Computer Science Jobs on the Rise

Posted on July 10, 2017 by Chmura Staff

Many recent high school graduates are likely considering a postsecondary education in computer science because those jobs are growing quickly today. But what will demand be when those graduates enter the job market?

Chmura’s JobsEQ, which projects the growth of jobs requiring information technology skills, shows that many but not all of these occupations will grow faster than the national average.

Current Forecast (Next 10 Years)
Title Employment Avg. Annual Wages1 Total Replacement Demand Total Growth Demand Avg. Annual Growth Percent
Web Developers 161,915 $72,200 29,483 45,820 2.5%
Computer Systems Analysts 607,868 $91,600 87,805 133,962 2.0%
Software Developers, Applications 853,826 $104,300 144,195 176,596 1.9%
Information Security Analysts 103,591 $96,000 13,571 19,057 1.7%
Software Developers, Systems Software 448,891 $110,600 61,784 61,759 1.3%
Computer User Support Specialists 623,223 $53,100 83,780 84,578 1.3%
Database Administrators 121,991 $87,100 26,597 13,820 1.1%
Computer and Information Research Scientists 29,450 $116,300 3,583 2,947 1.0%
Computer Network Architects 169,180 $104,200 21,924 16,048 0.9%
Network and Computer Systems Administrators 393,327 $84,500 52,469 34,480 0.8%
Computer Network Support Specialists 194,859 $67,800 26,311 14,288 0.7%
Computer Occupations, All Other 274,708 $88,900 42,359 18,754 0.7%
Computer Programmers 298,839 $85,200 68,255 -28,096 -1.0%
Total - All Occupations 153,412,155 $49,300 40,749,478 10,380,143 0.7%
Source: JobsEQ®

On average, information technology occupations are forecast to grow 1.3% per year, nearly twice the average for all occupations. For college freshmen deciding majors and college graduates looking for their first job, identifying occupations with increasing employer demand is extremely important.

At first glance, it’s easy to get caught up in the high average annual growth rates. However, the average annual growth rate can be a misleading statistic without considering the number of jobs to be added as well as replacement demand, which reflects the number of people retiring or changing to a different occupation.

For instance, computer and information research scientists can expect demand for their expertise to grow an annual average 1.0% over the next ten years, which is faster than the national average. However, less than 3,000 new jobs result from that growth. An additional 3,583 research scientist jobs will need to be filled based on replacement demand.

In contrast, computer systems analysts and software applications developers are expected to see both high annual growth rates and a large number of openings over the next ten years. When new growth and replacement demand is combined, over 218,000 positions will need to be filled.

Replacement demand is an important component of future demand for occupations. Without considering replacement demand, one could easily dismiss computer programming as a viable career option due to the negative growth rate over the next ten years. Despite the negative growth rate, the replacement demand for computer programmers is projected at almost 70,000 jobs over the next ten years, more than twice the forecasted contraction over the same period.  

Wages also play a crucial role with many students as they are deciding on a career. Three standout occupations, software systems developers, software applications developers, and computer systems analysts, show high growth rates, demand, and wages. While these occupations do not garner wages as high as computer and information research scientists, the required education is typically a bachelor’s degree compared to a doctorate degree for the research scientists.

There are many factors to be considered while choosing a career path, but making sure your skills will be in demand in the future is critical.   

This blog was completed with research support from intern Lydia Boswell.

This blog reflects Chmura staff assessments and opinions with the information available at the time the blog was written.