Technology drives the world. As such, the world relies on trained computer scientists.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer science is one of the fastest-growing fields. Demand for computer scientists is on the rise. Because of demand, specializations in the field have evolved. Colleges and universities offer more than general computer science degrees. They understand the importance of developing experts in specialized areas of computer science.
Here are five specialization in computer science programs to consider as you search for a new career. These specializations can help you find the best jobs in the field.
Top 5 Computer Science Specializations
Which specialization is best in CSE for future jobs? What are the most in-demand computer science specializations? Are some better than others? Read on for answers to these questions and more.
1. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is a growing field. As smarter technology develops, computer-driven machines with human learning capabilities emerge. From chatbots to androids, AI has become a part of everyday human life.
While it is a best specialization in CSE, AI is not offered at all colleges and universities. But some schools have introduced this CS specialization.
In a bachelor’s degree program, you take courses that explore machine learning topics. Some of the classes you take include:
- Ethics and AI
- Human computer interaction
- Machine learning
- Natural language processing
- Perception and language
- Programming languages
You also take a series of core computer science courses. These courses help lay a foundation that your advanced classes will build upon. You learn how to code and explore computer science theories. You also complete projects that improve your team-building skills.
To major in CSE and earn an AI specialization, you should be good at math and computers. You should have a broad computer science education and have strong critical thinking skills.
Earnings Potential for AI
Computer scientists with an artificial intelligence specialization can earn over $170,000/year.
Cybersecurity is one of the fastest-growing specializations in computer science. Since companies store sensitive data online, they need experts in the field. From retailers to banks, companies pay top dollar for skilled cybersecurity professionals.
To meet the demand, colleges and universities offer computer science students cybersecurity credentials. You can earn:
- Cybersecurity certificates
In a cyber security program, you learn about computer systems while focusing on security measures. You take courses such as:
- Data analysis
- Data mining
- Database management
- Maintain software systems and software security
- Safety critical systems
You also take basic and advanced computer science courses. They help you establish a strong foundation in the field. Once you have basic knowledge, you can build upon it with your specialization studies.
Earnings Potential for Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity professionals earn an average salary of $99,000/year. Administrators and network supervisors earn higher wages. With leadership skills, you can land a job as a team leader or network administrator.
3. Mobile Computing
Mobile computing is another in-demand specialization in CSE (Computer Science Engineering). Since consumers engage in a many activities via smartphones, companies need experts.
This specialization gives you programming skills in different areas of mobile technology. You learn about app building and Bluetooth capabilities. You also study computer architecture as it relates to mobile devices. Your courses cover topics such as:
- Computer apps and graphics
- Computer networks and mobile computing
- Computer safety critical systems
Few schools offer specializations in mobile computing. As this computer science specialization increases in popularity, more programs pop up. But you can find accredited programs from top-ranked schools. Some online options are also available.
With this degree, you can qualify for jobs as mobile app designers or software developers. You can also work as other types of computer science professionals.
Earnings Potential for Mobile Computing
As one of the best CSE specialization programs, you can earn good wages. Mobile computing specialists earn about $89,000/year. But with experience, you can earn more.
4. Software Engineering
Another top specialization in computer science is software engineering. Within this specialization, there are various areas of focus. You can specialize your specialization! Software engineering branches that are popular in college include:
- Game development
- Graphic design
Colleges and universities that offer computer science degrees also offer this specialization. You can also study it as a concentration or as a minor. Because software engineers are in demand, more colleges offer software engineering as a specialization.
Earnings Potential for Software Engineering
On average, you can earn over $100,000/year as a software engineer. But with experience, you can start at a higher average wage.
5. UI/UX Design
User interface and user experience design is another best computer science specialization. It merges computing knowledge with:
UI/UX design improves the way humans interact with computers and computing machines. UI/UX designers focus on making software and applications usable. They also help make machines as accessible as possible.
There are few colleges and universities that offer a UI/UX design specialization. But those that do help prepare engineers that are valuable to the field.
Earnings Potential for UI/UX Design
UI/UX engineers earn an average salary of $90,000/year. Salary.com reports an average wage of about $120,000/year. The range falls somewhere between $98,000 and $148,000.
