You might think a good job requires you to have a master’s degree. However, it is perfectly possible to get a good computer science job with only a bachelor’s in computer science. In fact, many of the most high-paying, in-demand jobs can be pursued with a degree in this field.
It’s worth noting that many experts in the field recommend that you have both a genuine interest in computer science and a degree. Plenty of people are drawn to jobs in computer science because of the high pay, but you’ll be happier in the field if you enjoy the work you do, too. Here are some of the best jobs available to graduates who hold a bachelor’s in computer science, no master’s degree required.
Software developers are professionals who create computer programs. They also create the underlying infrastructure of a computer’s operating system which allows the machine to function. This is a fairly creative profession because developers are often tasked with analyzing the needs of users in order to come up with great new software ideas that could be incredibly useful and successful. This includes both in a niche and more general capacity.
Software applications developers, as the name suggests, work primarily on individual applications and programs. Systems software developers, on the other hand, work on entire operating systems. This includes popular operating systems like those made by Microsoft and Apple, but it also includes specialized operating systems designed for individual companies or industries.
While some of a developer’s day-to-day work is solitary, developers often work as part of a team. A project manager will guide the general direction of a project while a team of software developers works on it piece by piece. Some developers write the code themselves but often they direct programmers to write the code needed for a particular product to perform as intended. Software developers only need a bachelor’s degree in computer science to enter the field, which is in high demand and regularly makes six-figure salaries.
IT Specialists And Managers
IT professionals are needed in just about every organization to manage its technological needs. Managers, in particular, make a lot of money. Their annual average salary is $142,530 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Like many other computer science occupations, this one is also experiencing high growth rates. It should be noted that managerial positions almost always require several years of previous experience in the field. If you want to be an IT systems manager, you will need strong people skills, too — after all, you’ll be tasked with hiring and directing specialists.
IT specialists make less but are still in demand because of the need for professionals who can maintain an organization’s IT systems and troubleshoot problems. Although a bachelor’s degree in computer science is often preferred for these workers, they may also be able to get a position with an associate’s degree or simply strong computer knowledge. specialists are needed for just about every kind of business — an office may need new computers set up, or a college may need someone knowledgeable to help students troubleshoot computer issues.
Sometimes, IT specialists are also responsible for maintenance — both in terms of hardware and network security. These specialists are the ones who physically set up new computers, and they may also repair physical damage as needed. They also may set up firewalls or otherwise take precautions to protect data.
If you have both a computer science degree and an interest in video games, then a job as a game designer might be ideal for you. Video games are incredibly complex, and there are plenty of roles a game designer may be asked to do. For instance, lead designers are responsible for coordinating a team of designers to develop each aspect of the game. They may also help develop the game concept before coding specific aspects of the game.
While being a game designer may strike you as a fun computer science job, some elements of it can be very tedious. Most designers have to spend at least some time testing a game. Usually, they test a specific section over and over, finding and correcting bugs. Still, a job as a game designer is ideal for computer scientists who also have an artistic side. You don’t always need a bachelor’s degree — some game designers only have an associate’s degree.
Database administrators are responsible for storing and managing digital data, usually consisting of client information but also research and corporate data. For example, a database administrator for a company might oversee a database storing payroll information for the company. They do this with the use of database software and may be responsible for designing the databases used as well.
Priorities include making sure data stays correctly organized, secure and backed up. Backing up data is critical to ensuring it is never lost and strong security features are necessary to prevent hackers from accessing it. This job is a vitally important one — if protected data like medical information, credit card information, social security numbers, etc. is leaked, the consequences could be devastating both for the company and for the people affected.
Database administration is a good job with only a bachelor’s in computer science, makes just shy of $100,000 annually on average and is expected to experience faster growth than average. However, most database administrator jobs do require some prior experience with databases, so it may not be a likely option right out of college.
Plenty of companies are now relying on cloud computing to store data — Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure are two prominent examples. But in order to make sure cloud services function optimally, companies need talented cloud engineers.
Depending on the exact job opportunity, cloud engineers may need different skillsets. If a business is moving to a cloud system, a cloud engineer would need to oversee data transfer and ensure it is done securely. They also may need to design and set up cloud solutions or troubleshoot errors within existing systems.
Because designing and maintaining cloud systems requires collaboration with a number of other professionals, the ideal cloud engineer also has excellent business skills and people skills. These engineers will need to work with other IT professionals, company leadership, and outside professionals as needed.
