When coming to choosing which qualification to study, there surely can be a few more versatile than a degree in computer science. While it might be tempting to think a qualification linked to computing might be slightly limited, in fact, computer science opens a world of different opportunities and might just be your best choice for a qualification that offers versatility, virtually assured job security, and great wages.
The employment landscape is changing rapidly, and there are surely few people that would argue against the idea that computers and tech are having a transformative effect in almost all sectors of work. Having the skills to know, understand and use computers could prove invaluable for a huge variety of jobs in equally diverse markets.
Formal study or hands-on experience?
One of the greatest aspects of studying computing is the fact you can learn a lot on your own without necessarily taking formal qualifications. Of course, while self-study will most definitely help and give you a greater understanding of computing in general, there is also no substitute for having a paper qualification to show prospective employers your skills. A course like the master’s degree in computer science is one such route into this sector that offers great career opportunities, high wages, and relatively assured job security.
Jobs that a degree in computing science could open
In the modern workplace, it’s almost impossible to think of any company that doesn’t rely on digital technologies and IT to at least some degree. From simple web browsing and email right up to e-commerce stores and Big Data crunching, most firms rely on their IT systems to operate on a day-to-day basis. This reliance on tech offers considerable opportunities to those people willing to undertake a course in computer science.
Moreover, the diversity of computer science is so wide that it can be applied to a massive number of roles in a huge variety of business sectors. Nonetheless, the most talented computer science graduates tend to specialize in particular areas for the greatest chances of success.
The importance of building a personal portfolio
While there’s little doubt that a qualification in computer science will work wonders for convincing a prospective employer of your skills, there are still few better ways to show your skills than through building a personal portfolio of work. Again, this is another of the best aspects of computer science, and you can very easily produce a library of your own work in your own time – even while you study or continue working in another role.
Jobs you could expect to achieve from having a degree in computer science
While there is a plethora of jobs you could expect to gain from studying a course in computer science, some are more common than others. Below are just a few of the jobs you might expect to achieve from undertaking a qualification in this subject.
Jobs in cybersecurity
The risks posed by online criminality to companies and individuals alike are a very real and very present danger. The revenue generated by online crime makes it – by like for like comparison – the world’s third-largest economy, just behind the USA and China.
Taking a course in computer science will give you the skills and talents to be able to counter the growing risk posed by hackers globally and could be applied to pretty much any business in any sector. Indeed, while many people consider cyberattacks to affect only the largest, most successful firms, in truth, the problem is greatest in the Small to Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) sector, which is the most frequently attacked.
Working in data analysis
As people invest more and more of their time in online systems – both in a business and personal sense – so the value of data has increased exponentially in recent years. From simple Facebook posts to our banking details, blogs, and e-commerce sites, the world has moved increasingly digital, and that amassed data is incredibly valuable. Indeed, industry analysts now suggest that data may well already be the world’s most valuable commodity – worth even more than the likes of gold and oil.
Data analysis is now used by the world’s most successful companies to understand and improve business processes, customer care, and client marketing. A job in this highly lucrative area could provide not just job security but also command a high wage.
While much of the processes and technicality of designing and producing websites have changed in recent years (mostly through the development of HTML 5 and CSS), there is still a burgeoning demand for talented, skilled web designers and developers. Template sites are all well and good but to develop proper bespoke web platforms takes skill and dedication – the kind of talents that are far beyond the typical web user.
Studying computer science will give you the base knowledge which you can then develop and improve – particularly from a design and development perspective.
The computer games industry is now the world’s second-largest media sector – topped only by the TV market. Games and gaming machines now generate more money than films and music.
A qualification in computer science is one of the most common routes into this sector – albeit you may well need to cross-train into different disciplines (e.g., if you want to get into more design-oriented jobs).
Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
For many years, scientists have proposed a glittering future filled with autonomous, smart robots and platforms capable of sentient thought, but it’s only really been through the last decade or so that these technologies have come anywhere close to delivering.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning are finally starting to realize much of the sophistication that was promised for so long, and work in this area is advancing at a tremendous rate. Companies like Boston Dynamics are particularly spearheading the charge and producing some truly incredible machines and robots that are capable of performing almost superhuman actions.
While game development is heavily involved with programming, the game design will usually involve coming up with concepts that will engage and entertain the target market. The skills involved in games design are hugely varied and can involve everything from scripting and story writing to graphic and UX design and creating the overall dynamics of a gaming experience.
Designing games might be slightly outside the typical realms of hands-on programming and coding, but many of the skills are still interrelated and cross-transferrable.
Teaching IT and computer skills might not sound like the most interesting or creative role compared to those noted above, but this direction is still an avenue that can offer tremendous flexibility, good wages, a great work/life balance, and career stability.
To become an IT trainer/teacher, you may well need to take an extra teaching qualification (not always 100% necessary, but it will make you better at the job).
As a software engineer, you will typically apply mathematics, scientific and programming logic to write and design new applications designed for the purpose of solving specific problems. You’ll need a keen analytical mind to perform this role – plus be able to take a macro view of issues and then apply structured logic.
While a lot of this job involves finding the creativity to design innovative solutions, you will also normally be required to perform maintenance and upkeep work on systems. You will also need to test hardware and software to identify and isolate issues in systems to resolve and fix platform faults.
This is another very varied role within the overall computing industry and can command equally impressive wages. Again, it’s another job that has a lot of scope to work remotely or set up your own firm, giving a greater measure of flexibility and freedom in your work life.
Understanding IT is almost a prerequisite for selling IT products, and a computer science degree will give you greater knowledge than most. With your in-depth knowledge of the technologies, you’ll be in a much better position to be able to advise and guide customers on the best solutions for their particular issues.
While the title of sales might most readily bring to mind retail, actually, IT sales will often involve everything from prepping first contact introductory meetings through to nailing a committed purchase and after-sales support.
User Experience (UX) designer
Any time you interact with an app, website, or just an Operating System (OS), you are front and facing the work of a User Experience (UX) or User Interface (UI) designer. Most people don’t notice the vital work these designers produce – although you will definitely notice when the interface is badly programmed.
UI and UX work is another slightly peculiar area of computer development that is almost a hybrid of design and programming. If this job is done right, you should barely notice it – but most people can remember clunky programs that simply didn’t work.
Follow Techiemag for more!