Computer Science Professions Video: Starting a Career in the Computer Sciences

Computer Science Professions Video: Starting a Career in the Computer Sciences Transcript

Are you looking to enter a field with applications that can change the world? Studying computer science can lead to a challenging career working with the latest technologies in computer engineering, computer information systems and information technology in addition to fields outside of the computer industry. Educational opportunities ranging from technical certificates to doctoral degrees are offered to prepare students for careers in computer science.

Introduction

Computer scientists have been responsible for many of the technologies we take for granted everyday, including the personal computer. Computer science focuses on the potential uses for computer systems and the theoretical, mathematical and scientific roots of computer technology. Programming and systems analysis are just two of the many careers open to those who have studied computer science.

Job Duties and Skills

Most computer science positions require at least some programming duties and skills. Whether it is using C++ to develop a new computer game or creating a Perl script to quickly analyze a large data set, possessing at least some programming skills is looked upon favorably. However, computer science is more than just programming.

Many computer science careers are built around teams working towards a singular goal, be it writing a program or designing a new personal computer. Excellent communication skills are needed, as well as the abilities to both lead a team and follow orders. A career in computer science also depends upon a logical, problem solving mind with an aptitude for mathematics. Computer technology advances at a geometric rate. Computer scientists must be familiar with the technologies of today while preparing themselves for future developments.

Training Required

Degree and certificate programs in computer science are offered by vocational schools, community colleges and four-year universities. Certificate and diploma programs teach students marketable career skills, such as current programming and debugging technologies. Associate's degree programs teach similar skills but also offer students an introduction to the underlying theories and fundamentals. Bachelor's degree programs focus heavily on the theory of computer science and mathematics, teaching students how to adapt their theoretical knowledge to a variety of professional environments.

Master's and doctoral degree programs offer opportunities for students to perform in-depth academic research in areas of personal and professional interest. Some of today's hot topics popular with computer science graduate students include artificial intelligence, robotics and game theory. Graduate programs also allow students to develop teaching skills that can be useful for future careers in academia or education.

Students should choose a degree program based upon their interests and career goals. Undergraduate and advanced degrees are significant investments of both time and money. An associate's degree or professional certificate can offer a lower risk investment for students interested in testing the waters of a computer science career.

Career Options

Entry-level programming and software testing positions may only require an associate's degree or technical certificate. A bachelor's degree can qualify candidates for positions in project management, software development or systems analysis. Research positions and positions at higher levels of academia call for at least a master's degree, with many employers requiring a doctoral degree in computer science or a related field.

Because computer science has applications in virtually all industries, many positions are available in fields not directly related to computer technology, including financial trading, environmental science and more. No matter the chosen field, opportunities for advancement are many. Employers will often encourage talented employees to continue their education and build their skills in order to remain competitive in an evolving marketplace. Many entry-level computer science professionals are able to rise to managerial positions and beyond.

Sources

http://www.collegeboard.com/csearch/majors_careers/profiles/majors/11.0701.html
http://www.cs.umass.edu/degrees/index.php?page=career-options
http://www.cs.bu.edu/AboutCS/WhatIsCS.pdf

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