MAPCON Maintenance Software Article Series

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What You Can Do With a Degree in Computer Science

Lisa Richards, Educational Outreach Writer

Though many think a degree in computer science means working as a programmer, the fact is that the field is vast and extends to numerous applications. A computer science degree enables people to work as computer systems analysts, database administrators and managers, IT administrators and specialists, and more. Fields such as law, banking, medicine, and finance need highly trained computer science degree-holders to manage their online information systems. In fact, there is rarely any field that does not require the expertise of those proficient in computer science to handle their software, programs, security, and databases. The field is so vast that there are numerous jobs available to those who have a degree in computer science. The job outlook is not only good, but the field projects continued growth over the next several decades at least. A computer science degree is a great choice for those interested in high-paying careers with plenty of room to succeed and grow.

Programming

While there is more to computer science than programming, the majority of professional workers begin in this field. There are two main types of computer programmers: systems and applications. Computer programmers are responsible for a number of tasks that involve analytical, logical, and reasoning skills. They do more than design software or computer games; they also make crucial decisions regarding the creation, development, testing, and debugging of computer programs. Most computer programmers enter the field with a computer science degree and then receive on-the-job training by working with teams. There is a positive job outlook and plenty of room for experienced computer programmers to move into higher-paying jobs.

Computer Systems Analyst

Many who hold a computer science degree choose to work as a computer systems analyst. A systems analyst designs, tests, and implements computer systems for businesses, often replacing or upgrading their current system. As computer systems analysts work with people not related to the computer field, those who wish to pursue this field may find educational backgrounds in business, engineering, or other related fields an enhancement. The job has a positive outlook and is expected to remain a high-demand field. System analysts may earn approximately $80,000 per year or more.

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Computer and information systems managers often have bachelor"s degrees in computer science as well as a graduate degree. Most IT managers have worked in the field for at least five years, and the job outlook for this field is above average. Many IT managers earn $100,000 per year or more and are responsible for overseeing a company"s computer systems, processes, and activities. A computer systems manager or IT manager must discern what a company"s end goal is, then ensure that the computer systems implemented meet those goals in an efficient and user-friendly way.

Consultant

A computer consultant often finds that their job varies according to the field in which they work and the needs of the company or client for whom they are working. Generally, computer consultants make critical decisions regarding computer-related activities and ensure that clients understand how to implement the best methods for their needs. Consultants must have foresight and knowledge to choose, implement, and present better working systems for their clients. Additionally, they must have persuasive yet friendly people skills in order to work successfully in the field. Consultants often rely upon their programming skills, as they might find they need to create custom code and software for their clients. Those who want to work as a consultant will need to pay close attention to the specific requirements of the job they apply for, as each company requires different things from a professional consultant.

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Database Administrators

Many who earn a degree in computer science opt for a career as a database administrator. There is a great need for database administrators, and the job outlook is positive. The job involves assessing company databases and making recommendations that will help systems operate smoothly. One of the most important roles of database administrators is in security. The database administrator must ensure that all information stored within a computer system is safe and protected from hackers, thieves, and unwarranted attacks. Many database administrators hold a bachelor"s degree and gain on-the-job experience. There is plenty of room for advancement in this field.

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