The 11 Top-Paying Computer Science Jobs (2023)

If you’re considering earning a Master of Science in Computer Science (MS in CS), then you undoubtedly have a lot of questions running through your mind:

  • What can I do with an MS in CS?
  • What kind of jobs do MS in CS graduates typically hold?
  • Will earning my MS in CS help me get a job after I graduate?
  • Is earning a master’s degree in computer science even worth it?

All of these questions are important to answer before deciding to pursue a graduate degree, but the last one is especially critical. Before you invest the time, effort, and money into earning any degree, you should know whether or not that investment is going to lead to the kind of returns you want.

Do I Need a Master’s Degree to Reach My Career Goals?

Whether or not earning a degree is “worth it” depends, largely, on how you personally define “worth.” What needs to happen, in your mind, to make earning a specific degree worthwhile? Does it need to lead to a certain job or career path? Does it need to offer job growth and stability? Does it need to offer a certain salary?

Many people use salary to decide whether or not earning a particular degree is worthwhile, and for good reason: It’s an easy way to gauge return on investment. If being paid a high salary is important to you, then earning an MS in CS is one way of getting there.

A report from the White House predicted that, by 2020, there will be 1.4 million computer science-related jobs available—and only about 400,000 computer science graduates who have the skills necessary to fill them. Because of this high demand and low availability of skilled professionals, pay in the field is expected to remain high, especially for roles that require more education than a bachelor’s degree.

To put this into perspective, below is a look at eleven positions popular among MS in CS graduates—from security engineer to senior software developer—and the average salaries those roles command.

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Highest-Paying Jobs for MS in CS Graduates

1. Software Architect

Average Annual Salary: $125,328

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Salary Range: $88,000-$165,000

Software architects design and develop software from a high-level perspective, providing software engineers with an architectural blueprint to follow. These individuals also enforce technical standards for the company, like coding standards and tools. They are expected to possess extensive knowledge of software and different coding languages, as well as an understanding of design patterns and principles.

2. Software Developer

Average Annual Salary: $107,510

Salary Range: $64,240-$164,590

Software developers are largely responsible for computer applications, or programs, that allow users to perform tasks on a computer or electronic device. Depending on the field, they would be expected to be familiar with computer languages such as HTML, C++, Java, Python, and PHP, in addition to a variety of operating systems. Common tasks include writing and debugging code for event-driven applications, modifying software, and testing and documenting applications.

3. UNIX System Administrator

Average Annual Salary: $103,273

Salary Range: $78,516-$126,829

A UNIX system administrator is responsible for maintaining a UNIX computer operating system at a given organization or facility. UNIX systems are less common today than they were in the past, but many organizations still operate on UNIX or UNIX-like operating systems, allowing UNIX system operators to command high pay for their services. Common tasks performed by UNIX system administrators include installing, configuring, maintaining, and upgrading software and hardware critical to the UNIX system; establishing a series of standards and procedures to be followed; and troubleshooting any issues that might arise during operation of the server.

4. Security Engineer

Average Annual Salary: $99,834

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Salary Range: $73,000-$130,000

Security engineers are responsible for developing and implementing security systems and protocols for their organization. Common tasks include identifying security solutions and implementing defense layers, configuring firewalls and detection systems, responding to network intrusion; testing new hardware and software, and regularly testing system defenses to preempt breaches.

5. DevOps Engineer

Average Annual Salary: $99,604

Salary Range: $72,000-$146,000

DevOps engineers oversee the code deployment process, acting as a bridge between developers, IT staff, and the operations team. Common tasks include building development tools and infrastructure, testing and analyzing code prior to deployment, working to automate the development process, and monitoring processes throughout the software development lifecycle.

6. Computer Scientist

Average Annual Salary: $99,050

Salary Range: $68,000-$138,000

A computer scientist is responsible for developing computer-based tools used by their organization. Depending on the kind of company this might range from designing a database or developing an algorithm that helps the organization operate with more efficiency and productivity. As such, familiarity working with and developing algorithms and software is essential, as is knowledge of various programming languages that might include SQL, C++, Python, Java, XML, or others.

