Careers in Computer Science: Where to Start & How to Advance

A computer science graduate can explore all kinds of opportunities. Below, learn more about careers in computer science.

The computer science field is booming with possibilities. From data science to software engineering, plenty of career paths fall under the broad umbrella of computer science. Plus, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for computer science roles is close to six figures. 

So, careers in computer science are promising, but what should your organization know about them? Here, you’ll learn all about careers in computer science and how to guide computer scientists through their work.

Computer science career outlook

Computer science is a gateway to careers in coding, programming, and beyond. Someone with a computer science degree can enter a job market that’s very much looking for them. In fact, the steady increase in demand resulted in the U.S. public school system starting to add coding classes into its curriculum. 

As money goes, the median salary for software developers was $110,140 in 2020. On the lower end of the computer science salary spectrum, computer programmers’ median salary in 2020 was $89,190. 

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Skills gained with a computer science degree

Someone with a computer science degree often brings the following skills to the table. 


Computer science students will graduate with a basic understanding of computer programming languages. These languages could include Java, Python, Ruby, C++, and plenty more. It’s a huge plus for an organization when a potential team member knows more than one language.  

Database Administration

This term refers to the storage and accessibility of data in a data management system. Studying computer science provides, at the very least, an overview of data management best practices and database programming languages like SQL.  


In tech-based fields, it can seem like there isn’t a lot of cross-functional collaboration – the screen might seem more like a computer scientist’s best friend. This is a total misconception. For data scientists, web developers, and others, internal collaboration with other departments gets the job done (just like with most other jobs). 


Research is a skill programmed into computer scientists’ brains. It goes hand-in-hand with problem-solving, which is a huge part of all the roles under the computer science umbrella.

Organizational leadership

Whether or not a computer scientist is looking toward a management role, they’ll often have a basic understanding of leadership and managing a team. After all, every computer scientist is part of something bigger than themselves. Problem-solving and communication with the whole team are key to great comp-sci team results. 

Computer science career paths

Computer science is a field bursting with lots of different career paths. Here are some of the most common ones. 

Data Science

This career path is all about working with data – capturing it, mining it, maintaining it, communicating it, and analyzing it. Anyone who works with data professionally to get results for their organization counts as a data scientist. 


Cybersecurity is a combination of different methods and tools that safeguard computer systems and data. It’s increasingly important, too: Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report notes that 61% of organizations faced cyber incidents in the year before the report. 

Artificial intelligence

Also known as AI, artificial intelligence is the replication of human intelligence through technology or machines. A common example of AI is machine learning, which describes computer systems programmed to learn and adapt without instructions from a person. 

Software engineering

These computer scientists handle the creation of software products, such as platforms that people interact with online. Examples of these products include task management software tools and email platforms. 

IT management

This team handles an organization’s tech systems, including its software, hardware, and computer networks. They focus on troubleshooting issues or thinking ahead to introduce new software for everyone. 

Top 10 careers in computer science

Here are the top 10 careers in the ever-expanding field of computer science. 

1Computer scientist

A computer scientist looks at how computers save and use information, then figures out how to improve an organization’s computer systems. When needed, they can work with computer hardware engineers on more complex tasks.  

2Business analyst 

This role combines business and information technology (IT). Business analysts review data and metrics, then make suggestions to upper management about where to make cost-effective improvements. 

3Data analyst

A data analyst works hands-on with facts and figures. They gather data and learn everything there is to know about it. This way, they can create problem-solving models and clearly share their findings with others. 

4Data engineer

Data engineers are heavily involved with data management and organization. They set up an organization’s data analytics layout to seize on trends that can help the organization achieve its objectives. They’ll do lots of research and look for ways to automate tasks, saving teams time and money. 

5Web designer

A web designer uses their computer science skills to create visually appealing websites. They aren’t working on the front-end functionality, just on the appearance. It’s one of the more creative realms within the deep sea of computer science.

6Web developer 

Some of these computer scientists are front-end website developers, meaning they build the site’s user interface. Others are back-end developers or full-stack developers. The back-end developers focus on server, database, and application maintenance, and the full-stack developer does, well, everything. All developers share the goal of creating stable, responsive, and delightful product and user experiences. 

7Software developer

As part of an organization’s IT department, a software developer will create and implement software products. With their strong coding skills, they can work in finance, engineering, manufacturing, insurance, or other fields. 

8Data architect

The data architect works with the data engineer to create the vision behind the data structure. They build the master plan that the engineer can then follow to build the data ecosystem.  

9Computer programmer 

Computer programmers wear many hats, but a big part of their job is coding. They take pride in writing clean code that’s easy for developers to understand.  

10Business intelligence analyst

The business intelligence analyst combs through data from the past and present. Business analysts later use this data to suggest changes to leadership and management.

How to advance your career in computer science

Below, you’ll learn how you can advance your career in computer science. 

Certifications and licenses

If you want to increase your chances of moving along your computer science career path, then after getting your degree, you can earn certifications. With these extra credentials, you can get better jobs with better pay – and do them better thanks to your newly acquired skills.

Continuing education

To go even further in your career, continue your education after getting your bachelor’s degree. You can go for a master’s while earning certifications to make yourself a top-tier job candidate. 


Connecting with other computer scientists is always a great idea. Others in your field can teach you new skills and share job opportunities. You can also find someone to act as your mentor and fully immerse yourself in the computer science job market.  

Try out this free mentor meeting agenda template:

Developing your personal skills

Working on your personal skills is always a good idea for any career path, and it’s something you can practice as you network. After all, practice makes (nearly) perfect when it comes to almost any skill, so get out there and introduce yourself. You never know what you might find.

Onboard tech team members with Fellow

If your organization is about to welcome computer scientists, certain tools can help you successfully onboard them. With Fellow, you can plan, hold, and follow up on training meetings, one-on-one meetings, and all other kinds of meetings. With customizable meeting agendas that double as easy spaces for taking meeting notes, you’ll maximize productivity, minimize micromanagement, and work more efficiently. It’s a great way to set your tech team up for long-term success.

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