Because of accelerating technological advancement and pervasive demands for informational technology experts, students who have a degree in computer science have opportunities in a variety of industries. This major build skills in mapping, processing, and assessing information that are highly valued by employers. In addition to positions that require technical knowledge, computer science majors may find opportunities in project management, sales, marketing, and more.
Curious about how your interest in computer science might blend with your other interests in a career? Try CareerCombo to explore various career options.
Information Technology (IT): a broad term referring to many jobs in ‘technology’, that involve studying, designing, developing, testing, implementing, supporting, or managing computer-based information systems. Many other computer science careers fall under IT.
- Software Development: design, write, and test computer applications software; update or modify existing software.
- Database Administration: specialized role managing and maintaining databases, typically employed by organizations that store large amounts of data
- Network and Systems Administration: responsible for managing local (LAN) and wide area computer networks (WAN) for an organization
- Support: provide advice and solutions to problems with software applications, both within organizations and externally
- Technical Program Management: provide leadership to ensure that products are delivered on time, are in scope, and are of high quality
- Developer Operations (DevOps): In the spirit of creating, testing, and deploying software as quickly and often as possible, many software companies have teams, roles, and/or tasks that fall under the category of “DevOps”. This category entails writing the tools that automate building, testing, and deploying software.
Sectors for Research and Specialization
- Security and Privacy: development focused on information security and privacy, preventing and tracing hacks across networks, and encryption; preparing for security breaches due to natural disasters, malicious acts, and negligence
- Cloud Computing: internet-based computing that optimizes available computing resources from a shared pool of servers, computers, networks, etc.
- Data Science, Big Data, and Data Analytics: three different terms that are often lumped together. Data science is an umbrella term that encompasses all techniques employed to make use of data. Big data involves processing large amounts of raw data efficiently to produce information that is useful. Data analytics is applied to raw data to make predictions. All involve various forms of programming and math skills.
- Robotics: software development that operates machines; can be remote controlled, artificial intelligence, or a hybrid. Robots are used in military, agriculture, medicine, and in household applications.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): programming that mimics human cognitive functions. Subsections of AI include machine learning, natural language processing, affective computing, computational creativity, and more. The main applications for AI currently are in the healthcare industry (i.e. “learning” research for cancer treatments) and in the automotive industry (i.e. self-driving cars).
Interested in technology, but not sure coding is for you? Technology is a huge sector, and you will find many roles in tech companies that are also in every other organization, from marketing to human resources, finance to sales.
According to the Project Management Institute, project management is “the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.” In technology companies, project managers typically bring products to market and complete implementation of products for customers, but project managers can oversee any project that has a beginning and end, and isn’t a routine part of maintaining the company.
UX/UI & Graphic Design
- UI: user interface designers determine how a product looks and how a user will navigate the product; tends to be more tangible
- UX: user experience designers create the overall impression a person develops when interacting with a product; tends to be more conceptual and not just focused on the software solution.
- Graphic Design: create the graphical interface for websites, applications, and other related materials. These positions can be part of a UX/UI role in a company, or they might be labeled under Art or Graphic Design.
Technical writers, also called technical communicators, complete all written documentation and drafting for technical projects. This might include instruction manuals, documentation, journal articles, contracts, process flows, proposals, ‘help’ sections, product catalogs and packaging, white papers, and more.
Related Career Paths