Computer Science Careers

Careers in computer science aren't hard to find. There are wide ranges of specialties in computer science to choose from. The key to finding the perfect computer science career is to narrow the individual specialties down to the ones that are the fastest-growing, will allow room for you to grow in that career and, of course, you may want to check out the salary statistics for each of the jobs.

For instance, take a look at the job description and salary statistics for a systems analyst. A systems analyst has a wide variety of responsibilities including researching and recommending software and system choices to meet the requirements of other businesses. Systems analysts communicate with their customers about what the customers' requirements are for a particular project. They meet with designers and developers that are working on the software to make sure it is up to the customer's standards. With the help of testers, systems analysts use sample data to perform tests on it to make sure it is working properly and then the systems analysts enable the new systems. On average in the United States, a systems analyst makes anywhere from $45,000 to $60,000 a year.

Another top computer science career is a software engineer. A software engineer applies the techniques and procedures that are used in the design, development, testing and evaluation of the software and systems that allow computers to run correctly. The average salary of a software engineer in the U.S. is $80,000 a year.

Computer programmers are the brains behind the software. Computer programmers' job duties involve writing the software; testing the software for glitches and then debugging the software; and also maintaining the computer programs so that they run correctly. Typically, depending on the programmer's employer and what type of programming is being done, the salary of a computer programmer can range anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 a year.

Next, we'll take a look at network systems analyst. A network systems analyst does the designing, evaluating, testing, and maintaining of a variety of different networks, including WANS, LANS, intranets, wireless systems, etc. The average yearly income of a network systems analyst is $60,000.

The last computer science career we'll talk about today is the database administrator. A database administrator is responsible for the recoverability of the database such as creating and testing the Backups. They are also responsible for verifying the integrity of the database and for making sure the database is secure. Database administrators also have to make sure the availability and performance of the database are at its maximum and they help the programmers and the engineers with development and testing support. Although the database administrator is responsible for all these things, they also have an array of other duties depending on their particular job description, employer, etc. The annual salary of a database administrator ranges from $70,000 to $95,000. However, the median annual salary in the U.S. for a database administrator is $82,000.

Keep in mind, these are just five of the computer science careers. There are many more careers in computer science with annual incomes and responsibilities within the same range as those listed.


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Top 10 Colleges for Computer Science


If you are considering a career in computer science, you can find plenty of opinion about which universities are the top schools in the United States. U.S. News & World Report, a trusted source since 1983, ranks the programs for their academic excellence.

Carnegie Mellon University

  • This perennial computer science chart-topper has received high marks from professors, students and the high tech industry that works for and with its alumni. Add in high ratings from PC Mag as one of the most "wired" college campuses, and you see why this small college in Western Pennsylvania is considered one of America's best.

    Carnegie Mellon University
    5000 Forbes Ave.
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213
    412-268-8186
    my.cmu.edu

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • This top-tier school comes with its own operating system--Athena--which students and faculty use to access common resources online. Dense populations of computer labs and Wi-Fi make this an enviable place to be for computer science majors. Students even rigged an "Emergency Pizza Button," which has Domino's deliver a cheese pizza to your dorm within an hour.

    MIT
    77 Massachusetts Ave.
    Cambridge, MA 02139
    617-253-1000
    mit.edu

Stanford University

  • This former incubator for both Google and Yahoo!, located near San Francisco Bay, is steeped in tradition and lots of technology available campus-wide. The university is noted for its online access; professors even keep official hours for instant messaging.

    Stanford University
    Montag Hall
    355 Galvez St.
    Stanford. CA 94305
    650-723-2091
    admission.stanford.edu

University of California at Berkeley

  • This innovative, liberal arts college in the University of California system is known for being tech savvy and achieved a five out of five ranking for computer science programs, according to the 2010 U.S. News & World Report ranking.

    University of California-Berkeley: Office of Undergraduate Admissions
    110 Sproul Hall #5800
    Berkeley, CA 94720-5800
    510-642-6000
    students.berkeley.edu/admissions

Cornell University

  • Cornell, an Ivy League school, is in the U.S. News & World Report top five and also is ranked No. 6 by Google PageRank for its cross-referencing on the web, relevance and website hits for its computer science program.

    Cornell University
    410 Thurston Ave.
    Ithaca, NY 14850
    607-255-5241
    admissions.cornell.edu

University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

  • The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has a long history of computer science achievement offering cutting-edge courses hard to find elsewhere such as parallel computing and data mining.

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    901 West Illinois St.
    Urbana, IL 61801
    217-333-0302
    admissions.illinois.edu

University of Washington

  • In close proximity to Microsoft's Redmond campus, U of W boasts excellent academics, student resources, tech support and infrastructure giving it a four and a half out of five score. according to the U.S. News & World Report.

    University of Washington
    1410 NE Campus Parkway
    Box 355852
    Seattle, WA 98195
    206-543-9686
    admit.washington.edu

Princeton University

  • This Ivy League powerhouse boasts a high number of 24/7 computer labs and a high percentage of professors who post assignments online.

    Princeton University
    110 West College
    P.O. Box 430
    Princeton, NJ 08542
    609-258-3060
    princeton.edu/admission

University of Texas-Austin

  • The University of Texas at Austin has all dorms equipped with computer labs with an equally high number of course material available online--between 51 and 75 percent--for its up-and-coming computer science program.

    University of Texas at Austin
    P.O. Box 8058
    Austin, TX 78713
    512-475-7399
    utexas.edu

Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Georgia Tech also has a high number of professors who post coursework online, and up to half of its computer labs are open 24/7.

    Georgia Tech
    Atlanta, GA 30332
    404-894-4154
    admission.gatech.edu

Btech Computer Science Projects

Bachelor of Technology degrees are wise majors for students interested in business, computer science, or information systems, according to the Charleston Southern University website. Computer science projects, in particular, are opportunities for students to explore areas from mass transit communication systems to financial planning and data organizing. B-tech graduates often go on to careers in a wide variety of fields, including law, engineering and telecommunications.

Computer Simulation

  • Computer simulation projects can allow students to create hypothetical scenarios or digitally reenact actual events, according to the India Institute of Technology. Simulations offer visual imagery and data classification opportunities for students to dissect and investigate simple or complex activities. Analyzing the safety features of motorcycle components may be a wise idea. Specifically, students may choose to simulate scenarios which investigate the strength of motorcycle handles or leg guards. Students can come to conclusions -- based on the data -- and present them for evaluation.

City Planning Models

  • City planning models are computer science projects which can expand a student's creativity. According to the India Institute of Technology, public transportation maps can be created and explored using computer technology. Specifically, students can choose a particular method of transportation -- subway or bus transportation, for instance -- to analyze and compare route designs. Students should also incorporate studies of how public transportation routes differ on open roads compared to high traffic areas such as city business districts and airports.

Environmental Impacts

  • Students may select familiar computer science models and study elements in an alternative way. For example, according to the India Institute of Technology, while city planning models can involve public transportation studies they might also center on the environmental impact of air pollution and roadway designs. Traffic and/or other industrial pollution levels can be examined through computer program analysis -- particularly how pollution increases or decreases in various city areas. Additionally, freeway models can be analyzed to determine how designs may affect road accident percentages and traffic fatalities.


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