Redefining the Classroom

Choosing a Career in Computer Science

In today's world, students want to know if they can get a job in their field when they graduate? With computer science, you are not just limited to one career path. A degree in computer science can lead you in many directions. Computer Science is the umbrella for three technology-related majors, Computer Science, Computer Networking and Web Development.

Computer Science isn't just about programming, it's about solving real-world problems. So it's no wonder that you will find computer scientists working in a variety of careers.

The job outlook for a graduate with a computer science degree is very exciting.

Job outlook is 22%, faster than average with a projected increase of 222,600 jobs between 2012 - 2022. That means there are jobs are available now and will continue to grow in numbers in the future.

Salary Range

Computer and Information Research Scientists $102,190
Software Developers $93,350
Computer Systems Analysts $79,680
Database Administrators $77,080
Computer Programmers $74,280
Computer Support Specialists $48,900

Resource: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2015

Did you know?

Computer science careers are listed as one of the best jobs of 2015?

  1. #3 Software Developer
  2. #7 Computer Systems Analyst
  3. #8 Information Security Analyst
  4. #11 Web Developer

Computer Science careers also lead the list as the Best Technology (STEM) Jobs in 2015!

  1. Software Developer
  2. Computer Systems Analyst
  3. Information Security Analyst
  4. Web Developer

Citrix Systems, Inc.

Krista Cobourn (BS Computer Science, 2007) and her sister Aimée Walker (BS Mathematics, 2007) both work for Citrix Systems, Inc., which is based in Santa Barbara, CA. Krista works as a Technical Specialist, and Aimée works as a Technical Coordinator. Both jobs involve resolving technical issues long after most agents and the customers themselves have given up hope of a resolution. One of their favorite perks is the ability to work from home or from just about anywhere. For example, Krista now lives in Portland, OR, and works from her home office. Both Aimée and Krista enjoy spending month-long "work-cations" at their parents' home in Dafter, MI, usually during the summer.

Description of Computing Science Careers

Computer Science isn't just about programming, it's about solving problems. So it's no wonder that you will find computer scientists working in a variety of careers. A bachelor degree is the minimum recommended level of education for all of these careers.

Computer Systems Analysts

Help bridge the gap between business and information technology. Sometimes they work as IT Project Managers overseeing the implementation of a new application system, technology project or manage the IT staff. Professionals in this field may have additional specialties in:

  • Quality assurance analysts work with programmers to make sure the programs work as they were designed.
  • Program analysts do more than program! They also work with business to understand the needs of the company and how the programs can help improve the business.
  • Systems designers or systems architects help manage the company information technology infrastructure, including choosing the hardware and software programs that the company will use in the workplace.

Software Developers and Computer Programmers

Software programmers often help design the software, as well as write the code and test the program to make sure it works as it was intended.

  • Applications Software developers build programs such as games, mobile applications or programs to manage the data that the company collects.
  • Systems software developers create programs that help users and companies use their computer system more effectively. For example, they may create the user interface for a program that lets you play music in your car.

Computer Programmers

Write code to create software programs. They not only create programs that run on a single computer, but they also can create network applications, and programs that are run over the Internet or a gaming machine.

Database administrators

Help companies manage large amounts of data, including storing data. They help companies to retrieve data in different ways to help them understand the problems and identify solutions. They help secure the data and prevent the data from unauthorized access. Database administrators may work with financial data, e-commerce data, and even health care data.

Computer support specialists

Provide assistance in companies to employees and customers.

  • Computer network support specialists, provide technical support for employees.
  • Computer user support specialists provide technical support for non-IT users.

Computer and Information Research Scientists

Create and improve computer algorithms to help solve problems in business, science and other areas. Some professionals specialize in data mining of large datasets, which help them analyze data and find new ways to solve problems. These fields often require additional education at the graduate level. Professionals in this field may have additional specialties in:

  • Data mining is a field that is very popular now and often includes both corporate data mining and client data retrieved from their visits to the company web site.
  • Robotics is a field that studies how to create programs that work with physical objects such as a manufacturing assembly or a robot on Mars that can analyze the soil.
  • Programming at this level is focused on development of new programming languages, tools and techniques.