Top 10 Jobs for Computer Science Majors

Maybe you have always liked to solve problems or decipher codes. Perhaps you have a knack for learning new languages, or maybe you were intrigued enough about your computer to rip the cover off and tinker with the inner workings. If so, computer science might be an ideal career choice for you.

Computer science majors need to think analytically to devise systems and programs, but must also be detail-oriented enough to troubleshoot problems. They must be able to communicate with non-technical people to assess their needs and convey technical information in plain language.

Creativity is essential for those computer science majors who hope to come up with the latest app or technology gadget. Given the rapid rate of change within technology, computer science majors need to have a thirst for learning to keep up with the latest developments.

Computer science majors also must be curious about the world around them since programs and systems are applied to every possible area of life and commerce.

Given the pervasiveness of computer technology in society today, there are many different job possibilities for the computer science major. The right job for you will depend on your personal skills, values, and interests.

Here are the top 10 jobs for computer science majors, based on income, employment outlook, and job satisfaction.

Software Developer

Woman working on computer
Thomas Barwick / Getty Images

Software developers create software programs that allows users to perform specific tasks on various devices, such as computers or mobile devices. They are responsible for entire development, testing, and maintenance of software.

Software developers must have the technical creativity required to solve problems in a unique way. They need to be fluent in the computer languages that are used to write the code for programs.

Communication skills are vital for securing the necessary information and insight from end users about how the software is functioning.

Database Administrator

Thomas Northcut / Getty Images

Database administrators analyze and evaluate the data needs of users. They develop and improve data resources to store and retrieve critical information.

They need the problem solving skills of the computer science major in order to correct any malfunctions in databases and to modify systems as the needs of users evolve.

Computer Hardware Engineer

Computer hardware engineer
David Leahy / Getty Images

Computer hardware engineers are responsible for designing, developing, and testing computer components, such as circuit boards, routers, and memory devices.

Computer hardware engineers need a combination of creativity and technical expertise. They must be avid learners who stay on top of emerging trends in the field to create hardware that can accommodate the latest programs and applications.

Computer hardware engineers must have the perseverance to perform comprehensive tests of systems again and again to ensure the hardware is functioning properly.

Computer Systems Analyst

Woman working on computer
Fancy Yan / Getty Images

Computer systems analysts assess an organization's computer systems and recommend changes to hardware and software to enhance the company's efficiency.

Because the job requires regular communication with managers and employees, computer systems analysts need to have strong interpersonal skills. Systems analysts need to able to convince staff and management to adopt technology solutions that meet organizational needs.

In addition, systems analysts need the curiosity and thirst for continual learning in order to track trends in technology and research cutting edge systems.

Systems analysts also need business skills to know what is best for the entire organization. In fact, similar job titles are business analysts or business systems analysts.

Computer Network Architect

Two people working on technology
Yagi Studios / Getty Images

Computer network architects design, implement, and maintain networking and data communication systems, including local area networks, wide area networks, extranets and intranets. They assess the needs of organizations for data sharing and communications.

In addition, computer network architects evaluate the products and services available in the marketplace. Computer network architects test systems prior to implementation and resolve problems as they occur after the set-up is in place.

Computer network architects need to have the analytical skills to evaluate computer networks.

Web Developer

Man at desk with computer
AMV Photo / Getty Images

Web developers assess the needs of users for information-based resources. They create the technical structure for websites and make sure that web pages are accessible and easily downloaded through a variety of browsers and interfaces.  

Web developers structure sites to maximize the number of page views and visitors through search engine optimization. They must have the communication ability and creativity to make sure the website meets its users needs.

Information Security Analysts

B. Busco / Getty Images

Information security analysts create systems to protect information networks and websites from cyber attacks and other security breaches. Their responsibilities also include researching trends in data security to anticipate problems and install systems to prevent issues before they occur.

Security analysts also need strong problem-solving skills in order to investigate breaches, determine the causes, and modify or repair security systems.

Computer Programmer

Thomas Barwick / Getty Images

Computer programmers write the code that enables software to operate as intended by software developers.

The computer science major equips students to master common computer languages used to create programs, and to understand the logic and structure of languages so that they can more easily learn new computer languages.  

Computer programmers debug problems with existing programs and modify programs as the needs of end users change.

Computer and Information Systems Managers

Jetta Productions / Getty Images

Computer and information systems managers analyze a company's technology needs and oversee the implementation of appropriate data systems. They need to be able to evaluate software, hardware, networking, and other technology resources for purchase or development.

Since computer and information systems managers hire, train and supervise staff,
interpersonal skills are vital in this role. They must be strong leaders who can communicate effectively with their staff.

Project Manager

STS / Getty Images

Project managers in the IT sector coordinate the efforts of a team of programmers and analysts to complete projects. They also analyze technology problems for their company or a client organization, proposing solutions and tips to enhance productivity.

Problem solving skills and a broad knowledge of technology and computer systems help computer science majors to excel in this role.

Computer Science Major Skills

People standing by computer
Jetta Productions / Getty Images

Here's a list of the skills that employers seek when hiring computer science majors. Skills vary by job, so also review these skills lists for a variety of different occupations.

Highlight the skills you acquired during your studies, internships and jobs held during college in your cover letters, resume and job applications.

Computer Science Major Skills

A - C

  • Advanced quantitative
  • Analytical
  • Analyzing algorithms
  • Analyzing data relationships
  • Applying mathematics and the scientific method to computer problems
  • Assembly
  • Assessing the needs of end users
  • C
  • C++
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Composing processes with pipes
  • Creating, modifying and executing a makefile
  • Creating a code portfolio showcasing programming projects
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Cultivating relationships with customers and/or internal constituents

D - L

  • Debugging programs
  • Detail orientation
  • Devising algorithms
  • Documenting coding changes
  • Editing files with emacs and vim
  • Engaging in life long learning
  • Evaluating sorting, searching, and filtering methods
  • Explaining technical concepts
  • Haskell
  • Independence
  • Investigative 
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • LaTeX
  • Leadership
  • Learning new computer languages
  • Listening
  • Logical reasoning

M - P

  • Maintaining confidentiality
  • Making vague ideas precise using mathematics
  • Managing stress
  • Memorization
  • Microsoft excel
  • Microsoft word
  • Modeling physical phenomenon
  • Modifying algorithms
  • Navigating and manipulating filesystems within Unix
  • Note taking
  • Organizational
  • Persistence
  • Planning
  • PowerPoint
  • Predicting outcomes
  • Presentation
  • Prioritizing
  • Problem solving
  • Project management
  • Prolog

Q - W

  • Quantifying a set of data
  • Racket
  • Reading critically
  • Receiving criticism
  • Research
  • Retrieving data through advanced querying
  • Scala
  • Solving differential equations
  • Squeak
  • Standard ML
  • Statistical
  • Statistical modeling of network traffic
  • Strategic thinking
  • Systematizing
  • Teamwork
  • Testing hypotheses
  • Testing software
  • Time management
  • Tolerating failure
  • Verbal communication
  • Web design
  • Written communication
  • Writing
  • Writing shell scripts

More Career Options
Information on the best jobs for college students and graduates in a variety of career fields.

Related Articles: How to Connect Your Major to a Career | Skills Listed by College Major | Computer Science Skills List