30+ Highest Paying Computer Science Careers

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Posted On: October 10, 2018 by Robert S

Computer science is the study of how electronic, computerized devices can both extend and support our human abilities. Computer science professionals work on computer systems that extend and support a huge range of human abilities – from socializing to reasoning and strategizing.

Computer science professionals use the latest technology to solve problems. They write computer software to make computers operate and to accomplish various tasks in a more efficient manner. They are expert computer problem solvers, and they map out the most practical solutions to various problems of processing, accessing and storing digital information.

The work of computer science professionals now extends to many types of electronic devices as well. They create mobile applications for smart phones and tablets, develop and run websites, and program new software for all types of electronics.

The role of software developer is a particularly important type of computer scientist today how the following careers are most commonly sought:

Computer and Information Systems Manager

  • Responsibilities: All of the computer-related activities and processes in a company. Their main goal is to determine what the current IT requirements are for a company and then to implement them.
  • Salary range: $83,800 to $208,000; median $139,220
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science, Master of Science in Computer Science
  • Skills required: computer programming, software development, statistics and mathematics. Management information systems (MIS) courses that focus on business and technical aspects are helpful.

Information Security Analyst

  • Responsibilities: Defending computer networks against cyber attacks. They have to stay ahead of cyber attackers who are constantly changing the ways in which they attack computer systems and networks.
  • Salary range: $55,500 to $153,000, median $95,500
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science or Information Assurance or related degree
  • Skills required: risk management, understanding of networks, toolkit maintenance, threat assessment, log collection and analysis, disaster recovery planning knowledge

Computer Network Architect

  • Responsibilities: Design and build complex communication networks, which can include local area networks and wide area networks. They have to have a large knowledge of the business plan of the company so that the network can be properly designed.
  • Salary range: $58,100 to $162,300, median $104,650
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Information Systems, Engineering or related field; some companies prefer an MBA in information systems
  • Skills required: Operations analysis, active learning, systems evaluation, complex problem solving, systems analysis, Technology design

Blockchain Developer

  • Responsibilities: Blockchain developers use blockchain technology and many programming languages to implement solutions for their firms. Blockchain developers are needed for many things, such as creating web services to process blockchain payments; develop backend services to pull financial transactions; and establish online payment systems
  • Salary range: $122,000 to $179,000
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Master of Science in Information Technology
  • Skills required: Strong programming skills: Microsoft SQL Server, Visual Studio, .NET, MVC, AJAX, SQL, C, C++, C#, Javascript, Node.js.

Blockchain Engineer

  • Responsibilities: Specialize in creating and implementing digital solutions for companies by using blockchain technology. These engineers must analyze the technology needs of the company and create applications to meet needs; may work with projects such as developing and implementing accelerators and assets
  • Salary range: $122,000 to $179,000
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Master of Science in Information Technology
  • Skills required: Data analytics, bitcoin and etherum cryptocurrency understanding, traditional programming and software development practices, knowledge of cryptography, understanding of smart contracts and a distributed network

Blockchain Consultant

  • Responsibilities: Work with corporate clients to determine their blockchain strategy; assist clients to determine the best enterprise platforms to implement blockchain and cryptocurrency payment systems.
  • Salary range: $100,000+
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science in Business, Master of Science in Computer Science, Engineering or related field
  • Skills required: Coding skills to include C++, Java, C# or Python; understanding of HTML, CSS and Javascript. Solidity is also worthwhile – a popular programming language in the blockchain community

Cloud Engineer

  • Responsibilities: Responsible for developing, building, maintaining, and implementing the cloud network within the organization. With cloud adoption becoming more commonplace, these engineers can work virtually anywhere, from small organizations with only one or two computers, to huge businesses that have an international presence.
  • Salary range: $67,000 to $182,000, average $126,000
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Engineering or MIS
  • Skills required: Understanding and familiarity with AWS, Azure, and/or OpenStack. Also know Web Services, API, REST and RPC. Grasp of virtualization, storage and networking, and methodologies of disaster recovery, high availability and fail over

Computer and Information Research Scientist

  • Responsibilities: Invent and design entirely new approaches to computer and Internet technology, and discover new uses for current technology.
  • Salary range: $65,500 to $176,600, median $114,500
  • Education required: Master of Science in Computer Science or Computer Engineering
  • Skills required: Understanding and familiarity with data mining, robotics and programs such as C# and Java

