These are the 10 fastest-growing computer and mathematics jobs—and the skills you need to land one
While some industries have suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, others are thriving, and even projected to expand rapidly. The computer and information technology industry is one sector expected to experience significant growth between 2020 and 2030.
Whether you’re seeking a career in software development, looking to join the creative minds behind designing computer programs, or pursuing manufacturing as an operations research analyst, one thing is certain: These jobs are in demand. To prove it, Tovuti identified the 10 fastest-growing computer and mathematics jobs for the next decade, using employment projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs are ranked by the greatest projected increase in employment.
Careers in these fields can be achieved through a multitude of trajectories. While many of the occupations listed require at least a bachelor’s degree, today’s online coding boot camps and other innovative learning methods offer alternative ways to learn important skill sets. Employment opportunities in computer and math industries had already been rising prior to the pandemic, but since its inception, remote work has become even more prevalent due to the growing need for network support. The increase in remote and hybrid work agreements, telehealth services, and the rise of e-commerce requires an emphasis on cybersecurity solutions, which means more computer experts.
The BLS identifies computer and mathematical occupations as the most tech-focused industry code. The most recent salary data is from May 2020. BLS created its most updated projections, between 2020–2030, in September 2021. Statisticians, information security analysts, data scientists, and mathematical science occupations, are among the top-30 occupations overall.
Keep reading to learn about the 10 most in-demand computer and mathematics roles for the foreseeable future.
#10. Computer user support specialists
- Projected 2030 employment increase: 8.9%
- Total employment in 2020: 654,800
- Median salary in 2020: $52,690
Computer user support specialists provide technical assistance to people who may not be familiar with information technology approaches. These professionals may help customers via phone, online chat, or email. Some typical job duties may include diagnosing a computer problem, training users on new software, and documenting consumer complaints and issues.
Educational requirements vary for this role but employers tend to hire applicants with an associate or bachelor’s degree. Some computer support specialists are able to work remotely while others may work for finance and insurance companies or for software publishers.
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#9. Computer occupations, all other
- Projected 2030 employment increase: 9.2%
- Total employment in 2020: 442,200
- Median salary in 2020: $92,870
Computer network architects design and create plans for computer networks. Computer systems designers create and interconnect systems to meet the needs of an organization.
When looking for computer systems designers, employers lean more toward candidates who are knowledgeable in information technology, computer sciences, or business information systems. Computer information systems managers, computer systems engineers, and system analysts are also occupations that are in high demand within the computer industry.
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#8. Web developers and digital interface designers
- Projected 2030 employment increase: 12.8%
- Total employment in 2020: 199,400
- Median salary in 2020: $77,200
Web developers use programming languages to build online software and code for the front end and back end of websites and applications. These professionals can also remedy technical bugs and install security software. A web developer can work as a freelancer for a small company or large corporation.
Employers generally hire applicants with a computer-related degree or relevant work experience. Similar to many positions on this list, this role can be done remotely, although California, New York, and Texas are known to be huge tech hubs, which can increase earning potential.
#7. Computer and information research scientists
- Projected 2030 employment increase: 21.9%
- Total employment in 2020: 33,000
- Median salary in 2020: $126,830
Computer and information research analysts work closely with scientists and engineers to explore and solve complex computer problems. They create and design new technology and find new uses for automation that already exist. This includes creating new computer languages and methods to improve how people work with computers and these analysts may also write software that controls the electronics in cars.
Most people who work as computer and information research scientists work full-time, though some work over 40 hours per week. People who work in this role may work for the federal government, a software publisher, or at a college or university. A master’s degree is usually required for computer and information research scientists and generally takes between two and three years of study after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field.
#6. Software developers and software quality assurance analysts and testers
- Projected 2030 employment increase: 22.2%
- Total employment in 2020: 1,847,900
- Median salary in 2020: $110,140
Some software developers design and build computer programs while others may create applications for mobile use. Software developers work closely with computer programmers, as a software developer will determine a program’s functionality and safety needs before sending it to a computer programmer to develop it. After a software developer builds a program, quality assurance analysts test the software to make sure it’s working and that a product is efficient before releasing the software product to the public.
Software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers are generally required to have a bachelor’s degree in computer and information technology. Some employers prefer applicants to have a master’s degree.
- Projected 2030 employment increase: 24.5%
- Total employment in 2020: 27,700
- Median salary in 2020: $111,030
Actuaries have a strong employment outlook with an above-average median salary and projected job growth. Actuaries use mathematics and statistics and evaluate financial costs or risks for health and home insurance companies as well as other businesses. They make note of their findings and use the data to predict the probability of negative incidents.
To become an actuary, an undergraduate degree in math, statistics, and business is required. To pass the exams to become a certified actuary, it’s crucial to have a strong understanding of calculus and algebra.
#4. Operations research analysts
- Projected 2030 employment increase: 24.6%
- Total employment in 2020: 104,100
- Median salary in 2020: $86,200
Operations research analysts develop solutions that help businesses and organizations run more efficiently. These analysts may identify and discuss operational issues with their clients and stakeholders. Some issues that an operations research analyst may come across include concerns in supply and production. UPS, for example, utilizes operations research to analyze the flow of packages and provide route recommendations to drivers to help manage distribution.
Operations research analysts are generally required to have a bachelor’s degree in industries such as business, social science, or engineering. Some employers may favor candidates with a master’s degree.
#3. Data scientists and mathematical science occupations
- Projected 2030 employment increase: 31.4%
- Total employment in 2020: 63,200
- Median salary in 2020: $98,230
Data scientists design data modeling processes and create algorithms and predictive models to help companies achieve their goals. People in this role can work at startups as well as government agencies and research organizations. Data scientists analyze large amounts of data to study consumer and market trends. Knowledge in data analytics as well as predictive modeling, a mathematical method used to predict trends, is beneficial for this job.
Most data scientists have a college degree that requires technical skills. Being a math teacher, pharmacy technician, or chemist, are among the common career opportunities in mathematical science.
#2. Information security analysts
- Projected 2030 employment increase: 33.3%
- Total employment in 2020: 141,200
- Median salary in 2020: $103,590
Information security analysts protect a company’s technology systems and networks. These analysts may need to install specific software and watch for suspicious activities to safeguard the company from cyberattacks. The role of an information security analyst entails being able to quickly solve complicated problems such as breaches or malware attacks. The analyst also needs to be detail-oriented and up to speed with their company’s technology as malicious codes may not always be easily detectable in computer systems.
To become an information security analyst, a bachelor’s degree in computers and information technology or a related industry such as engineering is required.
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- Projected 2030 employment increase: 35.4%
- Total employment in 2020: 42,000
- Median salary in 2020: $92,270
If you enjoy doing mathematics, are detail-oriented, and like analyzing and interpreting data, the role of a statistician may be of interest to you. Statisticians help companies collect and analyze data that can be useful to business strategies such as understanding a change in consumer behavior or buying trends.
Statisticians often work with collecting demographic, health, and environmental information and use computers with specialized software to analyze data. They may design surveys, questionnaires, and polls, and during their analysis, they calculate averages and specifics to determine conclusions. Statisticians typically work in teams and may write reports to explain their research to other team members or clients using charts and graphs.
To become a statistician, a bachelor’s degree in mathematics or statistics is required, though people with degrees in other areas such as economics, computer science, data analysis, or financial analyst are often employed in this role.