How to Get a Job and Succeed as a Computer Science Graduate

getting a job as a cs graduate
getting a job as a cs graduate

The future of global commerce, society, and intellectual development depends on people with computer science skills. Software engineers shaped the world for the 5.18 billion people who accessed information online in 2023. Billions more will need reliable systems for everything from banking to health services in the near future.

Enterprising STEM graduates want to know how to get a job in computer science. CompTIA found 4.1 million tech sector job listings in 2022 with a job growth rate of nearly 2x the national job growth average, thanks to emerging tech fields. The current demand for computer science skills makes advanced degrees a good investment.

Following Industry Demands for Computer Science Skills

Learning how to get a job in computer science starts by understanding the skills needed for tomorrow’s challenges. Professionals with in-demand skills are well-situated when standards rise for future job openings. LinkedIn’s study of the most in-demand technical skills by employers in all industries included the following computer science skills:

  • Blockchain
  • Cloud computing
  • Artificial intelligence

Indeed conducted a similar study in 2023, of the top 20 skills sought by today’s employers. This report placed cloud computing and artificial intelligence as its top two entries. Mobile app development placed No. 6 on the list, providing another skillset to hone for computer science professionals.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) placed software developers/engineers among its fastest-growing professions for the next decade. Roles in this field are expected to grow by 25%, which highlights a bright outlook.

LinkedIn, Indeed, and BLS point to a broad increase in employer demand for computer science skills. CompTIA estimated a tech sector workforce of 9.4 million in 2023, with median tech occupation wages landing at 103% higher than the median national wage in the U.S. Graduates with valuable skills can find work in places as varied as government agencies, design studios, and media outlets.

Computer Science Skills Necessary to Solve Common Problems

Constant changes in computing technology, software, and data usage create shifting grounds for professionals. Exceptional computer science skills and analytical thinking can steady the path toward project success.

Software engineers encounter some variations of the same challenges when they take on new projects. Covetus created a checklist useful for planning new software, including the following obstacles:

  • Volatility of client requirements
  • Managing various iterations of the same software
  • Integrating software into third-party applications and protocols
  • Straying from best practices and budgets

Computer science professionals need the latest skills to navigate these challenges. Innovators with advanced skills know how to produce software that deftly maneuvers through the Covetus checklist. 

Quantifying the Impacts of Computer Science Skills

Software development professionals are part of a key economic sector in the United States. The tech sector alone will produce $1.97 trillion in economic output in 2023, equalling 8.8% of the country’s total output. Professionals with computer science skills are essential to corporate bottom lines.

Succeeding in a computer science job requires a blend of technical skills as well as business acumen. CompTIA comes to the following conclusion about this fusion of talents:

“While the IT department used to be a secluded support center within an organization, dealing with daily device troubleshooting etc., now it’s strategic. The move toward digitization and the cloud has brought the role of IT front and center. The fact that IT pros are interacting much more with all lines of business, whether that’s marketing, human resources or the front office, has only accentuated the need for professional skills.”

The quickest way to build these skills is to complete an online master's in computer science. Top graduate programs infuse their courses with real-world case studies and challenges, resulting in valuable portfolios. These experiences point computer science professionals toward the best career paths for their interests.

Finding the Right Computer Science Career Paths for You

Career paths within the computer science field change faster than other professions due to the pace of technological advancement. To stay competitive, employers in the field need professionals with versatile computer science skills.

Selecting a Software Engineering Path in a Crowded Field

Decades of software development projects have led to clearly defined paths into the profession. Stack Overflow’s 2020 survey found respondents identified as completing at least part of their work under the following titles:

  • Back-end developer (55.2%)
  • Full-stack developer (54.9%)
  • Front-end developer (37.1%)
  • Desktop or enterprise developer (23.9%)
  • Mobile developer (19.2%)

Forward-looking engineers and developers might look for other paths to start their careers. We can think about in-demand skills like blockchain and artificial intelligence as entry points into highly lucrative careers. Engineers in these emerging fields find opportunities unavailable in other careers to pioneer new products and techniques.

Tips on How to Get a Job in Computer Science

Picking a path and building computer science skills are great starts to any engineering career. No two employers are alike and set different expectations for every position. Successful computer science professionals follow a few basic steps as they progress through their careers.

The ongoing demand for technical skills means applicants may find multiple opportunities for work. Software developers and engineers should envision what they want from their ideal employer. This exercise extends beyond salary and benefits to working style, product types, and advancement opportunities.

A standard resume or CV might be a basic requirement, but hiring managers are looking for demonstrations of skill. Building a portfolio through internships, freelance projects, and community volunteering opportunities speaks volumes about your skills.

Computer science fields thrive on collaboration and iteration. Newcomers should reach out to experienced professionals in their desired careers and industries. Communicating with potential future colleagues adds dimension to your professional knowledge unavailable through other sources.

The Benefits of Computer Science Jobs

Learning how to get a job in computer science is easier with a clear idea of why you love your work. In-demand computer science jobs are far more lucrative than the average career, thanks to highly technical skills. Software engineers often find fulfillment because their work intersects with the thorniest issues in the world.

The BLS found a median annual income of $109,020 per year for software development professionals in 2021, with the highest job demand in California, Texas, and New York. Recent salaries show a high return on investment for computer science graduates who pursue advanced degrees, such as an online master's in computer science.

Hired’s 2021 State of Software Engineers report provides insight into the intrinsic rewards of computer science professions. The report made the following conclusion about how engineers stay motivated: 

“Most software engineers’ primary motivation for learning a new programming language or framework is simply because they enjoy it. They specifically love the opportunities for new challenges and continuous learning.”

Software engineers routinely rank in the top 10 of Glassdoor’s 50 Best Jobs in America. Glassdoor combines average salaries and user reviews when assembling this list. The 2022 iteration placed software engineering in eighth place. 

Baylor University Builds Valuable Computer Science Skills

A graduate degree from a leading university opens the door for your preferred computer science career. Baylor University’s Online Masters in Computer Science doesn’t just teach you how to get a job in computer science; you learn how to build a lasting career.

This innovative degree, with a concentration in software engineering, is designed for future innovators with bachelor’s degrees in related fields. You can apply to the university without GRE scores and don’t need to spend time on campus. Faculty members with industry experience provide virtual classroom lessons that translate to global jobs.

Baylor University’s reputation amplifies the value of its online master's in computer science. U.S. News & World Report ranked the university No. 77 in National Universities, highlighting how well Baylor graduates fare in the job market.

Niche issued an A grade for Baylor University based on 12 criteria, including an A for Academics and an A- for Value. The ranking site placed Baylor at the top for several categories, including #8th Best Christian College in the U.S.

Learn how Baylor University can prepare you for high-growth fields - speak with a Computer Science enrollment advisor today.