Other CS Specialization Programs to Consider
A top computer science engineering specialization is computer graphics. Studies in this specialization focus on two- and three-dimensional images used in different software applications. Applications include:
- Computer-assisted design (CAD)
You should have good computer science skills to land a job in this field. But you should also be creative. Visual attention to detail and artistic abilities also help.
With a CG specialization, you should also have a portfolio of work that you can show to a potential employer. In your college courses, you will complete projects. Save your work to show employers what you accomplished. Be able to speak on your accomplishments. They showcase both your skills and creative abilities.
What can you do with a computer graphics specialization?
Computer graphics students find work in different roles. Job titles include:
- Computer graphic engineer
- iOS developer
- Mobile application developer
Knowing how to mine large data sets is a unique skill. This specialization teaches you how to retrieve and analyze data. You need good skills in math and analytics. You should also be detail-oriented. But with this specialization, you can find work in many different industries.
What can you do with a data science specialization?
There are various jobs you can get in data analytics and data science. Some you won’t need a master’s degree in data science to get. Roles you can qualify for with a data science specialization include:
- Computer systems engineer
- Data scientist
- Data mining specialist
- Big data specialist
- Machine learning engineer
- Software engineer
Students who specialization in programming languages understand the differences between the most important languages in computer science. You gain coding and scripting skills. You also learn how to use each language. Common languages studies include:
- Visual Basic
What can you do with a game design specialization?
You can qualify for jobs in many areas of computer science. Some jobs you won’t need a master’s degree to get. Job titles include:
- Full stack web developer
- Machine learning engineer
- Software programmer
- Video game designer
How to Choose the Right Computer Science Specialization
If you have a special interest in an area of computer science, you can find rewarding and high-paying jobs with the right degree. Choosing a specialization depends on your personal interests and career goals. Here are some tips to help you choose the right computer science specialization.
Are You Creative?
Do you have an eye for visual design? Do you pay attention to the details? If so, consider a specialization that demands creativity and detail-oriented students.
A focus in game design or computer graphics lets you combine your creativity with your computer science knowledge. You gain skills needed to land a job as an UX designer or programmer.
Ask Yourself What You Love
If you love coding, take a software programming class and see how you do. If you do well, a software programming specialization might be a good fit. The point is to find out what you love and pursue it.
A specialization lets you explore your interests. Remember, finding out what you don’t like is as important as finding out what you do.
Enjoy Patterns and Puzzles
Some people like to detect patterns and analyze data. They enjoy human computer interaction. If this is you, consider a specialization in data science or computer theory. You can also find exciting work in artificial intelligence and data analysis.
Have a Technical Training Background
If you have a technical training background and a bachelor’s degree, you should consider an engineering role. Look for specializations that cover back-end operations. They will prepare you for careers as systems administrators and machine learning engineers.
Want More Math
If you enjoy your math classes, you can specialize in an area of computer science that uses math and statistics. Think artificial intelligence or machine learning. Both areas demand sharp math skills.
If you love to problem-solve and enjoy working with numbers, data science is also a good specialization to get. Early on in your studies, explore different options. Take a data analytics course or a seminar on machine learning. You might surprise yourself with newfound interests.
There are different ways to discover your interests, but the best way is to take a variety of courses. Explore your interests. Find out what excites you. From there, you can pursue your dreams as a computer science specialist.
Why Choose a Computer Science Specialization
There are many reasons to commit to a computer science specialization. If you aren’t sure whether to earn a specialization or a general computer science degree, take a look the most common reasons to specialize.
Explore Your Career Interests
When you first start a computer science program, you might not know what job you want to take. But a specialization helps you discover your personal interests and career goals. You might take classes in computer graphics and decide it’s the field you want to pursue. A computer science specialization helps you find out what areas you’re interested in.
Higher Earnings Potential
Certain specializations offer high career earnings. A specialization in artificial intelligence can lead to more pay than you would get with a general computer science degree.
Some employers incentivize applicants with higher earnings and bonuses. If you offer expertise in a specific area, you will get more pay. If a tech company wants computer science professionals to run their security department, they look for candidates with cybersecurity training.
More Employment Opportunities
A computer science specialization can open doors to different career opportunities. This is one of the main reasons students earn a specialization. Since computer science is an in-demand field, there is competition. But you can set yourself apart by specializing your degree.
With a specialization, you show potential employers that you have knowledge in a particular field. Employers will feel confident in hiring someone with relevant training.
This concludes our best computer science specializations list.