The 5 Hottest Jobs for Computer Science Grads

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Computer science majors are on the front lines of technical innovations, and they’re in high demand from employers after graduation. In addition, there’s a lot of opportunity for great pay: According to PayScale, computer science majors have some of the highest median salaries of any major. Companies are looking for tech skills, so the more you have, the better.

“Today's computer science grads — and anyone in tech for that matter — need to focus on getting skilled with artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, augmented reality and robotics,“ says Rick Girard, CEO of Stride Search, an executive recruiting firm that works exclusively with disruptive startups. “These jobs are the foundation for the next steps in future technological growth.”

Here are five hot jobs for CS grads.

DATA SCIENTIST

Analyzing and interpreting data has become vitally important for organizations, and they’re looking for people who can help them make data-driven decisions about all sorts of business issues. A background in artificial intelligence is helpful for these positions, as is knowing Java, Lisp, Prolog and C++, Girard says. Machine learning is also a plus.

SOFTWARE ENGINEER

Companies of all sizes and industries are looking for software engineers: People who work in these positions may write programs or design systems that run computers or control large networks. Understanding augmented reality, IoT and robotics on top of the big programming languages can provide wider opportunities, Girard says.

MOBILE DEVELOPER

With the rise of mobile devices, companies are looking for people who can help them reach customers more effectively on those devices. If you have an interest or background in augmented reality, mobile might be the place to focus on, Girard says — the popularity of Pokemon Go is an example of what AR can do. Java, Unity 3D, ARKit/ARCore, JavaScript, C/C++ and Swift are key for those interested in AR.

BIG DATA ANALYST

“We're awash in data; now someone has to store it, retrieve it when necessary and be able to manage it,” Girard says. Data analysts should have an understanding about how to store and retrieve data, as well as the architectures used to transform sources of data into data stores. They may also be asked to help make decisions and present the insights they glean, depending on the role at the company.

CYBERSECURITY ANALYST

Cybersecurity skills are going to be in great demand from now on, Girard says, and the field offers many opportunities for people with computer science degrees. A cybersecurity analyst will help plan and implement security measures, monitor security protocols and examine breaches to determine why they happened and how to prevent them in the future. An information security engineer may help develop software or systems to protect an organization, while a security administrator may oversee an entire system or network.

In any of these positions, job-specific experience is key, Girard says. Start learning key programming languages now to give your computer science degree even more value as you start looking for jobs. “Not only do they all pay six-figure salaries, but having experience in these fields will ensure you have a job for the next 15 to 20 years. That's something very few careers can say.”

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