a) Being the technology expert amongst non-technical people
b) Being the business expert amongst technical people
It's OK to want to do both! I've have sat in both roles over my career, but I find it to be an interesting exercise when you sit across business and technology.
No matter what your response is you can't go wrong with a computer science degree, and then consider what to specialize in after.
As you grow within the organization, you can look to take on more management responsibilities --- first managing your workload, then managing projects, and then people and/or programs (i.e. groups of projects).
A management degree will give you insights across business, and it may help you figure out where to work within an organization.
Before you make the switch to comp sci, would it be possible to try a class or 2 as your electives. Additionally, I would not hesitate to talk to an advisor about this! They want you to be thinking about your career and how you will apply your learning in the classroom. When I was in engineering school, and I used my electives courses to focus on business management courses. Ultimately, I never became a formal engineer, but I've always worked in technology. Studying both paths have made me better in business because I approach problems and create solutions like an engineer.
When you go to look for future internships or careers, you should always ask about a rotational program -- this way you gain access across the business, build your network, and figure out where you can add the most value (without having to change jobs!). As an intern, you may not have access to the rotational program, but it may be a benefit of taking the internship to get into the rotational employee after you are hired as an employee.
- Identifying a system that was widely used company-wide
- Obtain 2 certification for this software
- Showed interest in the problems we had with the software and inserted myself as a resource.
When the right opportunity became available, I had already set myself up for success and management tapped me on the shoulder for the job.
Kelvin recommends the following next steps:
It's worth figuring out if you like coding, and are good at it. You can alway learn management on the job later.
When first starting out and for life long learning, I've found IT Pro TV to be an excellent resource. It's cheaper than pursuing traditional college education, and has regularly updated content from professionals still within industry.
I would try to first understand the challenges that a specific company or team face in technology and try to analyze how others have tried and failed at different attempts and then apply your own strengths to that situation.
I think management and technology are best matched when there is mutual respect for both capacities and understanding of the challenges - ie lead with empathy and example.
Funny enough back in the day there was a degree in Management Information Systems, this was one of my majors because I had an interest in both topics! In today's environment, Project Management is probably the closest combination to merge these two fields.
There are many ways to mesh these two interests into a career path, here are just a few:
1. Work in management at a tech company - this would be a great way to see both sides of the coin in your fields of interest. Getting your foot in the door at a large tech company would also present opportunities to potentially move from a management role to an IT role a bit more easily than at a company in another industry.
2. Find a job where you use both skills - that's not hard these days! Any job that you take will require some set of technical skills, the more knowledge that you have of IT, the better. This will set you apart in any job application process and make you a really well-rounded and desirable candidate.
3. If you're not able to study IT formally, do some work outside of the classroom - if you're able to maybe minor in IT and you're interested in it, I say do it! The skills you learn through studying IT will be applicable in any role you choose to take in your career. If you're not able to minor in it, or maybe you're not sure you want to take that full step, try joining a club related to IT and computer science or watching a few trainings online. This will give you a taste of the field without the time commitment of the minor and will still prove really useful to you in your career!
Regardless of what you study, you're set up for a very fulfilling career with these two interests that you have. Good luck!
I would suggest these foundational computing skills or considerations about computer science-
- Computer hardware: What are the components that make up a computer/server, physical vs virtualized environments
- Networking: how do computers connect to a network or the internet, connection types, protocols, firewalls
- Operating systems: Understand the differences between platforms, pros and cons of each
- Applications and databases: What are applications and database, how do applications and databases work together
- Cloud: Understand the what Cloud environments and services are, types of cloud services and providers, Cloud vs traditional data centers. Cloud would be a mix of hardware and software (heavier focus)
A bonus will be:
- Information Security: Concepts overview of IT security in terms of data (confidentiality, integrity, availability), network, security architecture, identity and access management, security assurance (penetration testing), security operations (logging, monitoring, incident response, security education (user security training)
A couple of years worth of experience in more technical roles will provide a foundation to pursue IT mgmt roles.
As others have suggested, courses like Management Information Systems or Business Information Systems are a great way to combine both. Project Management is also a great way to get experience in both and this will help guide your career in the long run.
It's always worth talking to others who are doing the Computer Science to fully understand what it's like and what's involved before making your decision. That way you can make an informed decision that you won't regret.
Best of luck with your career and wishing you every success.