Computer Science: Specialized Career Paths

Computer science is extremely broad, and those who obtain a bachelor’s degree in this subject have the opportunity to branch off and find employment or pursue advanced studies in a wide range of specialized areas.

Skill sets and knowledge required usually differ depending on which area one is interested in, though they are all built around the basic theories of computer science. Below are just a few career paths or areas of study one can specialize in after receiving a bachelor’s in computer science. Keep in mind that there are a lot more specializations out there!

Software Engineer

Those who pursue a bachelor’s in computer science often consider a career as a software engineer. Software engineers design, develop, implement and fix computer programs needed for computers to perform a specific task or solve a particular problem.

Good software engineers write programs that are efficient, clean, and maintainable. Not only do software engineers write new programs, they often build upon and keep up maintenance for existing programs and software.

Because computers are dependant on software for utility, software engineering has become a career that is highly in demand. It is projected to be one of the fastest growing occupations from 2008 to 2018.

Information Security

Another career path that has been growing significantly in terms of employment rate is information security. As computers have become an integrated part of society, a lot of sensitive and personal information are now stored in various databases around the world.

The information could include one’s banking information and private emails. As a result, threats such as software attacks, theft of intellectual property, sabotage, and information extortion have become common throughout computer systems. Those who work in information security respond to these threats and aid in developing ways to prevent them. They also monitor data in real time to ensure its safety and privacy.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the more recent and still rapidly growing areas of computer science. Various research and technological advancements are still being made to this day (like Tesla’s self-driving cars!). AI is built around famous computer scientist Alan Turing’s seemingly simple question of, “Can computers think?”.

While most people relate AI to just robotics, artificial intelligence is actually a cross-disciplinary field that involves philosophy, psychology, engineering, computer science, linguistics, and mathematics. Some examples of recent AI developments are voice and face recognition systems, voice commands (such as Siri), and intelligent routing in content delivery network.

Computer Hardware Engineer

Those who are software engineers write commands and instructions for the computer, whereas computer hardware engineers are the people who are responsible for the physical computer itself. Those who have a career in hardware engineering usually also have an engineering background alongside their computer science degree.

Hardware engineers design, test, implement, and research various components and equipments of the computer. These components can include motherboards, processors, memory devices, circuit boards, and routers. Hardware engineers can also help create and maintain large server farms, which is a system that supports various computer networks and servers (essentially a bunch of computers working together).

Through groundbreaking research and increasing knowledge, hardware engineers are the reason behind the incredible advancements of computing power and capability.

Web Developer

Web developers are essentially programmers who specialize in developing web applications or distributing network applications that runs from a web server to a web browser. As such, with the growing population of cloud computing (storing data on servers as opposed to hard drives), web developers are becoming increasingly popular in the job sector.

Additionally, due to the amount of data and applications that are available on the web, developers are always working to improve its accessibility and functions. Typically, web developers code in programming languages like HTML or JavaScript.

Featured Image: depositphotos/nd3000