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What are some possible job position with CS degree?

I am going to CS major. I wonder what are some job positions with a CS degree. What is annual salary for those jobs? Is it easy to find those job? How should I apply for a job? Does the company I worked for matter? What are some great quality of a company I should look for?

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Ken’s Answer

You asked an interesting question. This career area is very broad and diverse. The most important things that you can do are:

  • determine which area you are most suited for by virtue of your personality traits.
  • network with professionals in your chosen area based upon the testing results to determine your proper focus and develop contacts and relationships that will help you along your education/career journey.
  • take courses in a prudent and efficient manner to prepare yourself for proper development and advancement in your career area.

Ken recommends the following next steps:

Take interest and aptitude testing administered and interpreted by a professional during high school and when entering college, as the interpretation might differ, but do not wait until college, as your preparation and networking should start as soon as possible.
When you get the results, talk to the person at your school or college you are considering or college you are considering to arrange to meet, talk to, visit, and possibly shadow graduates who are doing what you think that you might want to do based upon the testing interpretation. Here are some tips: ## ## ## ## ## ##
Locate professional associations to which professionals belong who are doing what you think that you might want to do based upon your testing to meet and talk to and visit people who are doing what you might want to do. When I was doing college recruiting, too many students skipped this step and ended up in jobs/careers for which they were ill suited. Here are some tips: ## ## ## ## Many times these professional associations have or know of internship, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. It is through these associations that professionals are able to keep up with changes in their career area and make advancements as they progress through their career .
Here are some good tips on reducing costs for college. ## ## Many times students in CS can become involved in very good jobs upon graduating from a community college with an AA in CS and have the employer pay for advance training if deemed necessary along the way in their career. Many times these community colleges have internship and coop programs which will allow a student to earn and get practical experience as they learn.
It is very important to show appreciation to those who help you along the way. To make is more personal, it is best use face to face and telephone methods of showing appreciation, as this allows for a two way verbal conversation and exchange of information and the possibility of getting more helpful assistance. Here are some tips. Whenever possible, when another means is mentioned, substitute phone and face to face interaction. ## ##
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Daniel’s Answer

Comp Sci has a wide variety of business areas (tech in general, finance/banking, industrial, etc). Basically everything uses computers now, and you need comp sci people to program them.

There's a bunch of different roles (job positions, whatever) - just rote Programmer, more general Software Engineering, but then also test focused roles (Test Engineer, etc), as well as research positions. Some companies also employ pure software architects who don't write code but just design stuff (though that's becoming a bit less common). You'd also probably pick up the qualifications for more IT focused jobs (sysadmin, db stuff, etc). You'd also be qualified for program manager type positions. There's also more sales-focused but still engineering (e.g. literally Sales Engineer). And more... lots more.

For now comp sci jobs are incredibly easy to get, yes. (I mean getting a job will be easy, if you're dead set on say Netflix or Valve, it might not come true, but you'll find some employment assuming you learn how to program code).

Applying for jobs is often done either at a career fair or just directly with a company's website. You can also go through recruiters from outside the company. Often you may apply for an internship and then get a full time position from that later on.

Salary varies a lot - by position from above (IT may pay lower, software engineer may pay higher), location (if you stay in Minnesota vs going to the east or west coast, you may make a lot less), industry (video games industry will pay less, tech/finance industry may pay more), and experience (though as a new grad this doesn't matter as much).

So a job in finance or big tech on the coast as a software engineer may net you like $150k/yr right out of undergrad (and easily double in less than a decade). A job in defense in the midwest as just a programmer may be like $60k-70k, with much less room to grow - still not bad at all though.

What to look for in a company? Probably a reasonable business model, equitable comp for the location & role, not too long hours, maybe a history of hiring other talented people who can help mentor you, etc.

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Ekaterina’s Answer


The answers above are already very exhaustive, but I would like to add a couple things :)

  1. Some of the slightly more recent roles that tend to be open to CS graduates are in data science and data engineering - this is a growing field, there is quite a lot of demand in this area and salaries typically also have a *lot* of room for growth as you gain experience. It will depend somewhat on what your specific CS major is like - does it offer the possibility to take courses in statistics, image recognition, or natural language processing, for example?
  2. Specifically as a woman in a tech-adjacent field, when applying for jobs I tend to try and find out how seriously this company takes diversity, the gender pay gap, inclusive work spaces, sexual harassment at work, having women in senior decision-making roles and so on. My impression is that you are more likely to be able to thrive and have a career where you achieve your potential at companies that are overall more inclusive and intentionally mindful of internalised gender bias.
  3. Lastly, I would strongly recommend taking a look at the results of this very extensive survey: It's a survey of tens of thousands of developers worldwide and will give you some insight into their roles, salaries, tools and programming languages used, and also attitudes towards looking for and assessing new jobs. It is a very good and detailed crowd-sourced overview of the current state of affairs in my opinion.

Ekaterina recommends the following next steps:

If you have not considered data science or related fields as a career option, do some googling and think about whether it's something that might interest you (this intro is quite good:
make sure to check out the Stack Overflow survey!