Job Outlook for Computer Science Roles (Plus Salaries)
Updated March 9, 2023
Computer science careers involve working with computers and computer systems. If you enjoy working with technology and staying informed about new technological updates, a career in computer science might be right for you. Working in computer science can also offer the chance to work with complex computer programs and improve a company's use of technology by updating their systems and maintaining the technology they employ.
In this article, we explore the job outlook for a variety of computer science careers.
What is the job outlook?
The term "job outlook" denotes the anticipated increase or decrease in the number of employment options within a particular field or industry over a specified timeframe. It's an estimation of the future demand for employees in a particular occupation or sector. This can be evaluated over periods of two, five or 10 years. Understanding a career's job outlook can assist in making an informed decision about choosing a career path by providing information on the growth and stability of the industry in terms of job availability.
What is the job outlook for jobs in computer science?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that computer science employment may grow by 15% from 2021 to 2031, which is a very rapid rate of growth. Computer scientists strive for innovation and work to discover new ways to use technology, which can create more jobs as more opportunities for technological development arise.
Companies may require a larger workforce of computer scientists to develop processes and programs to handle it. The computer science industry is also expected to grow because of advancements in cybersecurity and the development of new software.
Jobs in computer science
Here are some computer science jobs you can apply for, along with their salaries and job outlooks. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, visit indeed.com/salaries:
A computer systems analyst helps companies and organizations with their use of technology and installing and maintaining computer systems. Computer systems analysts can earn an average salary of $79,282 per year depending on the company where they work.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer systems analyst employment may grow by 9% from 2021 to 2031. This growth is likely because of the increasing use of information technology in offices and businesses, as they need computer systems analysts to help install and maintain information technology systems.
Growth might also come from the health care industry, as more health care facilities use computer systems to organize patient records, prescriptions and other data.
A computer programmer creates new computer programs and implements them in software that computers use. A large part of a computer programmer's job is writing code and applying it to the programs they create. The national average salary for computer programmers is currently $72,021 per year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that computer programmer employment may decline by 10% from 2021 to 2031. This is because companies sometimes outsource computer programming jobs to countries that pay lower wages, as you can complete the job duties of a computer programmer from anywhere in the world.
Some companies are bringing their computer programming positions back to the United States due to high costs overseas, which might result in more jobs in computer programming than expected.
A computer engineer focuses on the hardware aspects of computers to build, repair and maintain computers and other technology. Computer engineers can work on products like circuit boards and computer chips to ensure they function correctly and make any necessary repairs or installations. The current national average salary for a computer engineer is $80,992 per year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts computer engineer employment may grow 5% from 2021 to 2031. While this might seem like a slow rate of growth, the BLS expects demand for computer engineers to increase as the computer and electronics industries continue to grow.
The number of computer engineer jobs might also increase alongside the number of startup companies that rely on computers and technology for their business operations, as they need computer engineers to create products like household appliances and vehicles that contain computer chips.
A computer support specialist offers advice and help to users who experience issues with their computers. Computer support specialists can test and maintain computer network systems and typically have experience in different types of networks, like wide area networks and internet systems. Computer support specialists earn an average salary of $30,898 per year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects computer support specialist employment to grow by 6% from 2021 to 2031, which is a highly rapid rate of growth. This is because more organizations are regularly updating their computer software and hardware, which means they need computer support specialists to help with installation and maintenance and to answer any questions they have. Small businesses that don't have IT departments might also begin hiring computer support specialists as more developments in technology arise.
A data scientist analyzes data to organize and present it in ways that are accessible to the public and understandable by a larger audience than only computer scientists. Data scientists can also develop statistical models that can make analyzing data simpler based on the type and nature of the data. The national average salary for a data scientist is currently $132,398 per year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that data scientist employment may grow by 36% from 2021 to 2031, which is another fast growth rate. As the innovations in technology rise, so too does the opportunity for roles within this industry.
Related: Learn About Being a Data Scientist
A software engineer programs and develops new software for computers and computer systems. Some software developers also work on computer programs like mobile and desktop applications. The national average salary for software engineers is currently $114,168 per year.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of software engineers and developers is estimated to grow by 25% from 2021 to 2031, which is an exceptionally fast rate of growth. The BLS attributes this to the continuously increasing need for software engineers to develop new applications for mobile devices and computers, including smartphones and tablets.
Health care facilities might also hire more software engineers to update the software they use for managing policies and completing daily operations like organizing patient files and sending prescriptions to pharmacies.
What skills do you need for working in computer science?
Working in the field of computer science requires a combination of technical and soft skills and a certain level of education and experience. Technical skills include expertise in programming languages, algorithms and data structures, database systems, and the ability to build and maintain computer software systems.
Soft skills such as problem-solving, communication, attention to detail, and adaptability are also important in responding to unexpected situations and collaborating with others in the field.
A bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field is the standard requirement for entry into this profession. The level of education and specific skills required can vary based on the job and industry. Some positions may require a master's or Ph.D. degree, while others may place greater emphasis on practical experience and a portfolio of work.
Obtaining certifications or advanced degrees in specific technologies can also demonstrate expertise and aid in career advancement. College graduates with a degree in computer science and a strong programming background are well-suited for this career path.
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