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What are some steps that I should take in order to get a job in computer science?

I am a sophomore in high school interested in going to college for computer science. I am already very familiar with coding and how computers work.

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Andrew’s Answer

Hello! A fantastic way to kick off your journey is to secure a summer internship with a tech company that captivates your interest. This is an excellent initial stride into the tech world, offering you a taste of what the field entails. Additionally, consider broadening your connections. Engage with individuals in the tech industry as they can not only unlock numerous opportunities for you, but also provide valuable guidance. Keep going, you're on the right track!
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Mark’s Answer

Look for accomplished individuals in areas where you can mingle with folks from various backgrounds. A church is usually an excellent starting point. If that's not your scene, consider exploring Meetup.

Next, engage them in a conversation about what they would do if they were in your position. Propose to assist them without expecting any compensation.

Remember, it's crucial to offer your services for free. Don't let that detail slip your mind.
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Fred’s Answer

Think about what part of computer science interests you the most. Do you like coding? Database administration? Security? Do you prefer front-end or back-end work?

there are many areas you can focus in on. If you have an idea what you like, you can select classes that lean in those directions.

In your sophomore year, start thinking about applying for summer internships. Many large companies have such programs, and they are a great way to network, to get your foot in the door, and to determine if a company is right for you long term.
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Amy’s Answer

Since you're already familiar with coding, in preparation for college, I'd start diving deeper into your math classes and the theoretical side of computer science. If your school offers AP Computer Science, take it! If it doesn't, see if there is the option to self-study for the test and take it. I'd also recommend AP Calculus, as well as seeing if you can take or self-study topics such as linear algebra and discrete mathematics. In general, good college programs require you to be a good all-around student, so don't lose focus on your other classes as well. Being a good communicator (English) and being able to apply your skills to complicated problems in all disciplines (science + other) are valuable skills to have!

When it comes to eventually being employed as a software engineer, I'd suggest actually trying to seek out student-level competitions to build your skills and connect with other interested, hard-working people your age. This would be competitions such as hackathons, capture the flags (CTFs), and the USA Computing Olympiad. Good results in these competitions will give you plenty to put on a future resume, and you'll find many top companies already look at these events as great recruiting opportunities already. It's also great to build up a portfolio in the meantime of your own projects, but using events like these will help you to start building up your network.
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