2016 Job Market for Computer Science Students

2016 Job Market for Computer Science Students

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28
Sep
2016

Computer Science Students Celebrating Graduation

2016 Job Market for Computer Science Students

Do you remember that happy go lucky time at the end of high school when you would casually stroll to the career counselor’s office and ask about college majors to apply for? If you do, you’ll know that for every student fresh out of high school, picking a college major is without a doubt, one of the most challenging and important decisions they will ever make. But if you’re one of the lucky ones who picked Computer Science as your major, either intentionally or just by coincidence, Congratulations! – You made a wise decision.

There might have been a time when guys who studied Computer Science were looked at as geeks who spend every waking moment alone in their rooms tinkering with computers, writing code and playing World of Warcraft. But times have changed and in today’s digital age, hackers, programmers, and software developers are the real rock stars. In fact, many of these Computing nerds in their college days have gone on to become Rockstar CEOs and founders of tech giants, like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, who studied Computer Science at Harvard before dropping out, and Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors, and a real life Tony Stark (well almost).

Since the 2008 financial crisis, our nation has been confronted with major economic challenges, which have resulted in a serious dearth of high salary jobs in an increasingly competitive marketplace. People work more, but earn far less than they used to. Traditional professions, like civil engineering or dentistry, have already flooded the market and the competition makes it harder to earn a comfortable keep. Still more, our economy has radically transformed since the 90s, and expanded from a traditionally strong manufacturing base towards technology and services.

Computer Science Graduate with Parent

Your Future Will Be Linked to Computers

Most scientists, engineers and economists agree that every profession in the future will somehow be linked to computers, and to run these computers better, we will need to learn skills that never even existed a few decades ago. But with that being said, if you’re a Computer Science graduate, you don’t need to worry too much about it. Over the last 10 years, surveys and studies published by dozens of government agencies, think tanks and Fortune-500 corporations have found that graduates in Computer Science & Software engineering are far more likely to land good-paying jobs, have exponential career growth opportunities, and possess bright career prospects, both in terms of R-O-I and work-flexibility.

With each passing day, our world is digitizing at a rate of millions of terabytes per second and new avenues of commerce, entertainment, news, gaming, and knowledge become available online daily. As this digital revolution keeps growing with no end in sight, the immense financial opportunities continue to become more apparent than ever. Research has shown that only in one decade (1997-2007), the information technology sector has contributed almost one trillion Dollars to the U.S economy. The ICT sector has contributed substantially to our economic growth and tech entrepreneurs have played a central role in this development. However, most of these tech entrepreneurs, chief technology officers, mobile application developers, Web designers, systems architects, and video game developers, have one thing in common: they all studied CS or Software engineering at either college or grad level.

iPad Tablet on Desktop

Technology Playing a Significant Role in Our Daily Lives

Many Ivey league colleges like Harvard, Stanford and Yale have reported a steady rise in the number of students opting for Computer Science related courses. The reason why more and more students, particularly Generation Z, want to study these subjects is because they are keenly observing the trends in our world and how technology has come to play a significant role in our daily lives. They understand its importance better than any other generation because they’ve grown up in a world where Macs, PCs, iPhones, Google, eBay, and YouTube are as normal as Cars or TVs. And the fact that our nation has transformed into a digital economy where consumers like shopping with the click of a button has tremendously helped the odds play out in favor of CS graduates.

Graph showing the number of students who applied to UW as Freshmen

Graph showing the number of students who applied to UW as Freshmen

Data gathered from the University of Washington’s admissions department provides an interesting but unsurprising insight. As you observe the red plot line in the graph above, you will clearly notice that from 2011 onwards, interest in Computer Science & Engineering courses among freshman applicants has sharply risen. These applicants know that the skills acquired from a Computer Science degree are in sizeable demand at the moment, and they want to be the first ones to fill the hundreds of positions opening up annually. What’s even more surprising is that many other engineering majors, which in historical terms, have had a large pool of applicants every year, do not appear to muster up the same level of interest among candidates as Computer Science.

A 2014 study conducted by Computing Research Association (CRA), the biggest advocacy group in North America for computer education, reported that classrooms across America have seen a remarkable 29% percent rise in enrollment of Computer Science undergraduates in one year alone. It isn’t hard to imagine that in the coming years, colleges and universities will need bigger classrooms with more seating space to accommodate the increasing number of students picking Computer Science & Engineering as their undergrad major.

