Computer science is a specialized field that deals with the study of computer systems and computational processes. It includes both the study of hardware and software and how the two components interact with each other. The field of computer science aims at improving how humans interact with computers and associated technologies. 

Course Ranking Methodology

With thousands of courses offered online and offline, students often encounter confusion when deciding what course to opt for. Different institutes perform course rankings based on certain parameters, such as teaching experience, employability, and international outlook. A course ranking system helps students objectively assess a course and compare different programs to make the right decision. 

Are You Ready to Discover Your College Program?

The field of computer science is very broad. While this gives you ample opportunities and offers you great scope in terms of options, some may also find the process of choosing one out of the many subfields overwhelming. Therefore, having a good understanding of these sub-fields and the skills they focus on, along with job and salary prospects can help you make an informed decision. Here are the top 10 computer science courses that you can consider pursuing based on your interests and aspirations. 

Computer Engineering

What You’ll Learn

Computer engineering programs encompass core computer science and engineering, with mathematics in terms of problem assessment and solution designing for digital systems being an additional part of the curriculum. This program lays a strong foundation in software, hardware, and other areas associated with them, such as coding, embedded systems, applications, and microprocessors among others.

How You’ll Learn

The learning process for aspiring computer engineers starts with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering, Computer Science, or Software Engineering, followed by a master’s degree in the same areas. You can also pursue Ph.D. if you want to specialize in a very specific area and gain expertise.

Job Trends and Roles

Completing a bachelor's and master's in computer engineering opens doors to several opportunities and job roles, such as Big Data Engineer, Data Scientist, Data Analyst, Software Developer, Computer Systems Analyst, and many more.

Salary Trends

  • Average annual salary: $90,913
  • Salary range: $80,917 to $100,919

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Computer Forensics

What You’ll Learn

Computer forensics deals with the identification and storage of evidence from computer devices. Courses in computer forensics commonly focus on concepts, such as collecting information from computers, storing the information safely, and repairing and studying the information that would be used in legal cases. Some important techniques taught are data mining, profiling and alias discovery, and predictive modeling.

How You’ll Learn

If you plan to become a professional computer forensic analyst, you can either pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Computer Forensics or a similar subject matter. An alternate way to find jobs relevant to this area of computer science is to earn a relevant cybersecurity certification that equips you with the right skills and in-depth knowledge that match different computer forensics job profiles.

Job Trends and Roles

Some popular career prospects in the area of computer forensics are job roles, such as Forensic Science technician, Digital Forensic Analyst, Private Investigator, and Forensic Computer Examiner.

Salary Trends

Median annual salary: $60,590

Computer Networking

What You’ll Learn

Computer networking courses help individuals develop skills pertaining to computer network system configuration. The concepts are generally inclusive of performance analysis and measurement, network control, simulation, network security, and advanced network architecture.  

How You’ll Learn

There are different programs on bachelor’s and master’s levels in areas, such as computer science and computer networking and security that one can pursue to specialize in computer networking. You can also opt for certificate courses in the same areas. These courses will instill skills that are useful in designing and implementing network configurations, network monitoring, troubleshooting network-related issues, and much more.

Job Trends and Roles

Some of the most in-demand job roles in the area of computer networking include Junior Network Administrator, Network Architect, Network Technician, Network Security Manager, Computer Systems Analyst, Computer Repair Technician, and Network Support Specialist, depending on the skills you possess, your experience, and qualification requirements you meet.

Salary Trends

Annual salary range: $65,000 to $112,000 (depending on the job role)

Computer Programming

What You’ll Learn

Computer programming courses are designed to help candidates learn how to use programming languages, configure operating systems such that they are compatible with different types of hardware, and adapt operating systems to the requirements of organizations. You’ll learn basic concepts from data structures, algorithms, operating systems, and security to software engineering.

How You’ll Learn

If you’re an aspiring programmer, you can go for a bachelor’s and master’s degree in computer science or related areas based on what you want to specifically specialize in. You can also opt for Bootcamps as they are career-focused and help you develop industry-specific skills.

Job Trends and Roles

The current job trends and roles pertaining to computer programming that are lucrative for both aspiring professionals and organizations alike are Software Application Developers, Software Quality Assurance Experts, Computer Programmers, Web Developers, and Computer Systems Engineers.

Salary Trends

While the highest average annual salary for computer programmers is estimated to be $107,000, it also depends on the location, company, programming language, industry, and experience. 

Cyber Security

What You’ll Learn

Cyber security course curriculums aim to equip individuals with skills that help protect computer networks from threats, unauthorized access, and cyberattacks. Taking this into consideration, you may learn about routing and switching, network scripting, identifying vulnerabilities in a computer system, and strategizing prevention of damage, such as loss of money, data, or dysfunctions through viruses.

How You’ll Learn

There are plenty of renowned universities and colleges that offer graduate, post-graduate, and even Ph.D. courses in cyber security. While you can follow this definite career path, you can also switch to cyber security after pursuing a computer science program through certificate courses for job prospects.

