9 Different Types Of Scientific Computing Jobs

With the rapidly digitizing world, computer technologies have become part and parcel of modern life. If you understand computing hardware, software design, and conducting numerical analysis based on algorithms, you’re sure to find your skills in high demand by employers.

The ever-increasing scope of scientific computing presents candidates with innumerable choices when it comes to career options.

As a specialist, you can apply your expertise in various industries, ranging from finance, telecommunications, data warehouses, administrative organizations, healthcare, and education.

Whether you work at the back-end as a programmer or a liaison between the tech team and clients, you’re bound to find plenty of opportunities to apply your technical know-how.

For candidates just starting their career, finding your place in the world of computational science can be challenging. Ultimately, the job you target depends on your abilities, interests, and expertise

Keep in mind that relevant work experience always helps you get a head-start. It’s a good idea to compile a portfolio of independent projects outside your degree to show potential employers you have expertise in your field.

Employers prioritize candidates with problem-solving skills, creativity, and the ability to think outside the box.

So, without further ado, let’s jump right into the possible career options you can take as a scientific computing expert. Be aware that this is not an exhaustive list, and there are many other potential career opportunities as well.

Software Engineer

A software engineer applies mathematical and scientific principles to create programs and resolve problems.

As a software engineer, you will work in a continually evolving workplace because of the fast-approaching technological advancements.

You’ll maintain, create, improve, and audit systems accordingly to meet the standards required by the systems architect.

It will demand consistent testing of both software and hardware systems to check and resolve system faults.

The job role also includes drafting diagnostic programs and designing. In addition to that, you’ll also have to write codes for system software. Whenever required, you’ll also provide recommendations for further developments.

You may find that your role isn’t classified as ‘Software Engineer.’ You may be referred to as web/database/software/systems programmer, developer, or engineer, depending on the system you develop.

Alternatively, the programming language you’re tasked with may also become an essential part of the job title, for example, a Java developer.

Based on the company you serve, your job description and roles will be defined differently. You may be working alongside a skilled group of IT specialists, including systems designers, testers, and analysts. 

Nevertheless, as a software engineer often manages the support operating systems, the job role may also expect you to communicate and translate resource requirements into systems development.

Some of the responsibilities that you’ll have as a software engineer include but not limited to:

  • Analyze user needs
  • Test and write codes, rewriting and refining them as required, and collaborate with programmers that are part of the project
  • Write, design, and research software programs such as computer games or business applications and operating systems
  • Analyze the systems and software that make hardware and computers work
  • Develop current programs by evaluating sections for modification
  • Integrate current program and products and ensure incompatible platforms work correctly
  • Develop technical specifications
  • Write operational records with authors
  • Work closely with graphic artists, UX designers, project managers, other developers, sales and marketing, and system analyst professionals
  • Consult colleagues and clients concerning the performance and maintenance of software program and systems, with a clear view to modify and write a new operating system
  • Investigate thoroughly new technologies for the organization

Regularly update latest technical skills and knowledge by attending virtual, external, and in-person courses, reading instruction manuals, and evaluating new applications

It is also a financially promising career; a typical graduate with a software engineering degree can make about $25,000 annually. However, when software engineers reach management or senior-level positions, they can earn anywhere between $63,000 to $98,000 per annum.

This doesn’t include the bonuses and other perks and privileges that may come with a position.


  • Flexible work schedule
  • Remote work capability
  • High salary


  • Demanding nature of the job
  • Hard to get into this field

Cyber-security Consultant

Cyber-security is a crucial concern for organizations where integrated IT systems are in use. As more and more companies transition to digital operations, the need for safeguarding data has increased exponentially.

Data breaches are a severe cause for concern for all, which means that you have prospects in numerous fields as a cyber-security consultant.

Your job will be focused on understanding the potential risk of data breaches and ensuring data security. You will be responsible for pinpointing current and potential vulnerabilities.

To identify possible weak links in the security framework, you might also need to roleplay as a hacker, classified as ethical hacking. This entails attempting to hack into your employer’s network to discover and isolate any points of weakness.

Your role as a cyber-security analyst can include both back-end work on the server and front-end work involving the client or even a full-stack position that involves dealing with both sides.

Alternatively, your job role could be that of a computer forensic analyst or investigator, where you will be tasked with combating cyber-crime incidents for your organization and their clients.

Some of the responsibilities that a cyber-security analyst is tasked with are:

  • Working closely with organizations to identify any security breaches
  • Monitoring their networks for possible vulnerable points of breach
  • Installing and running software and tools to combat data breaches and cyber-crime
  • Potentially developing customized software to protect confidential company information
  • Running simulated cyber-attacks on networks to identify vulnerabilities and potential breaches
  • Devising comprehensive reports for senior staff regarding security breaches and how they occurred
  • Preventing any further reoccurrence of past security breaches and optimizing the existing security framework

These are just some of the responsibilities of cyber-security analysts; the roles may differ depending on the organization and job.

Cyber-security analysts must have a strong understanding of IT networks, operating systems, cloud computing, malware, IDS, and IPS.