7. Mobile Application Developer

Average Annual Salary: $96,016

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Salary Range: $64,000-$140,000

Mobile application developers are responsible for developing applications that are used on mobile devices. In addition to familiarity with a number of programming languages and mobile operating systems, they must have a clear understanding of user experience (UX) in order to create an app that meets the expectations of the end-user.

8. Android Software Developer/Engineer

Average Annual Salary: $94,497

Salary Range: $72,000-$149,000

Android software developers are similar to mobile application developers in terms of responsibilities, but with a clear and strong focus on working within the Android platform. While specializing in working with Android, they must also have a clear understanding of user experience (UX) to ensure that the end product meets user expectations. Typical tasks include writing and modifying software as necessary, testing, debugging, and documenting issues with applications, and more.

9. Software Development Engineer (SDE)

Average Base Salary: $92,046

Salary Range: $77,000-$143,000

Software Development Engineers, otherwise known as SDEs, can work in any number of industries to design, build, and maintain an organization’s computer systems and software. Tasks associated with the title can vary substantially, and rely on skills ranging from computer science to information analysis and computer engineering.

10. Senior Software Web Developer

Average Annual Salary: $87,712

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Salary Range: $58,000-$139,000

Senior software web developers use their skills to write and debug code for websites, logic servers, and databases. Depending on the job, they would be expected to be at least familiar with a number of programming languages, such as C#, F#, ASP, and SQL Server. Common tasks might include working with designers and content producers; writing code that builds websites, databases, and logic servers; testing and documenting software; and debugging software.

11. Software Development Engineer, Test (SDET)

Average Annual Salary: $83,070

Salary Range: $61,000-$107,000

Software Development Engineers, Test—otherwise known as SDETs—are software developers who specifically focus on testing. In addition to debugging software, they are responsible for altering code as necessary to resolve issues. Their responsibilities are often a mix of those typically belonging to developers and testers. In addition to understanding a number of programming languages, SDETs must understand how an end-user is likely to use a software or application so that they can better perform their testing and ensure that it lives up to expectations.

Know Your Worth

Before you decide to pursue any degree, it’s important to understand how that degree will impact your career trajectory and earning potential.

The jobs listed above are common in the field of computer science. Though most only require a bachelor’s degree in computer science, earning your master’s degree in computer science could help you reach your career goals. By broadening your skills and becoming familiar with a broader range of languages, systems, and processes, an advanced degree can help set you apart from the competition, and potentially land a higher starting salary.


Editor’s note: This article was originally published in October 2017 and has since been updated for accuracy.

FAQs

What are the top 3 highest paying jobs in computer science? ›

Highest Paying Computer Science Careers
  • Computer Support Specialist Average Annual Salary: $55,510. ...
  • Website Developers and Digital Designers Annual Average Salary: $77,220. ...
  • Network and Computer System Administrators Average Annual Salary: $84,810. ...
  • Computer Programmer Average Annual Salary: $89,190.

Is computer science high paying? ›

But one of the most attractive benefits of pursuing a job in computer science is the high average salary. According to Forbes, college graduates with a bachelor's degree in computer science earn $71,500/year. That makes computer science one of the best college majors for high salaries.

What computer jobs make 100k a year? ›

Information Technology $100,000 jobs
  • Cybersecurity Engineer (Remote) new. ...
  • Cybersecurity Analyst (Remote) new. ...
  • Senior System Administrator. ...
  • Cybersecurity Engineer II (Remote) ...
  • Information System Security Professional - Entry to Expert Level. ...
  • Customer Support Engineer. ...
  • Sr VMware Developer. ...
  • Information Technology Specialist 3.

