Working in the computer and information technology sector netted median annual wages of $91,250 in 2020 – far higher than the median annual wage for all occupations at $41,950. Computer science careers are set to boom in the coming decade, with many projected to see double-digit growth between 2020 to 2030.
However, many of the highest-paying occupations for computer scientists require a master’s degree in computer science, ideally with a specialization related to the career field.
If you’re considering a computer science career but aren’t sure which one works best with your skills and interests, you’ve come to the right place. Check out the highest-paying computer science careers currently available and figure out which one sounds like the best fit.
Highest Paying Computer Science Jobs
1. Computer and Information Systems Managers
Sometimes called information technology managers, professionals in these roles spend their days managing the computer and information systems needs of their organizations. They typically oversee staff members carrying out upgrades and maintenance, create strategic plans, manage budgets, and maintain relationships with outside vendors.
2. Computer and Information Research Scientists
As the name implies, computer and information research scientists use their research and development skills to identify new uses for existing technology and explore how new technologies can help improve industries and solve problems.
Typically working in laboratory settings, these professionals may design new systems or innovate new uses. They often publish their findings in academic journals and present them at conferences.
3. Computer Network Architects
Working as a computer network architect entails designing, building, and testing various data communication networks and intranets. These professionals must be fluent in several programming languages and know how to design networks that work with individual client needs. After creating a design, they typically present these to managers to make suggestions and approve their proposals.
4. Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and Testers
These professionals design, write, and create the applications used on computers, tablets, and smartphones across the world. Whether working in-house to meet specific organizational needs or serving in a freelance capacity, they build applications based on specifications, perform tests to check for bugs, and meet with clients to address any outstanding needs.
5. Information Security Analysts
Information security analysts concern themselves with keeping their organizations’ networks and systems safe from security threats. They install anti-breach firewalls and encryption applications, work with ethical hackers to conduct penetration testing, and create a set of best practices for employees to follow when accessing sensitive data.
6. Database Administrators and Architects
Businesses naturally have a lot of data to keep up with, be it customer files, financial reports, or internal HR information. Database administrators and architects develop and maintain systems for keeping data organized and secure. They consult with users to understand needs, build databases to those specifications, and perform maintenance to ensure they stay functional.
7. Computer Systems Analysts
Also known as systems architects, these professionals find ways of improving computer systems and networks for their clients. Whether working in-house or in a consulting role, computer systems analysts look for ways to increase effectiveness and security, create reports on available upgrades and changes, and oversee the installation of new systems once they receive approval.
8. Computer Programmers
Computer programmers spend their days writing the code that creates applications, software, websites, and a bevy of other types of information technology. They use coding languages such as Java and C++ to meet client specifications before testing the codes for any errors or issues. Computer programmers may also write updates for existing programs.
9. Network and Computer Systems Administrators
Valued and needed in businesses of all sizes, these professionals are in charge of keeping local area networks, wide area networks, intranets, and other network systems running smoothly and securely. They conduct maintenance on existing hardware, install new hardware and software as needed, and look for ways to optimize performance.
10. Web Developers and Digital Designers
As the name suggests web developers and digital designers build websites and manage the technical aspects of the site. They may write website codes, install and test applications and interfaces, locate vendors who can handle related aspects such as graphic design, and integrate needed content to a new or existing website.