Have you envisioned a career in the fast-growing field of computer science? Have you considered working in the fascinating industry sectors of cloud computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning, software and video game development, IT, system architecture, cybersecurity or data analytics?
With a curriculum of core computer science courses and electives that can be tailored to your specific interests, the top-rated online M.S. in Computer Science program from Norfolk State University can prepare you for success. Here, we examine some of the fastest-growing industry sectors and specific career opportunities in computer science.
A Bright Occupational Outlook for Computer Science Sectors
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Services (BLS), the occupational outlook for computer and information technology occupations is excellent. The BLS projects these jobs to grow by 15% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than average for all occupations, with 682,800 net new jobs expected during the decade. Factoring in retirements and people leaving the industry, there should be about 418,500 openings yearly. The median annual wage is currently $97,430. Here are a few of the subset occupations with median compensation figures, a brief description of the segment and job growth projections:
- Computer and information research scientists. Professionals in this sector conduct advanced research to develop and improve computer systems, algorithms and software, addressing complex computing challenges and creating innovative solutions to enhance technological capabilities and applications. Many professionals in this industry sector explore new areas of computing and devise methods to apply computational techniques to various fields. Computer and information research scientists earn an average annual salary of $131,490. These positions are expected to grow by 21% through 2031, much faster than average.
- Computer network architects. These workers design and build data communication networks and intranets to meet organizations’ needs and requirements. They also analyze the networking needs of businesses and create detailed plans to ensure efficient and secure data transmission, connectivity and overall network performance. Computer network architects earn an average annual salary of $120,520.
- Software developers, QA analysts and testers. These industry specialists collaborate to create, evaluate and maintain software applications. Software developers write code to build functional and user-friendly software, while QA analysts and testers conduct comprehensive testing to identify bugs, ensure software quality and validate that it meets the specified requirements and functions as intended. Software developers earn an average annual salary of $109,020. These positions should grow by 25% through 2031, much faster than average.
- Database administrators and architects. These computer science professionals manage and organize databases to ensure efficient data storage, retrieval and security. They design and implement database systems, optimize performance, establish data backup and recovery procedures and enforce data integrity and security measures to support the needs of an organization and facilitate effective data management. Database administrators and architects earn an average annual salary of $101,000.
- Information security analysts. These specialists protect an organization’s computer systems and networks from threats and vulnerabilities. They analyze security risks, monitor for suspicious activities, implement security measures and develop incident response plans to safeguard data and maintain the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information assets. Information security analysts earn an average annual salary of $102,600, and these jobs are projected to grow by 35% through 2031, much faster than average.
- Computer systems analysts. These professionals analyze an organization’s computer systems and procedures to identify areas for improvement and optimization. They design and implement solutions, including hardware, software and process changes, to enhance system functionality, efficiency and productivity, aligning technology with business objectives. Computer systems analysts earn an average annual salary of $99,270.
Career Opportunities for Graduates
Here is a representative sampling of some of the career opportunities for Norfolk State’s online M.S. in Computer Science program graduates:
- Software architect. This senior-level position is responsible for designing a software system’s structure and framework. A software architect analyzes business requirements, makes strategic decisions and creates architectural designs that ensure the software solution’s scalability, reliability and maintainability. Software architects earn a median annual salary of $143,889.
- Software engineer. This role designs, codes, develops, tests and maintains software systems over the complete software development lifecycle. A software engineer utilizes expertise in programming languages, algorithms and methodologies to create robust and efficient solutions to meet specific requirements. Software engineers earn a median annual salary of $95,911.
- Cloud engineer. This role is responsible for designing, implementing and managing cloud infrastructure and services. A cloud engineer ensures efficient and secure deployment of applications and data in cloud environments while optimizing performance and scalability. Cloud engineers earn a median annual salary of $99,190.
- Database administrator. These professionals are responsible for the maintenance and management of diverse software databases. A database administrator ensures secure access to databases, implements backup solutions, supports developing new databases, optimizes and troubleshoots existing databases and monitors database hardware. Database administrators earn a median annual salary of $97,758.
- IT manager. This role oversees the planning, implementation and maintenance of an organization’s information technology systems. An IT manager leads a team of IT professionals, manages IT projects and ensures the efficient operation and security of the company’s technology infrastructure to support business objectives. IT managers earn an average annual salary of $139,826.
The knowledge and skills students in this program acquire in software development, artificial intelligence, IT and data science make them highly sought after in the ever-evolving tech industry. With an M.S. in Computer Science from Norfolk State, you can pursue challenging and lucrative roles or even entrepreneurial ventures, opening doors to a fulfilling career in the dynamic world of computer science.
Learn more about Norfolk State University’s online M.S. in Computer Science program.