What Job Will Your CS Degree Actually Get You?

What is a computer scientist? If you're like most people, you probably assume they're all computer geeks with coke-bottle glasses who stare at endless lines of code all day. In reality, however, most jobs available to CS majors involve no programming at all.

This article presents five non-programming jobs that your CS degree will get you.

CYBER SECURITY SPECIALIST

Cybersecurity specialists are IT professionals trained to protect computers and networks from unauthorized access. "They analyze where these risks are and develop strategies to prevent breaches. Cybersecurity specialists fight against cybercriminals, people who use the internet and various hacking methods to steal sensitive or private information from computers," notes Neuvoo.

From ethical hackers to Chief Information Officers, cybersecurity professionals fill a wide variety of roles. In fact, Cybersecurity Ventures recently published a list of fifty unique positions within the security field. What's more, the company predicts by 2021 there will be 3.5 million job openings for cybersecurity professionals. Needless to say, this creates abound opportunity for anyone interested in this line of work.

While computer science grads are favored, high demand means individuals with professional certifications in security also make strong applicants. The average salary hovers around $110,000, however, Forbes says top-tier professionals make as much as $380,000.

DATABASE ADMIN

Experts estimate that we create roughly 2.5 quintillion bytes of new data every day. For perspective, that's enough information to fill 10 million Blu-ray discs. Unsurprisingly, this already staggering figure is forecast to balloon as the number of internet devices skyrocket.

Database administrators are the IT professionals responsible for maintaining and protecting the complex computer systems that organizations use to store the data they collect. Traditionally, DB admins - or DBAs - have used relational database software from MySQL, Microsoft, and Oracle for their systems. However, in recent years NoSQL systems like MongoDB, CouchDB, and Redis have surged in popularity.

Entry-level positions typically require professional certification in addition to a Bachelors in information systems or computer science. Depending on the specific specialty, a DBA's salary can range from $50,000 - $138,000, with the median around $90,000. What's more, stats published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics predict "faster than average" job growth for the foreseeable future.

NETWORK ADMIN

In an age when even a few minutes of downtime can cost millions, network administrators help businesses, institutions, and governments stay connected to each other. Network professionals are responsible for ensuring computer networks stay updated and function as designed. A network admin oversees everything from installing network applications to configuring servers, routers, and switches.

While it's not uncommon for smaller organizations to employee administrators to oversee networks and traditional systems, larger organizations tend to separate the two roles. Reporting suggests hiring managers prefer network admins with a degree in computer science, information systems, or a similar high tech field. However, due to demand, it's not uncommon to find admins with professional certifications but no college degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the median salary for network admins is $82,050.

SYSTEM, NETWORK, SOFTWARE, OR SECURITY ARCHITECT

Typically, administrators are tasked with maintaining their respective systems while architects are responsible for the initial design and deployment. These professionals use their expansive IT expertise to recommend the equipment and design methodologies require for a specific outcome. In addition to networks and databases, IT architects can specialize in domains such as hardware, software, or security.

No matter their particular specialty, in the end, architects are responsible for designing robust and reliable solutions that organizations can count on. Senior-level architects are responsible for large scale projects that help entire companies meet long-term goals and objectives. Entry-level architects tend to oversee shorter-lived, departmental projects. According to PayScale, the median yearly salary for an IT architect is $108,000.

COMPUTER SCIENCE TEACHER

The number of K-12 schools that provide access to computer science classes in growing every year. And with that expansion comes an increased demand for qualified teachers. "Computer science teachers educate students on how computers work, from the basic science and mathematics behind their operation to the actual hardware and the software built on those foundations... They teach students to write computer programs, algorithms, and even programming languages; computer systems design is also covered," per Study.com.

American school teachers usually have a degree in education or the specific subject they're interested in teaching. The average salary of a high-school level CS teacher is around $57,200.

AUTHOR - Nate Aswege

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