Top Computer Science Careers and Skills + 10 Programs to Match
December 21, 2020 | edX team
Demand for computer science roles has been rising for years. Under the lens of the pandemic, opportunities sharpen focus specifically in areas that help reduce cost, enable remote work, and sustain operations. For example, in a recent Deloitte survey executives across a range of industries ranked cybersecurity solutions and cloud computing as the two most relevant technologies in the new normal.
Keep reading to learn more about top computer science roles and skills and explore 10 edX programs that can help you take the next step in your career.
Gain In-Demand Cloud Computing Skills or Kickstart a Career
Hiring managers in the 2020 Open Source Jobs report from edX and the Linux Foundation marked knowledge of open cloud technologies as having the most significant impact on hiring decisions, with 70% being more likely to hire a pro with these skills, up from 66% in 2018.
- Build your own cloud-based applications and learn about the technologies behind them, guided by experts from IBM in the Cloud Application Development Foundations Professional Certificate program.
- Gain an understanding of cloud technologies such as AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, OpenStack, and vSphere and how to leverage them to increase business productivity and effectiveness in UMGC and USMx's Cloud Computing MicroMasters® program.
Meet the Need for Skilled Cybersecurity Professionals
From the sudden shift to remote work to increases in online banking and ecommerce, cybercrime is soaring and cybersecurity professionals are playing an even more vital role in securing digital infrastructures. One McKinsey report suggests that as companies reimagine their processes and redesign architecture amid the COVID-19 response, the role of cybersecurity professionals and teams will become even more important, growing into strategic partners in technology and business decision making.
- Gain the essential knowledge and expertise in network security and forensics needed for cybersecurity in enterprise environments in the RITx MicroMasters® program in Cybersecurity.
Spring into an Information Technology Career
According to the 2020 Open Source Jobs report, despite the pandemic and economic slowdown, 37% of hiring managers say they will be hiring more skilled information technology (IT) professionals in the next six months. A Burning Glass Technologies report conducted in partnership with JFF identifies IT as an area where 84% of roles are “springboard jobs,” with around 16% of workers moving up within five years and at least 65% of IT workers remaining in their career area after five years.
- Advance your IT expertise by earning a MicroBachelors® program certificate in Introduction to Information Technology from WGUx.
- Learn everything you need to know to start using a relational database management system in the web, the cloud, and embedded applications in the NYUx Introduction to Databases MicroBachelors® program.
- Unlock business value by using information systems and digital technologies in IUx’s Information Systems MicroMasters® program.
Build a Strong Foundation in Computer Science
While computer science professionals have the option to focus in any one subject area, there’s also value in a generalist approach.
“As with probably any subject, computing gives you the choice of breadth vs. depth. You can go deep and specialize very heavily in one in-demand field, such as data science, web development, or artificial intelligence, or you can go broad and seek to be more of a generalist, dabbling in a little bit of each. Personally, I think it's prudent to go for the latter: do a little bit of everything. By going broad, you lay a foundation to go deep wherever you need to whenever you need to,” said David Joyner, PhD, executive director of online education and OMSCS for the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and instructor for several courses and programs on edX, such as Computing in Python I: Fundamentals and Procedural Programming.
- Gain a robust understanding of computer science and learn how to scale your web applications in the HarvardX Computer Science for Web Programming Professional Certificate program.
- Learn fundamental knowledge of computer hardware and operating systems and earn undergraduate college credit in the Computer Science Fundamentals MicroBachelors® Program from NYUx.
- Access world-class professors, a professional network of talented peers from across the globe, and a degree that will enable you to pursue career opportunities from one of the most in-demand fields with the top-ranked Online Master’s Degree in Computer Science from The University of Texas at Austin.
Learn One of the Top Programming Skills
According to Stack Overflow data, Python is the fastest-growing major programming language worldwide. Learning Python gives you access to a wide, general-purpose language that can be used in a variety of industry, research, and engineering contexts.
- Discover the design cycle of computer programming — writing code, executing it, interpreting the results, and revising the code syntax based on the outcomes in the GTx Introduction to Python Programming Professional Certificate program.
“I teach and highly suggest that new coders use Python and its associated packages. In my mind, there is no comparison in terms of online documentation, user community, ease-of-learning, and general capabilities of Python,” said Dr. Clayton Miller, assistant professor for the School of Design and Environment’s Department of Building at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and instructor for the NUS edX course Data Science for Construction, Architecture and Engineering.