Plus, it’s essential to have proficiency in various programming languages, such as C, C++, Java, and PHP. If you’re working as a front-end developer, Javascript proficiency is required

Alongside technical expertise, cyber-security analysts must possess strong communication skills to help them relay information to senior staff and company members with less technical knowledge.

They must also have a propensity to think outside the box and have strong problem-solving skills.


  • High salary
  • Good job security
  • Good career progression


  • Hard to get into this field
  • Long working hours

Information Systems Manager

Information systems managers play an essential role in companies across numerous industries. Management consulting and information technology industries account for a significant chunk of the jobs in this sector.

But that is not to say that fields such as education, accounting, and manufacturing do not have fruitful prospects for information systems managers.

As an information systems manager, your job will be similar to an IT consultant, and you can expect to be employed as a permanent member of the staff. You will be responsible for maintaining the operations of computer systems within the organization.

With a team of junior IT employees working under you, you will be accountable for the complete upkeep of the ICT infrastructure falling within the organization’s network.

Among your duties would be ensuring that the ICT facilities are current and updated and meet the company requirements. You must also stay on top of all software licensing laws and ensure that the company infrastructure is compliant with all licenses.

Some of the salient responsibilities of an information systems manager include:

  • Overseeing and supervising all system installations and updates
  • Ensure regular and adequate backing up of all systems
  • Repairing faulty hardware and software
  • Procurement of new models
  • Ensuring secure access to all users within the organization’s network
  • Providing IT support to users and troubleshooting problems
  • Ensuring the security of data from external and internal attacks

Besides technical skills, information systems analysts must also understand business and management principles, along with having strong communication skills.

They will be responsible for devising and contributing to the organizational policy concerning quality standards and strategic planning for IT systems and infrastructure.


  • Very high salary
  • Good job security
  • Good for project-oriented individuals


  • Hard to get into this career
  • Long working hours

Database Administrator

As the name implies, Database administrators are responsible for all database functions. While that is a general description for the job, your specific role will be determined by the employer, though closely linked to database maintenance or development.

To comprehensively cover the primary responsibilities, a database administrator is responsible for developing, maintaining, and ensuring a computerized database’s performance, upkeep, and security.

You will have to rely on database management systems (DBMS), and your job role will depend on the type of database, and the capabilities of the DBMSs used within the organization.

If you’re working in a small organization with a limited database, you might be entirely responsible for most functions.

For larger companies or more specialized functions, you might be responsible for specific areas such as systems administration and application database administration.

Some salient roles of a database administrator include:

  • Ensuring that data remains consistent and secure
  • Ensuring easy accessibility of data for all users
  • Recover data in the case of an emergency
  • Liaison with programmers, technical and operational staff
  • Provide support, training, and feedback to users
  • Provide systematic reports, documentation, and operation manuals
  • Troubleshoot in case any problems spring up

In short, they must ensure that all the organization’s databases are accessible, useful, and suit users’ needs. They must also take care of maintenance and tend to any troubleshooting problems simultaneously.


  • Very high salary
  • Normal working hours
  • Good job security


  • Hard to get into this career
  • Monotonous nature of the job

Database Analyst

Database analysts are an essential cog in the database maintenance machinery. They are responsible for organizing, interpreting, and understanding the content within databases.

Experienced database analysts are expected to have a propensity to handle and work with extensive packets of information.

A database analyst’s skill set combines technical skills and business skills to organize specific portions of databases and interpret the information contained within them. In essence, the job is similar to a database administrator and computer system analyst.

Database analysts must have extensive knowledge of programming languages necessary to work with databases; preferably, they should be SQL experts.

Manipulating and organizing large sections of data and analyzing their contents can get tough. That’s why database analysts are given flexibility in their operations due to the high pressure that comes with the job.

Typically, analysts are allowed to dress, behave and work without the usual constraints, as long as they deliver on the job.

It’s impossible to work alone on such intensive projects, and it’s not uncommon for database analysts to work in teams or with partners. Therefore, it’s essential to have strong communication skills to convey analytical findings to the management and the team effectively.

You must have an eye for detail, perform well in limited time and high pressure, and show a propensity for quick analysis and deduction.

Moreover, if you are attuned to analytical work, this can be a satisfying, long-term career path for you. As more and more industries transition to digital recordkeeping, the demand for skilled database analysts grows.

Candidates looking to apply are expected to have at least a bachelor’s degree or at most a master’s degree, specializing in databases, management information systems, or other closely-related subjects.


  • Opportunity to work closely with senior management
  • Not hard to get into this field
  • Opportunity to impact company operations


  • High-pressure job
  • Long working hours

Multimedia Programmer

Multimedia programmers are responsible for developing, creating, and maintaining multimedia computer products.

Their job requires them to utilize a combination of creative and technical skills, incorporating the latter in back-end product development and the former in developing skills to liaison with the designing team.

Programmers working on multimedia products will use their programming and coding abilities to develop graphics, 2D and 3D modeling, animation, digital photography, and text.

