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The field of computer science is constantly changing. The areas listed below do not exhaust possible career options.
See also What Can I Do With This Major in Management Information Systems?

Area
Employer
Information/Strategies

Programming

  • Operating Systems
  • Application Systems
    • Scientific
    • Engineering
    • Business
  • Maintenance
  • Research and Development
  • Computer systems design firms
  • Software developers
  • Data processing/Management firms
  • Contract and temporary employers
  • Most areas of business, government and non-governmental organizations including:
    • Financial institutions
    • Insurance companies
    • Consulting firms
    • Manufacturers
    • Computer companies
    • Telecommunications companies
    • Retailers
    • Healthcare organizations
    • Hotels and restaurants
    • Entertainment companies
    • Environmental management firms
    • Transportation companies
    • Education institutions
    • Research institutions
    • City, state and federal government
  • Seek programming experience through volunteer positions, internships and co-ops.
  • Develop attention to detail, logical thinking and communication skills.
  • Exhibit patience and creativity for designing programs.
  • Learn to work effectively independently on teams and with end-users while maintaining deadlines.
  • Supplement computer degree with courses in business, science or engineering.
  • Maintain current knowledge of programming languages; vendor and professional certifications may increase job prospects.
  • Consider earning the Certified Computing Professional designation by completing a series of exams and experiential requirements.
  • Earn a master’s degree for upper level positions.


Systems Development

  • Planning/Analysis
  • Design
  • Building/Coding
  • Integration/Testing
  • Operations/Maintenance
  • Project Management
  • Most areas of business, government and non-governmental organizations including:
    • Financial institutions
    • Insurance companies
    • Consulting firms
    • Manufacturers
    • Computer companies
    • Telecommunications companies
    • Retailers
    • Healthcare organizations
    • Hotels and restaurants
    • Entertainment companies
    • Environmental management firms
    • Transportation companies
    • Education institutions
    • Research institutions
    • City, state and federal government
  • Develop excellent interpersonal skills for effective communication with technical and non-technical colleagues and clients.
  • Seek knowledge of industries, business areas or government agencies of interest. Complete a minor to gain specialized knowledge related to a field of interest.
  • Strengthen logical thinking and problem solving skills.
  • Maintain current knowledge of computer languages and technology.
  • Gain programming experience and specialize for increased opportunities.
  • Obtain business experience through internships or part-time employment.
  • Supplement program with courses such as accounting, management, human resources, consulting to increase understanding of business theory.
  • Earn a graduate degree in technology or business for advanced opportunities in analysis, project management and executive operations.


Network Technology

  • Intranet
    • Development
    • Installation
    • Testing
    • Monitoring
    • Maintenance
    • Security
    • Support
  • Hardware and Software Design
  • Most areas of business, government and non-governmental organizations including:
    • Financial institutions
    • Insurance companies
    • Consulting firms
    • Manufacturers
    • Computer companies
    • Telecommunications companies
    • Retailers
    • Healthcare organizations
    • Hotels and restaurants
    • Entertainment companies
    • Environmental management firms
    • Transportation companies
    • Education institutions
    • Research institutions
    • City, state and federal government
  • Seek work experience in university computer labs or through related part-time jobs, internships or volunteer opportunities.
  • Develop effective analytical and problem solving skills.
  • Expect to spend a significant amount of time responding to inquiries from colleagues, customers and employees.
  • Acquire strong oral and written communication skills and an interest in helping others.
  • Gain knowledge in a variety of computer areas including programming, software and hardware.
  • Stay abreast of the latest network technologies.
  • Consider earning applicable certifications such as Cisco or Microsoft for some positions.


Database Administration

  • Development
  • Installation
  • Testing
  • Maintenance/Support
  • Archiving/Security
  • Upgrading
  • Systems Integration
  • Management
  • Most areas of business, government and non-governmental organizations including:
    • Financial institutions
    • Insurance companies
    • Consulting firms
    • Manufacturers
    • Computer companies
    • Telecommunications companies
    • Retailers
    • Healthcare organizations
    • Hotels and restaurants
    • Entertainment companies
    • Environmental management firms
    • Transportation companies
    • Education institutions
    • Research institutions
    • City, state and federal government
  • Develop logical thinking skills, attention to detail and the ability to concentrate for long periods of time.
  • Obtain technical experience through paid or volunteer positions.
  • Seek general knowledge of computer languages and database management software; consider specializing in one for increased marketability.
  • Acquire strong communication skills to prepare for work with teams of programmers and with staff who may have limited computer training.


Internet

  • Programming
  • Software Design
  • Systems Development
  • Web Design/Maintenance
  • Internet exchange points (IXPs)
  • Internet service providers
  • Software vendors
  • Internet-related companies including:
    • browsers, search engines, web design services business, government and nongovernmental organizations
  • Consulting firms
  • Self-employed
  • Supplement major with courses in web design, graphic design, internet development or network architecture.
  • Pursue business classes or a business minor for consulting and systems development positions.
  • Gain experience as a webmaster through part-time jobs, internships or volunteering to design web pages for student organizations.
  • Develop excellent communication skills and prepare to work on teams which may include content authors, graphic artists, programmers, etc.
  • Maintain current knowledge of web-based programming languages.


Education

  • Teaching
  • Instructional Technology
  • Colleges and universities
  • Proprietary (for profit) schools
  • Public and private schools, K-12
  • Corporations
  • Gain experience working with students through tutoring, part-time employment, internships in computer labs and/or other technical positions.
  • Develop excellent interpersonal and public speaking skills.
  • Inquire about certification process which is required for K-12 teaching and varies by state.
  • Pursue a master’s for teaching at most community colleges or two-year institutions.
  • Seek a doctoral degree related to information or computer sciences for teaching opportunities at colleges and universities. Develop a research specialty for university teaching.
  • Earn a graduate degree in information technology or a related field for instructional technology.


Technical Support

  • Customer/Product
  • Support
  • Sales Marketing
  • Technical Writing
  • Software/hardware manufacturers
  • Systems developers
  • Technical service providers
  • Retail stores
  • Education institutions
  • Develop excellent communication skills and an interest in helping customers solve problems.
  • Exhibit patience and a commitment to customer satisfaction.
  • Secure experience working in university computer labs and at help desks.
  • Obtain general sales or customer service experience.
  • Acquire extensive knowledge of merchandise for retail sales positions.
  • Supplement curriculum with technical writing courses to develop skills.


General Information and Strategies

  • Consider earning a minor in math or pursuing it as a second major, as a computer science major is heavily math-based.
  • Develop strong interpersonal, communication and teamwork skills. Patience and perseverance are essential for computer science professionals.
  • Complete informational interviews with current computer science professionals to help establish career goals.
  • Obtain an internship, co-op or part-time job in a relevant area to increase employability. Related experience is essential to employers hiring computer science majors.
  • Obtain vendor-specific or networking certifications to gain a competitive edge for some positions.
  • Expect to work extended and/or irregular hours at times and to be “on call.”
  • Prepare to learn new information on a regular basis through online discussions, classes, conferences, periodicals, and update your skills accordingly.
  • Note that an interest in computers may not translate into an interest in computer science, as the major is heavily programming and math-based.
  • To enter the gaming industry, investigate training programs specific to game design and seek as much exposure to designing as possible. Pursue entry-level opportunities, such as tester, to gain experience.