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What can you do with a computer science degree?

I am a civil engineering student. I choose civil engineering because I really like math and liked the thought of building big stuff. The classes are getting harder and I'm stressed more often. The science classes are so difficult for me. I do so much better in my math courses and the computer courses. I have thought of switching to computer science because there is less physics involved, but I am not sure what jobs that could lead me to. I don't know if I would like programming.
mathematics civil-engineering computerscience college-majors

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Subject: Career question for you

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John’s Answer

Megan there are a wide variety of fields students with a computer degree can enter. These include computer engineering, computer science and information technology. Computer science careers cover many different topics, such as algorithms and programming languages. Students in this area can get their bachelor's or master's degrees. Computer engineering careers are geared towards testing different digital software and inspecting computer equipment. Coursework can include electronic and analog circuits, audio engineering and digital communications. Programs in information technology focus on computer-related needs for different organizations.

1.) DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR • 9% Job Growth 2018-2028 • Average Salary $121,000
Database administrators are in charge of using specific software to organize data, which can be sensitive or confidential depending on the company or organization. They also do routine checks to ensure that the information they are storing comes from reputable sources and that unauthorized access is prevented. Future database administrators should work toward a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field, such as management information systems.

2.) INFORMATION SECURITY ANALYST • 32% Job Growth 2018-2028 • Average Salary $100,000
Analysts in information security utilize firewalls and encryption to prevent hacking attempts and security breaches. They can also attempt to hack into the company's own system in order to determine weaknesses and strengthen it against possible future attacks. The data produced from these simulations is shared with management to explain where security can be improved. A bachelor's degree in computer science or a similar area is required for work as an information security analyst.

3.) SOFTWARE ENGINEER • 21% Job Growth 2018-2028 • Average Salary $114,000
Software engineers work through the entire development of software, from the initial development stage to the execution by the computer programmers. When a program or a piece of software is initially designed and developed, the software engineer plots how the software will ultimately function and how teams will execute the project. The larger functions of the software are generally broken down into small pieces, which the engineer will oversee as they work with a team of programmers. A bachelor's degree in a field related to computer science is a common requirement.

4.) COMPUTER PROGRAMMER • 11% Job Growth 2018-2028 • Average Salary $98,500
Computer programmers take the plans developed by engineers and developers and create functioning computer programs and applications. These programs are built and edited using specific coding languages, such as Java, Python, and C++. Due to the complexities of these languages and ever-changing technology, programmers must remain studious in these areas in order to stay up to date. These programmers may build a new program, or they may test previously designed programs for any bugs or potential improvements. A bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field is generally required.

5.) COMPUTER HARDWARE ENGINEER • 6% Job Growth 2018-2028 • Average Salary $110,000
The rapid improvements seen in computer technology are largely due to the work of computer hardware engineers. The responsibilities of a computer hardware engineer may include designing and testing new keyboards, computer chips or printers or overseeing the manufacturing of these types of items. A 4-year degree in computer engineering, electrical engineering or a related field is required for most jobs in computer hardware engineering; however, a master's degree may be necessary for some specialties, supervisory or high-ranking positions with cutting-edge companies.

6.) NETWORK ARCHITECT • 6% Job Growth 2018-2028 • Average Salary $133,750
If designing communication networks and determining what computer equipment should be included sounds interesting, consider becoming a computer network architect. Network architects create network plans, make software and hardware selections, submit their ideas to management, lay out equipment placement and explore new technological advances that could benefit the company. To enter this profession, a computer-related bachelor's degree is usually necessary, as is job experience in a lower-level position, such as computer systems analysis or network administration.

7.) ELECTRONICS ENGINEER • 4% Job Growth 2018-2028 • Average Salary $122,500
For those interested in designing the pieces that make up electronic products and systems, becoming an electronics engineer could be a strong career option. Electronics engineers create electrical components for government, scientific, medical and commercial industries. They draft schematic plans, estimate costs, create testing procedures, execute inspections, suggest modifications and look for ways to boost performance. A bachelor's degree in electronics engineering or a related area is required to qualify for employment in the field.

8.) MATHEMATICIAN • 26% Job Growth 2018-2028 • Average Salary $112,000
Computer science is utilized by mathematicians when working with complex theorems and algorithms. They can use computer science concepts to examine issues that have yet to be addressed in mathematics, and their original findings can be shared in journals as well as conferences. A master's degree in mathematics is usually necessary for a career, although a bachelor's degree might also qualify someone. Courses in computer programming are highly encouraged.

