In today’s precarious job market, starting salaries and the likelihood of finding a job are important factors to consider when choosing a field of study. The computer science industry is commonly considered a rapidly expanding field with an abundance of jobs for recent graduates, so it leads many to follow career paths in this program. With an above average starting salary and many different job prospects, the computer science field is not only a popular major but also a profitable one.

Average Computer Science Starting Salaries

Computer science jobs have been in demand for some time, and the industry’s demand shows little signs of slowing down. In 2013, the average starting salary in the computer science field was $58,547. Despite this number representing a slight fall in the average starting salary (down 2.5% from 2012,) recent computer science graduates’ average earnings are second only to engineering graduates.  While some start out with lower starting salaries, particularly those outside of major cities with high tech employers, many can expect to make up to $120,000 annually later in their careers.

What Jobs are Available in the Computer Science Field?

The need for computer science specialists spans a vast number of industries including manufacturing, medical and finance, and within each industry is a number of varying job titles which affect starting salaries.  Systems analysts and designers are popular jobs, while those with more specialized interests can work specifically developing applications or as computer scientists. Management positions within the computer science field are also available for those who enjoy positions of leadership as much as they enjoy working with computers. While many of these jobs offer increased salary as the individual’s experience grows, software engineers and java developers are two of the highest paid and most in-demand computer science careers that are open to recent graduates, earning an annual average of $89,000 and $94,000 respectively.

Where to Find Computer Science Jobs

While the Silicon Valley still boasts the most computer science jobs in any region of the United States, many other cities are home to large high-tech employers. New York City is a leader in computer science jobs along with Seattle, where Microsoft makes its home. Washington DC has had a growing need for tech specialists, and many of the job opportunities here are government positions. Chicago’s largest tech employer is the wildly popular Groupon, and the city, according to Indeed, is one of the top 5 cities with computer science job openings. San Francisco is also in the top 5 according to Indeed, and the city is not only home to Twitter but also a number of tech start-ups which can grow to be excellent income opportunities. San Francisco is also home to a large number of programmer jobs; with a median starting salary of $74,280, programmer jobs are both in demand and lucrative.

The computer science industry continues to expect major growth in the coming years, and the persistent need for experts in this field makes this program an excellent choice for undecided undergraduates. Diverse job opportunities can be found across the country as well as around the world, and the average starting salary allows programmers to earn one of the best wages of any industry.