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Best Jobs for Computer Science Majors

by Morgan Kastner
4.24.2016

So much of students’ focus is on getting through school and getting that first job. But it can’t hurt to spend a little time and energy thinking about the longer term, like what you want your career to look like 10 or 20 years down the road, and what you can do now to get on that path.

Using Payscale, we investigated five jobs that pay well in midcareer that may interest you as your future job. Learning more about these jobs now can help you plan out what steps you should take to eventually work your way up to these high-paying roles.

Chief Information Officer

What it pays: $149,730

What you’d do: Chief information officers are at the top of the IT chain of command. All decisions regarding an organization’s information framework are decided by the CIO. They create strategies and manage large groups of people to ensure the success of the business. Getting to this position will take time and more than computer science knowledge — think about taking business courses to start thinking like a CIO.

Where you’d work: Almost anywhere these days. Just about every business of any size has a tech component now. That means an IT staff  will need a leader to keep everything running smoothly for the company’s non-tech workers.

Agile Coach

What it pays: $124,347

What you’d do: Agile coaches help software teams learn to use agile development processes and tools to produce better code faster. Responsibilities include training, such as in the use of effective branching strategies for testing additions to existing code, but also can call for something of an evangelical role in persuading teams — and even the executives above them — of the value of investing time, energy and money in agile processes. The role calls for a strong combination of tech skills and “soft skills.”

Where you’d work: Agile coaches often move around to wherever they are needed as independent consultants, helping a company’s teams and then moving on when work is complete. There also are full-time, permanent positions where agile coaches remain at a single company to help teams maintain peak performance.

Business Intelligence Director

What it pays: $127,526

What you’d do: Business intelligence directors are integral to designing and developing solutions to data warehouse problems for a company. Through data analysis, they can reduce risk and increase profitability by offering tactical recommendations. Dipping into the business side, they also manage other BI developers, architects and professionals, and they attend business meetings to suggest changes.  

Where you’d work: Business intelligence directors can work for a wide variety of organizations. They move between the business side and the IT side to communicate the company’s needs.

Software Engineering Manager

What it pays: $126,415

What you’d do: The software engineering manager is responsible for assembling and overseeing a team of software engineers to fix malfunctions and develop new software if needed. Their main role is oversight, providing the team with the tools and knowledge needed to perform their jobs successfully. Even though the software engineering manager rarely deals with the software itself, it is important that he/she is an expert in software development and its implementation.

Where you’d work: Software engineers can be found in a variety of areas, like government agencies, nonprofit organizations and businesses.

Data Architect

What it pays: $109,413

What you’d do: As a data architect, you would be responsible for maintaining databases to allow for easy access to important information. The job requires a thorough understanding of advanced computer systems and languages, and the communication skills to explain concepts to nontechnical staff. You will also need to be highly detail-oriented.

Where you’d work: Data architects often work for for Internet service providers or data-processing firms. Other data architects work for insurance companies, banks or retailers — places that retain enormous amounts of data.

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