Computer Science

Will Computer Science Jobs Be Automated in the Future?

Will Computer Science Jobs Be Automated in the Future?
Many experts predict that the automation of some computer science jobs is a good thing. Image from Pexels
Craig Hoffman profile
Craig Hoffman August 1, 2022

Some computer science jobs will be automated in the near future, but many will be in demand, including data analysts, data scientists, AI and machine learning specialists, and big data specialists.

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While the nightmare scenario of robots taking over the world has been staple of science fiction for decades (we’re looking at you, SkyNet), the more realistic and prosaic fear is that they’ll take away humans’ livelihoods. Indeed, robots started displacing auto workers on assembly lines in factories as far back as the mid-1970s, though the more recent concern is that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine automation will put a lot of computer science professionals (computer programmers, web developers, people in software development) out of work in the future.

According to Dr. Robert Gao, chairman of the mechanical and aerospace engineering department at Case Western Reserve University, "Some of the roles that humans have historically played in manufacturing will be replaced or substituted by robots and other machines." But Gao adds that these people won’t necessarily be unemployed, "they must acquire new skills that enable them to intelligently program, control and work with machines." So, like many industries that evolve—particularly when technology is involved—the computer science field will require its workforce to adapt and update its skill set over time. And many experts predict that the automation of some computer science jobs is a good thing (more on that below).

This article addresses the question will computer science jobs be automated in the future, as well as:

  • What is a computer science master’s degree?
  • What are the top schools that offer a computer science master’s degree?

Will computer science jobs be automated in the future?

This short answer is, yes, some computer science jobs will be automated in the future. But the thinking is that AI machine automation will take on much of the drudge work and repetitive tasks (and do it more efficiently), leaving humans with the time to "do the creative, critical thinking that artificial intelligence can’t replicate." Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg believes that this automation will allow more people to focus on things like coming up with new products or problem-solving, such as figuring out ways to make old processes more productive.

A few years ago, the World Economic Forum released its "Future of Jobs Report 2020" which in a bad news/good news way forecasts that in the near future "85 million jobs could be displaced for roles that divide human work from machine work, while a new set of 97 million jobs could be created that require skills around machine interaction and algorithmic expertise."

Of particular relevance to this article, the World Economic Forum identifies the top jobs that will be in increasing demand by 2025, which are (in order):

  • Data analysts and data scientists
  • AI and machine learning specialists
  • Big data specialists
  • Digital marketing and strategy specialists
  • Process automation specialists
  • Business development professionals
  • Digital transformation specialists
  • Information security analysts
  • Software/applications developers
  • Internet of things specialists

If you envision working or advancing in computer science and want to help future-proof your career path, you may want to consider earning a computer science degree.

What is a computer science master’s degree?

A computer science master's degree lays the foundation for a career in computing theory and practice. Computer science master’s programs teach fundamentals across computer science functions so that graduates not only understand their piece of a project but the big picture. In addition, by learning computing theory, students are prepared for technological advances yet to come, as they are well-versed in the thinking behind all of the significant developments in computer technology.

How long does it take to earn a computer science master’s degree?

A master's degree in computer science involves 30-45 credits and is completed in two years of full-time study. Some expedited programs can be finished in 12-18 months.

Admissions requirements/prerequisites

The majority of applicants to computer science master’s programs have completed a bachelor's degree in computer science or one of its adjacent fields (with a GPA of at least 3.0). Prospective computer science students are expected to have studied such subjects as programming, coding languages, calculus, discrete mathematics, and data structures. Experience in other related subjects such as algorithms, software engineering, and database management is certainly a plus.

Bridge programs, which are intended for students with a bachelor's degree in a non-STEM discipline, include introductory computer science courses—such as Introduction to JAVA Programming, Fundamentals of Computing, Computer Organization and Programming, Introduction to Programming, and Data Structures, and Algorithms—to help them prepare for the rigors of a master's computer science program.


Core courses, specialty classes, and electives are common in master's degrees in computer science. All of these classes are intended to extend the understanding of computer science students in a variety of areas, including:

  • Web programming
  • Computer languages (Python, Java, etc.)
  • Computer architecture
  • Algorithm analysis
  • Software engineering and development
  • App development and cloud computing
  • Database systems
  • Data storage
  • Operating systems
  • Computational theory


Computer science master’s degree programs typically furnish their students with specialization tracks. At Stevens Institute of Technology, their computer science department offers Master of Science in Cybersecurity (MSCyS), and Master of Science in Machine Learning (MS/ML) degrees. Tufts University has computer science master’s programs in data science, cybersecurity and public policy, and human-robot interaction. And computer science students at Southern Methodist University can pursue master’s degrees in cybersecurity or artificial intelligence (AI). Of note, the specializations listed below are projected to be in high demand for the foreseeable future:

Cybersecurity: Managing cyber threats has become a vital (and lucrative) industry. Black hat hackers are attacking both private and public computer infrastructure, from banking and finance to government and the military. Computer scientists in this field focus on data protection and work with corporations and organizations to build and maintain their cybersecurity networks. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), cybersecurity jobs are predicted to grow by 33% between 2020 and 2030, significantly faster than the average for all occupations, raising concerns about a possible shortage of qualified cybersecurity experts over the next decade. So, this may be a wise choice of specialization and career for master’s of computer science students.

Data science: A data science specialty offers you a skill set that can be used in a variety of careers, including data engineering, data analytics, and computer architecture. In this specialization, you’ll learn applied statistics, data mining, database administration, data processing, and Python, R, and SQL, among other programming languages.

Machine learning/artificial intelligence: Both machine learning and artificial intelligence use large data sets to build predictive models to inform corporations’ decision-making and automate machinery. As noted above, automation is becoming rapidly commonplace throughout the global economy. As a result, machine learning and artificial intelligence engineers are in great demand across vast swaths of industries like manufacturing, healthcare, automotive, and finance.

Robotics: Robotics is a multidisciplinary field that includes electrical and mechanical engineering and computer science disciplines. Computer scientists work on the programming side of robotics, while engineers work on the hardware and machines. Computer scientists create what is known as the "brain" of robots, which controls the robot's perception of its surroundings, as well as its movement and actions.

What are the top schools that offer a computer science master’s degree?

On-campus computer science master’s programs

Anyone interested in pursuing a master's degree in computer science can choose from a host of excellent accredited programs. US News & World Report published a list of top, in-person computer science master's programs, which includes :

Online computer science master’s programs

An online computer science master’s program offers students the flexibility to earn a master's degree while managing professional and personal responsibilities. Asynchronous online degree programs, which allow students to study at their own pace, are ideal for computer science professionals who expect to work full-time while pursuing their degrees. The following accredited schools offer online master's in computer science programs:

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