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Top 16+ Jobs for Computer Science Majors in 2024

Best jobs for computer science majors

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The best jobs for computer science majors include well-paying careers with high projected employment growth rates over the coming years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer science jobs have a median annual salary of $97,430. Considering the median wage for all occupations in the U.S. is $45,760, a career in computer science and technology can be incredibly lucrative. 

However, with all the different types of jobs in computer science, it can be hard to know where to begin. So, using BLS data, we’ve compiled a list of the best computer science jobs in 2024. 

Top Computer Science Jobs by the Numbers 

OccupationsAverage
Salary (2022)
Projected Growth
Rate (2021 to 2031)
Computer and Information Systems Managers$173,67016%
Computer and Information Research Scientists$155,88021%
Computer Hardware Engineers $140,8305%
Database Architects$136,54010%
Software Developers$132,93026%
Computer Network Architects$129,4904%
Information Security Analysts $119,86035%
Data Scientists$115,24036%
Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers $105,75021%
Computer Programmers $102,790-10%
Database Administrators$102,5308%
Web and Digital Interface Designers$101,74016%
Project Management Specialists$101,6107%
Network and Computer Systems Administrators$97,1603%
Web Developers$87,58030%
Computer Support Specialists$61,5806%

Best Jobs for Computer Science Majors Explained 

1. Computer and Information Systems Managers

Becoming a computer and information systems manager typically requires at least a bachelor’s degree, but having a master’s or other advanced degree can help with advancement. Because this is a management-level position, you may need several years of experience in a related role first. Some computer and information systems managers are chief technology officers (CTOs) or chief information officers (CIOs). Others may work directly with top executives, making recommendations for improvements to a company’s technology systems and overseeing the work of information technology (IT) departments.

2. Computer and Information Research Scientists

To work as a computer and information research scientist, you need a master’s degree in computer science or a related field. These scientists use technology to solve complex problems and perform in-depth research. Computer and information research scientists work in a wide range of industries, such as health care, business, and finance. Some scientists specialize in programming languages, developing and improving how we build software. Others may specialize in emerging technologies like robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning.  

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3. Computer Hardware Engineers 

Computer hardware engineers usually need at least a bachelor’s degree. While many coding and development roles are now automated through AI, creating and improving hardware can’t be easily replaced. These engineers create physical components, such as tiny microscopic computer chips and entire electrical systems for electric and battery-powered vehicles. 

4. Database Architects 

Database architects, sometimes called data engineers, build systems to collect, store, and process data. You need at least a bachelor’s degree for this career, and taking coursework in big data can help give you a fuller understanding of the purpose of these databases. 

>>MORE: What Is a Data Engineer? 

5. Software Developers

Becoming a software developer starts with obtaining a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. A software developer writes code to create programs and software, like websites, mobile applications, or whole operating systems (like Apple’s macOS). In many companies, a software developer is the same as a software engineer, but some places separate these into different positions. (Learn more about the differences between software engineers and developers.)

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6. Computer Network Architects

You need a bachelor’s degree to become a computer network architect. As the title architect suggests, these specialists craft networks or systems that allow computers and their users to communicate with each other. Often, a network architect deals with both software and hardware. For instance, a network architect could be tasked with upgrading a company’s routers or physical infrastructure to improve system performance or building and implementing a cloud infrastructure to help the company’s system handle more traffic and complex data processing. 

7. Information Security Analysts 

Information security analysts are cybersecurity specialists, and you typically need at least a bachelor’s degree to get started in this career. 

“With the rise of cyber attacks on corporations, ransomware, and other malicious activities, it has become essential to consult cybersecurity experts to protect sensitive data,” says Piyush Tripathi, lead engineer at Square.

An information security analyst can have a few different job titles, including cybersecurity analyst or network security engineer. Regardless of title, these analysts monitor a company’s network for attacks, recommend improvements to the security systems, and perform mock breaches to find a network’s vulnerabilities. They also train users on how to keep themselves and the system’s information secure to prevent future attacks. 

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Avg. Time: 3 hours

Skills you’ll build: Vulnerability triage, problem solving, research, data analysis, software development, python, solution architecture, communication

8. Data Scientists 

To work as a data scientist, you need at least a bachelor’s degree, though having an advanced degree in information technology, statistics, mathematics, or computer science can be helpful for career advancement. Some schools also offer degree programs specifically in data science.

“With the increasing amount of data being collected by big tech companies, there is a high demand for professionals who can make sense of this information,” advises Tripathi.

These scientists use data to inform decisions and often use programming skills to create algorithms that make data analysis faster and more efficient. Data scientists work in virtually every industry, including business, finance, insurance, and marketing

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Avg. Time: 5 to 6 hours

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9. Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers

A software quality assurance (QA) analyst and tester is responsible for testing and reviewing software built by engineers and developers to ensure everything functions properly. These analysts usually have bachelor’s degrees in computer science, but specialized experience in coding and software development can boost their resumes. 

