In its most basic science, computer science concerns itself with the code part of technology. Computer scientists have very strong programming and analytical skills which they employ to find solutions to technological problems. MS in Computer Science is one of the best degrees to opt for right now and with good reason. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for every Computer Science graduate in the next 10 years, there would at least be 3 jobs up for grabs upon finishing the degree. This statistic alone should make Computer Science one of the most coveted disciples around today – nothing else can compare to it in terms of job opportunities. Employment of software developers is projected to grow 17% from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average of all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Delving a little deeper, one of the best reasons to go for Computer Science is its dynamic nature. It is constantly shifting. This is the reason why people who go for it, generally, really like their jobs. They get to play with great technology, they get to enjoy working with a whole bunch of new things that come out every 3 to 4 years. So, it is hard to get bored. However, it may be frustrating sometimes, because of the need to keep learning in order to maintain sync with the industry. But, it also means that because things change, you don’t spend twenty years doing the same, old job. You are expected to learn about new technologies, new programming languages, new display devices and applications. For example, computer scientists didn’t have Internet, Facebook, Twitter, mobile phones and GPS systems 20 years ago. Now they are all omnipresent and in need of adept computer scientists to run and maintain them.
Coming to opportunities, they are all over the map. Certain areas are very hot right now. For instance, Mobile Application Development is huge right now. This field posted an amazing 131% job growth since 2012. Technically, mobile application development is a multi-faceted industry which concerns itself with the creation of apps, games and e-commerce solutions for mobile-based platforms like iOS, Android, Windows and BlackBerry OS. Currently, app development for wearable devices is a hot area in the field. Since the launch of the much-awaited Apple Watch in 2015, and the subsequent proliferation of Android Wear products, as well as fitness devices such as Jawbone and Fitbit, the wearable app industry is seeing a boom. This recent proliferation of wearables is only going to fuel further job growth in this area.
Another area that is popular right now is Web Applications, like Amazon and EBay. The tendency right now is to move all of the client applications to a web browser. So, in essence, when you visit one of these websites, you are actually running a web application, in your browser, on your desktop. That code is running on your machine, which is the interface to the said website’s backend database. One challenge with web applications is that they should have across-the-board compatibility. They should be able to run on anybody’s computer, no matter what its specifications or the browser type/version in use.
Another field that is brimming with opportunities is Healthcare IT. It is seeing a hiring boom as healthcare providers are scrambling to meet deadlines for the digitization of medical records. This means that individuals having expertise in application development, big data analytics and cloud computing technologies are in high demand.
Additionally, Video Games Design continues to be one of the biggest employer of computer science graduates. If you have a penchant for gaming and creativity is your forte then you can easily get employed in video game design – an industry with no end in sight.
Also, another growing facet of a computer science degree is Robotics. The prospective dependency on robots, especially in countries with an aging populations, means that more and more workforce would be employed in the programming and creation of intelligent robots.
The median salary for software developers stood at $97,990 in 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top paying occupation for this discipline is computer and Information Systems Managers at a mean annual wage of $127,640. This is closely followed by Computer Hardware Engineers and Computer Information Research Scientists at $108,430 and $108,360 respectively. California, with its thriving technological industry at Silicon Valley, has the highest concentration of computer scientists/software developers in any given state of the US. California is also the top paying state for computer science graduates at a median salary of $119,970. The top paying city for this discipline is San Jose, California, at $142,370 per annum.
If you have good problem-solving skills and are techy-savvy then computer science might just be the right field for you. Furthermore, jobs aside, you are not resource-limited when initiating your own endeavors. If you have a great idea, like Facebook, you can build the company from nothing more than an idea, a viable code and an internet connection. The opportunities are endless.