User Experience Designers and User Interface Designers
Most customers won’t stick with an application if it’s confusing or tedious to use. User experience designers consider the needs of users and work to optimize applications and websites to suit their needs. However, they also need to consider the needs of the company in order to design an experience that benefits it, too.
User experience designers handle the technical side of online interfaces. They will create and test prototypes, ensuring that they are logical and intuitive to use. You probably already know that these designers focus on making apps and websites easier to use. But the explosion of various types of technology makes this field an incredibly multidisciplinary one.
For example, as voice searching becomes more and more popular (Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant are two prominent examples), companies need user experience designers to make voice-controlled programs simple and effective to use. Some user experience designers even focus on virtual reality and augmented reality. These designers may develop games like Pokemon Go that incorporate elements of augmented reality.
User interface design is essentially a subset of user experience design. If you’re a computer science major who also has an interest in art, you might be a good fit for a job as a user interface designer. If you think of your favorite app, it’s probably easy to use and fairly intuitive. It’s also probably visually appealing. As a user interface designer, you will create all the screens that the user of an app or program will work with.
You may be able to get a job as a user interface designer without a computer science degree. But with computer science knowledge, you’ll likely have an easier time setting up interactive elements of applications. For this job, it’s also very important to have a working knowledge of design.
For this job, students only actually need an associate’s degree. However, a bachelor’s degree can increase job opportunities and earning potential. Like most other tech jobs, web developer positions are expected to grow at a rate much faster than average in the coming years. Their role is to develop, create, test, and publish websites for their clients. They can work for a web design firm, an individual company in any field, or for themselves as freelancers. They are sometimes divided into front-end developers, who design the aspects of a website viewers see, and back-end developers, who focus on the technical construction in the background.
Generally speaking, most people with computer science degrees prefer (and are better suited to) working as a back-end developer. This way, they can focus more on the programming aspect than on the design and layout aspect. Of course, if you have the ability to do both front-end and back-end development, you’ll be a more versatile and desirable candidate.
If you have a computer science degree and prefer to focus on the bigger picture instead of individual programs, a job as a systems analyst might be right for you. Systems analysts oversee the computer system used by a company and make sure it’s performing optimally. In order to do this, they will need to research and keep abreast of new technologies in order to update systems as needed.
Just like many similar jobs, this one requires some level of communication. A good systems analyst will be able to interface with users of the company system and identify where the system may be performing poorly. From there, they will work to improve system efficiency.
Systems analysts are also responsible for making sure all users know how to use a company system. They may write instruction manuals for use by employees (and by the general public, if applicable). If a company begins using a new computer system, a systems analyst may conduct training for individual users and IT employees.
It’s entirely possible to get a job as a systems analyst with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. However, some companies prefer candidates who also have a master’s in business administration. And in some cases, liberal arts majors with critical thinking skills may take additional courses in coding and computer science. Employers often look for well-rounded individuals with computer, business, and communication skills. Entry-level positions may not pay quite as much, but experienced systems analysts often earn a six-figure income. This field is also projected to grow more than the national average.
Information Security Analysts
You’ve probably seen experts fight hackers on TV, but information security analysts do this in real life. The job itself is fairly multifaceted, and daily responsibilities include investigating trends in data security and anticipating data breaches before they happen.
Much of this job involves trying to prevent data breaches, but information security analysts are also tasked with quickly solving problems if a data breach does occur. In order to prepare for cyberattacks, these analysts will test their existing security systems to determine how a potential breach might occur.
While this might sound like a very solitary job, some information security analysts do need to interface with other members of their organization regularly. Often, they will help other employees install necessary security updates and understand what they need to do to keep data protected.
This is a growing field that pays fairly well, and it’s possible to get a job as an information security analyst with just a bachelor’s degree. If you want to advance further in the field, you may want to look into getting a master’s degree in cybersecurity.
In short, there’s an impressive variety of jobs out there for people with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Of course, it is important for students to remember that they should pursue a job they will enjoy doing and have the right personality for.
What constitutes a “good job” will vary depending on the individual. However, it is very possible, and even likely, to get a good job with only a bachelor’s in computer science. And if you do find that you want to continue your education, some employers will offer financial and professional support for employees who want to pursue a master’s degree.
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