Which IT field has highest salary? ›

Let's Check on the Top 15 Best Paying IT Jobs in Technology for 2023.
  • Cloud Architect - $107,000.
  • DevOps Engineer - $140,000.
  • Blockchain Engineer - $150,000.
  • Software Architect - $114,000.
  • Big Data Engineer - $140,000.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) Solutions Architect - $130,000.
  • Data Scientist - $150,000.
Oct 11, 2022

How can I get high salary in computer science? ›

  1. MBA & DBA. Executive MBA SSBM.
  2. Data Science. PGP in Data Science and Business Analytics Program from Maryland. ...
  3. M.Sc in Machine Learning & AI – LJMU & IIT M.
  4. Management. PMP Certification Training | PMP Online Course. ...
  5. Digital Marketing. ACP in Customer Centricity.
  6. Software Technology. ...
  7. Business Analytics Certification Program.
Sep 22, 2022

Which computer field is best for future? ›

Best Computer Jobs for the Future
  • Software Engineer. ...
  • Video Game Designer. ...
  • Computer Systems Analyst. ...
  • Web Developer. ...
  • Health Information Technician. ...
  • Technology Manager. ...
  • Database Administrator. ...
  • Network Administrator. Network Administrator Employment Projections | 2020 - 2030.
Jun 20, 2022

Which computer degree is best? ›

Best tech degrees for high-paying jobs
  1. Information technology. Information technology (IT) is the study of how people use technology and computing systems to manage data and information. ...
  2. Computer science. ...
  3. Web development. ...
  4. Web design. ...
  5. Computer networking. ...
  6. System administration. ...
  7. Database management. ...
  8. Cybersecurity.

What part of IT pays the most? ›

Here are three high-paying IT jobs: Software Developers. Systems Analysts. Systems Administrators.

Why do CS majors get paid so much? ›

Software engineer salaries are so high because of supply and demand. There are not enough developers to meet demand in the industry so good developers are paid an absolute premium. Technology is also constantly changing and it requires immense effort to keep your skills up to date.

Is it hard to find a job with a CS degree? ›

The fact is that while computer science grads get to enjoy a low unemployment rate compared to many other fields of study, it's still difficult to get a job after graduation. Therefore, don't waste the four years that you're in university simply studying to get your degree.

Why are CS graduates paid so much? ›

CS/CE positions can pay so much because they are very high value-add positions. It would be impossible to pay software developers six-figure salaries if they only contributed $75K to the company's revenues. A2A: “Why do computer science/engineer positions pay so much?”

Which technology pays highly? ›

Full Stack Developer

Full stack developers are highly paid everywhere. But there is still a scarcity of these IT professionals in the field of web development.

Which developer has highest salary? ›

Highest Paying Programming Jobs
  • Full-Stack Developer. Source: QAwithExperts. ...
  • Cloud Architect. Source: TechTarget. ...
  • Data Scientist. ...
  • Machine Learning Engineer. ...
  • Database Developer. ...
  • IT Specialist. ...
  • DevOps Engineer. ...
  • AI Engineer.
Aug 5, 2022

How can I make 80k a year? ›

Review this list of 20 jobs that make a minimum of $80,000 annually:
  1. Occupational therapist.
  2. Real estate agent.
  3. Biomedical engineer.
  4. Physical therapist.
  5. Construction manager.
  6. Management analyst.
  7. IT manager.
  8. Mechanical engineer.

How do I find a high paying job? ›

These steps can help you to find a higher paying position:
  1. Excel in your current position. ...
  2. Make professional connections. ...
  3. Build your skills. ...
  4. Take on new responsibilities. ...
  5. Research your current salary. ...
  6. Discuss internal options. ...
  7. Check job listings. ...
  8. Update your resume and apply.

Which is best computer science or IT? ›

Which is better Computer Science or IT? There is no such thing as “better” because they lead to different careers and have different specialisations or subfields. Either discipline is a great choice for your studies, as long as you're passionate about technology, and you understand what each study option implies.

What will be the most needed jobs in 2025? ›

A list of the most in-demand skills in the future
  • Data Science & Cloud Computing (Cloud computing goes hand in hand with data science, and cloud computing jobs range from architects and developers to data scientists)
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)
  • Big Data Science.
  • Digital Marketing & Strategy.
Apr 13, 2022

What is the top courses in computer science? ›

Python is one of the top computer programming courses in India & a computer language that is quite popular these days since it has machine learning elements integrated with it.