Ed Lazowska, the Bill & Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington states: “Kids are waking up. Every field is becoming an information field, and if you can program at a level beyond an intro course, it’s a huge value to you.”i Not just at the University of Washington, the demand for Computer Science and software engineering related courses has increased in many other universities as well.

Tablet Computer on Desktop

National Computer Science Education Week

Harvard University has seen a tremendous rise in undergraduate students choosing to concentrate in Computer Science. The enrollment data has revealed that undergrads pursuing Computer Science as their final year concentration have more than quadrupled from just 69 in 2009 to 275 in 2014. And with the recent ‘gift’ of nearly $60 million from Harvard alum, and former Microsoft CEO, Steve Balmer, their Computer Science faculty is all set to expand by 50%.

Unsurprisingly, many lawmakers in government have started to feel the pressing need for increased computing knowledge in a globalized, 21st century American economy fueled by technology. In 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a unanimous resolution stressing the importance of computer science and encourage study in this field:

“These times require an increasing supply of diverse students exposed to rigorous and engaging computing courses at the K-12 level, and National Computer Science Education Week can help to reinforce this effort.”

Even President Obama reiterated the need for teaching Computer Science to everyone in his final State of the Union address. While announcing his $4 billion ‘Computer Science For All’ initiative to mobilize public schools in states towards providing better access to Computer Science education for K-12 students, the president made his case: “In the new economy, computer science isn’t an optional skill– it’s a basic skill.

Workers need more skills to get ahead. New technology replaces any job where work can be automated. And, [people need to be] able to work [not just] with computers, but develop the analytical and coding skills to power our innovation economy.” The Federal government recognizes that the US economy is rapidly shifting, and educators and business leaders are increasingly acknowledging that Computer Science is the new “basic skill” necessary for economic opportunity and social mobility.

Based on previously aggregated data, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics released projections through the years 2012 to 2022 in its annual “Occupational employment projections to 2022” report. The projected job openings for computing, engineering and mathematics majors as percentages by STEM areas are reported as under:

STEM job openings in the US Through 2022

Of all the STEM job openings in the US in the foreseeable future, nearly 3 out of 4 new job openings and 3 out of 5 total job openings are going to be in computing and related professions! These findings are fairly consistent with available data from the yet unpublished 2014 report as well. Adding to this, according the US Bureau of Labor and Standards, there will be a 46% increase in job growth in computing related fields between 2015 and 2018, meaning more than 1.4 million jobs for computer science majors will become ready for the taking by the time you graduate next year.

But why, does the Bureau of Labor Statistics as well as several reputable studies, report a phenomenal growth in job openings for Computer Science graduates? Why is computing/software engineering considered a ‘safe bet’ when it comes to deciding career paths in an unpredictable jobs landscape?  You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out by taking a good look around you.

Our world has become a global village where everyone and everything is interconnected. We live in an era of information technology, where computers & mobile phones running on software control much of our day-to-day lives. Advancement in mobile technology has made an infinite amount of data available in the palms of our hands and every day, new businesses join the online space looking to expand.

Software and Web Developers

Huge Demand for Software and Web Developers

Every company wants a website, social media page, or an online shopping platform to reach out to new customers, so there’s a huge demand for software and web developers to meet these ever-increasing requirements. Not just this, every firm wants an app for cell phones to advertise their products and offer exclusive deals. To cater to these growing needs, people with the skills & expertise to develop and curate these websites, software products, & applications are in exceptional demand.  

Therefore, as the current tide of information technology driven business solutions continues to rise, the resulting digital innovation will give further rise to new jobs and contribute to our digital economy. An endless stream of new technology being introduced every day, coupled with the passion and drive to change the world, has made Computer Science a very attractive career choice for many people.

To give you a better understanding of how this is happening, let’s take a look at an example. Almost all of the electrical appliances we use daily in our homes and offices – like refrigerators, ovens, and washing machines, come with embedded computing systems. Plus in recent times, the concept of Internet of Things, has led to the development of smart household appliances which can be thoroughly interconnected to provide centralized access to home owners.

