Traditional computer science (CS) careers represent nearly 10 percent of the current “100 Best Jobs” listed by US News & World Report. These include roles like software developer (#3), computer systems analyst (#7), and information security analyst (#9).  An earlier study reported by Forbes identified software quality assurance engineers as the “happiest job,” with two other CS professions appearing in the top 20.

Just the beginning

Computer science principles will eventually be as ubiquitous and foundational as reading and mathematics. The strength and versatility at the core of CS is computational thinking.

That core enables success for a wide range of careers, even outside of those we might consider as stereotypically computer science, such as programming. CS develops creativity, problem solving, abstraction, and analytical thinking, in addition to other skills and abilities. It is a field that develops and rewards both grit and persistence.

"Today’s world has many challenges, many of which will be solved through the evolution of digital technology."

Individuals with CS education can be found in an increasingly diverse range of professions and fields: Digital anthropology, digital commerce, digital forensics, cyber security, digital media—from journalism to making movies—entrepreneurship, data analytics, medical robotics, environmental informatics, technical writing, digital storytelling, innovation management, bioinformatics, digital marketing, strategy, emerging technology R&D, gaming, education and, of course, programming.

Finding your path

The specific path one might take to utilize CS in a career is perhaps as varied as the individual. For me personally, I happened to take a CS course my first semester of college. While it was hard initially, it was also remarkably fun and rewarding—like playing a game where, through trial and error, you figure out how to solve increasingly complex challenges.

Today’s world has many challenges, many of which will be solved through the evolution of digital technology. How long it takes for that evolution to unfold is partly dependent on the rate at which we educate more people in CS concepts.

What seems clear, however, is that future employment opportunities will be heavily dependent on some degree of CS knowledge. Beyond that, the possibilities are almost limitless.