How hard is computer science? ›

The short answer is “yes.” Search any list of majors to study, and you'll likely find that computer science tops the list as one of the most challenging disciplines to learn. Compared to other fields of study, pursuing a career in computer science requires both technical and analytical skill sets.

Which bachelor's degree pays the most? ›

30 Highest Paying Bachelor's Degrees
  • Petroleum Engineering. Early career salary: $93,200. ...
  • Operations Research. Early career salary: $83,500. ...
  • Marine Engineering. Early career salary: $79,900. ...
  • Computer Engineering. Early career salary: $79,000. ...
  • Systems Engineering. ...
  • Chemical Engineering. ...
  • Electrical Engineering. ...
  • Computer Science.
Oct 14, 2022

What is the easiest job that pays the most? ›

Here's a look at the top 18 easy jobs that pay well that you may be able to land in 2022.
  1. House Sitter. If you're looking for easy high paying jobs, don't discount house sitter. ...
  2. Personal Trainer. ...
  3. Optometrist. ...
  4. Flight Attendant. ...
  5. Dog Walker. ...
  6. Toll Booth Attendant. ...
  7. Massage Therapist. ...
  8. Librarian.

Which IT skill is most in demand? ›

Here is the list of the most in-demand and trending tech skills that will offer you a successful career:
  • Data Science.
  • Cloud Computing.
  • Artificial Intelligence.
  • DevOps.
  • Blockchain.
  • RPA (Robotic Process Automation)
  • Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
  • Cybersecurity.
Sep 22, 2022

What will be the highest paying IT job in 5 years? ›

If you're thinking about a post-pandemic job switch, cybersecurity will be one of the fastest-growing and best-paid careers out there. And you don't need to be an IT professional to cash in on it.

Who makes more money engineer or computer science? ›

On average, computer scientists can earn $118,370 per year and computer engineers make $114,600 per year. Not only do these career paths boast lucrative salaries and stable job growth, but earning a degree in either field can pave the way for many different career options.

Is studying computer science worth it? ›

Computer science is an ideal choice for students who enjoy math and problem-solving. Majoring in this field can lead to lucrative careers that will remain in high demand. A four-year computer science degree is challenging, but well worth the investment.

Does CS pay more than engineering? ›

On average, computer scientists in the United States earn higher salaries than computer engineers. Many computer scientists have master's degrees, while a higher percentage of computer engineers have only bachelor's degrees.

What can I do after computer science degree? ›

Software developer is the most common job title for computer science graduates.
...
Some of the top careers for Computer Science graduates include:
  1. Web Developer.
  2. Database Administrator.
  3. Programmer.
  4. Software engineering.
  5. Web Design.
  6. Information Security.
  7. Network Administrator.
  8. Systems Analyst.

Why is computer science so hard to get into? ›

The Steep Initial Learning Curve

Many students new to the field find computer science to be a difficult study because they don't have any background in computer programming, one of the most important elements and most difficult processes in computer science.

What jobs can u get with a computer science degree? ›

What Can You Do With a Computer Science Degree?
  • IT consultant. ...
  • Information systems manager. ...
  • Database administrator. ...
  • Multimedia programmer. ...
  • Systems analyst. ...
  • Games developer. ...
  • Technical writer.

How much do CS students make out of college? ›

A computer science degree is a qualification you can earn from a university or technical school that verifies your expertise in the discipline. The national average salary for a general computer scientist is around $104,610 per year . However, salaries can vary by degree type and specific job role.

Will Tech salaries stay high? ›

Experienced software engineers will continue to enjoy high demand and command high salaries. Software engineers with advanced and specialized skills, however, are the ones who will continue to draw high salaries, especially those skilled in emerging, in-demand technologies.