Computer Programmer

  • Responsibilities: Writing and testing code that run computer and software applications to run smoothly. They need to transform computer designs that are made by software developers and engineers into code that a computer can follow.
  • Salary range: $47,000 to $132,000, median $82,200
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science or related field
  • Skills required: Proficiency in core programming languages; understanding of algorithms and data structures; problem-solving abilities and good business sense

Computer Hardware Engineer

  • Responsibilities: Research, design, develop and test computer systems and components including circuit boards, processors, memory devices, networks and routers.
  • Salary range: $66,200 to $176,600, median $115,100
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering or Electrical Engineering
  • Skills required: Strong background in math and science, as well as programming languages such as C, C+, HTML.

Computer Support Specialist

  • Responsibilities: Provide help and advice to users of computers and organizations. Support computer networks and/or provide technical help directly to computer users.
  • Salary range: $39,600 to $69,120, median $52,200
  • Education required: Associate’s or Bachelor’s in Computer Science
  • Skills required: Strong verbal and written communication skills, as well as knowledge of computer operating systems and software.

Software Developer

  • Responsibilities: Develop the computer applications that allow computers and mobile devices to complete tasks. Some develop applications that allow people to do tasks on a computer or device; others design the underlying systems.
  • Salary range: $59,800 to $160,000, median $101,700
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science or related field
  • Skills required: Proficiency in core programming languages such as HTML, Java, C+, C#.

Application Developer

  • Responsibilities: Help companies to keep abreast of latest technologies and developments on the Internet. Responsible for creating, developing, managing and maintaining new programs and software.
  • Salary range: $59,800 to $160,000, median $101,700
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science or related field
  • Skills required: Excellent grasp of computer programming, HTML, Linus, and experience with relational databases.

Computer Systems Analyst

  • Responsibilities: Use computers and related systems to automate computer functions and properly integrate them into manufacturing, distributing, sales and other related functions. Look at what the business organization or department is trying to do,
  • Salary range: $53,700 to $139,850, median $88,270
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Masters in Management Information Systems or related field
  • Skills required: Excellent grasp of computer programming but also should have taken courses in business management and management information systems.

Data Scientist

  • Responsibilities: An expert in extracting meaning from and interpreting data. This requires you to be highly skilled in tools and methods from the disciplines of statistics and machine learning.
  • Salary range: Average $113,400
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Masters in Software Engineering
  • Skills required: Skilled with R, Python, SQL, statistics, multivariable calculus and linear algebra, data wrangling and data visualization and communication.

Database Administrator

  • Responsibilities: Ensures that software that manages a database is maintained properly and allows fast access as needed by multiple users. Searches, constant access and web traffic have stressing effects on computer databases, so the DBA is tasked with maintaining the efficiency of critical system servers.
  • Salary range: $48,480 to $132,400, median $87,020
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science in Information Systems, Master of Science in Computer Science or related field
  • Skills required: Skilled with database languages, such as SQL.

Electronics Engineer

  • Responsibilities: Design and develop electronic equipment, such as communications and broadcast systems, including Global Positioning System devices and musical devices. Work on projects closely related to computer hardware.
  • Salary range: $60,200 to $150,300, median $95,000.
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science in Electrical or Electronics Engineering
  • Skills required: Skilled in differential equations, electrical circuit theory, and digital systems design

Full Stack Developer

  • Responsibilities: Work with front and back ends of websites and are familiar with HTML, CSS, Javascript and at least one or more back-end computer languages. ‘Full stack’ means the professional is familiar with all of the layers of computer software development.
  • Salary range: $43,000 to $213,000, average $112,500
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science in Information Systems, Master of Science in Computer Science or related field
  • Skills required: HTML/CSS, Javascript, backend languages such as Ruby or Python, and Web server languages such as Apache

IT Operations Analyst

  • Responsibilities: Performs essential system administration work such as network and system troubleshooting, patching computer operating systems and applications, and executing various computer scripts.
  • Salary range: $46,000 to $87,000, average $63,100
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science in Information Systems, Master of Science in Computer Science
  • Skills required: Database skills and understanding of computer programming languages such as HTML

Java Developer

  • Responsibilities: This is a specialized computer programmer who works closely with web designers, web developers and software engineers to integrate Java into websites for companies and clients, programs and applications.
  • Salary range: $49,000 to $100,000, median $72,600
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, or Software Development Systems
  • Skills required: Advanced Java programming skills; should be able to build mobile, desktop and web applications with Java.

