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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.
  • Consider a dual major to help shape toward a particular career, since computer science intersects with a number of other fields
    • Examples: Biology for a career in bioinformatics; Political science/criminal justice for career in security and information policy; Fine arts for a career in animation; or, Business for some types of IT careers.
  • 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.
  • Obtain an area of specialization through a master’s degree or by doing advanced coursework.
  • 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 a major in computer science can lead to being a designer, creator, and inventor of new technology. Example areas include computer hardware architecture, virtual reality, and robotics.
  • Note that an interest in computers may not translate into an interest in computer science, as the major is heavily programming and math-based.
  • It might be better to major in Business Administration and minor in Computer Science if you want to work in the private sector because the cloud is transforming IT and creating hybrid roles across the enterprise
  • 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.