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23 careers you can get with a computer science degree

Computer science is an incredibly versatile field with many potential career outcomes. If you want to study computer science or already have a degree, you’re probably curious about the job options. Here are 23 possible career outcomes for individuals with a computer science degree

From driving digital innovation to developing software applications, discover what computer science looks like at Central Michigan University. 


1. Software developer 

Software developers are like the architects and builders of the digital world. They're the creative brains behind your favorite apps and websites, using their technical skills to build software applications. 

This could be anything from games, productivity tools, or even the web browser you're using right now! They start with a plan and then use programming languages like Python, Java, or C++ to construct the software, like assembling Lego pieces according to a blueprint. 

Median salary according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: $ 127,260

2. Systems administrator

Think of system administrators as the superheroes of a company's computer network. They're the ones who keep everything running smoothly so that everyone else can do their jobs without any tech-related hiccups. 

They manage all of the company's computer systems, like how a conductor manages an orchestra, ensuring all the instruments (or, in this case, computers) work together harmoniously. 

Median salary according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: $90,520

3. Data scientist

Data scientists are like detectives for information, sifting through massive amounts of data to uncover patterns and insights using their computer science and statistics knowledge. They use tools such as algorithms, like sorting recipes, and predictive models, similar to crystal balls, that are understandable for predicting future trends based on present data. 

They use data visualization techniques that transform complex data into understandable graphs and charts to simplify their findings. With the digital data boom, the demand for these "data detectives" is growing as businesses need them to decipher all the collected information for informed decision-making. 

Median salary according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: $103,500 per year. 

4. Information security analyst

Information security analysts are like digital bodyguards, safeguarding an organization's computer networks and systems from cyber-attacks. Using their computer knowledge, they create and enforce security measures, acting as virtual walls and alarms against hackers. 

They monitor suspicious activity and respond quickly to security breaches to minimize damage and rectify issues. As cyber threats continue to rise, these digital superheroes play a crucial role in protecting sensitive information like personal details or financial data. 

Median salary according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: $112,000 per year

5. Web developer

Web developers play a pivotal role in the dynamic realm of cyberspace, where their expertise extends beyond mere website creation and management. Armed with a comprehensive understanding of computer science principles, these professionals skillfully navigate the intricacies of coding languages and frameworks to craft websites that seamlessly blend aesthetic appeal with optimal functionality. 

A key component of their skill set is the ability to ensure the user-friendliness of a site and address the ever-evolving landscape of technology by making websites compatible with various devices and browsers. 

Median salary according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: $ 80,730 per year. 

6. Database administrator

Database administrators are like digital librarians. They ensure an organization's database - a huge virtual library of information - is safe, organized, and only available to those who can access it. 

They keep an eye on how the system is performing, solve any problems that pop up, and even make improvements or upgrades. As more and more decisions rely on data, there's a growing need for these tech-savvy librarians. 

Median salary according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: $112,120 per year. 

7. Network administrator

Network administrators are like the traffic controllers of an organization's computer network, managing everything from the hardware (the physical parts of the computer) and software (the programs running on it) to security. 

They ensure the network runs without any hiccups and fix any issues. As more and more businesses use technology in their day-to-day work, there's a growing need for these tech experts. 

Median salary according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: $90,520.

8. Mobile application developer

Mobile application developers are the creative minds behind the apps you use on your smartphone or tablet. They work on both the front end, which is what you see and interact with, and the back end, which involves all the behind-the-scenes logic that makes the app function correctly. As more people use mobile devices daily, there's a growing need for these app creators. 

Median salary according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: $ 124,200 per year.  

9. Data analyst

Data analysts are like treasure hunters of the digital world. They gather, sort through, and make sense of complex data to help businesses make smart decisions. They use special software and math techniques to study information and determine its meaning. It's a job in demand across many fields, from finance to healthcare to marketing. 

Median salary according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: $103,500 per year.  

10. Technology consultant

Technology consultants are like tech detectives and advisors for businesses. They help companies figure out how to use technology more effectively and efficiently. 

They look at a company's needs and recommend the best tech tools or strategies. To be a great technology consultant, you often need to know a lot about different areas, like computer science (the study of computers and computing), business (how companies operate), and project management (how to plan and organize projects). 

Median salary according to Glassdoor: $104,000 per year. 

11. Cybersecurity analyst

Cybersecurity analysts are like digital knights, shielding computer systems and networks from harmful threats. They keep a close watch on these systems to catch any security breaches, and when something fishy does happen, they act like detectives to figure out what went wrong. With the rise in cybercrime, a crime committed online, there's a growing need for these tech-savvy protectors. 

Median salary according to Glassdoor: $116,000 per year.

A colorful illustration of the internet above a keyboard.

