. An associate degree takes around two years to complete. However, you will not be able to earn as high of a salary. If you’re interested in a lucrative career, you should get a Master’s Degree in Computer Science.

Can I Study Computer Science Online?

Yes, you can study computer science online. By studying computer science online, you can work at your desired pace and customize your learning experience. It’s also possible to complete online computer science degrees or courses much faster than usual because you can determine your study schedule.

You can find online degree programs, bootcamps, and courses to teach you computer science fundamentals like SQL. Online studying can be much cheaper than on-campus studying. This is because you don’t have to pay for student housing, food, transportation, and other on-campus fees.

Common Entry-Level Jobs in Computer Science

If you’re fresh out of studying computer science, landing one of the highest-paying computer science jobs might be tricky. However, computer science is a vast industry with countless entry-level positions available. While many entry-level jobs require a bachelor’s degree, some employers may accept an associate degree.

The projected job growth for each entry-level computer science job below is for the period between 2019 and 2029. We’ve provided information on the most common entry-level jobs in computer science.

Computer Hardware Engineer

Entry-Level Salary: $75,376

Projected Job Growth: 2%

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering

Designing and analyzing computer hardware equipment and testing this hardware is just a small part of what these professionals do. Computer hardware engineers must also upgrade current computer hardware and perform tests on their designs to evaluate its efficacy. If you like working with your hands, try this career.

Software Developer

Entry-Level Salary: $63,257

Projected Job Growth: 22%

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Software Engineering

As a software developer, you will design and develop computer and mobile applications and programs. You also need to maintain these products using specialized tools and processes. Software developers must write and implement code and train users on the products they build.

Computer Systems Analyst

Entry-Level Salary: $56,121

Projected Job Growth: 7%

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Information Systems

The responsibilities of a computer systems analyst vary. A few of these tasks include evaluating new technology systems, analyzing system costs, and training users on systems. Professionals must also oversee computer installations and regularly upgrade a system’s functionality.

Database Administrator

Entry-Level Salary: $56,022

Projected Job Growth: 10%

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Data Science or Computer Science

Database administrators collect, store, and organize data. These professionals also develop database procedures, tune database systems, and ensure database servers are functioning as intended. Database administrators also design and implement security protocols for database systems.

Web Developer

Entry-Level Salary: $50,716

Projected Job Growth: 8%

Min. Education Required: Associate Degree in Web Design or Web Development

Web developers use programming languages and designated software to design and build websites. Professionals must ensure that websites meet an organization’s requirements and generate their desired results. If you want to become a successful web developer, you should also know how to maintain the websites you build.

Is a Computer Science Career for Me?

Yes, computer science careers are a fantastic path for students who love problem-solving and working with technology. There is a high demand for professionals in this industry. As well, the earning potential is more than double compared to other occupations.

Computer science graduates have tons of careers to choose from and the freedom to study online. With computer science, you have flexibility, versatility, and diversity in your work environment and the skills you learn. Start your journey and pursue one of the best computer science careers in 2021.

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