9.) STATISTICIAN • 31% Job Growth 2018-2028 • Average Salary $101,500
Statisticians use data taken from the real world to provide relationships or trends and discuss them with management. They use customized software designed to collect data, and they will also create surveys to use for sampling populations. They may also be involved in the creation of new software for this type of data analysis. A variety of fields employ statisticians, including psychology, marketing, and competitive sports. Working as a statistician is possible with a bachelor's degree in statistics or math at the entry level, but a master's is more common for a requirement. Computer science coursework is recommended for aspiring statisticians.

10.) COMPUTER SYSTEMS ANALYST • 9% Job Growth 2018-2028 • Average Salary $82,900
Computer systems analysts create new methods to upgrade the function of existing computer systems. Different specialty areas exist for analysts, including programming and software quality assurance. They create flowcharts for use by other programmers once recommendations have been given. While a computer science or information science degree is recommended, a degree in business may also be accepted as a substitute depending on the employer.

Megan those with a degree in computers have a number of career options available to them. They might seek work in computer science, computer engineering, or information technology. For most positions, some level of work experience is required and optional certification is available in some cases.

Hope this was Helpful Megan

This is a lot more detailed answer than I thought I would get. I love that you included job growth percentages. A big fear of mine is that I will graduate and not be able to find a job. There appear to be a lot more jobs in computer science than civil engineering. A couple of the jobs you mentioned do sound interesting but I'm not completely given up on engineering. I have a big decision to make and it needs to be soon. I don't want to waste any more time or money in my current major if I'm not sure about it. Your post is helpful. Megan B.

Your Welcome Megan, Good Luck. Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I’m possible”. John Frick

Thank You Siddhartha. “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo Buscaglia John Frick

Thank You Joshi. “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” — Muhammad Ali John Frick

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As a computer science graduate you will have a lot of opportunities in the field for Information technology. There are many Technology oriented companies(like Microsoft, Oracle, Facebook, Amazon, and the like) that hire computer science graduates. You will have opportunity to work on latest technology innovations as well as new and emerging fields of studies. If you like innovation then you will have plenty of options to experiment and create new tech that can help mankind. The field of computer science is quite vast and it does not limit to coding. There are many aspects of software engineering that you would get insights on. Logical thinking is the core principle that drives computers and if you can master that then Computer Science Engineering would be an easy domain to learn.

SIDDHARTHA recommends the following next steps:

See if you can start picking up some of the programming languages like C and get some understanding of object Oriented programming like C++

Thank you for your answer! I have been doing research online and found a few websites where you can learn to code for free. I am going to try it out. I am in the middle of my fall semester and hopefully, this will help me make a better decision whether I should change my major. I have looked into a degree in CS and currently need the same amount of credits in both degrees. Give or take 3 to 5 credits. So it wouldn't add any time in school if I switch in the spring. Megan B.

You are welcome Megan. SIDDHARTHA SATPATHY

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Haider Ali’s Answer

I was in a very similar position as you in college. I started off as a mechanical engineering major because I thought I would be building very cool things but as I took my major classes, I absolutely hated it. In my sophomore year I made the decision of switching my major to something I like and I ended up getting a double major in math and econ with a certificate in CS. My career aspirations changed and I wanted to be in consulting and analysis so I can work with tech but also work in a business environment. I learned a lot through my new classes because I was interested in them and to keep up with tech, I would spend extra time on online courses learning new tools and new languages.

As far as a CS major is concerned, the opportunities are endless. Working in tech means you can work in a wide array of occupations. It could range from Software Engineer to Data Scientist to Product Manager and more. You should make a list of CS jobs or areas that you find interesting and then see how they relate to you and what you want out of a job. Also know that these jobs are not restricted to just programming, they could be Tech consulting, product or program manager, Analyst and so many more. Find what you see yourself doing and enjoying.

I would also like to point out that to become a software engineer you don't need a CS degree you just need to know the languages which can be learned independently as well. You have a lot of options with CS and to make the correct decision you should google companies and types of jobs mentioned in this post and explore what you like the most.

For switching majors, you should talk to a college advisor to make a graduation plan and to find out if you can graduate on time and if you fulfill any of the requirements if applicable.

Thank you for your advice. This was helpful. Megan B.

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Nick’s Answer

Many people here at CV are asking a similar question about which field of engineering to choose at an early stage such as high school. I always advise to get started in an engineering education and find out where your talents and strengths really fit. It's great that you've reached this point and, rather than quit, are considering a change in direction. If you find you are now interested in the computer sciences, think about how you could combine this in your future career by working companies that do big civil engineering projects such as transportation, environment and city infrastructure. There's a lot of CS going on in Civil Engineering.
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Basanta’s Answer

I can understand, but since you are so much interested in Civil engineering and building big stuffs, so as part of Computer science, you can thought of designing tools like CAD/AutoCAD, those are more into designing and normally used by the Architects and there you may not require that much programming skills. So I would suggest to explore more on such tools where you can apply your civil engineering concept in computer world.