20 High-Paying Computer Science Careers
Updated July 31, 2023
Computer science is the study of computers and their processes, including software and hardware designs, practical applications and impacts on society. If you have strong problem-solving, analysis and computer programming skills, you may consider pursuing a career in computer science.
In this article, we explore some of the high-paying computer science jobs. By choosing a career in computer science, you learn critical communication, analytical and technology skills you can easily transfer to other tech-based professions.
A hallway shows two rows of databases in operation, with another group of databases at the far end of a computer room.
20 high-paying computer science jobs
Here's a look at the highest paying computer science jobs today:
National average salary: $71,666 per year
Primary duties: Programmers design and develop computer systems and software as well as repair and update existing programs. Depending on the company, programmer analysts may work with industry-specific computer systems and tailor such systems based on the company's needs. They may also collaborate with project managers to make sure that timelines are met and perform a cost analysis to help management determine the system's financial feasibility.
Read more: Learn About Being a Programmer Analyst
National average salary: $72,224 per year
Primary duties: Also known as IT support engineers, technical support engineers are responsible for reviewing and troubleshooting hardware and software problems. They might work to help an organization determine and fix internal technical issues, or they might assist clients or customers on behalf of their company. They typically provide support over the computer, on the phone or in person.
National average salary: $74,919 per year
Primary duties: E-commerce business analysts are responsible for analyzing a business's online retail sales data. They generate online sales reports, analyze trends in customer purchases and review changes in the online retail market. They may also present this information to advertising managers and work with developers to help tailor online transaction processes. Beyond sales, e-commerce analysts may monitor a company's search engine ranking, web analytics, advertising campaign results and branding across a website.
National average salary: $74,919 per year
Primary duties: Business continuity analysts are responsible for ensuring that organizations recover data and resume normal operations following disasters or blackouts. These professionals research and prepare recovery strategies based on potential losses and possible risks. Business continuity analysts also train employees within companies to perform recovery plans in the event of a blackout or other serious malfunction.
National average salary: $79,823 per year
Primary duties: Systems analysts maintain an up-to-date computer system for a company or organization. They must check both the software and hardware currently being used and recommend or design new programs to better meet the needs of the organization. In most cases, the systems analyst also performs a cost-benefit analysis to make sure any proposed modifications are fiscally responsible.
Read more: Learn About Being a Systems Analyst
National average salary: $84,946 per year
Primary duties: Also known as database programmers or database designers, database developers create and maintain computer systems that organize files and information in easily accessible and manageable ways. It's their responsibility to ensure that a company's database runs efficiently and to troubleshoot and fix issues that occur. They also set user permissions, monitor data security and create backups.
National average salary: $86,470 per year
Primary duties: Software developers work with computer programmers, software engineers, graphic designers and other IT professionals to create, develop and produce new computer applications. They create new technology and designs after analyzing user needs and developing programs that meet those needs. Other responsibilities include ensuring that programs work properly and fixing any glitches.
Read more: Learn About Being a Software Developer
8. UX designer
National average salary: $90,207 per year
Primary duties: User-experience (UX) designers create the look and feel of a specific computer interface. They make sure software products are functional and user-friendly. UX designers usually work in teams, applying their skills to a website or computer applications.
Related: Learn About Being a UX Designer
National average salary: $92,553 per year
Primary duties: Database administrators are responsible for storing, presenting, organizing, using and analyzing data and database management software. They strive to meet the information needs of an organization. This can include integrating data from old systems into new systems and setting up new computer databases. Database administrators also regularly perform routine tests to make sure that a database is running properly. They also discuss and coordinate security measures with other IT professionals in the company.
Read more: Learn About Being a Database Administrator
National average salary: $93,372 per year
Primary duties: Information technology (IT) project managers are responsible for all aspects of taking an IT plan from conception to completion. They are responsible for keeping employees on track from the beginning to the end of an IT project, making sure that the project is completed within budget constraints and by the deadline. They also update schedules or deadlines when requirements change or project facets become overdue.
Read more: Learn About Being an IT Project Manager
11. .NET developer
National average salary: $94,161 per year
Primary duties: .NET developers design web applications for business systems. They write and test software and applications using various programming languages. They are also involved in integrating these applications into existing business systems. Also, they create and maintain coding documentation, application maintenance logs and project progress reports.