A QA analyst makes recommendations about improvements to software, and some QA analysts and testers focus on a specific area. For example, a QA tester can specialize in testing accessibility for people with disabilities. In this case, they would primarily review websites, applications, and interfaces to uncover any spots that could be challenging for a user and report these issues to the development team. 

10. Computer Programmers

Computer programmers often have bachelor’s degrees in computer science, but some instead have specialized experience in programming and coding through certificate programs or bootcamps. Programmers primarily write code to solve specific problems. 

This is the only career on our list with a negative career growth outlook, and the reason for this decline is that many coding jobs are now automated with AI and machine learning technologies. That doesn’t mean being a programmer isn’t a viable career choice, though! In fact, the skills you learn as a programmer are highly transferable to other jobs, like software development and data science. 

>>MORE: Check out our picks for the best online coding bootcamps for 2024.

11. Database Administrators 

While database architects build data storage and processing systems, database administrators monitor them to ensure users can access what they need, that the system is functioning correctly, and that security measures are kept stable. You typically need at least a bachelor’s degree to get into this career, and many database administrators eventually become database architects. 

12. Web and Digital Interface Designers

Getting into a web and digital interface design career requires at least a bachelor’s degree, and having specialized coursework in user interface (UI) and design can be especially helpful. These designers create and test applications, websites, programs, and software. Some designers are also programmers or engineers who build a website or application from the ground up, handling both front-end and back-end aspects. Others may specialize in a specific area, like user experience (UX)

>>MORE: Learn the differences between UI and UX

13. Project Management Specialists 

Becoming a project management specialist requires obtaining a bachelor’s degree. However, not every project management specialist works in tech. Having a computer science degree is great for project managers interested in focusing on IT, but project managers can work in other areas, too, like manufacturing, marketing, and business. 

Regardless of specialization, a project manager takes a project from its initial ideas to completion. This includes managing a team, assigning duties, keeping progress on track, and managing budgets. In IT, project managers may be in charge of something like a new software development project or computer hardware creation. 

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Accenture Keeping Track: Project Management

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Avg. Time: 5 to 6 hours

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14. Network and Computer Systems Administrators

Network and computer systems administrators deal with a vast range of responsibilities. Ultimately, if it relates to a company’s network or computer hardware, a network and system administrator handles it. This includes organizing, upgrading, installing, and maintaining networks and systems, recommending improvements, and providing support and training to users. These administrators also play a crucial role in maintaining the security of a network and system. 

You need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science to get into this career. However, advanced degrees can be helpful for moving into management roles, like becoming a computer and information systems manager. 

15. Web Developers

You typically need at least a bachelor’s degree to become a web developer. These computer science specialists build websites according to client specifications. Some web developers work in one development area, such as front-end or back-end development. Others handle it all. A web developer has a similar job to a software developer or engineer. However, web developers usually specialize in types of websites, like e-commerce or online gaming, while software engineers often have broader skill sets. 

>>MORE: What Is Web Development?

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16. Computer Support Specialists

Becoming a computer support specialist doesn’t require a degree, but having a bachelor’s in computer science can make you more marketable and better at the job. These specialists troubleshoot computer and network issues, provide help to users, and assist in the maintenance of computer systems. This is an entry-level job for computer science majors and can be a great starting point for a career in computer science. 

Find your career fit

Discover if this is the right career path for you with a free Forage job simulation.

Most In-Demand Computer Science Jobs 

The most in-demand jobs for computer science majors are occupations with a high projected growth rate over the next decade, such as information security analysts, web developers, and data scientists. However, emerging technologies are also areas that need more computer science specialists. 

Some of these jobs include: 

  • Cloud engineering and computing
  • Video game design
  • Machine learning
  • Artificial intelligence

“With the increasing reliance on machines and large language models, the demand for professionals in this field is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years,” says Tripathi.

Additionally, specialized roles are often in demand. The more specialized your skills, the more leverage you have when finding a job, too. Computer science majors can make themselves more marketable by specializing in specific programming languages, like JavaScript or Python, or by gaining experience in a different field that needs technology experts. For example, if you have experience in finance, computer science, and programming, you may be able to get a career in FinTech (financial technology), like a quantitative analyst

Top Skills for Computer Science Majors 

Some of the most essential skills for computer science majors include: 

  • Understanding programming languages and finding bugs in code
  • Analytical thinking to solve problems efficiently
  • Flexibility and adaptability to handle multiple tasks at once
  • Creativity to source novel solutions to problems 
  • Familiarity with algorithms, APIs (application programming interfaces), and cybersecurity concepts

Tripathi suggests networking and collaborating with others are great ways for students to “build their skills, knowledge, and professional networks, which can lead to exciting career opportunities in the tech industry.”

You can start exploring your computer science career options and learn in-demand skills employers are looking for with Forage’s free job simulations

Source: Salary and growth data accessed from the Bureau of Labor Statistics June 2023.

Image credit: Canva

McKayla Girardin is a NYC-based writer with Forage. She is experienced at transforming complex concepts into easily digestible articles to help anyone better understand the world we live in.

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