Many of these niche products require skilled computer scientists who can combine utility, comfort, and originality to give consumers an experience worth paying good money for. And as more consumers buy these products, they will require technical assistance to solve unanticipated issues, creating demand for support specialists. Together, just one niche within the market has created immense opportunities for specialists with advanced computing skills, especially in embedded systems, and software development.

In 2015, Looksharp, a market place for internship & entry-level job listings, interviewed and surveyed around 50,000 U.S. college students as well as alumni about their experiences with job hunting and recruitments. The findings of the survey were published in its annual State of College Hiring Report 2015v. According to the report, Computer Science students (with above-average GPAs) expected the highest salaries of all students questioned in the survey. Take a look at the pie chart below to get a clear picture of one of the key findings.

Graph Showing Number of Students Expecting $55,000 or more in Starting Salary

In this study, people holding at least a bachelors degree in a field and expecting to make $55,000 or more in starting salary were surveyed. More than 70% of Computer Science students and graduates said that they were confident about making over $55K in their first jobs, basing their answers on their own market research, interaction with recruiters, networking with alumni working in the industry, and by comparing different job offers they had received.

In addition, 32% of CS graduates stated that they started earning over $75,000 right after graduation, and 13% entered the coveted six-digit figures in their first jobs. In light of these results, it is easy to conclude that CS majors make the most bucks straight out of college.

Moreover, the survey also found that of those students pursuing a degree in Computer Science, 61% were employed in full time jobs, and were closely tied with Military Science graduates (62%). In stark contrast, less than half of all university graduates with a bachelor’s degree had managed to land a job!

These figures are even more significant when considering that the average employment rate was just 50% for STEM majors, showing an increase of nearly 22% in employment rate for Computer Science grads over all other STEM subjects. Echoing the findings of the report, Georgia Tech’s Computer Science department reported the highest job placement rates as well as the highest starting salaries, among all departments.

The best source of publicly available government data on the U.S. job market is the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (US-BLS). The US-BLS produced two sets of employment projections for the next 10 years:

  • New Jobs – jobs that did not exist before, representing economic growth.
  • Total Jobs – new jobs and job openings to replace people who have retired.v
Graph Showing Job Opening in 2018

Here we aggregated the findings of two different research bodies; statistics on job openings obtained from the National Science Foundation; Science and Engineering Degrees (1966-2006), and job data (reflected as per year averages) gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The green bar clearly shows that job prospects for engineering students aiming to pursue a career in Computer Science are remarkably high as compared to mathematics and other engineering majors.

The report also states that in the coming decade, the demand for skilled Computer Science professionals will outweigh their supply in the industry, whereas the opposite holds true for other engineering fields.

Confirming the previous findings, a Software Development News article in 2011 reported, “Computer science graduates now get more offers of employment than any other major.” A key reason behind these offers is that Computer Science as well as software engineering graduates, unlike most other majors, are not confined to any one traditional white-collar role, and are exceedingly in demand in nearly all industry sectors, from e-banking, and network security to Healthcare delivery systems.

One such graduate, Annabelle Evans from the University of Southern California, who currently works at Google, acknowledges the significant incentive ‘job security’ offered in choosing CS as her college major:

“I got four different job offers while my friends in other majors aren’t getting any. When I picked my major, I knew there wouldn’t be a lack of jobs as a computer scientist, and that was part of the appeal. Vi

A computer science degree is one of the few investments that are guaranteed to find you a well-paying job almost immediately after graduation, without the need for higher education, or zero-pay internships. However, with more education and work experience, comes more skills and in the long run, better pay.

Computer Science Graduate and Professors

Getting a Competitive Edge in the Current Job Market

But every coin has a flip side and the rising numbers of CS graduates has a slight negative aspect as well. Although this new trend of jumping on the CS bandwagon is encouraging considering the large number of vacancies that are predicted to open up in the future, but on the downside – the number of students who might leave other equally important fields for Computer Sciences could raise some red flags.

Who knows if the world might be missing out on great civil engineers, architects, mechanical or chemical engineers as a result? The important challenge is to integrate Computer education and coding skills with all other fields and give students like you, a competitive edge in the current job market.

