10 Great Careers for Computer Science Majors

Are you thinking of studying computer science at school? It’s an excellent subject to pursue right now, as it can lead to a career that’s interesting, cutting-edge, relevant and lucrative.

Computer scientists are needed in most industries nowadays, even industries without substantial relevance to the tech sector. Schools, banks, healthcare organizations and many other employers need computer scientists’ expertise to keep their operations running smoothly. Job opportunities abound for computer scientists at all levels, from entry level positions to top executive spots in various organizations. These 10 great careers for computer science are high-paying roles that experts predict have potential for significant future growth.

1. Chief Technology Officer

According to definitions posted at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US Department of Labor categorizes chief technology officers as specialized computer and information system managers. Chief technology officers oversee an organization’s activities and goals relating to technological innovations. This can include computer technology and possibly other types of technology.

This role typically requires supervisory skills and excellent communication abilities in addition to computer science expertise. CTOs sometimes need to coordinate agendas with other team members within their organizations. They have to be comfortable interacting with their colleagues in the sales, marketing, legal or intellectual property departments” instead of “on the sales, marketing, legal or intellectual property departments.

2. Principal Software Engineer

Software engineers create new computer programs and develop applications that enable people to use computers for various tasks. Sometimes software engineers are hired to create entire systems for controlling computer networks or networks of computerized devices.

“Principal software engineer” is a job title typically given to a senior level software engineer who’s in charge of heading up a large project. This role is likely to require management experience in addition to computer programming expertise, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

3. Technical Program Manager

Technical program managers oversee all aspects of their organization’s technical programs, from project planning to implementation. This is a position that typically requires management experience as well as expertise in computer science. A TPM needs to be able to manage subordinates, communicate with suppliers, create a workflow schedule, and support the team members who are tasked with doing the work, according to PayScale.

4. Software Architect

A software architect oversees a company’s coding standards and creates new software, applications, user interfaces, databases or Internet services, according to CNN Money. Debugging software is sometimes included in the job description. A software architect also typically plays an influential role in harmonizing efforts between a company’s technical staff and its management.

5. Business Intelligence Manager

Business intelligence managers oversee teams of analysts using data to improve profitability, solve problems, decrease risks and create increasingly efficient systems for the organizations that employ them, according to PayScale. In addition to an undergraduate degree in computer science, this role may require management experience and an MBA or other graduate degree in a field relating to business management.

6. Data Architect

A data architect is a trailblazer who combines creative thinking and computer science to effectively use data for meeting their employer’s goals. They typically responsible for tasks such as designing, building and maintaining databases plus implementing proprietary data retrieval systems. A data architect’s role may require management skills in cases where the company needs an entire technical team to implement its data manipulations.

7. Information Technology (IT) Director

Information technology directors must oversee all aspects of IT operations for their employers, from planning to deployment. This is typically a management role that requires people skills, leadership ability and the capacity to communicate clearly in addition to computer expertise, according to PayScale. An information technology director’s job description might also include various tasks such as budgeting, negotiating with suppliers, testing and debugging new technologies, implementing product releases, creating new applications and scheduling the IT department’s workflow.

8. iOS Developer

iOS developers are computer programmers who focus their efforts on developing apps for use on Apple’s popular mobile devices — specifically the devices such as the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad that utilize the iOS mobile operating system. Creating these apps requires experience with computer programming languages such as Swift, Objective-C and C++. Potential employers are likely to want candidates who have already been successful with creating iOS apps and releasing them for sale at the Apple store. They may also prefer to hire candidates who have demonstrated the ability to collaborate with other coders; working on open source projects can provide valuable experience and enable the necessary skills.

9. Software Consultant

Software consultants work either alone or on teams to create new software, troubleshoot problems with existing software, solve problems using software or utilize software to achieve a desired objective. These professionals are typically hired to work for the duration of a specific project, and they are unlikely to work as full-time employees. Organizations value software consultants for their abilities to analyze systems, troubleshoot problems with software and manage data in a wide variety of environments, according to PayScale. Some software consultants specialize in working in specialized niches such as digital asset management or internet software.

10. Senior Java Developer

Java is a well-established computer programming language that has been around since 1995. Developers with expertise in java coding are needed in a broad spectrum of industries including finance, retail, insurance, telecommunications, hospitality, manufacturing, healthcare and information technology, according to GlassDoor. When an organization is in need of an expert coder who can guide a team of other coders to design computer programs, troubleshoot, debug and solve problems using Java, they’ll hire a senior Java developer.

Senior level Java developers are often required to supervise or mentor their colleagues who are intermediate and entry-level developers. They also need to be able to guide their teams in deploying the final software reliably according to their organizations’ expectations. In some cases, they may be developing software products for sale, in which case they would need to be able to communicate with the sales and marketing teams in preparing product releases. In other cases, they could be developing products for their organizations’ internal use. They may be expected to guide their teams in implementing the software and to train other colleagues to use it.

Related Resource: 10 Highest-Paying and Most In-Demand IT Jobs

These are our top recommendations for 10 great careers for computer science. Once you’ve determined that you want to study computer science, it’s beneficial if you’re able to pinpoint one of these job titles as a career goal early on. Then you can focus on acquiring the credentials you need, custom tailoring your education and early work experience with your specific career objective in mind.