Computer science careers are growing at faster rates than the national average. Here’s some of the job opportunities



At many universities across the country, computer science remains one of the most popular and competitive undergraduate and advanced degree programs.

And it makes sense. Not only are computer and information research scientists jobs themselves growing at rates much faster than the national average for all occupations, but also are jobs off-shooting from the field in areas like data science and cybersecurity.

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But because a plain computer science degree can be considered broad in nature, many schools provide opportunities for students to dive deep into these areas through concentrations and specializations. Other focus growth areas include artificial intelligence, game design, and extended reality.

Overall, tech salaries are strong, despite a slight dip in 2023. According to Dice’s Tech Salary Trends report, the average was $111,193 last year.

Then, the question remains surrounding what are the actual career opportunities with a computer science degree. Luckily, there are numerous high-paying jobs everyday. In particular, the need for data scientists and cybersecurity experts are growing the fastest. 

Occupation Growth rate, 2022–2032 Median annual pay, 2022
Data scientists 35% $121,610 
Information security analysts 32% $112,000
Software developers 26% $127,260
Computer and information research scientists 23% $136,620
Web developers and digital designers 16% $80,730
Average 26.4% $115,644
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Thai Le, an associate professor of computer and information science at the University of Mississippi, says keeping up with the most up-to-date developments and skills will be beneficial to landing a job since companies are also trying out new things.

“I think knowing about this field and learning about these skills and applying your knowledge over time—trying things out online and catching up with the literature is also very important,” he says.

One of the most important skills to learn? AI

Jeff Tarr, CEO of Skillsoft—which includes Codecademy—says that learning AI skills is paramount for everyone, not just for those in the computer science or tech space.

“It is affecting every knowledge worker job to some extent—if it hasn’t, it will soon,” he tells Fortune

For those who are especially invigorated by AI—there are an increasing number of positions focused on the subject, like chief AI officer, AI/machine learning engineer, and AI architects. These positions are achievable through a computer science path, likely with a concentration or certification in an area like big data, AI, and/or machine learning.

At the same time, Tarr notes it is above all essential to pick a career that excites you.

“My counsel, first of all, is you gotta do what you love, right?” Tarr says. ”Then the key is can you find something you love to do that also is in demand.”

The good news is that there is no sign computer science-related fields are slowing down, and opportunities will likely be available for the foreseeable future as the world becomes more tech reliant. In fact, the tech employment rate is around 2.3%—lower than national levels—according to CompTIA.

Other than becoming a namesake computer scientist, Fortune has laid out a few of the career paths possible while studying computer science. 

Cybersecurity expert

Projected growth (2023): 5.2%

Average tech salary (2023): $140,565 (engineer/architect); $96,451 (analyst)

Skills: Networking, cloud computing, risk management 

Projected growth (2023): 5.5%

Average tech salary: $106,130

Skills: Python, SQL, R, C++; Statistics, mathematics, computer science, cloud computing

Data analyst

Projected growth (2023): 5.5%

Average tech salary (2023): 79,589

Skills: Programming languages such as SQL, Python, R, JavaScript, SAS; Data visualization tools such as Tableau, Power Bi, Looker

Software developer

Projected growth (2023): 4.7%

Average tech salary (2023): 123,067

Skills: Programming languages such as JavaScript, C++, Python

Web designers

Projected growth (2023): 4.7%

Average tech salary (2023): $85,897 (developer)

Skills: Programming languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript; User experience and user interface (UX/UI) knowledge

Sources: Projected rates (2023) – CompTIA State of the Tech Workforce 2023; Average tech salaries (2023) – Dice Tech Salary Trends report



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