Comparison of Different Computer Science and Information Technology Related Bachelor Degrees by Salary Potential:
PayScale’s 2015-2016 College Salary Report:

In 2015, PayScale, Inc. conducted a survey of more than 1500 US colleges and alumni associations to gather data about median salaries for graduates in various disciplines. The report also provides valuable information about change in median salary per annum depending upon work experience and whether a person has an advanced degree (Masters, PhD etc.). Based on their published findings in the report “PayScale’s 2015-2016 College Salary Report”, we have compared the salaries of different Computer Science, Software Engineering, and Information Technology related jobs to give readers a better idea about the salaries they could expect over a lifetime in these career paths.

The comparison of 20 different Computer Science related Bachelors’ majors along with their early & mid-career pay are provided in the following table. These majors have been ranked from the highest mid-career pay to the lowest.

Rank

Major

Degree Type

Early Career Pay

Mid-Career Pay

% High Meaning

1

Electronics & Communications Engineering

Bachelor’s

$65,000

$116,000

55%

2

Computer Science (CS) & Engineering

Bachelor’s

$69,100

$115,000

43%

3 (tie)

Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE)

Bachelor’s

$67,000

$114,000

53%

3 (tie)

Systems Engineering

Bachelor’s

$67,100

$114,000

60%

4

Computer Engineering (CE)

Bachelor’s

$68,400

$109,000

48%

5

Computer Science (CS) & Mathematics

Bachelor’s

$62,900

$107,000

36%

6

Computer Science (CS)

Bachelor’s

$63,100

$105,000

41%

7

Accounting & Computer Systems

Bachelor’s

$57,000

$97,100

42%

8

Software Engineering

Bachelor’s

$62,500

$96,800

42%

9

Electronics Engineering

Bachelor’s

$60,700

$96,700

64%

10

Management Information Systems (MIS)

Bachelor’s

$56,800

$96,300

39%

11

Computing

Bachelor’s

$51,300

$91,800

61%

12

Information Systems (IS)

Bachelor’s

$54,800

$89,500

44%

13

Computer Information Systems (CIS)

Bachelor’s

$53,000

$89,400

44%

14

Information Security

Bachelor’s

$57,100

$86,600

52%

15

Computer Technology

Bachelor’s

$48,400

$86,200

65%

16

Information Technology (IT)

Bachelor’s

$51,400

$84,400

46%

17

Networks & Telecommunications

Bachelor’s

$48,500

$82,200

40%

18

Information Technology (IT) & Systems

Bachelor’s

$51,600

$81,900

45%

19

Information Technology Management

Bachelor’s

$52,000

$81,100

48%

20

Technical Communication

Bachelor’s

$45,000

$81,000

41%

 

Early Career Pay: Median salary for alumni with degrees in this subject; 0-5 years work experience.
Mid-Career Pay: Median salary for alumni with degrees in this subject; 10+ years work experience.
% High Meaning: % alumni who say their work makes the world a better place.

According to another study by the same firm, a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering ranks 6th highest in lifetime earnings potential, with an annual pay of around $60,000 in the low-end and nearly $100,000 in the high-end. However, a Masters degree in Computer Science with over 20+ years of work experience can fetch a salary of over $138,000 and for a PhD, there’s really no limit to your future earnings potential, especially if you work in first-tier tech companies like Facebook, Cisco and Google.

And to add to that, Computer Science professors in tenured positions at universities can earn on average over $200,000 per year. Harvard pays its Computer Science professors an estimated $5 million annually.  Beat that!

These are some of the many reasons why Computer Science majors have one of the highest median salaries as well as the highest demand compared with other academic or professional groups. In fact, of all Directors of Business Intelligence in US companies, twenty-one percent majored in computer science, proving there’s no limit to the kind of job titles and career paths you could have with a computer science degree.

Doctors With Panda Babies

6 Best Jobs for Computer Science Majors by Salary Potential

Whether you’re thinking about majoring in Computer Science or are already about to graduate and apply for jobs, it’s helpful to know a bit about the salaries you could expect from some of these posts. Here, we have provided a list of 26 Best Computer Science & Engineering related jobs that are available out there.

A brief explanation of these job roles, along with estimated pay, commission, profit-shares, expected bonuses, and other incentives is also mentioned. Please note that these are estimated pay-ranges and may vary depending upon your Undergrad & Grad University, Work Experience, Skills, and highest level of Education.

