The computer science industry is competitive and rapidly evolving; there are a huge number of jobs available (and a predicted 546,100 new jobs by 2026) in a wide range of different types of roles. These roles are not always clear cut or self-explanatory and the differences between them can be confusing.
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We’ve broken down the top ten careers in computer science – looking at key aspects of the jobs including responsibilities, required skills, salary, number of jobs and projected growth. This breakdown should give you a clearer idea of what different roles entail, and which might be of most interest to you. Statistics and financial figures for each role have been taken from the US Department of Labour.
Top 10 computer science careers:
Things to know:
- Strictly speaking, a software engineer is a certified engineer, but the two terms are often used interchangeably in job titles and advertisement.
- Design or customize software (usually for computers but potentially for a range of machinery or hardware).
- Optimize existing software to improve efficiency or overcome problems.
- Evaluate software requirements and user needs to determine software feasibility.
Required Skills: Proficiency in at least one programming language (IE Python, C, C++), understanding of design patterns, algorithms and software architecture, ability to debug software.
Number of jobs in 2016: 1,256,200
Projected growth (2016-2026): 24 percent or higher
Average annual salary: $102,280
Things to know:
- This role can involve ‘back-end’ (working server side) or ‘front-end’ (working client side) development – or ‘full stack’ which involves dealing with both.
- Design and build websites – back-end developers design the technical construction and overall framework for a site, whereas front end developers are responsible for how a website looks.
- Spot and correct bugs identified through testing or user feedback.
- Integrate graphics, audio and video into the website.
- Create and test web applications.
Number of jobs in 2016: 162,900
Projected growth (2016-2026): 13 percent or higher
Average annual salary: $66,130