Job Trends and Roles

Certain cyber security jobs are more in demand in the current times as organizations prioritize safeguarding their systems and data from attacks. These job roles include Cybersecurity Analyst, Network Security Architect, Security Software Developer, Application Security Engineer, and Malware Analyst.

Salary Trends

Average annual salary: $113,000

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Database Administration

What You’ll Learn

Database administration and management courses help individuals develop skills that are crucial for ensuring databases run smoothly and efficiently. Intensive database administration programs encompass concepts, such as DBMS configuration and implementation, SQL coding, database designs, data extraction, loading, and transformation, database security, and test data management.

How You’ll Learn

You can become a database administrator by pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science or information science. While this may suffice for entry-level jobs, you might need a master’s degree in information technology or database administration for career growth.

Job Trends and Roles

Some trending job roles in the area of database administration that you can consider are— Database Administrator, Database Engineer, Database Specialist, and SQL Database Administrator.

Salary Trends

Annual salary range: $77,000 to $85,000

Information Security

What You’ll Learn

Courses, such as bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as certification courses cover foundational concepts, such as integrity, confidentiality, threats and vulnerability, compliance, and risk management. You will also learn how to explore and protect organizational assets with the help of security controls.

How You’ll Learn

There are two ways to develop skills and knowledge specific to information security: you can either follow the conventional path and pursue your bachelor’s and master’s degrees in cybersecurity or information security, or you can pursue certification courses for information security to develop job-specific skills. However, some organizations may require you to have a bachelor’s or both bachelor’s and master’s degrees to be able to apply for a position.

Job Trends and Roles

Some lucrative job trends and roles, whether you aspire to witness career growth or financial growth, are Security Engineers, Security Architects, Cybersecurity Analysts, Cybersecurity Managers, Penetration Testers, and Information Security Consultants.

Salary Trends

Average annual salary: $77,000 to $82,000

Information Technology

What You’ll Learn

When pursuing an undergraduate degree in information technology, you will learn about computer architecture and organization, electronics, operating systems, basics of computer systems, multimedia applications, and database systems among others.

How You’ll Learn

Individuals who aspire to become IT professionals can start with a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology. And if you intend to have more specialized skills that are industry-specific, you can further pursue a master’s degree in Information Technology or a relevant certification course.

Job Trends and Roles

Once you complete an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in information technology, you can look for job roles, such as Software Developer, Software Quality Assurance Tester and Analyst, Computer System Analyst, Computer Programmer, and Computer Systems Administrator.

Salary Trends

  • Average annual salary for entry-level job roles: $65,000
  • Average annual salary for advanced-level roles: $174,000

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Software Engineering

What You’ll Learn

A course in software engineering focuses on concepts pertaining to building software systems, which further includes topics such as software testing, deployment, project management, and quality assurance.

How You’ll Learn

You can kickstart your journey of becoming a software engineer by going for a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or Software Engineering. If you want to develop expertise in your field, a master’s degree is recommended. Further, you can go for certificate courses to polish your skills and for hands-on learning.

Job Trends and Roles

The entry-level job role for aspiring professionals, as they complete a bachelor’s in Computer Science or Software Engineering is Junior Software Engineer. As you make progress and gain experience, you may get promoted and will qualify for jobs roles that demand expertise. Some common job roles in the area of software engineering include Front-End Engineers, Back-End Engineers, Full-Stack Engineers, Graphics Engineers, and DevOps Engineers.

Salary Trends

Average annual base salary: $117,000

Web Development

What You’ll Learn

Web development courses lay the foundations of integral concepts, programming languages, and frameworks, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, as these concepts are crucial responsibilities of a web developer. These courses also focus on data formats, APIs, testing, authentication, and various browser DevTools for editing HTML and CSS elements, debugging, checking devices, etc.

How You’ll Learn

One of the best ways to learn to code if you’re still exploring your options is by signing up for free coding classes. However, if you are committed to paving your career path in web development, you can pursue well-planned, intensive courses that focus on basic as well as advanced concepts to offer you expertise.

Job Trends and Roles

With an increase in the demand for web developers, certain job roles that are at the forefront of the industry are Front-End Web Developers, Back-End Web Developers, Full-Stack Web Developers, JavaScript Developers, and Mobile Developers.

Salary Trends

  • Average annual salary for Front-End Web Developers: $105,000
  • Average annual salary for Back-End Web Developers: $120,000
  • Average annual salary for Full-Stack Web Developers: $107,000
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Conclusion

Hope this article was able to help you understand the different options available in taking up online computer science courses. If you are looking to enhance your software development skills, we would recommend you check Simplilearn’s Post Graduate Program in Full Stack Web Development. This course, developed in collaboration with Caltech CTME, can give you access to the right skills and make you job-ready in no time.

If you have any questions or queries, feel free to post them in the comments section below. Our team will get back to you at the earliest.

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SimplilearnSimplilearn

Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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