Top 10 Career Paths You Can Pursue With a Computer Science Degree
Published on: September 25, 2023
Do you enjoy working with computers and data? If so, a career in computer science or information technology may be right for you. Worldwide, there’s already a huge demand for professionals in these fields—and that demand is only expected to grow over the next decade. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the job outlook for computer and information technology occupations will grow by 15 percent between 2021 and 2031.
So, what exactly can you do with a degree in computer science and information technology? The range of possibilities may surprise you. Let’s dive into ten of the most in-demand career paths for those with a degree in computer science, as well as some practical tips for choosing the right path for your goals and interests.
Careers in Computer Science and Information Technology
The exact career opportunities open to you will depend on your degree and level of experience, among other factors. For example, somebody with an Associate of Science in Computer Technology may not have the same opportunities as somebody with a graduate-level computer science degree. Regardless of the degree you end up choosing to pursue, the potential occupations for a graduate in this field can vary greatly.
Contrary to what the public might assume, computer scientists don’t spend all day sitting alone in front of a computer screen. Oftentimes, professionals in these fields work as part of a dynamic team with many different roles and responsibilities. They may spend parts of their day coding in front of a computer, but they may also be involved in project presentations, meetings and much more.
From research scientists and analysts to programmers, support specialists and administrators—career opportunities in the computer science and information technology field are ample. Ultimately, it’s all about figuring out where your interests lie and what type of job is right for you.
Choosing the Right Career Path
The field of computer science and information technology is extremely broad, but choosing an area of expertise or specialization can make you more marketable and help you stand out from others when it comes time to apply for jobs. When you first start taking classes in a degree program, you may be learning the basics—the foundation for different areas of expertise.
As your studies continue, you may find that you’re naturally drawn to certain areas. Some common computer science specializations include:
- Data science
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Machine learning
- User experience/user interface
- Design and development
Once you’ve decided on an area (or areas) of the field that most interests you, you can pursue more classes on that subject and pick up more specialized skills. You might even consider pursuing additional certifications to strengthen your resume and hone your skills.
No matter where your interests in computer science lie, there’s likely to be a career path out there that suits your needs. Explore our computer science careers list below to get started.
Careers as an Engineer
A degree in computer science can open up opportunities to work in any number of engineering jobs, including software engineering and site reliability engineering.
1. Software Engineer
Software engineers play a vital role in the development of new software solutions, applications and other computer systems. Specifically, these professionals use their knowledge of computer engineering and programming/coding to design, build and maintain these systems for end users. In some cases, software engineers may also be responsible for testing, troubleshooting and debugging software before it is released to the public. Many software engineers work directly for development companies, though others may work in a freelance capacity.
2. Site Reliability Engineer
Another potential career path to consider with a degree in computer science is that of a site reliability engineer. These professionals are typically in charge of making sure that a client’s website is running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. They may be hired directly by a company to oversee the reliability of a specific website, or they may be hired by a larger firm that handles websites on behalf of several clients. Either way, the role of a site reliability engineer is to test websites and make improvements that optimize their overall performance.
Analyst and Research Careers
If you’re less interested in the engineering side of computer science and more interested in data analysis, then there are a number of computer science careers that might be up your alley.
3. Computer and Information Research Scientist
While the exact roles and responsibilities of a computer and information research scientist may vary from one company to the next, most professionals in this role are responsible for coming up with new uses for existing technology and developing new technologies to solve computing problems. Specific duties may include anything from developing and testing computing theories to collaborating with other research scientists to conduct experiments.
4. Information Security Analyst
These days, organizations and individuals are more concerned about data security than ever before. With security breaches occurring in alarming numbers, the need for experienced and knowledgeable information security analysts is high.
An information security analyst is a professional who creates and implements data security plans on behalf of a company or multiple companies. These experts ensure that a client’s computing systems have the necessary software, firewalls and other safeguards in place to keep information systems safe. They may also conduct tests for weaknesses in security, provide security training to employees and make recommendations for security improvements.
5. Software Quality Assurance Analyst
Also known as a QA, a software quality assurance analyst is somebody who tests and assesses new software before it is released to the public or implemented by a client. These professionals often work closely with software developers, engineers and even UX/UI teams to pinpoint and troubleshoot issues with new software. By identifying and resolving these problems before a product is released to the public, software quality assurance analysts help development companies maintain their reputations and keep clients satisfied.
Design Careers in Computer Science
If design is more up your alley, there are several computer science degree jobs available in this area of expertise. A couple of the most in-demand careers include web design and UX/UI design.
6. Web Designer
A web designer is a professional who is responsible for the overall design, layout and functionality of a website. These experts can handle everything from creating a site’s graphics and logo to choosing a color scheme and typeface. Just about every aspect of a website’s appearance can be traced back to a web designer, though these professionals often work closely with other designers (including graphic designers and UX/UI designers) and developers to achieve the final product.
7. UX & UI Designer
User experience and user interface designers have a similar job to that of a web designer. However, instead of focusing on the website’s overall design, a UX & UI designer is more focused on the end-user and how they will navigate the site. These professionals often work in close contact with web designers to maximize functionality and improve the overall user experience, conducting usability testing and other assessments to recommend changes as needed. In addition to handling UX/UI for websites, these professionals may also work with software programs and apps.
Developer Careers and Jobs
In addition to the above careers with a computer science degree, there are a few in-demand developer job opportunities to consider. These kinds of roles are well suited to those who enjoy working with others, as they tend to involve a lot of collaboration and creativity.
8. Web Developer
These experts may be employed by a web development firm and work for multiple clients at once—or they may be hired on a freelance basis by individual clients. Ultimately, a web developer’s goal is to ensure that the client’s website is easy to use and navigate. These professionals create and build websites using specialized coding; they may do this entirely from scratch, or they may work to improve an existing site. Web developers often work closely with web designers to ensure that the visual components of the site are laid out in a way that is functional and easy to navigate for the user.
9. Software Developer
Similar to a web developer, a software developer is responsible for the overall functionality of a new software product. These professionals work to ensure that the software is bug-free and operating as it should. Often, this involves conducting many rounds of beta testing, debugging and troubleshooting to address problems before a program is released to the public. This type of work involves a lot of problem-solving and critical thinking, as well as collaboration with software designers and UI/UX teams.
10. Mobile App Developer
There are more than seven million mobile apps available on iOS and Android devices as of 2023. It seems like every company has its own mobile app. These companies turn to mobile app developers to turn their dreams and goals into reality. From the initial design of the app to carrying out all the necessary coding and testing, mobile app developers can build app platforms from scratch or work off existing versions. They may be employed by a development firm or work as freelancers, taking on as many clients as they see fit.
Your Story Starts Here
These are just examples of some of the most in-demand career paths for those with computer science and information technology degrees. In addition to these career options, there are dozens of other jobs you can pursue with a computer science degree.
Of course, not all degree programs are created equal. Make sure you’re setting yourself up for future success with a quality computer science and information technology degree from an accredited and reputable university. At Park University, we offer a number of information and computer science degree programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Information and Computer Science, a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity. We also offer an Associate of Information and Computer Science program and certificates in computer networking and cybersecurity.
Ready to get on the path to a rewarding and fulfilling career? Reach out to our team at Park University to learn more about our program offerings.