 

  1. 1. Chief Information Officer (CIO): All large companies require an up-to-date information technology framework, and a consistent ICT policy for effective planning, budgeting, and development of IT resources to help realize the strategic objectives of these companies. These targets are achieved through a team of skilled Computer Science professionals who continually manage the IT-framework and the dynamic executive leading this team is the Chief Information Officer, or CIO. A CIO is required to monitor the daily progress of their team managing the entire Information technology network of the company, negotiate & purchase new IT equipment from vendors, and implement Information Risk Management to secure the company’s networks from outside intrusions. In short, the CIO needs to have both management and IT skills to compete in today’s cut-throat business environment. Because of the significant responsibilities attached to this job, a CIO receives one of the highest payouts for any executive position in today’s companies.

Salary (Low – High)

$87,000 – $230,000

Bonus

$1,000 – $73,000

Profit Sharing

$2,000 – $49,000

Commission

$6,000

Total Pay

$96,000 – $352,000

 

  1. 2. Vice President (VP), Engineering (Computer Software): The vice president of engineering (Computer Software) is a member of the senior management team whose responsibilities include creating project plans, leading product management department, and ensuring delivery of the finished product by the scheduled deadline. In addition to this, they assist the software development team with any developmental issues and facilitate cross-functional communication between multiple teams of managers, engineers, & developers. The VP (Computer Software) has a number of senior employees reporting directly to their office, whereas he/she reports directly to the Chief Technology Officer. Because of their specific skill sets in managing multiple teams and implementing product ideas, they can demand handsome compensation for their role in the company.

Salary

$118,000 – $203,000

Bonus

$5,000 – $49,000

Profit Sharing

$2,000 – $48,000

Total Pay

$125,000 – $300,000

 

  1. 3. Agile Coach: In software development, an agile coach serves as a facilitator between different cross-functional teams for implementing agile practices. The main purpose of an agile coach is to guide teams in writing/testing software through an iterative approach, especially when faced with a creative block. The coach develops and maintains agile standards to help managers empower teams during various project management phases.

Salary

$86,000 – $155,000

Bonus

$2,000 – $20,000

Profit Sharing

$5,000

Total Pay

$93,000 – $180,000

 

  1. 4. Quality Assurance Director (Computer Software): A quality assurance director for Computer Software uses methodological techniques to improve the quality of the company’s software products, and make sure they work exactly the way they’re intended to. This job also entails training and supervising quality control & management staff to monitor software development and ensure that all quality control standards are rigorously maintained. Other job requirements include reducing waste, improving team productivity as well as documenting all quality checking progress. Skills in people management are associated with higher earnings for this position.

Salary

$97,000 – $159,000

Bonus

$4,000 – $29,000

Profit Sharing

$0.00 – $25,000

Total Pay

$101,000 – $213,000

 

  1. 5. Enterprise Architect (IT): The primary aim of Enterprise Architects is to maintain the company’s Information Technology (IT) network, provide continuous feedback to improve/upgrade new technologies and work with different teams on ensuring adequate resources for development of various products. Most people in this position have more than five years of experience working in different IT related roles and require excellent leadership, communication, critical thinking, and team-work skills. That is why many enterprise architects also acquire a management degree after working for a few years, to boost their career prospects.

Salary

$88,000 – $157,000

Bonus

$1,000 – $30,000

Profit Sharing

$1,000  – $19,000

Commission

$0.00 – $37,000

Total Pay

$90,000 – $243,000

 

  1. 6. Business Intelligence Director: A Business Intelligence Director is responsible for analyzing business intelligence processes and collaborating with both internal and external IT partners to develop solutions for bespoke delivery systems. Additionally, they provide guidance to junior business intelligence staff, participate in meetings with senior management to discuss product development ideas, and provide recommendations based on consumer data analysis for improving sales. Like most senior employees, Business Intelligence Directors report high levels of job satisfaction, substantial paychecks, and receive free medical as well as dental coverage from their employers.

Salary

$96,000 – $158,000

Bonus

$3,000 – $30,000

Profit Sharing

$3,000 – $30,000

Total Pay

$102,000 – $218,000

 

  1. 7. Software Engineering Manager: A software engineering manager assists, supervises, and helps coordinate between teams of software developers under different departments working on the same product. Their job also entails planning, directing and monitoring daily activities associated with writing software code, working with project staff to update and fix bugs in their software products and serving as a contact node for software engineers in interpreting company policies, practices and strategies. For any software engineering manager, pay is directly commensurate to the amount of experience they have in developing different types of software, solving technical issues and supervising project teams.

