Computer science professionals are creative problem solvers with an eye for detail. They can not only understand languages that most people find completely alien, but they can use those languages to change the way we live. The most successful are those who can balance their technical skills with strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate complex topics in simple language. Many who venture into computer science have an innate curiosity about how the world works and thrive when they are faced with a problem to overcome.
Computer technology touches almost every aspect of modern society, and very few organizations would be able to operate and grow without it. This is why the computer sector has opened up a huge range of professional opportunities for people with the right skills. This guide is an introduction to the most in-demand computer science careers today, but your choice will obviously be impacted by your personal interests and experience.
Improving Your Computer Science Career Prospects
While careers in computer science offer some of the best future prospects and earning potential, this can have a downside. For example, there can be a lot of competition when it comes to securing a position or obtaining a promotion. Advancing your education by studying for a masters degree in computer science after completing your undergraduate degree could help improve your prospects significantly. You also need to keep your skills and knowledge up to date at all times and take part in professional networking events where possible to help yourself stand out from the crowd.
Potential Careers in Computer Science
A database administrator needs to be skilled at problem solving. They are responsible for developing and improving data resources so they can receive and hold important information based on the needs of the data users. When errors or malfunctions occur, they need to be able identify the problem and come up with a solution as quickly as possible, while constantly updating systems to keep up with the evolving needs of system users.
Information Security Analyst
An information security analyst is tasked with proactively protecting websites and networks from security breaches. This involves taking the necessary steps to protect against cyberattacks, including researching and staying up to date with the latest tactics and strategies, identifying potential weaknesses in a system, and taking steps to remove those weaknesses. Again, problem solving skills are essential, as information security analysts need to be two steps ahead of the cybercriminals, constantly working to identify problems and provide solutions before an organization is compromised.
In addition to problem solving, if communication is a key skill for you, you may find a career in software development to be particularly rewarding. A software developer needs to be confident in a range of computer languages to create, develop, test, and maintain software that provides a service or performs tasks on specific mobile devices or computers. You will need to be able to understand and create code but should also have the communication skills to be able to support users as they work with the software.
Computer Systems Analyst
A computer systems analyst is responsible for assessing a system and making recommendations to an organization on how they can improve the system, i.e. by making changes to software or hardware that will improve the organization’s efficiency and productivity. In addition to skills and knowledge in computer science, computer systems analysts need to have a solid understanding of business to be able to make the best recommendations. They should also be excellent communicators with strong soft skills in order to be able to work with others and encourage them to try new technology and support them as they do so.
Computer Hardware Engineer
Computer hardware engineers need to have a balance between technical skills and knowledge and a natural creativity. They design, develop, and test a range of computer hardware so the latest software can be used by the organization.
A web or website developer will build the structural foundation for websites, ensuring that it can be accessed and navigated easily via a range of interfaces and internet browsers. They will do this while prioritizing the latest search engine optimization principles to maximize the website’s exposure in terms of visitors. Because a web developer often works with a variety of clients, they need to able to communicate effectively to ensure the website meet’s the client’s brief.
Computer Network Architect
Computer network architects are responsible for designing, installing, and maintaining communication systems based on an organization’s communication and data collaborating requirements. The systems could be local or wide area networks or extranets and intranets. Computer network architects are also expected to keep their finger on the pulse of what is available in the market and to identify and solve problems once the network is running.
Computer and Information Research Scientists
Computer and information research scientists are tasked with innovation and creativity in the field of computer technology. This includes repurposing existing technology and inventing new systems to solve problems in a wide range of industries. They need to be comfortable writing algorithms in order to find patterns in data and also can be involved in the creation of robotics.
Computer and Information Systems Managers
A computer and information systems manager will assess an organization’s requirements in terms of technology and data systems, including software and hardware. They will then use their expertise to design and implement an appropriate system as well as hiring, training, and managing staff to achieve specific objectives.
IT Project Manager
An IT project manager is responsible for coordinating, managing, and reviewing the work of a team of architects, analysts, and programmers as well as assessing an organization’s IT systems and suggesting ways to improve them. IT project managers often progress into the role after gaining experience as an analyst, programmer, or developer. They need to be comfortable with the technical aspects of the project so they can instruct their team and they must also be able to communicate with the end users.