Top Computer Science Jobs To Consider

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 18, 2022

Published June 21, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Finding a career in computer science is an exciting undertaking, with various options and specialties. As the field of computer science grows, the opportunities within the area also increase. To find the perfect career path in computer science, you need to review your options. In this article, we discuss the definition of computer science, the training and skills necessary to enter a career within this industry, and the top 10 computer science careers.

What is computer science?

Computer science is one field within the larger category of information technology and focuses on the hardware and software of computers and computing foundations. The field of computer science uses theories and processes from mathematics, statistics, probability, engineering, and even electronic circuit design. A computer science professional creates theoretical experiments and real-life solutions for computer and network designs, databases, and human-computer interaction technology. They work with programming languages, data modelling, and algorithms to develop software and information systems to support our modern life requirements.

Education options for computer science careers

There are several options for academic training in computer science, including:

College certificates or diplomas

Most regional colleges and polytechnic schools offer certificates or diplomas in various areas of computer science, such as:

  • Software development

  • Computer engineering technology

  • Cybersecurity

  • Computer systems technology

  • Information technology management

  • Computer network management

Many of these certificate and diploma programs can provide the necessary academic background to get you started in a computer science career with an entry-level position.

University bachelor's degree programs

The next option is to complete a four-year university-level bachelor's degree program. Typically, many companies seek candidates with a university degree for higher-level computer science positions. Some jobs, such as computer engineering, require a minimum of a bachelor's degree.

Master's degrees and doctorates

Depending on your career goals, you may continue your academic training and earn a master's degree. This typically takes an additional two years after completing a bachelor's degree. Or a doctorate, which is often an entire eight-year journey from start to finish. Each additional level of education provides more opportunities and more significant compensation.

Skills need for top computer science careers

A successful computer science professional needs a combination of essential skills to help them in their job. Some of these critical skills include:

Mathematics skills

Because computer science deals with algorithms and data modelling, a computer science professional must have exceptional mathematics skills. Basic math and algebra are critical, but an advanced understanding of statistics and probability aid calculations and the development of experimental theories.

Electronic and electrical engineering

Depending on the subspecialty that a computer science professional focuses on, a solid foundation of electronic and electrical understanding supports computer hardware development and testing. Knowing how to wire a circuit board and develop routers and other computer systems is essential for many computer science careers.

Creativity

Even though the world of computer science is logical, analytical, and made up of zeros and ones, a successful professional knows that creativity is essential to their success. A computer science professional must imagine new constructs and systems, considering user experience and even human-computer interaction. Brainstorming and problem-solving take a level of creativity to develop unique and expansive ideas that can then be brought to life.

Analytical and critical thinking

All computer science careers require exceptional analytical and critical thinking skills. Computer science professionals create, develop, experiment, and test new and existing ideas and systems. They must analyze the results of their experiments, identify system deficiencies and problems, and determine the best course of action.

Problem-solving skills

Candidates who are ready to take on top computer science careers must identify problems and develop viable solutions. They constantly use problem-solving skills to navigate their work. Whether dealing with other professionals within a team or individually on their own projects, they consider all the variables and make wise decisions.

Detail-orientation

They must remain detail-oriented throughout all computer science careers with their research, product development, and hands-on problem-solving. Being detail-oriented ensures that the information and data they work with are accurate, and they write any computer language coding correctly to minimize troubleshooting later on.

Curiosity

Curiosity is a crucial characteristic of most computer science careers. Curiosity spurs an individual to improve a system or network or develop a fresh way of doing something. A computer science professional also uses curiosity to spark new ideas such as artificial intelligence and human-computer interfaces.

Related: 14 Fields of Computer Science To Explore as a Career Choice

Top 10 careers in computer science

Here are 10 of the top computer science jobs to consider for your career path:

1. Computer research scientist

Check out all current job openings for computer research scientists.
National average salary: $78,346 per year

Primary duties: Computer research scientists use computer technology to solve complex problems in medicine, business, or science. They also use existing technology to improve or further develop solutions. A computer research scientist analyzes large amounts of raw data to look for patterns, writes, and refines algorithms. They also create data modelling while focusing on computer technology as the solution.

