Self-Employed Computer Science Careers

Freelance Programmer

A freelance programmer writes programs and works on projects for clients. Finding clients is usually the biggest obstacle when beginning a career as a freelance programmer. Many freelance programmers find work on freelancing websites or by creating their own webpage and marketing their services online. Wages for freelance programmers vary drastically, as potential salary depends on the number of clients the programmer has and the types of projects he works on. Freelance programmers usually give an hourly rate or a flat rate for the entire project.

Business Owner

A computer science major learns the ins and outs of computers and programming. While computer science majors may not learn a lot about business, they can opt to start their own software development company or IT-support center. The cost of starting a software development business or IT-support center depends on a lot of factors, such as number of employees and building size. For example, an IT-support center will probably need more than just the programmer working, as calls from the targeted demographics will come in at all hours of the day. A software development company, on the other hand, may just require the programmer and a few other computer science majors if the business is developing a small-scale project.
Independent Projects
The rise of smart phones, video game consoles and the Internet has made a career in developing independent software projects viable. Take the game “Angry Birds” for the Droid line of smart phones as an example. According to, Rovio Mobile, the developer for “Angry Birds,” announced that the game would generate $1 million per month for December 2010 and beyond. Although Rovio Mobile is an actual company, that doesn’t limit independent programmers from developing their own game and cashing in on the profits.


Writing might not seem like an ideal job for a computer science major, but it’s certainly a plausible one. The popularity of blogs has exploded right along with the popularity of the Internet, and niche blogs, such as programming-related blogs, normally do well. A person with a computer science background can blog about programming techniques or serve as a blogging analyst for the technical community. Blogs normally make money off of ads.


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