Ten years ago, we’d think that a robot as sophisticated as Haley Joel Osment’s A.I. was a figment of overcaffeinated geeks’ imaginations. Nowadays, the concept isn’t so far-fetched. The fascination we’ve had artificial intelligence are mainly due to the Hollywood’s movie magic. However, it isn’t a new thing for us. Believe it or not, as early as 500 B.C.E., ancient human beings have already dreamed of creating things that can think, speak, and live like us. This is why the evolution of computer science has been upgraded in an unbelievable pace.
Imagine just in the year 2000s pocket-sized mobile phones were starting to be produced. Fast forward to about a decade or so later, we now have access to every piece of information imaginable right in the palm of our hands. This is thanks to the specialists who made and improved technology through computer science. Here is a list of the top 5 computer science specializations you can take up to meet the growing demands of this field of study. Take into account that the average salary for this article is taken from Glassdoor.
According to Payscale.com, these are the top 5 computer science specialization jobs with their salary potential. From the screenshot below, you’ll be able to see that the majority of these professional careers have taken up a Computer Science master’s degree. In the last column, the percentage represents the workers saying that their work allows the world to become a better place.
Senior Software Development Engineer
Average Salary: $102,000 – $146,000 annually
Senior software engineers have a big responsibility as they are the ones developing and upgrading operating systems and application software. To give you a better overview, if you own a smartphone, they are most likely to run on either an Android or Apple operating system. You would know how often these get upgraded with new features and new applications.
As a software engineer, you’ll need to know how to prepare and install solutions in the program. So you’ll need to determine and design by determining multiple things like system specifications, standards, and programming. In the long run, you will also have to take a lead role in software projects together with experienced members to develop new programs.
To enjoy a career as a software engineer or a senior software engineer, you will need a Bachelor of Science degree in Software Engineering. The topics covered in the program you’re taking should include topics like programming logic, programming languages, scripting, and objected-oriented programming. In order to improve career options, you may be required to take a Master of Science degree in Information Technology with a concentration in Software Engineering. During your Masters, you will need to focus on topics such as parallel computing, artificial intelligence, network security, and wireless engineering.
Android Software Developer
Average Salary: $82,000 – $113,000 annually
Android is the most used operating system today, so it’s no wonder that Android software developers are paid well. As an Android software developer, you will be in charge of developing mobile applications on the Android operating system. Usually, the applications you will be making for a company would have to meet certain objectives. You will be collaborating with a creative team to integrate into the applications.
Android software developers are also responsible for evaluating frameworks to see whether the applications offer the best results in terms of optimizing the application’s memory footprint as well as its performance. There will be multiple integrated technologies that an Android Software Developer would have to work with.
As an Android Software Developer, you will have to harness your technical skills. You will need to be well-informed in topics like Java, Android SDK, Git, and back-end skills. On the other hand, you would also need business skills like collaboration, communication, and writing. To qualify for this position, you would need a Bachelor of Science degree in Mobile Application Development. Getting a Master of Science in Computer Science with a specialization in Software Engineering can help you incorporate software development with business ethics and skills. During your masters degree in computer science, you’ll learn how to see software engineering from the point of view of an employer. This will help you strategically solve business problems. You’ll also be subjected to graduate-level programming courses which can increase your knowledge in networking, security, and database concepts of software.
Cyber Security Engineer
Average Salary: $107,000 – $112,000 annually
As a Cyber Security Engineer, you should be able to effectively communicate with both analysts and customers about security information. You would have to use your technical skills to respond to security threats and incidents in a timely manner. Leading a team may also be part of the job description of a cyber security engineer. Both you and the team will develop and engineer solutions to further improvement systems or prevent malicious attacks from malware or hackers. A strong knowledge in computers, electronics, data analysis, and data monitoring will help you be successful in this career.
You will need a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, Cyber Security or a similar field of study. Since it is a highly technical job, you would need all the technical skills you can get. If you’re interested in getting a job in this field and don’t have a bachelor’s degree related to this, you can take up a master’s program in Computer Science with a specialization in IT Security. The program will teach you everything you would need to become a Cyber Security Engineer. If you already have knowledge and work experience as a cyber security engineer, you can get certified as an Ethical Hacker by EC-Council or a Network Professional Security by Cisco.
Information Security Manager
Average Salary: $95,000 – $119,000 annually
Information security engineer managers are the hands that glue a company together. With many telecommuting businesses on the rise, there is a higher need for information security engineers. On of their main responsibilities are maintaining the integrity of data that is stored, shared, and communicated throughout the whole business enterprise. Information security managers will have to both develop and maintain protocols for the data and software assets of the company. Whether it’s the safe use, entry, transmission, or retrieval of data, there would be security protocols for them.
While securing company data seems like an easy job, it would need expertise as sometime they would have to deal with malicious programs, hackers, or malware. Therefore, constantly analyzing data and maintaining the integrity of data are needed to make sure you’re getting the job done. Securing internal company data isn’t the only thing they’re responsible for. You would also have to make sure the the protocols are user-friendly for employees and respond to any queries in a timely manner.
This position would require you to have at least a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science or Information Technology. However, if you want to go further down the career as an Information Security Officer, Chief Information Security Officer, Director, or Security Architect, you would have to get your masters degree in Computer Science with a concentration in Information Security. You can also get certified as an information security manager. ISACA offers the CISM (Certified Information Security Manager) for those who have had at least 5 years of working experience.
Average Salary: $102,000 – $115,000 annually
Security engineers need to have both strong communication skills and technical skills. They almost always work together with a team where collaboration and efficiency is needed to get the job done. Since this job is very result oriented, professionals who are looking into this career should be able to work well under pressure. Furthermore, you would need to have analytical skills to solve problems as they come while also being able to work independently. Having a broad knowledge of multiple computer languages and operating systems is also necessarily in this job.
To be qualified for this job, you would need at least eight years of experience in software testing and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Engineering, or equivalent. Getting a Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering can help get a jumpstart on this career. In addition to this, a Master of Science degree in Computer Science with a concentration in Security Engineering will also help fast-track success in the field. In graduate programs, students will come face-to-face with various opportunities to explore different topics like bioinformatics, information security, system architecture, and many more needed to boost your professional profile.
You can also opt to get a certification test. However, there is a 2 year work experience minimum before you can take the exam.
To give you a better view of these jobs, we’ve used Indeed.com’s Job Trends application. Here you will see the amount of job posts relating to these careers. Please note that this has been updated only until June 2017. There could be changes in the job trends shown on this graph.
Since society, including businesses and individuals, has become more and more dependent on computers, a world without it would seem barbaric. This is why jobs in the Computer Science field are expected to grow by at least 22% by the year 2022. Getting in on this field would require either a Master’s degree and/or a PhD. The best part is there are multiple industries you can enter as there is always a need for someone with computer science expertise. Whether you choose to be in the finance, retail, manufacturing, insurance, or health care industry, you’ll surely find success in your field.