5 Highest-Paying Career Options for PhDs in Computer Science

For those working toward earning their Doctorate in Computer Science, it isn’t uncommon to have questions regarding career paths. Some of these questions include, “Can I get the kind of job I want in computer science following graduation?” “What are my job options?” “What is a doctorate in computer science salary?” “Is a computer science PhD worth it?” Let’s look at five careers with a PhD in Computer Science to help answer some of these questions.

1. Computer Scientist

According to Northeastern University, the average salary of a computer scientist is between $81,000 and $154,000 with a median salary of $113,180. Their primary responsibilities include the development of an organization’s computer-based tools. Development, depending on the company where they find employment, could be anything from developing algorithms to improve efficiency or designing databases. Therefore, it’s critical for a computer scientist to know C++, Java, Python, SQL, XML, or other program languages.

2. Computer Systems Engineer

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics states that the average median pay in 2017 was between $88,270 annually with an hourly rate of $44.20. A computer systems engineer, also known as a computer systems analyst or system architect, studies a company or organization’s procedures and computer systems. Then, it’s their responsibility to help the business operate more effectively and efficiently using their design solutions.

3. Computer Science Professor

According to the crowd-sourced salary website Payscale, the average salary to become a computer science professor is $84,769. It depends, however, in which state the graduation would like to teach. Computer science professors place focus on the understanding of the computational processes of computers, as well as their design. Professors also work with students of computer engineering, information technology, and other allied fields.

4. Computer Network Architect

According to O*Net OnLine, a Computer Network Architect earns $50.31 hourly and $104,650 annually. Their primary employment responsibilities include the maintenance of computer networks to enhance user access and performance. They must also perform research to gain information about processes or products, as well as develop models or specifications for computer networks or communication systems.

5. Research and Development

According to ComputerScience.org, the average salary for those working in research and development is approximately $113,190. Every year, this salary continues to increase. This job is also referred to as a computer science researcher and translates a PhD to industry quite well. Just about every industry needs people working in computer research and development including security, software development, academia, the government, and more.

Final Thoughts

For those wondering if computer science PhD worth it, after looking at the doctorate in computer science salary for each of the careers here, it’s possible to see that translating a PhD to industry is a lucrative decision. The first step in any career decision, however, is for the graduate to conduct research regarding interests and long-term objectives. By doing this, the reality of obtaining a career in the computer science field following graduation doesn’t have to be a dream. Graduates can achieve their goals, and they can get the job in computer science they want.