Machine Learning Engineer

  • Responsibilities: Performs data ETL, statistical and analytical analyses, and communicates detailed insights and recommendations to both internal and external clients. Also uses machine learning frameworks in development, testing and production environments to create and deploy new technologies.
  • Salary range: Average $114,800
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, or Software Development Systems
  • Skills required: Advanced Java programming skills; should be able to build mobile, desktop and web applications with Java.

Network Administrator

  • Responsibilities: Keep all computer networks up to date in an organization. Make sure that the computer networks are running smoothly and as efficiently as possible. Major tasks include installation of components, system updates, system repairs and system testing.
  • Salary range: $49,500 to $130,200, median $81,100
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science or Information Systems, Master in Computer Science
  • Skills required: Computer programming, networking, database administration

Network Analyst

  • Responsibilities: Specializes in the maintenance of computer network systems; responsible for working with network engineers and other computer professionals to maintain hardware, software, and related things in computer systems.
  • Salary range: $41,000 to $83,000, median $58,600
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science or Information Systems
  • Skills required: Computer programming, network maintenance, database administration

Network Security Engineer

  • Responsibilities: Involved in the provisioning, deployment, configuration, and administration of many parts of network and security-related software and hardware. Areas of focus include firewalls, routers, switches, network monitoring tools, and VPNs.
  • Salary range: $56,500 to $172,000, average $116,000
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems or Computer Science
  • Skills required: Knowledge of firewalls, network monitoring tools, routers, switches and VPNs.

QA Engineer

  • Responsibilities: Creates tests to pinpoint any problems with software before a computer program or system is launched. Responsible for identifying and analyzing any bugs that are found during product testing and fully documenting them.
  • Salary range: $49,000 to $93,000, median $67,100
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science in Information Systems or Computer Science
  • Skills required: Knowledge of Java, C++, Python, SQL, and XML; they must also have experience with Microsoft Windows and Linux

Security Analyst

  • Responsibilities: Responsible for maintaining the security of computer networks and systems to prevent cyber attacks and loss of important organizational data. Security analysts must be able to identify security risks to networks and address and neutralize such threats.
  • Salary range: $55,500 to $153,000, median $95,500
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science or Information Assurance, or related degree
  • Skills required: risk management, understanding of networks, toolkit maintenance, threat assessment, log collection and analysis, disaster recovery planning knowledge

Software Architect

  • Responsibilities: Write customized software solutions, including web services, user interfaces, programs for coding, and databases. They are usually employed by large companies and agencies that design software for other companies.
  • Salary range: $96,000 to $160,000, median $127,200
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science or Master of Science in Software Engineering or Computer Science
  • Skills required: Java, C++, .NET, and C#. Particular companies may ask for proficiency or mastery in coding schemes specific to mobile technology, such as HTML5, or web technology, such as JavaScript.

Software Engineer

  • Responsibilities: Designs software or improves a current piece of software to make it of higher quality, price or to run better. Software engineers need to determine how a piece of software can be improved, and then they figure out how to make that a reality.
  • Salary range: $59,000 to $120,000, median $83,000
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science or Master of Science in Software Engineering or Computer Science
  • Skills required: Excellent knowledge of hardware, software, and programming languages, such as Javascript

Web Editor

  • Responsibilities: Responsible for initiating, maintaining, updating and monitoring the content of web pages. Most web editors are employed by one organization, but some also are contractors and maintain many websites for different customers.
  • Salary range: $33,000 to $73,000, median $48,400
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science in Communications or Computer Science or related fields
  • Skills required: Excellent grammar and writing skills, knowledge of HTML and WordPress

Web Developer

  • Responsibilities: Build the backend of websites and are focused more on the underlying technical structure of the site than how it looks. Most web developers have a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in computer science, programming, information technology or related field.
  • Salary range: $36,800 to $122,300, median $67,900
  • Education required: Bachelor of Science in Communications or Computer Science or related fields
  • Skills required: HTML and CSS, Ruby, Python and PHP