Related: A Guide to Computer Science Jobs

2. Data scientist

Check out all current job openings for data scientists.
National average salary: $86,550 per year

Primary duties: A data scientist uses the information that computer systems collect and convert the data into usable information to analyze and solve real-world problems. They use computer programming languages and algorithms to create data-capture systems to gather information. Candidates for top computer science jobs analyze and evaluate the data to help a wide variety of organizations and industries. For example, a data scientist may use information from a manufacturing company's computers to provide a solution to more efficient and effective production. Or they may analyze statistical health care data to assist government officials in creating more impactful health care policies.

3. Database administrator

Check out all current job openings for database administrators.
National average salary:
$93,221 per year

Primary duties: A database administrator manages a company's information database software. They analyze data accuracy, organization of data and manage user access and permissions. They constantly run tests to identify database issues and work with other IT professionals to manage database security. A database administrator also oversees the migration of information from older systems to new database programs and helps roll out updated database processes to a company's employees.

4. Database developer

Check out all current job openings for database developers.
National average salary:
$82,811 per year

Primary duties: A database developer is an individual who creates a database system to support a company's needs. Also known as a database programmer, architect, or designer, a database developer identifies an organization's informational requirements and develops a system of collecting data and storing it in a database. They have to consider user experience, ease of use, and reporting functions for analyzing the information collected.

5. DevOps engineer

Check out all current job openings for DevOps engineers.
National average salary:
$99,893 per year

Primary duties: A development operations (DevOps) engineer helps companies implement automated applications and work with other IT professionals to identify and repair any issues within the programs. They also assist organizations in transitioning to cloud technology, evaluate security needs and issues, and provide the best security solutions. Their work is highly analytical and systems-focused.

6. E-commerce consultant

Check out all current job openings for e-commerce consultants.
National average salary:
$68,867 per year

Primary duties: An e-commerce consultant may work for a consulting firm, independent, or within a larger organization to assist a company in moving its products and services online. A successful e-commerce consultant must have a solid understanding of e-commerce platforms and integrate with a company's existing systems and ERP (enterprise resource planning) software. They work to build an online shop, whether for retail, wholesale, or supply and create systems and automation to improve online productivity and efficiency.

7. Front end developer

Check out all current job openings for front end developers.
National average salary: $84,772 per year

Primary duties: Front end developers work to create seamless and easy-to-use sites and applications to improve customer accessibility and experience. They work with other IT professionals to ensure that what an end-user sees, or the front end, is clear and compelling. A front-end developer works with computer languages to create proper code to make a website or app work properly. They also aid in planning websites, website optimization, and application development.

8. IT project manager

Check out all current job openings for IT project managers.
National average salary:
$110,725 per year

Primary duties: An information technology (IT) project manager focuses on taking on an IT project from conception to completion. Within this role, they plan and manage the entire project, including team members, budgets, timelines, and deliverables. They are the point person for all top-level decision-making on the direction and outcome of a project. It is their job to complete a project on time and within budget. IT projects could include implementing a new system or program, migrating a database to a cloud-based system, or setting up an ERP (enterprise resource planning) platform.

9. JavaScript developer

Check out all current job openings for JavaScript developers.
National average salary:
$90,237 per year

Primary duties: Any kind of programming is one of the top computer science jobs you should consider. A JavaScript developer focuses solely on using the computer coding language JavaScript to create and implement interactive functions within a website or application. Also known as Java application developers, these professionals ensure that a website appropriately authenticates user data, such as logins and passwords, while also solving Java-related issues. They create design documents, take part in program testing, and update JavaScript protocol in various applications and websites. There are also developer roles for those who specialize in C++, Python, HTML, and other programming languages.

10. Programmer analyst

Check out all current job openings for programmer analysts.
National average salary:
$72,492 per year

Primary duties: A programmer analyst designs computer systems and software programs to meet an organization's unique needs. They identify areas of concern and repair any systems or programs that are unusable or faulty. They also work on updating software to address any concerns from previous versions. A programmer analyst works with other IT professionals with projects and identifying a business's IT needs.

Now that we've discussed the definition of computer science, and the training and skills necessary to enter a career within this industry, you'll be better informed to decide if computer science careers are right for you.

Explore more articles