How to Make Money with a Computer Science Degree (26 Best Jobs)

Photo of author

by Erin Schollaert

Updated

Computer science graduates rarely struggle to find a job, but often wonder the highest earning way of how to make money with a computer science degree!

Not only are these jobs high-paying, but they’re also becoming more readily available, with job growth projected at 13% over the next five years.

Whether you want to be a freelancer or you’re more interested in a corporate job, these are the 26 highest paying jobs with a computer science degree.

26. Technical Support

technical-support

Corporate

Whether you’re working for a small company or a massive corporation, IT departments oversee the installation and maintenance of their information and computer network systems.

IT teams vary wildly in size but give you the chance to start in a job that ensures you can use your problem-solving skills to save the day.

Average yearly income: $61,996 (Zippia)

.

25. Freelance Web Developer

Self-Employed

Freelance web developers create user-friendly and dazzling websites to gain traffic, pull customers, and lead into their client’s hands.

Although staffed web developers exist and you can work exclusively with companies, you have a lot more freedom to be picky with jobs as a freelancer.

This option is also one of the top jobs for people with anxiety, due to the remote work flexibility.

Web development requires a lot of creativity, as well as an eye for design and structure.

Average yearly income: $72,208 (ZipRecruiter) 

24. E-Commerce Analyst

Corporate

E-commerce analysts’ main job is to analyze online sales for a business.

This means generating online sales reports, looking at changes in the online retail market, and exploring what customers purchase.

With e-commerce being such a multidisciplinary field, people from many background can learn the necessary skills to be a successful e-commerce analyst, ranging from jobs for psychology majors to jobs for biochemistry majors.

E-commerce analyst roles are almost always an in-house job since it changes from month to month, and most companies want to be updated on what’s happening with their sales constantly.

Average yearly income: $74,980 (Salary.com)

23. Virtual Reality Designer

virtual-reality-designer

Corporate

This role requires a lot of creativity and a vision for what your clients need.

Working in VR, you’ll create fictional worlds that your developers can turn into immersive experiences.

Virtual reality is an exploding industry with tons of opportunity, so make sure you are following the best tips for getting hired.

You must have some degree of design skills and a keen eye for detail to ensure that everything a client requires is included.

Average yearly income: $77,675 (ZipRecruiter)

22. IT Systems Engineer

Corporate

An IT systems engineer is the overseer of all parts of the company’s internal technology performance.

Unlike basic IT jobs, this includes the systems and interfaces that the company runs on and talks to customers through.

Therefore, a keen eye for detail is necessary, as well as good interpersonal skills since you’ll have to explain what went wrong and how you can fix it.

Although you can get by with lower communications skills, this is a career that requires yours to grow.

Average yearly income: $79,870 (ZipRecruiter)

21. Programmer Analyst

Corporate

A program analyst, or evaluator, is tasked with the job of assessing a company or organization’s programs to ensure they’re both efficient and effective.

This means gathering information on the program through research, testing it out, and using their creativity to put it to the task.

In addition, maintaining the new software application to ensure that it works and is ready for the next step is vital; this role ensures that it’s easy to use, intuitive, and won’t break down.

Average yearly income: $80,334 (ZipRecruiter)

20. Freelance 3D Developer

Self-Employed

Also known as a 3D designer, this role dabbles in computer animation using programs like AutoCAD.

3D developers create rigs, make animations, and sometimes work with companies to develop in-house animation programs to make their works unique and stand out. Even better, this is freelance friendly job, so it’s an extra way to make money for software developers if you want to boost your income.

Although this job requires a lot of creativity, it’s also extremely detail intensive and needs someone with a lot of focus.

Average yearly income: $80,770 (Glassdoor) 

19. Business Systems Analyst

business-analyst

Corporate

A business systems analyst looks at how a company is running, finds any problems, and offers solutions to run smoothly.

A computer sciences degree helps with this job because it allows you to understand what they can change within their software, website, and user interface to lure more leads and customers in.

This job requires a lot of socialization and face-to-face time, so you have to be prepared for that.

Average yearly income: $85,878 (Glassdoor) 

18. Freelance Video Game Designer

Self-Employed

This is the dream job for millions of people because it allows you to create a world of your invention.

Game designers create everything from the game concept to the technical point of how the game works.

Those who freelance in this job often create their inventions, but they can also develop games for clients and companies as a contractor.

Average yearly income: $90,708 (ZipRecruiter)

17. Statistician

Corporate

Although it may seem strange to get a computer sciences degree to become a statistician, understanding programming knowledge and how computers work can help with studying applied statistics and working in this field.

If you have a knack for teaching as well, you’ll stand out among your peers in this field, which is why it’s a popular job for former math teachers.

It gives you advanced quantitative skills, which ensures that you can charge higher for a salary and offer work of a higher caliber than those who didn’t study computer sciences.

Average yearly income: $92,270 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

16. Freelance User Interface Designer

Self-Employed

As a freelance UI designer, you’ll work with clients project by project.

Most companies don’t need people for this role for very long, so although it’s possible to get an in-house job, most UI designers are freelance or self-employed.

Although face-to-face time is minimal with this line of work, it’s still vital that you have good communication skills to discuss what’s happening with a program or user experience.

Average yearly income: $98,000 (ZipRecruiter)

15. Business Intelligence Developer

Corporate

This is a fun and interesting job that allows you to work directly with the end-users.

As a business intelligence developer, you’ll develop reporting systems to offer accessible information for decision-making.

Not only do you solve problems through reports and data visualizations, but by working with end-users, you also ensure that the program makes sense, is intuitive, and functions exactly the way it’s needed.

Average yearly income: $100,376 (Builtin) 

14. Data Scientist

data-scientist

Corporate

If you spent your younger years wanting to be a detective but fell in love with computers: this is the perfect mix of both worlds.