Salary

$94,000 – $158,000

Bonus

$2,000 – $23,000

Profit Sharing

$2,000 – $15,000

Total Pay

$98,000 – $196,000

 

  1. 8. IT Security Architect: An Information Technology Security Architect provides assistance in designing, and creating the entire network security infrastructure of the company. These security architects assess the security needs of the company and help plan, develop, and implement various security features to prevent unauthorized access, or disclosure of sensitive data that can harm valuable business interests of the company. They also assist managers in developing policies and procedures to be followed by employees for using the company’s network, without compromising its security. Security Architects usually enjoy very good pay in addition to receiving generous profit sharing options and health coverage.

Salary

$81,000 – $148,000

Bonus

$2,000 – $23,000

Profit Sharing

$1,000 – $19,000

Commission

$0.00 – $17,000

Total Pay

$84,000 – $207,000

 

  1. 9. Program Manager (Computer Software): The job of a software program manager is to make sure all software products are developed along a fixed timeline and that the finished product is launched successfully by the company’s announcement date. As such, they are heavily involved in all phases of the project development cycle from generating ideas, to writing software code, debugging, iterations, checking for compatibility issues with different hardware and operating systems, extensive testing for detecting any unforeseen technical issues, and finally, refining the software GUI before its release. It is a laborious, time-intensive job that requires a thorough grasp of the client’s requirements for the software and ensuring all aspects of the software development cycle align with company policies.

Salary

$69,000 – $137,000

Bonus

$1,000 – $19,000

Profit Sharing

$1,000 – $17,000

Commission

$0.00 – $20,000

Total Pay

$71,000 – $193,000

 

  1. 10. Software Architect: These wizards of the software world are responsible for conceptualizing the entire ‘skeleton’ of a software product and make sure that the its architecture is consistent, uses minimum lines of code, and is cost effective. Software Architects are usually employed by large software solution providers called software houses, where they help create customized software products for their clients. These solutions can range from developing web applications & user interfaces to building databases for different server types.

Salary

$82,000 – $151,000

Bonus

$1,000 – $22,000

Profit Sharing

$1,000 – $17,000

Commission

$0.00 – $59,000

Total Pay

$84,000 – $249,000

 

  1. 11. Director of Information Technology Services: Their job is to analyze, identify, propose, and direct all activities related to maintenance and upgradation of IT related resources of the company in order to make operational processes more streamlined and efficient. They also collaborate with directors of other departments to establish and implement strategic objectives with regards to the company’s information technology delivery systems and ensure effective training of staff working in IT facilities. Directors of Information Technology Services are much sought after in corporate America and pay usually starts at six figures for professionals with several years of experience in the field. Also, free medical and dental insurance is almost always a given for IT directors.

Salary

$64,000 – $157,000

Bonus

$1,000 – $30,500

Profit Sharing

$2,000- $20,000

Commission

$0.00 – $3,000

Total Pay

$67,000 – $210,000

 

  1. 12. Software Development Manager: A Software Development Manager guides and manages the team tasked with designing, developing & testing software products for the company. They also need to consult with clients on product requirements, value their suggestions or concerns, and incorporate their feedback in the final version of the product. This requires extensive communication across several cross functional departments and teams consisting of engineers, coders, and graphic designers. Their job is to design, schedule, coordinate, and report daily activities of these teams as well as supervise all phases of the product development cycle.

Salary

$84,000 – $148,000

Bonus

$1,000 – $20,000

Profit Sharing

$1,000 – $15,000

Total Pay

$86,000 – $183,000

 

  1. 13. Data Architect: Data Architects are responsible for designing, creating and structuring of the firm’s data architecture. Data architecture is composed of models, policies, rules or standards that govern which data is collected, and how it is stored, arranged, integrated, and put to use in different data systems.  Like any advanced computing job, skills in big data analytics, critical analytical thinking and creative problem solving are associated with higher pay & faster career growth. For this position, one needs to have at least a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or software engineering, although preference is given to those with advanced degrees. A data architect must possess excellent analytical skills and be able to communicate effectively with all team members within the information technology department.