13. Systems analyst

Systems analysts are like the architects of the digital world. They look closely at computer systems and how things are done, spot areas that could be better, and develop creative solutions to make things more efficient and effective. 

Their knowledge helps organizations make the most of their technology, simplify processes, and reach their goals more accurately and effortlessly.  

Median salary according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: $ 124,200 per year.

14.  IT project manager

IT project managers are like the captains of technology projects. They make sure everything goes according to plan, stays on schedule, and doesn't cost more than it should. 

Their job involves figuring out what needs to be done, deciding who should do it, managing risks, and ensuring quality. They are also responsible for smoothly incorporating tech solutions into businesses. They're good at working with different people, communicating effectively, and solving potential problems to deliver top-notch IT projects that help organizations succeed. 

Median salary according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: $95,370 per year.

15. Quality assurance analyst

Quality assurance analysts are like the detectives of the tech world. They test systems and software to make sure they work properly and do what the users need them to do. 

If they find any issues, they report them and work closely with the people who build the software to fix these problems quickly. Their main goal is to ensure that anyone using the software has a smooth and trouble-free experience. Median salary according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: $124,200 per year. 

16. AI researcher

AI researchers are like the explorers of the tech world, always pushing into new territory. They work hard on building and improving artificial intelligence systems, which involve making rules, researching information, and developing ideas for tough problems. 

They're studying AI to make big leaps forward in areas like machine learning (which is how computers learn from experience), natural language processing (which is how computers understand human language), and computer vision (which is how computers see and understand images). They're always pushing the limits of what AI can do and finding creative solutions to tricky problems. 

Median salary according to ZipRecruiter: $130,117 per year.

17. Game designer

As a game designer, you get to bring video games' fun and creative side to life. You'd work on the story, the artwork, and how the game is played. This job is a cool mix of tech skills and creativity. Imagine deciding what happens in a game, what it looks like, and how players interact with it. 

Median salary according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: $80,730 per year.

18. UX designer

User Experience (UX) Designers are like the architects of the digital world. They help make software, websites, and apps easy and intuitive to use, so they ensure you stay energized when using them. They do a lot of research to understand what users need and want, and then they use their findings to create digital experiences that are effective and enjoyable. 

Median salary according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: $80,730 per year.

19.  Forensic computer analyst

In this role, you'd be like a detective in the digital world. You'd use your computer skills to investigate online crimes or cases where someone has accessed a computer system without permission. This is a specialized field, and you often work closely with law enforcement agencies, like being a tech version of a policeman. 

Median salary according to $72,405 per year. 

20.  Cloud solutions architect

As a Cloud Solutions Architect, you'd be like the mastermind behind a company's use of cloud computing. This means you would plan how the company adopts and uses cloud technology. These design applications run in the cloud, and manage and monitor the cloud system to ensure everything runs smoothly. 

Median salary according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: $126,900 per year.  

21. Bioinformatics specialist

As a Bioinformatics Specialist, you'd get to combine your love for computers with the fascinating world of biology. You would use your computer science skills to create software tools and methods that help make sense of biological data, like the sequences that make up genes. It's like being a code-cracking detective, but instead of solving mysteries, you're helping to understand the building blocks of life. 

Median salary according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: $136,620 per year.  

22. Technical writer

As a Technical Writer, you'd use your knack for understanding technology to write helpful guides like user manuals and how-to documents. It's your job to take complex tech concepts and explain them in a way that people who need to be tech-savvy can understand. This means you need to be good at communicating. 

Median salary according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: $79,960 per year.  

23. Health information technician

As a Health Information Technician, you'd get to use your computer skills in the healthcare field. Your job would be to organize and manage health data, making sure to follow rules about security and privacy. 

You'd use different systems to code and categorize patient information, which could be used for databases, registries, or insurance payments. It's like being a super-organized librarian but for important health information instead of books. 

Median salary according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: $58,250 per year. 

Man in a blue shirt standing surrounded by computers examining a tablet.

These are just a few career outcomes that a computer science degree can lead to. A computer science degree is a valuable investment, providing in-demand skills, diverse career opportunities, and a problem-solving mindset. 

Imagine launching a rewarding tech career where you're at the forefront of innovation. By enrolling in our computer science undergraduate program, you'll dive headfirst into hands-on experiences using advanced software applications in specialized labs. 

You'll also gain access to crucial resources like UNIX and LINUX workstation labs. But it's not all about the tech - you'll also have opportunities to make a real difference in society and fuel innovation at companies worldwide. 

Plus, you won't be doing it alone - you'll collaborate with faculty on important technology research in exciting areas like machine learning, data mining, social media, and cybersecurity. If you're passionate about computers and want to shape the future, this program could be your launchpad.

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