Data scientists get to solve problems and answer any major questions or issues businesses have with their systems.

This combines countless skills from statistics, modeling, math, and computer science, requiring at least some ability to communicate easily so that you can bring your point across clearly.

Data scientist’s work is fun and ever-changing – there’s rarely a dull day.

Average yearly income: $100,560 (datasciencedegree.wisconsin.edu)

13. Database Developer

Corporate

The average database developer ensures that a company’s database management systems can handle extreme amounts of data.

Most days are spent developing new databases and troubleshooting any database problems that come up.

This job is possible to do as a freelancer, but most companies would rather work with someone in-house so that they can fix any problems that come up with their system.

Average yearly income: $100,860 (ZipRecruiter)

12. Ethical Hacker

Self-Employed

Ethical hacking allows you to put your espionage skills to use and crack into a company’s private information: while getting paid by that company to do it.

Of course, as an ethical hacker, you’re not breaking the law or getting into trouble. Still, instead, you’re working to help a company understand any flaws in their systems that could leave them vulnerable to hacking to cyber attacks.

Some also offer ways to fix it, but generally, you only have to prove that you can get into their programs or systems.

Average yearly income: $101,570 (Salary.com) 

11. Software Systems Engineer

Corporate

Software systems engineers assess and design new systems, or correct problems in current systems, to ensure that they work smoothly and efficiently.

You must be extremely technically competent and be able to ensure that the system works smoothly, offering fixes if anything goes wrong.

Systems hire in-house for this position because it allows them to have exclusivity and ensure that no other company can know how their software works.

You may be required to sign an exclusivity contract for this job.

Average yearly income: $101,695 (ZipRecruiter)

10. CRM Business Analyst

Corporate

A CRM business analyst ensures the systems that store customer information, from advertising to personal data, work perfectly.

This means organizing and analyzing marketing and customer data to aid sales.

In addition, you’ll have to work directly with marketing teams to help them further their cause, which means this job has a need for good interpersonal skills.

Average yearly income: $102,800 (ZipRecruiter)

9. DevOps Engineer

Corporate

The average DevOps engineer has their hands on every part of the software development life cycle.

This means from initial coding and development to when it gets into the users’ hands, ensuring that it functions as needed, is clear to those using it, and requires minimal maintenance.

Although you’ll work directly with IT in this role, IT and DevOps engineers hold very different positions.

Average yearly income: $105,002 (Glassdoor) 

8. Software Developer

Corporate

This job is one of the most exciting since you get to create things from scratch.

As a software developer, you’re the creative driving force behind computer programs and the main designer for how they’ll look and interact with users.

You must be good at communication to be able to take in customers’ needs.

Average yearly income: $107,570 (USNews) 

7. Computer Science Consultant

Self-Employed

Freelance computer sciences consultants help companies with any computer system usage problems.

You can specialize in anything from software programming, databases, networking to hardware systems.

Companies will hire you for a short contract, and then you can move on to your next project.

Average yearly income: $108,755 (Glassdoor) 

6. IT Project Manager

Corporate

This role requires you to oversee the planning, delegating, and execution of a company’s IT goals.

You’ll set in place what the IT employees need to do, have a deep understanding of the programs or software that are being worked with, and be capable of excellent interpersonal skills to help set clear expectations across the team.

Average yearly income: $116,000 (northeastern.edu)

5. Network Architect

Corporate

A network architect designs and builds data communication networks, ranging from local area networks to wide area networks and intranets.

You’ll be able to understand the unique and very specialized needs of this network and will have to be able to communicate these clearly to the company you work for.

Although this job has plenty of opportunities to be creative, network architects also need to retain a significant amount of information at once.

Average yearly income: $116,780 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

4. Hardware Engineer

Corporate

Without hardware engineers, computer systems couldn’t exist! In this role, you’ll research, design, and develop computer systems.

What these responsibilities include is everything from the processors, circuit boards, memory devices, and networks.

Hardware engineer’s work is almost entirely hands-on, so you must be capable of understanding the computer’s needs and how to tackle system errors, to ensure the hardware operation runs smoothly.

Average yearly income: $119,560 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

3. Site Reliability Engineer

Corporate

An SRE team works to ensure that the website works as smoothly as possible at all times.

These responsibilities include keeping an eye on availability, performance, monitoring, latency, efficiency, change management, emergency response, and capacity planning.

In addition, you’ll work directly with release engineers to ensure that the software works flawlessly.

Average yearly income: $123,235 (Builtin) 

2. Computer Scientist

Corporate

Computer scientists solve problems for a living.

If you love riddles or getting to the bottom of why things work and what you can do to make them work better, this job could be the perfect fit for you.

Computer scientists use technology and software to create applications and develop models for interaction between the users and the software.

Average yearly income: $126,830 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

1. Cloud Solutions Architect

Corporate

This is the highest-paying job on this list for a reason! As a cloud solution architect, you’ll work as an IT specialist who focuses on the development, design, and maintenance of a cloud-based platform.

This requires understanding and implementing a computing strategy and how to ensure that the program and user interface works perfectly.

Cloud solutions architects need a high level of focus and detailed work and a flexible mind to do it.

Average yearly income: $146,632 (Glassdoor) 

Wrapping Up

Regardless of which computer science job you end up in: these are all extremely fun and fast-paced careers!

Each offers its own twist on allowing you to use your creative problem solving every day, and it’s impossible to get bored on the job.

The Ultimate Side Hustle Toolkit

Get FREE access to our toolkit - 79 clever ways to make extra money and helpful tips to get started!

About the Author

Photo of author
Erin is a business teacher and mother of three. When she’s not in the classroom or fulfilling her obligations as an A+ hockey and lacrosse mom, she’s working on her latest article.