If you are interested in enrolling in a computer science course at university, then you may be wondering what type of career path you can take in the future.
While it is perfectly natural to be focusing purely on learning more about computer science before you consider a particular job, industry or career, it is important to at least have a working understanding of the type of jobs you can hope to apply to if and when you graduate from your course.
This will help you decide which electives you want to take, whether you want to complement your studies with extracurricular activities that help boost your resume in a certain area, or choose one course over another.
You might also be wondering whether you will find many opportunities in computer science, or whether you are better off studying another subject, which offers better prospects.
Well, firstly it is important to state that computer science is one of the most hotly contested fields in the world, with an increasing demand for it from businesses and other organizations, who are in need of experts in computer science niches like data science and processing, web and game development, and even cyber security.
Of course, if you are interested in joining a computer science degree course then you may already have an idea of the type of career path you want to take. This is great news, because you have a head start, but it is worth at least considering the other options at your disposal, in case you need to fall back on it or find it more compelling than your current plan.
Here are five careers you can pursue with a computer science degree:
One of the most popular careers you can pursue with an online masters in computer science is data science.
In essence, this is the processing and interpretation of online data, using a scientific approach to break it down into an easy-to-understand format for organizations looking to capitalize on it.
For example, if a business wants to find out how much traffic it receives on its website, who these visitors are and what they are most interested in, then a data scientist will collect the data they need, then pick it apart carefully to extract the important details – like behavioral trends, demographics, and other useful information.
Given the vast amount of data potentially at the fingerprints of businesses, data scientists are incredibly useful. Without them, it can be almost impossible to mine the data for useful information.
Cyber security is always in demand
Another popular career path for those who study a computer science degree is in cyber security.
Given the huge emphasis given to the internet by modern society, it is no wonder that the protection of users (and organizations) online is in significant demand. In the same way that there will always be demand for ‘real-world’ security teams who install anti-theft systems in office blocks, protect banks or make sure customers are safe in retail stores, businesses and consumers need to be protected on the internet.
Indeed, the backlash from a corporate cyber security problem will be every bit as devastating to a company as a real-world one, resulting in financial, personal and reputational damage which may be impossible to bounce back from.
Therefore, businesses are constantly on the lookout for trustworthy experts who know how to install cyber security systems, make sure they are well-maintained and that a business’s IT assets are not providing any unnecessary risks.
In recent years, cloud computing has come to be regarded as one of the safest and most efficient ways to store and interact with sensitive data.
Whether it is a small business storing private customer information in a cloud file, or a multinational corporation trying to boost the productivity of its employees by implementing cloud-based collaborative work practices, cloud computing is increasingly popular.
However, unless these businesses hire an expert who can integrate cloud computing into existing internal processes, keep their accounts safe from insider or outsider threats, and ensure system efficiency is maximized, they will be unable to make use of this powerful technology.
You could become an IT consultant
You may notice a trend emerging from the previous three career paths available to you as a computer scientist. They all offer a guiding hand to businesses who are not versed in complex computational processes.
This should come as no surprise. If you had little understanding of a particular subject, what is the first action you would take?
Consult a qualified professional.
This is why IT consultancy is such a popular profession. Although you are probably best attaining some experience in a particular field before striking out on your own as a consultant, it can be a deeply rewarding profession to end up in.
Quite aside from it allowing you to practice what you are interested in, consultancy offers a desirable level of flexibility, because you won’t be hired as an employee. Instead, you can proffer your wisdom without needing to get tied up in intra-team politics, the pressure of a boss or a boring commute.
In fact, given the rise of remote working, you may not have to commute at all, instead video-calling your clients from the comfort of your own home.
Develop online games
If you love computers, then chances are you love video games, too.
Well, by becoming an online game developer, you could perfectly combine your passion and your profession. Gaming is now incredibly popular, far surpassing a niche hobby and becoming part of popular culture. The result is a strong demand for talented game developers across the world.
While it is a particularly difficult industry to break into (who doesn’t want to be paid to create video games?), if you are knowledgeable, talented and determined enough, it could be a great path to pursue.
Whichever career path you end up taking, there is no doubt that a computer science degree opens a lot of exciting doors.
You may still not be decided over which option (among many others) to pursue, but it is useful to have a working understanding, in order to make an informed decision when the time comes to apply for jobs.