How much a computer science makes in USA? ›

Computer Scientist Salaries
Job TitleSalary
United States Federal Government Computer Scientist salaries - 16 salaries reported$118,094/yr
National Institute of Standards and Technology Computer Scientist salaries - 15 salaries reported$119,556/yr
FAA Computer Scientist salaries - 15 salaries reported$120,348/yr
17 more rows

Which computer science major is the best? ›

What Is the Best Major in Computer Science?
  • Artificial Intelligence.
  • Computer and Network Security.
  • Human-Computer Interaction.
  • Information Management and Analytics.
  • Bioinformatics.
  • Mobile and Web Computing.
  • Software Engineering.
Sep 29, 2022

Which computer course is best for high salary? ›

Top 10 Online Computer Courses to Get a Job in 2022
  • Data Science.
  • Big Data Engineering.
  • Data Analytics.
  • Artificial Intelligence.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Software Development.
  • Cyber Security.
  • Web Development.
Sep 14, 2022

Which computer field is best for future? ›

Best Computer Jobs for the Future
  • Software Engineer. ...
  • Video Game Designer. ...
  • Computer Systems Analyst. ...
  • Web Developer. ...
  • Health Information Technician. ...
  • Technology Manager. ...
  • Database Administrator. ...
  • Network Administrator. Network Administrator Employment Projections | 2020 - 2030.
Jun 20, 2022

Which computer degree is best? ›

Best tech degrees for high-paying jobs
  1. Information technology. Information technology (IT) is the study of how people use technology and computing systems to manage data and information. ...
  2. Computer science. ...
  3. Web development. ...
  4. Web design. ...
  5. Computer networking. ...
  6. System administration. ...
  7. Database management. ...
  8. Cybersecurity.

Is it hard to find a job with a computer science degree? ›

The fact is that while computer science grads get to enjoy a low unemployment rate compared to many other fields of study, it's still difficult to get a job after graduation. Therefore, don't waste the four years that you're in university simply studying to get your degree.

How hard is a CS degree? ›

The short answer is “yes.” Search any list of majors to study, and you'll likely find that computer science tops the list as one of the most challenging disciplines to learn. Compared to other fields of study, pursuing a career in computer science requires both technical and analytical skill sets.

Is a career in computer science really worth it? ›

Yes, a computer science degree is worth it for many students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting 11% job growth in computer and information technology occupations over the next 10 years.

How can I get good salary? ›

Ways to Increase Your Salary This Year
  1. Ask Yourself If You Are in the Right Career Path. ...
  2. Keep Track of Your Work Accomplishments. ...
  3. Shadow Other Co-Workers and Learn. ...
  4. Teach Yourself New Skills Outside of Work. ...
  5. Research Market Value On Your Career. ...
  6. Ask for A Raise That You Deserve. ...
  7. Look For a New Job In Your Field.
Jul 5, 2021

What should I study in IT field? ›

Top 6 Technical Courses to Get a Job in IT [2022]
  • Software Development.
  • Data Science. Explore Our Software Development Free Courses.
  • Machine Learning. Explore our Popular Software Engineering Courses.
  • Blockchain. In-Demand Software Development Skills.
  • Management.
  • MBA.
Aug 3, 2022

What will be the most needed jobs in 2025? ›

A list of the most in-demand skills in the future
  • Data Science & Cloud Computing (Cloud computing goes hand in hand with data science, and cloud computing jobs range from architects and developers to data scientists)
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)
  • Big Data Science.
  • Digital Marketing & Strategy.
Apr 13, 2022

Which is better IT or computer science? ›

Which is better Computer Science or IT? There is no such thing as “better” because they lead to different careers and have different specialisations or subfields. Either discipline is a great choice for your studies, as long as you're passionate about technology, and you understand what each study option implies.

Should I choose IT or computer science? ›

Though an IT and computer science degree can both prepare you for jobs in the tech field, they often appeal to different types of people based on the slightly varied skill sets. Computer science involves more independent work creating computer programs and applications, using algorithms and writing code.

Which bachelor's degree pays the most? ›

30 Highest Paying Bachelor's Degrees
  • Petroleum Engineering. Early career salary: $93,200. ...
  • Operations Research. Early career salary: $83,500. ...
  • Marine Engineering. Early career salary: $79,900. ...
  • Computer Engineering. Early career salary: $79,000. ...
  • Systems Engineering. ...
  • Chemical Engineering. ...
  • Electrical Engineering. ...
  • Computer Science.
Oct 14, 2022

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