Job Duties

In the computer science field, you will most likely have most of the following duties:

  • Analyze the computer and technology needs of an organization or product/service and recommend possible changes and upgrades
  • Provide for the planning and direction of installation and maintenance of computer hardware and software
  • Ensure that devices and organizations’ networks and electronic documents are secure
  • Carry out data security measures on computer networks and systems
  • Learn about new technologies and find new ways to upgrade the computer systems of organizations
  • Plan and direct work of various information technology and computer science professionals
  • As a programmer, you will write computer programs with modern computer languages such as C++ and Java; also test computer programs for errors and fix any computer code that is faulty

Where We Work

Computer science professionals work in all industries today, but specifically, computer and information systems managers work in these areas:

  • Computer systems design and related services: 20%
  • Finance and insurance industry: 12%
  • Information: 11%
  • Management of companies: 10%
  • Manufacturing: 9%

Computer programmers work in these areas:

  • Computer systems design and related services: 38%
  • Software publishers: 7%
  • Finance and insurance: 7%
  • Manufacturing: 5%
  • Administrative and support services: 5%

As far as best places to work geographically, the below cities are worth a strong look:

  • San Jose, California: This is the home of Apple, Adobe and eBay among others.
  • Huntsville, Alabama: This is the heart of the tech scene in the Deep South. In fact 68 over every 1000 jobs in this city are related to technology. Rent is cheap here, even if the salaries are not as high.
  • Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina: A full 66 of every 1000 jobs here is in technology, and the cost of living is low.
  • Boulder, Colorado: As many as 70 of every 1000 jobs are in computer technology. Big tech companies such as Twitter and Oracle have bought companies here.
  • Austin, Texas: This area of central Texas is known today as Silicon Hills, due to a high degree of venture capital interest and many accelerators and incubators located here.

Specializations

Specializations in computer science will depend upon the exact type of career path you choose. For example, if you are an information and computer technology manager, you could work in these types of specialized roles:

  • Chief information officer: Responsible for the technology strategy of the company. Determine what the technology goals are for the company and then ensure goals are met.
  • Chief technology officer: Responsible for evaluating new computer technology and determine if it can be used to meet company goals. Recommends appropriate technology solutions to support CIO directed policies.
  • It director: Oversees the information technology department and provides supervision for other IT employees.

In software development, you can typically specialize in two major areas:

  • Applications software: Design advanced computer applications for the consumer market. They often create customized software for commercial software that is then sold to the public. They also may create computer programs that people us on the Internet and on intranets.
  • Systems software: This is the software that keeps a computer or computerized device running smoothly. These are often operating systems for computers and electronic devices that the public buys. Or, they can be custom built systems that are built for organizations. It is systems software developers who come up with the operating systems that are in control of most of the consumer computers and electronics on the market, including smart phones and tablets.

Training and Certifications

If you want to enjoy the most financially and professionally rewarding computer science career, you may want to earn one or more of these certifications:

  • Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC): This certification is made for IT professionals, project managers and other computer science workers who need to identify and manage risk from design through set up to maintenance of the system. A good certification for audit managers, security directors, IT managers and IT consultants.
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM): This is designed for managers who are implementing IT and security policy and not the hands on people. Many who get this certification are information technology managers, security directors and chief compliance officers.
  • Six Sigma Green Belt: This certification is based on quality control; the goal is to have no higher than 3.4 defects per million chances. It teaches you how you can improve existing process and how to properly implement a new system.
  • Project Management Professional (PMP): Not specifically for the IT and computer science world, but it is highly appropriate for upper level computer science managers.
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH): The International Council of E-Commerce Consultants created this certification. It is designed to teach you how to find flaws, weaknesses and vulnerabilities in computer networks.
  • Citrix Certified Enterprise Engineer (CCEE): Citrix is a firm that offers server, application and desktop visualization services to hundreds of thousands of companies. This is an engineering exam that will test your skills in using a complete visualization solution made by Citrix.

References

Robert S
Robert S
Programs Specialist
Robert is Programs Specialist at Business Student.com where he features some of the most innovative degree options from schools around the country. Have a school, college, degree or certificate program you would like reviewed? Contact me today.

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