A person who plans to earn a degree in computer science or a related field may want to know, “Will computer science always be in demand?” Knowing the job outlook for computer scientists is important for purposes of personal and financial planning. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) offers several ways of looking at computer science jobs now and into the future.
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Current Employment Numbers and Projected Job Growth in Computer Science
According to the BLS, the number of people employed in the United States as computer scientists were 31,700 as of May 2018. By May 2028, the BLS projects that there will be 37,000 people employed as computer scientists. This is a 16 percent growth rate, which is much faster than the 5 percent projected growth rate for all occupations. It is important to keep in mind that the total number of computer scientists is relatively small, and the total number of new job openings will only be about 5,300.
Types of Computer Science Jobs With the Most Potential for Growth
There are a few sub-specialties of computer science that have a higher than average level of demand now, and they are expected to continue that high level of demand through 2028. Those areas of expertise include cybersecurity, which refers to finding new ways to detect and prevent cyberattacks on networks, computers, and databases. People with expertise in data mining services will also have a higher than average level of demand for their work. This is because businesses are increasingly turning to customer relationship management software and algorithms for marketing and analysis purposes.
How the Computer Science Job Outlook Compares to Other Jobs
The job outlook for computer science is excellent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected rate of growth for all computer-based occupations is 12 percent, and the projected growth rate for all occupations is 5 percent between May 2018 and May 2028. This means that the demand for people with expertise in computer science is much higher than for all occupations. Another way to look at the information is by location. The states or districts with the highest location quotient for computer science jobs as of May 2018 were Maryland; New Mexico; Rhode Island; Washington, District of Columbia; and Virginia.
Ways a Person Can Create More Demand for their Expertise in Computer Science
A person who has at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science will be more likely to have solid job prospects. Those who are adept at multiple coding languages and platforms or environments will also have good prospects. A person with some work experience in information technology, such as in a data center or call center, may also have an advantage in the job market. A person who is willing to travel and work outside of routine business hours may also find it easier to get a job in computer science.
Knowing the current and projected demand for computer scientists could help a person decide if this is their desired career path. Being in a field with a high demand often means more opportunities for pay raises, and the ability to negotiate for more perks and a wide range of employers and locations. The answer to, “Will computer science always be in demand?” is an important one for any degree candidate in this major area of study to know.