For this, they will need to work closely with designers to visualize the concept and achieve clarity on how it can be incorporated into the product’s technical development.

Their work doesn’t end at development; it carries forward even after product completion, working on providing improvements and updates.

In a nutshell, multimedia programmers are responsible for:

  • Understanding and implementing the design concept
  • Identifying the operational rules for multimedia development
  • Writing code or computer script to make the multimedia features work
  • Running product tests to identify bugs
  • Rewriting code for product updates
  • Providing technical support after product completion and delivery
  • Staying updated with the latest in industry tech for product improvements

Your role can be likened to a multimedia artist or an animator. While multimedia artists are responsible for coming up with the design and incorporating the creative elements within the product, you are tasked with perfecting the technical aspect, using coding and computer script to make that happen.


  • High salary
  • Possible to work remotely
  • High career progression


  • Highly repetitive work
  • Changing nature of the job

Systems Analyst

Systems analysts are responsible for developing and designing IT solutions for computers and IT systems. They are also tasked with modifying and improving existing systems for new features, updates, and enhancements.

The clients you answer to may be internal, such as departments within your organization. And in some cases, they can also be external.

As a systems analyst, you have the privilege of working individually or as part of a larger team. If you are tending to systems within your organization, you will need to collaborate with others to enhance productivity.

The most common industry for recruitment is within the information technology industry, with services and insurance industries coming at a close second.

Candidates must possess a high technical proficiency level, strong communication skills, business knowledge, and strategic insight.

The job description will frequently demand you to analyze existing computer systems within the organization

You will also be expected to develop improvements and updates and recommend modifications to the system for better productivity and efficiency.

Systems analysts must be well-versed in computer modeling and other methods of designing systems. However, employees in big organizations will have to specialize in particular systems, such as those catering to finances, engineering, or manufacturing.

Most employers look for candidates with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, with a specialization in information systems, although some employers may not require a technical degree at all!

Candidates are usually required to be proficient in systems analysis, understand integration and networking, and have a propensity to work with large amounts of data.


  • High job security
  • Good working conditions
  • High salary
  • Stimulating nature of the job


  • Hard to get into this career
  • Long working hours

Game Developer

A game developer’s job is to produce games for computers, smartphones, tablets, and video game consoles. These include online games, single-player triple-A titles, and newer technologies such as VR games and AR games.

The job can be broken down into two main parts: creative and technical. The creative side entails design aspects and visualizing the art, animation, and graphics. The technical side involves the back-end development, involving coding and computer script.

It is essential to have gaming-related experience in your educational background to maximize your career options in this field. When applying, it is wise to create a portfolio to highlight your past work, as candidates with creative work experience are preferred.

Candidates with a background in game development and proficiency in HTML and CSS have been highly sought after. Moreover, game design and web development skills can also boost the chances of being hired.

A bachelor’s degree is required for game developer jobs, and candidates with a degree in graphic design, computer engineering, and applied arts have a good chance of being selected.

Game developers rarely work alone; every project is a team job. Different individuals cater to specific duties, such as animation, testing the code, and collecting feedback.

Therefore, it’s necessary to have strong communication, business, and management skills to relay the concepts to senior management effectively.

Furthermore, as a game developer, you will have plenty of career opportunities across a wide range of industries and corporations.

A significant number of jobs in this field are from the gaming industry. Meanwhile, some information technology and services organizations also employ game developers for interactive games on their portals and interfaces.

Entertainment and higher education industries also tend to hire game developers, but the vacancies are hard to come by.


  • High paying job
  • The creative aspect makes it immune to the monotony
  • High demand for employees


  • Competitive field
  • Demanding qualifications

Technical Writer

Though this doesn’t sound like a scientific computing job, it is a highly demanded position in many computer science fields.

It requires candidates to write instructions and descriptions that guide people on using a product or service.

It demands strong technical knowledge, focusing on software packages, especially when writing manuals for high-tech products.

Technical writers can apply for jobs in numerous industries as there is high demand, ranging from finance to nuclear energy.

Besides technical knowledge, they must possess excellent writing and communication skills to relay instructions to end-users effectively.

Additionally, you’ll develop and promote documentation templates for systems and databases. Some of the salient roles of a technical writer include:

  • Preparing, reviewing, and revising technical documents
  • Gathering technical information regarding products and services from various sources
  • Writing, editing, and formatting procedural and technical information for users
  • Assisting in planning documentation work around product release dates
  • Maintaining a collection of documentation
  • Publishing templates for other employees


  • Good job security
  • High salary
  • Remote working is possible


  • Long working hours
  • Monotonous nature of the job


Is Scientific Computing A Good Major?

Scientific computing is an excellent choice of study for students, especially those who have a knack for mathematics and problem-solving. A degree in this field can yield good career options as vacancies are fast approaching.

Is Scientific Computing Hard?

Generally speaking, scientific computing is considered among the more challenging fields of education for most students. However, if you have the aptitude and interest for it, it’s certainly worth the investment.