If you’re looking for a career in a high-growth field, you can’t do much better than computer science. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer and information technology sector employment is projected to grow by 13% through 2026 with more than 550,000 new jobs added. That’s significantly faster than the rest of the economy. Not only is the field growing, computer science salaries tend to be profitable for people in the field who earn between $50,000 and $128,000 annually according to PayScale.
The profitable pay and exciting opportunities to expand are just two reasons why people are drawn to the field. But where you should focus your career search? Let’s dig deeper into the BLS data and identify the job areas that will grow fastest over the next decade.
If you need help getting the education required for some of these computer science career paths, check out the online Masters of Computer Science (MCS) degree offered by Arizona State University in partnership with Coursera.
We’re living in the age of Big Data, which means ever bigger databases as well as a high demand for experienced database administrators. Database administrators (or DBAs) are responsible for storing, organizing, and managing access to important data such as financial information, medical histories, transaction details, and virtually any other large dataset you can imagine. Given the valuable and often sensitive nature of this data, a background in cybersecurity is becoming an increasingly important part of the DBA skill set.
Due to growing demand from a wide variety of industries, BLS projects database administrator jobs to grow by 11% through 2026 with a median annual salary of $87,020.
Web developers are responsible for building every aspect of a website. This includes front-end developers who handle the way websites look, and back-end developers who work on technical implementation. The growth of mobile e-commerce is fueling high demand for web developers with up-to-date skills.
According to BLS, these trends will lead to 15% job growth for web developers through 2026. The projected median salary is $67,990. This is a particularly good career path for creative types: 1 in 6 web developers are self-employed, and many work in industries like publishing or advertising.
If you’re serious about computing, computer science is a pathway to fascinating careers and major growth potential. Computer scientists are tasked with solving some of the most complex challenges in tech. They create innovative new algorithms for machine learning and build new operating systems from scratch. These positions are in demand across a range of high-impact fields like medicine, engineering, and science. Most jobs require a master’s degree.
BLS projects that computer and information research scientist jobs will grow by 19% through 2026. The median salary of $114,520 reflects companies’ need for these highly-skilled professionals.
Software developers are the auteurs of the computer world. They identify user needs, devise creative software solutions, and direct teams of programmers to make their visions a reality. Application software developers create the mobile or desktop apps we rely on in our daily lives, while system software developers build entire operating systems from the ground up.
Given rising demand for software across all industries, it’s no surprise that software developers are one of the fastest-growing job areas in computer science. BLS projects that employment in this area will increase by 24% through 2026 with a median salary of $103,560.
One of the most critical computer science work areas is information security analysis. These highly-skilled analysts are responsible for identifying computer network vulnerabilities and planning the security measures that protect them. They also monitor these systems and ensure that breaches are remedied. As the frequency and sophistication of hacking attempts grows, information security analysts must keep up-to-date on the latest methods and countermeasures.
Given the growing need for these skills, BLS projects information security analyst jobs to grow by 28% through 2026 with a median annual salary of $95,510.
Pursuing these career paths is made easier when you have a background in the field. If you’re interested in developing or expanding an advanced computer science skill set the Master of Computer Science (MCS) degree from Arizona State University can provide you with in-depth education and a powerful diploma. Visit ASU Online to learn more about this affordable and flexible online program.