Demand is rising for professionals holding computer science degrees as an increasing number of organizations rely on technology to operate effectively in today’s competitive business world.
Computer scientists design and develop all types of software, including operating systems and phone apps to interactive games. Graduates with computer science degrees have the flexibility to pursue numerous career paths with job growth projections faster than for other occupations nationwide.
Some people start by earning an associate’s degree that allows them to enter the workforce immediately after graduation or transfer to a four-year college to earn a bachelor’s degree. An associate’s degree in computer science is among the top 10 associate’s degree majors ranked by salary potential, according to PayScale.
Here’s a look at computer science career opportunities.
Systems design and analysis
Computer systems designers and analysts assess an organization’s needs and design information systems solutions that are tailored to the company’s requirements. These specialists learn how to choose, create and troubleshoot customized hardware and software systems. They also keep computer systems secure and up-to-date.
Mobile application development
From searching for a restaurant to tracking down the latest weather news, there’s likely a computer app that will bring the information directly to a smartphone or tablet. People with expertise in mobile application development create the software for wireless devices, including smartphones, tablets and wearable technology. Among the most prominent examples are the new iWatch from Apple. More consumers are using small devices to communicate, view entertainment programming and stay abreast of current events.
Website developers are responsible for the technical aspects of a website, such as programming, coding, page interactions, performance, speed and capacity to handle traffic from visitors. These professionals focus on how a site works – whether it’s the Internet or intranet (private network) – and how customers will use these websites. Web development can range from creating a single page to building complex Internet and intranet sites. Job prospects for web developers are projected to grow 20 percent from 2012 to 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which expects demand will be driven by the growing popularity of mobile devices and ecommerce.
Software engineers apply engineering principles to create computer systems that meet the unique specifications of a company. They often design, test and build software. Software engineers craft the designs that computer programmers implement when creating the codes for operating a program or system.
Computer support specialists assist people and organizations that use computer software and equipment. Some specialists support information technology employees, while others assist non-information technology users who are experiencing computer problems. Employment opportunities for computer support specialists are projected to grow 17 percent from 2012 to 2020. More support services will be needed as organizations upgrade their computer equipment and software, industry experts predict.