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If I decide to not get a job in computer science, how will the skills I learned from computer science help me in other fields?

I am in my second year of a computer science pathway. I like it and definitely want to keep learning about it, but I can't be certain that I will work with computer science in my careers in the future. #computer-science

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Mariah’s Answer

Hey Alex! I have an electrical engineering background and don't do electrical engineering, I do program management now and have done systems engineering in the past. Having a technical degree is a really great foundation to have that you can then use to pivot into other career options. When I was getting my EE degree, my major offered a business path to engineering where I could take business courses focused to engineering disciplines. These were the best classes I took and I use them every day. Things like accounting, finance, project management, technical writing, leadership, etc. Once I finished my degree, I worked for a while in a related field then was able to have my company sponsor me for an Engineering Management masters degree. That course work was invaluable. Using that, I was able to get a program management job. That company sponsored my training to get a PMP (professional project management professional) certification. Now that I have a masters in Engineering Management and a PMP certification, I can do any project or program management job in just about any industry. But having that technical backbone in electrical engineering really got me started and got my foot in the door. So I'd say see what you can do to pivot your course work to include some additional business type course work, then look for a job in technical product management, project management, technical sales support, etc. If you can, pick to work at companies that will support your further educational aspirations. And use those as a ladder to get better positions in fields/industries/areas closer to what you're interested in.
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Mike’s Answer

Hey Alex,

Honestly, fundamental coding and development understanding can help in almost any modern career path. Increasingly, most professions are relying on data to make decisions and the ability to quickly manipulate large datasets is invaluable. Irrespective of what you want to do, being able to automate basic tasks using Python can help increase your efficiency and speed. If you have an interest in business then knowing how systems are built can be a huge help in sales consultant roles and implementations too.

As a recruiter, I truly believe that fundamentals of CS are going to become increasingly valuable even if you do not go down the route of becoming a software developer.

Mike
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Shane’s Answer

Hi Alex,

Career is not a linear path. It can have small branches - or can root in a completely novel way. I studied IT. Started working as a party/event planner. Thought maybe it was worth trying the IT skills so took a job as a software developer. From there to business analyst to IT project manager. Then just project manager. then all of a sudden I'm in the HR function, carried on the momentum of an HR project. Over the past two decades I've moved in and out of the HR function and general business operations - even running a medical business operations teams within a large Biotech.

Now I work for a tech company and I get to use my coding skills as a citizen develop to make my life easier with Office 365 automations.

The core IT skills will be useful no matter which career path you take - whether as winding as mine has been or as straight as straight as an arrow.

The important part: keep learning, keep challenging yourself
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Ramesh’s Answer

Hi Alex,
There are two directions the non CS field may take (a) Management, HR etc. (b) different specialization such as Biology, Finance, etc. In case of (a) you have good feedback from Shane, Mike, and Mariah. Problem Solving, and System Organization skills you develop in CS will be a great asset in (a). In case of (b), most fields have a "Computational <name your field>" and your CS background will help in Computational Finance, Computational Biology etc.
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