10 Career Ideas for Computer Science Majors
If your mind isn’t made up about how to apply your computer science degree, check out these 10 ideas of where to take your career.
Not only do computer science majors make up some of the most in-demand college graduates, but they have a wide range of exciting and challenging professions to choose from. While software engineering is one of the most popular choices for computer science grads, there are a variety of professions to choose from that require skills such as creativity, collaboration with others, and project management. If your mind isn’t made up about how to apply your computer science degree, check out these 10 potential ideas of where to take your career.
1. Software engineer
A major in computer science is an excellent starting point for becoming a software engineer. Software engineers create and maintain software programs that enable users to perform specific tasks on computers, tablets, and smartphones. Proficiency in a variety of coding languages is important for this profession, in addition to critical thinking skills for diagnosing problems and brainstorming solutions. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows software engineers are in especially high demand, with employment expected to grow 21% by 2028.
2. Computer and Information Systems Managers
Not all computer science fields are strictly about sitting behind a computer screen all day. Some jobs, like computer and information systems managers, require both technical skills and people skills. Computer and information systems managers analyze the technology needs within a company, make recommendations, and manage the implementation of new technology resources such as software, hardware, and data systems. Because computer and information systems managers work with a variety of stakeholders within an organization to determine their technology needs, as well as manage staff who will implement the new technology, strong leadership skills are essential.
3. Product Manager
Product managers oversee the creation of new products, from concept to prototype to launch. This role combines business, technology, problem solving, and interpersonal skills. While understanding code is an important part of being a successful product manager in the software field, it is just as important for people in this position to understand broader market trends, how a product will solve customers’ problems or provide value, and how to differentiate a company’s product from its competitors’.
4. Game Designer
Many students are drawn to studying computer science because they love playing video games. If this sounds like you, then there’s good news – designing video games is a viable career path! Game designers are involved in various aspects of creating video games, such as animating and designing characters or testing and soliciting feedback from users. Game designers also use computer software in order to generate in-game events, commands, and objects. Some colleges offer specific courses or concentrations in game design.
5. Cybersecurity Analyst
Research suggests that there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions in the U.S. by 2021. Taking a job as a cybersecurity analyst, sometimes known as an information security analyst, is a way to get started in this exciting and growing field. Cybersecurity analysts are responsible for putting security systems in place to protect websites, networks, and data from cyber attacks. Cybersecurity analysts also proactively stay abreast of trends in cybersecurity in order to mitigate the risk of potential threats.
6. Mobile application developer
With more than half of website traffic coming from mobile devices, our digital world is increasingly focused on smartphones. As a result, the need for skilled mobile application developers is expected to grow 19% between now and 2024. Mobile application developers brainstorm and create applications for mobile devices, and troubleshoot issues when they occur. Mobile application developers can specialize in one type of platform, such as Windows, iOS, or Android, or become skilled in multiple types. To work as a mobile application developer, you will need to know programming languages such as Java, C++, C, and Python.
7. Data scientist
If you enjoy working with numbers and synthesizing large quantities of information, consider working as a data scientist. Data scientists use a variety of algorithms, statistics, machine learning methods, and systems to analyze structured and unstructured data, with the goal of arriving at insights that will be useful for businesses and organizations. Data scientists also typically have skills in programming languages like Java, Python, R, and SQL.
8. Machine learning engineer
If you are interested in the future of artificial intelligence, you might enjoy a career as a machine learning engineer. Machine learning engineers are specialized computer programmers who develop machine learning and deep learning algorithms. These engineers are involved in coding, deployment, testing, and troubleshooting. The goal of machine learning is to create programs that enable machines to “learn” how to take specific actions without a human directing them. A few examples include the “recommended for you” section of an ecommerce website like Amazon or a streaming service like Netflix, an unmanned drone, or a self-driving car.
9. Cloud engineer
The storage limitations of various devices, as well as the need to share information across devices, has led to increased offerings in cloud computing technology. Workers who design, implement, and troubleshoot cloud computing systems are known as cloud engineers. A cloud engineer’s day-to-day work requires knowledge of programming languages, computer software, and computer hardware. In addition to creating cloud technology, cloud support engineers may recover data that's been lost when there's an issue with the cloud computing system.
10. UX Designer
This is a job that integrates technical knowhow, interpersonal skills, creativity, and research. UX Designers are responsible for making the experience of using a product easy, straightforward, and pleasurable. Although UX designers can be involved in any type of analog or digital product, they often work with websites, apps, and technological devices. A UX designer who specializes in computer products or user interfaces will likely be involved in conducting market research to determine the need for a product, designing a website or app, gathering user feedback, and further iterating on the design.
The computer science field is constantly changing, and in the near future there could be more career options that don’t even exist today. Consider exploring different fields through internships, company site visits, and professional development opportunities such as tech conferences or events. Remember that your computer science major is about more than learning programming languages – think about the skills and technology that excite you, and pursue use those experiences to find your ideal career path.