What can I do with this degree?

COMPUTER SCIENCE

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The field of computer science is constantly changing. The areas listed below do not exhaust possible career options.

AREAS
PROGRAMMING
Systems
Scientific Applications
Business Applications: Intelligence, Warehousing, Information Delivery, Maintenance
Project Management

EMPLOYERS
Computer vendors
Software and computer companies
Any large organization including: Banks, retail chains, manufacturers, universities, and government agencies
Management consulting firms
Contract and temporary employers
Research laboratories

STRATEGIES
Gain relevant experience through internships or co-ops.
Develop an attention to detail and a flair for creativity.
Learn to work well with a team and to meet deadlines.
Supplement computer degree with courses in business, science, or engineering.
Stay current on programming languages.
Earn a master’s degree for upper level positions.
Seek the Certified Computing Professional designation by completing a series of exams and experiential requirements.

AREAS
SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT
Analysis
Design
Support
Quality Assurance
Specialty Systems: Database, Client-Server, Expert

EMPLOYERS
Banks and financial institutions
Insurance companies
Consulting firms
Manufacturers
Local, state, and federal government
Computer companies
Research institutions

STRATEGIES
Develop strong interpersonal skills. Learn to communicate effectively with technical and non-technical colleagues. Gain programming experience. Many analysts begin their careers as programmers. Become an effective problem solver. Take business courses. Earn an M.B.A. degree for advanced positions.
Plan to continually educate self on new computer languages and technology.

AREAS
NETWORK TECHNOLOGY
Installation and Maintenance
Administration

EMPLOYERS
Variety of organizations and industries

STRATEGIES
Work in university computer labs. Develop good communication skills and an interest in helping others. Gain knowledge in a variety of computer areas including minor programming, software, and hardware. Stay abreast of the latest technology and software. Earn certifications in networking and computer security.

AREAS
INTERNET
Programming
Software Design
Systems Analysis
Hardware Production
Web Page Design

EMPLOYERS
Network access points
Backbone operators
Online service providers
Internet service providers
Computer/equipment vendors
Internet-related companies including: Browsers, Search engines, Website design services
Large businesses

STRATEGIES
Gain experience as a webmaster through part-time jobs, internships, or volunteering to design web pages for student organizations. Learn web-related programming languages. Take graphic design courses to develop creativity.
Learn to communicate and work well with others in a team by participating in group projects or student organizations. Earn a master’s degree in computer science for advanced opportunities in programming, analysis, or hardware/software design.

AREAS
CONSULTING
System Installation
System Implementation
Training

EMPLOYERS
Consulting firms
Self-employed

STRATEGIES
Obtain a strong technical knowledge of computers, a background in business management, and experience as a systems analyst. Learn various programming languages and operating systems. Develop exceptional analytical and interpersonal skills.

AREAS
EDUCATION
Teaching
Instructional Technology

EMPLOYERS
Public and private schools, K-12
Colleges and universities

STRATEGIES
Certification required for public school teaching. Earn a doctoral degree in computer science for post-secondary teaching. Earn a graduate degree in information technology or a related field for instructional technology.
Develop a research specialty for university teaching. Gain experience working with other students through tutoring or positions in computer labs.

AREAS
NON-TECHNICAL
Customer/Product Support
Technical Writing
Sales and Marketing

EMPLOYERS
Software/hardware manufacturers
Retail stores
Software vendors

STRATEGIES
Develop excellent communication skills and an interest in helping customers solve problems. Work in university computer labs. Supplement curriculum with technical writing courses to develop skills. Seek related work experiences.

GENERAL INFORMATION
Complete informational interviews with current computer science professionals to help establish career goals.

Having related experience is critical to most employers that hire computer science majors. Obtain an internship, co-op, or part-time job in a relevant area to increase employability.

Obtain vendor specific certifications or networking certifications to gain a competitive edge.

Develop strong interpersonal, communication, and other “soft skills.” Learn to work well on a team.

Programming and consulting may go hand-in-hand. Many occupations in these areas have responsibilities that overlap.

 

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA Employer

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