Computer Science & Information Systems

Career Opportunities

Top-paying jobs for Computer Science and Information Systems Majors through 2014

CNN article ranks the 10 top-paying jobs that are also among the 30 fastest-growing jobs through 2014. Job prospect for computer science majors is very bright.

  1. Computer systems software engineer -- $81,140*

    Computer systems software engineers work to coordinate a company's computer needs and maintain its computer systems. They may also set up a company's intranets to ease communication between the various departments. Most jobs require a bachelor's degree in computer science or computer information systems.

  2. Computer applications software engineer -- $76,310

    Computer applications software engineers use programming languages such as C++ and Java to design, construct and maintain general computer applications software. Most jobs require at least a bachelor's degree, but some more complex jobs require a graduate degree.

  3. Biomedical engineer -- $70,520

    Biomedical engineers combine biology, medicine and engineering to develop ways to solve medical and health-related problems. For example, they may research and develop artificial organs or prostheses. Employers usually require a graduate degree -- even for entry-level jobs.

  4. Physician assistant -- $69,250

    Physician assistants provide diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive healthcare services. They examine, diagnose, treat and write prescriptions for patients, but their work is done under a doctor's supervision. Most programs require at least a bachelor's degree and graduation from a formal physician assistant education program.

  5. Environmental engineer -- $67,620

    Environmental engineers work to combat environmental damage by researching and developing solutions to problems like pollution control, ozone depletion and wildlife protection. Most jobs require at least a bachelor's degree.

  6. Computer systems analyst -- $67,520

    Computer systems analysts help an organization get the most for their technology investment dollars by solving computer problems and planning and developing new computer systems. Educational requirements vary by the employer and job complexity, ranging from a two-year degree to a graduate degree, and may include continuing education and certification.

  7. Database administrator -- $61,950

    Database administrators ensure system performance by setting up computer databases, testing and coordinating modifications to computer systems, identifying user requirements and adding new users to the system. Employers prefer candidates with technical degrees, but the specific level of education and type of training required depends on the complexity of the job and employers' needs.

  8. Physical therapist -- $61,560

    Physical therapists help patients suffering from injuries or disease to restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain and prevent or limit permanent disabilities. Aspiring therapists must graduate from an accredited physical therapist educational program and pass a license exam.

  9. Network systems and data communication analyst -- $61,250

    Network systems and data communication analysts are responsible for keeping electronic communications like Internet, voice mail and e-mail up and running. They spend much of their days testing and evaluating systems including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs) and intranets. Depending on employer and complexity of the job, educational requirements range from an associate's degree to a computers-related bachelor's degree.

  10. Hydrologist -- $60,880

    Hydrologists study water -- its quantity, distribution, circulation, and physical properties both above and underground. Their work is particularly useful to environmental preservation and flood control efforts. A bachelor's degree is a must, but employers are increasingly interested in master's degrees for entry-level positions.

Source: Morsch, Laura. What are some fastest-growing jobs pay. [online] available, January 27, 2006.

Growth of Computer-Related Jobs through 2012 and 2014

Growth of computer-related jobs through 2012 is destined to be in software, programming, and systems analysis. See Moreover, the most recent outlook for computer science jobs by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the number of CS jobs to increase by 30.5% between 2004 and 2014. As new opportunities arise and due to retirement, the market demand will create over a million new jobs and approximately 1.5 million new openings for CS graduates.

More than a million new jobs in Professional IT Occupations in the next decade

A recent study by Mr. John Sargent, Senior Policy Analyst, US Department of Commerce, projected more than 1 million new jobs to be created in the Information Technology sector (i.e. Professional IT occupations) between 2002-2012. This represented a modification of the 2000-2010 forecast. However, it shows a more promising job outlook than engineering and life science graduates. See attached slides. (Source: The Adequacy of the US S&E Workforce: A Quantitative Perspective, Remarks before the Computing Research Association, John Sargent). Interested readers please also read "All Science is Computer Science"

Job Offerings Chart

Difference Between Computer Science and Information Systems

Students often wonder about the difference is between Computer Science and Information Systems programs. While both programs involve the use of computer technology the methods and emphasis in the fields used is different. Both fields are challenging and rewarding fields of study.

  Computer Science Information Systems
Emphasis This is a technical or theoretical program. The emphasis in computer science programs is on developing problem solving abilities and programming skill. Also covered are computer architecture, computer networking, operating systems, and database design. This is an applied program of study. In this program students study how to apply computer technology to business problems. The use of technology improves business decision making, enables businesses to streamline their operations and compete more effectively in the marketplace.
Origin of Field Computer Science was derived from the disciplines of mathematics, physics, and electrical engineering. Scientific principles and methods are applied to the study of computers. The study of information systems is primarily derived from the field of business management.
Combining with other Majors Combines well with a wide variety of majors including but not limited to: Biology, Chemistry, Philosophy, Psychology, Religion, Sociology, and Woman Studies Students normally combine an information system minor with either a major from the School of Business (Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Management ), a business related major (Mathematics/Business, Chemistry/Business, Music Industry, and Sports Management), Art/Graphic Design, or Communications.
Types of Jobs The types of jobs obtained by computer science and information systems graduates are similar. So although jobs are listed in different columns, it is not unusual to find a computer science graduate holding a job in the information systems column and vice verse.
  • Programmer
  • Scientific programmer
  • System programmer
  • Computer control programmer
  • Interface programmer/designer
  • Client/server software developer
  • Computer graphics specialist
  • Software publishing
  • Software engineer
  • Quality assurance engineer
  • Telecommunications planner
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Modeling/simulation
  • Database designer/administrator
  • Chief Information Officer
  • IS/IT manager
  • Database manager/administrator
  • Management consultant
  • Management analyst
  • Operations research analyst
  • Systems analyst
  • Actuary
  • Business application developer
  • Application software support
  • Office automation
  • ERP administrator
  • Business decision support specialist
  • EDP auditing
  • Internet/intranet manager
  • Internet services
  • Help desk
  • Data warehousing/mining
  • Computer support specialist
  • Human computer interaction specialist

Source: Wingate University.