Salary

$70,000 – $145,000

Bonus

$0.00 – $20,000

Profit Sharing

$0.00 – $15,000

Total Pay

$70,000 – $180,000

 

  1. 14. Penetration Tester: Each company has its own databases and internal networking systems, but sometimes, a malicious software, bug, external attack or a combination of these can exploit the vulnerabilities of such systems and compromise sensitive user data. To address these threats, companies hire cyber security experts such as penetration testers to safely attack these systems and find any security weaknesses or loopholes in the company’s network. These weaknesses are then documented and preventive measures are determined.

Salary

$46,000 – $121,000

Bonus

$0.00 – $14,000

Profit Sharing

$0.00 – $14,000

Total Pay

$46,000 – $149,000

 

  1. 15. Database Engineer: Database engineers help design, build, install, configure, upgrade, optimize, deploy and deliver solutions for company databases in order to serve various client/business needs. Proficiency in MS-SQL Server, MySQL and other database management systems is a must for a career in database engineering.

Salary

$52,000 – $120,000

Bonus

$0.00 – $9,000

Profit Sharing

$1,000 – $20,000

Total Pay

$53,000 – $149,000

 

  1. 16. Release Engineer: Release engineering focuses on transforming thousands of lines of source code written by developers into a compiled, integrated, refined, packaged, tested, and approved product all set for release by the company. Release engineers are highly deadline-oriented professionals who are relied upon by large-scale web companies and app developers to ensure their products are created, modified, or updated by the designated release date. In-depth experience in troubleshooting complex software issues along with the ability to quickly detect and fix anomalies in the code is a major plus for release engineers.

Salary

$49,000 – $125,000

Bonus

$0.00 – $16,000

Profit Sharing

$0.00 – $20,000

Total Pay

$49,000 – $161,000

 

  1. 17. Software Performance Engineer (SPE): The role of a performance engineer within the software industry is to test the non-functional aspects of software/applications such as backup storage, response time, & memory usage and ensure they’re calibrated to work exactly as intended to. They are an important part of the software/application development phase because they collaborate with designers, integration engineers, software architects, and penetration testers to review performance metrics of the software product. The data from these metrics is analyzed to find potential sources of issues, which are resolved. They also work closely with release engineers to modify and optimize software performance before their final release date.

Salary

$63,000 – $126,000

Bonus

$1,000 – $15,000

Profit Sharing

$1,000 – $12,000

Total Pay

$65,000 – $153,000

 

  1. 18. Implementation Manager (IT): The position of an Implementation Manager requires that they consult with clients, assess their needs, and allocate resources from the company’s various departments in order to lay out the final plan of the development cycle of the product. Implementation managers are strong communicators and facilitators who help cross-functional teams work together in order to develop the desired software solutions. A degree in management, combined with a strong background in computer science or software engineering is desirable for this position.

Salary

$50,000 – $125,000

Bonus

$0.00 – $15,000

Profit Sharing

$0.00 – $20,000

Total Pay

$50,000 – $160,000

 

  1. 19. Mobile Applications Developer: For every cell phone powered by an iOs or android operating system, there are literally millions of apps available for gaming, music, video-streaming, entertainment, work, and everything in-between. And the talented people working behind the scenes to create these apps for you are the mobile application developers. A mobile app developer needs to have a strong foundational knowledge of programming languages like C++, PHP, Java, HTML, and platforms like MS/SQL, Adobe etc. Additionally, these developers usually take several app development courses and training certifications to broaden their skills set.

Salary

$45,000 – $107,000

Bonus

$5,000 – $10,000

Profit Sharing

$2,000

Total Pay

$52,500 – $119,000

 

  1. 20. Software Development Engineer – Testing (SDET): These engineers come in handy during the development phase of a software product. They analyze programming code, run tests for bugs, regressions, or other inconsistencies, rewrite code where needed, and ensure that the finished product runs smoothly. Some software products also come with in-built debugging functions to allow customers to fix minor issues themselves. These functions are also designed, created & deployed in the product by a team of SDETs.

