Those pursuing a degree in computer science will learn theory and programming. The curriculum at its core prepares nimble students who can adapt to new technologies fast. This makes sense, as computer languages evolve, new languages develop, and innovation paves new ways of using technology. Those in the career field must be able to keep up with those new technologies just as quick.
So, what can you do with a computer science degree? Perhaps the easier question is what can’t you do with a computer science degree! Most of the following careers only require a bachelor’s degree from graduates and many colleges offer computer science degree programs online.
Projected Career Outlook
The employment outlook for those with a computer science degree is good. Most occupations favoring a bachelor’s degree in computer science are growing as fast as the national average or higher. Listed are some careers you may consider with a computer science degree.
- Information Security Analyst
- Software Developer
- Web Developer
- Computer Network Architect
- Network and Computer Systems Administrator
- Computer Programmer
Featured Technology Careers
As there is no standardization of job titles within the IT world, a systems developer may be known by many names, including database/software/web developer, engineer, and programmer, all dependent on the “system” in question. Often the job title will include the programming language involved, such as Java Programmer or C# Developer.
Broadly, systems developers are tasked to create, maintain, and fix both hard and/or software systems to meet certain business needs, often working under instruction of a systems analyst or architect. Common responsibilities include designing, developing and testing code for operating systems and software applications. In addition to building, developers are also hired to improve existing software and systems, analyzing data in order to recommend and create better, more efficient systems for their employer. Like many computer science careers this job sees steady progression, leading on to systems or applications specialist roles across an array of industries.
If you are interested in the practical question of how computers actually work, computer programming may be for you. In this role you’ll be responsible for creating and testing code for computer programs, writing programs that can store, find and retrieve data and developing software solutions based on the needs of real users. While similar to developer roles, computer programmers will often specialize in just one programming language, while developers may be expected to know multiple languages.
Web developers are the people who write websites and web applications and ensure they run smoothly from the technical side. Any large website worth its bandwidth will have an entire team of developers behind it, whose collective job is to build a site from the ground up (creating back-end software and databases and front-end interface and design), identify and fix technical problems, update the system and back up files in case of malfunctions. Some web developers will work solely on either the back-end or front-end, while others straddle the two, which is known as “full-stack development”. Regardless of which end you work on, as a web developer you will likely be working closely with content and design teams to create beautiful, functional and technically sound websites for their users.
Computer Systems Analyst
The role of a systems analyst is to unite the worlds of business and IT by planning system solutions in line with the company’s business targets. As well as a thorough understanding of computer systems, a systems analyst must also have a strong understanding of business. Responsibilities include analyzing data processing issues, improving system compatibility and the flow of information, working out memory and speed requirements and liaising with business teams in order to provide and run an effective computer system. In addition to a very healthy starting salary, there is much room for job progression, including the opportunity of becoming a senior computer systems analyst.
A database administrator is tasked with maintenance and development of a computer database, ensuring performance, reliability and security to its users. As a database administrator, you will address the needs of your users and monitor accessibility, security and performance of your database. In addition to back-end organization, you will also be responsible for front-end design and user-friendliness. Knowledge of and adherence to data standards is a must. Database administrators often work closely with IT project managers, database programmers and multimedia programmers, so sound technical communication skills are also required.
Software QA Tester
A software quality assurance tester, otherwise known as a QA tester or QA engineer, has the job of ensuring developed software meets standardized quality specifications. Often an ongoing role throughout the development process, a QA tester will monitor and test new products, making sure they adhere to government guidelines while also guaranteeing a timely and organized release to the public. In addition to sound analyst ability, a QA tester will have strong communication, timekeeping and organizational skills. Examples of hiring companies include Logitech and Intel.
As an IT consultant your job is to work with clients and businesses to provide IT solutions to business objectives. Often the role is advisory and so its not uncommon for consultants to work on a contractual basis for a number of different companies across a range of industries. As well as providing technical expertise and advice, an IT consultant will liaise with clients to define project requirements, plan timescales and oversee the design, testing, implementation and monitoring of new systems. Having solid communication skills is important as a consultant, as you’ll often be responsible for meeting clients, organizing training and providing progress reports. Sales and business aptitude is also extremely helpful for maintaining business contacts and establishing new clients.
Computer science degree graduates with creative flair might consider multimedia programming. This career allows you to apply your technical skills to graphics, 2D/3D modeling, animation and digital photography. Often working to the specification of a designer, a multimedia programmer will create code to bring a client’s vision to reality. A competitive multimedia programmer must have an eye for design and willness to stay up-to-date with emerging technologies.
Video Game Developer
If you love gaming, a career as a games developer may be of interest to you. In fact, you can use the skills learned from your computer science degree and apply them to game creation. A game developer is a broad term that provides you with skills allowing you to train for additional careers. A developer could attain a career as a AI/engine/network programmer, multimedia artist, producer, quality assurance tester, or special effects technician.
Cyber Security Consultant
Cyber security consultants advise on and help prevent security risks to digital information and data. They restore and reinforce breached systems, ensure the protection of confidential data, and analyze the likelihood of security threats. There are even ethical hacker careers where you are tasked to deliberately hack a network to expose weaknesses. Other similar career opportunities include computer forensics analysis and cyber crime investigation.
Collecting and learning from data is big business. A data scientist’s job is to find, analyze, and organize data so it can be used for business purposes. Data scientists can be found across industries and are in demand. While a specialized degree may be favored, computer science graduates are likely to be welcomed into this field and cross-trained.
If you enjoy breaking processes down so people can understand them, you may enjoy a career as a technical author. Technical authors write user guides for software applications, instruction manuals, training guides, videos and graphics. An understanding of technical products and applications is a must in this career. Employers are also looking for candidates with a strong command of written language and grammar. In addition to media and publishing industries, technical authors are hired across a diverse range of industries.
Learn a Computer Program Now!
You can start learning to program at any age! Learning to program is free and you allows you the opportunity to create and be innovative. CodeAcademy.com (link opens in a new tab) for instance, allows you to learn to code for free. Khan Academy (link opens in a new tab) also provides free tutorial videos for those wanting to learn to code. In conclusion, the exciting thing about technology is it’s always changing! Therefore, if you want to remain competitive, you must continuously grow and keep learning after earning your computer science degree. Fortunately, employers will often invest in continual training to keep up with trends and innovations.