This is the age of the computer. Twenty years ago, it was still just about possible to work in an office without being computer literate. There was a split in the workforce between people who had computer skills and people who didn’t. Those who didn’t tend to be older employees or business owners, who managed or employed people who could handle the information technology side of the business for them. These days it’s no longer an option. If you want to get ahead in any kind of business, you need to know your way around a computer.

Given that computers are all around us, and the current generation of 15-25-year-olds don’t remember a world without the internet, you would expect that people entering the employment market right now would have better, more advanced computer skills that any generation that’s come before them. Shockingly, that doesn’t appear to be the case. The number of people leaving university with computer science degrees today is down more than five percent compared to ten years ago. Nobody seems to know what’s sparked this trend. Maybe young people assume that basic computer and systems knowledge is enough for them to get by – or maybe they believe that there isn’t a career waiting for them after they’ve obtained that particular qualification.

If the latter is true, we want to demonstrate the falsity of that statement. There are several incredible career options available to those who have a degree in computer science, and here are five of the best-paying and most exciting.

Cybersecurity Consultant

Here’s a statistic that might alarm you. The average cost of a cyber attack on a business – even a small business – is two hundred thousand dollars. The cost can be made up of several different things, from payments made using stolen card details to lost customers and stolen intellectual property. With the costs so high, some small businesses never come back from a cyber attack. That’s why they need people like you, a computer science graduate, to defend them. Using the skills you’ve developed during your degree, you constantly patrol your company’s systems looking for holes or breaches, plugging them up when they appear and reporting the breaches as they happen. Your primary is to prevent any such breach from occurring in the first place and helping to create company information technology security policy.

Online Slots Programmer

Unless you’re a gambler, you probably haven’t come into contact with online slots before. That doesn’t matter for this job – no previous experience is necessary. An online slots game with no deposit bonus is the same as the games you remember from slot machines in the corners of bingo balls and bars but in digital format. Modern-era online slots often use slick graphics and official licenses to make themselves stand out, but underneath the sleek appearance is a lot of very sophisticated coding and some incredibly advanced mathematics. If you have a mind for maths – which seems inevitable, given that you’ve completed a computer science degree – you might be able to help developers put new online slots together. If you can, you’ll be part of an industry that’s on track to reach global revenue of $100bn per year by 2025.

Database Administrator

Not every computer science graduate is a great communicator or a born leader. If the ‘front line’ responsibilities of a cybersecurity consultant or the team-player nature of a job in online slots doesn’t interest you, perhaps you’d be happier as a database administrator. The title makes it sound like it might be a dull, low-paying job, but it’s nothing of the sort. Almost every business uses a database of some kind – often one that’s embedded into or even part of your company’s CMS. It’s vitally important that the data in that database is valid, accurate, secure, recoverable, and accessible at all times. If it isn’t, the business will struggle to function. It’s a business-critical role, and so it pays a business-critical salary.

Games Developer

This is the ultimate dream of many computer science graduates. You probably grew up playing and enjoying video games, and so why not jump to the other side of the fence and start making them now you’re an adult? Because of the complexities of the role, it’s not quite as much fun as sitting and playing video games all day, but it’s very rewarding to be involved in the creation of something amazing and watching other people enjoy it. Imagine how much satisfaction you could take from being part of making the next ‘Grand Theft Auto’ or something similar! These days there are more formats for games than ever before, from traditional consoles to mobile and web-based games. Vacancies for video game designers are hard to come by because they’re so highly coveted, but you have the right qualification to get involved – so why not back yourself and try?

Technical Writer

You have an excellent understanding of how computers and software programs operate. Most people don’t. The people who don’t will need to be taught how to use those systems by the people who do, and that’s where you can come in. You might not want to stand up in a classroom and teach it, but you could do the next best thing. You could write the reference materials that the teachers use in those classrooms. Every software program needs an instructions manual. Even programming languages need instruction manuals. Every time a business asks for a specific software program to be built for them, they’ll need someone to write a guide explaining how that system works, in thorough detail. That’s what technical writers do. The job requires an almost forensic understanding of the intricacies of programs, and also clear communication skills, but someone has to do it. If you think you have the specific knowledge and the patience, you’ll never find yourself short of clients working in such a role.

All of the possible career routes we’ve outlined above are highly specific and specialized roles. A computer science degree is a foot in the door for almost any computer-related job in the world, and it’s not a qualification that’s going to become less relevant as time goes on. Don’t be put off the idea of obtaining such a qualification – it could change your life!