Salary

$62,500 – $117,000

Bonus

$500 – $14,000

Profit Sharing

$1000 – $14,000

Total Pay

$64,000 – $145,000

 

  1. 21. Technical Account Manager: A Technical Account Manager is responsible for providing software account management solutions, as well as, technical assistance to their organization, team, and clients. Technical Feasibility analysis of new products, risk management and ensuring close communication with key clients are some of the requirements for this position. They also play an important role in advising clients on their accounting needs and developing customized accounting features/services according to the clients’ specifications. A degree in computer science and accounting is highly preferred in candidates by most recruiters.

Salary

$49,000 – $122,500

Bonus

$1,000 – $20,500

Profit Sharing

$1,000 – $20,000

Commission

$0.00 – $39,000

Total Pay

$51,000 – $202,000

 

  1. 22. Java Developer: Java isn’t just the name of your favorite Starbucks coffee, it’s an important programming language used for creating web applications and animated features in sites such as drop-down menus, & loading screens, etc. And the web artists that create, modify or optimize these components are called Java developers. Java developers are constantly in demand in e-commerce stores where they create web applications to collect & store consumer data as well as validate user information. They also coordinate with different software teams to fix compatibility and various technical issues with web-based applications.

Salary

$43,000 – $103,000

Bonus

$0.00 – $10,000

Profit Sharing

$1,000 – $10,000

Total Pay

$44,000 – $123,000

 

  1. 23. Information Systems Security Engineer: As the name suggests, an Information systems security engineer assesses the client or company’s IT security infrastructure, and implements plans for the security architecture that can provide the necessary security features to prevent communication or sensitive data from being hacked. The security engineer also periodically tests the systems security network to discover weaknesses, and implements measures to safeguard the integrity of these information systems.

Salary

$57,500 – $124,000

Bonus

$0.00 – $14,000

Profit Sharing

$0.00 – $11,000

Total Pay

$57,500 – $149,000

 

  1. 24. Oracle Developer: Oracle developers help design and build Oracle-based databases, applications, data architectures, models, and tools that support various business interests of their client. They fix bugs by running various performance tests, and provide support to application development teams during the design phase. An oracle developer can also work on freelance project-by-project basis to enjoy not having to go to the office every morning. Like most specialties, salary depends primarily on previous work experience.

Salary

$58,000 – $113,000

Bonus

$0.00 – $10,000

Profit Sharing

$0.00 – $12,000

Total Pay

$58,000 – $135,000

 

  1. 25. Lead Web Developer: The average salary for a Lead Web Developer can be as high as 120,000+ a year, depending upon work experience and knowledge of different computer languages like Java, CSS, etc. The ability to quickly produce high quality web pages, develop applications used in websites, write website software and work on team-based projects are essential skills to become a successful lead web developer.

Salary

$48,000 – $120,500

Bonus

$500 – $17,000

Profit Sharing

$500 – $19,500

Total Pay

$49,000 – $157,000

 

  1. 26. IT Quality Assurance Manager: IT Quality Assurance Managers are responsible for planning, documenting, and implementing in-house quality control standards, and procedures for IT network infrastructure of the company. Their job is to ensure that all IT requirements are met, business needs are satisfied and all internal IT systems run smoothly.

Salary

$69,000 – $126,000

Bonus

$1,000 – $19,000

Profit Sharing

$0.00 – $14,000

Total Pay

$70,000 – $159,000

 

Apart from these positions, there are literally hundreds of other jobs in nearly all industries that require the skills & talent of Computer Scientists. The bottom line is that computer science continues to be a great career choice for students, and 2016 has more than plenty of computer science jobs waiting to be filled.


REFERENCES AND CITATIONS

i http://www.geekwire.com/2014/analysis-examining-computer-science-education-explosion/
ii http://cs.calvin.edu/documents/computing_careers
ii http://cs.calvin.edu/documents/computing_careers
iv http://offers.looksharp.com/LP-State-of-College-Recruiting-2015.html?utm_source=blog&utm_medium=blog&utm_content=state%20of%20college%20hiring%202015&utm_campaign=701U0000000Sx2B
v http://cs.calvin.edu/documents/computing_careers
vi http://www.csd.uwo.ca/prospective_students/undergraduate_students/job_market_and_opportunities.html
vii http://www.payscale.com/college-salary-report/common-jobs-for-majors/computer-science?page=4#fullText

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