12. IT auditor
National average salary: $98,822 per year
Primary duties: IT auditors are responsible for gathering information about the overall operations, controls and practices within organizations. IT auditors also check computer networks to determine issues such as fraud, mismanagement and inefficiency while creating means of improving user interface, security and processing capabilities. They also assess the business, physical and financial controls to ensure that companies adhere to organizations and government regulations to secure data and records.
National average salary: $102,697 per year
Primary duties: Front-end developers make sites and applications as user-friendly as possible. They may work with designers to make sure that the design plan will allow the website to operate effectively when implemented with code. They may also help identify and fix issues with the site or app and ensure that the site is optimized so that it quickly generates results and can support the amount of data necessary.
14. Java developer
National average salary: $103,461 per year
Primary duties: Also known as "Java applications developers," Java developers are responsible for creating and implementing Java applications. They make sure that a website is properly authenticating user data and recognizing the need to update Java-based applications. Java developers also produce design documents, participate in program testing and use Java programming language to modify the design of a website. They may also be required to examine and solve technical problems and serve as an advisor to IT staff members.
National average salary: $106,496 per year
Primary duties: Software engineers oversee the development of new software in a range of industries. They are closely involved in the research, development, design and operational testing steps of the software development process. Some software engineers focus on building software for operating systems, while others create specialized computer applications and programs.
National average salary: $115,197 per year
Primary duties: A network security engineer is responsible for the provisioning, configuration, deployment and maintenance of the network and security-related software and hardware. These include virtual private networks (VPNs), various network-monitoring tools, switches, routers and firewalls. Network security engineers are an organization's first line of defense against cyberattacks or potential security threats. This means they must know how to mitigate security threats that become evident as well as how to prepare and strategize before any security threat is enacted.
Related: Learn About Being a Network Engineer
17. Mobile developer
National average salary: $115,817 per year
Primary duties: Mobile developers are tech professionals responsible for designing, creating and maintaining mobile applications. They may work closely with computer engineers and analysts in using programming languages to develop the necessary specifications for software. They may also test, debug and improve mobile applications and often collaborate with design and product teams to do so.
18. Data scientist
National average salary: $121,897 per year
Primary duties: Data scientists analyze, interpret and synthesize large amounts of raw data into results that are more easily understood. They must use various computer programming languages to convert data into various forms and create algorithms to solve problems. They may oversee analyzing data sets to solve real-world problems that businesses and organizations face, such as how to implement new company healthcare policies or how to manufacture a product more cost-effectively.
Read more: Learn About Being a Data Scientist
19. DevOps engineer
National average salary: $121,996 per year
Primary duties: Development operations (DevOps) engineers implement automated applications and transition an organization to cloud technology. They may also develop and execute methods to ensure transparency for applications and work with engineers or product managers to determine and fix a variety of issues in the application. They may also evaluate an organization's security needs and provide recommendations on the best solutions.
National average salary: $139,099 per year
Primary duties: Software architects are responsible for designing and developing software applications and systems. They create software tailored to the client's requirements or create products geared for consumers, such as desktop applications and games. They also act as high-level decision-makers in the process, making design choices to technical standards, such as coding standards and platforms.
Frequently asked questions
What are the different computer science specializations?
Data science, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, software engineering and computer programming are a few potential specializations within the computer science field. Each specialization offers different job opportunities and salaries. For example, specializing in artificial intelligence may qualify you to work as a machine learning engineer or an artificial intelligence architect.
Which type of degree is best for working in computer science?
The computer science degree you earn may depend on your specialty and your long-term career goals. Many people working in the field have at least a bachelor's degree in computer science, computer engineering or software engineering. While completing your degree, you can acquire many of the skills that are necessary to work in computer science, such as programming skills and networking knowledge. If you want to progress in the field, you may also benefit from earning a master's degree in computer science.
How do I find high-paying computer science jobs?
You can use job sites to filter computer science jobs based on their salaries. Many people who aspire to work in the field begin their careers as computer support specialists and web developers before advancing into higher-level positions. Consider attending IT career fairs in your area to locate computer science companies and learn more about available jobs.
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