Where will I work in my computer science career?
Graduates of the best computer science programs have many options when it comes to computer science jobs. Many careers in computer science are in the private sector and usually involve working with computers in an office or an IT department of a company. Well-known software and Internet companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft or Apple hire computer science graduates for positions such as systems administrators, database administrators, programmers, developers, software engineers or information security analysts.
If your computer science specialty is robotics, you may be developing robotics technologies for automobile makers or building consumer robots. You could even work for NASA!
Finally, there are several laboratory jobs in computer science available in universities or research institutes. One of the highest paying computer science careers according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is as a computer and information research scientist. However, along with computer science university professor, this position requires a PhD in the field.
How long does it take to find a job in computer science?
How long you look for a computer science job depends on what part of the field you enter once you get your degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer science degree jobs are growing at rates between 12% (average) and 31% (much faster than average), with the slowest growth rate among computer programmers and the highest among database administrators.
BLS estimates that about 34,000 new database administration jobs will be created in the next decade, so if that is your specialty it should not take you long at all to find a job. If you choose to use your degree to become a computer and information research scientist, the growth rate is about 19%, with an estimated 5,300 jobs to be created over the next decade.
If you received your computer science degree online, your job prospects should be the same as for students graduating from on-campus computer science programs, as long as your degree is accredited.
How have computer science careers changed over the years?
When the first computers came into use in the early twentieth century, there were few computer scientists and most worked as both engineers and programmers. Today, as the field evolves at rapid speeds, you can have a career in computer science in hundreds of different specializations.
The most noticeable difference between what a computer science career was like 50 or even 10 years ago and how it is today is in the physical size of the equipment. Computers were once enormous mechanical machines that filled entire rooms; today you carry a computer in your pocket that you can make phone calls with.
Moreover, in the early days of computing you had to be an expert in computer engineering in order to work with computers because you would often have to fix or improve on mechanical parts. Today, while you can choose to be a computer engineer and work directly with hardware, you can also have a job where you never need to open a computer, such as a software engineer or network administrator.
What are the top employers for computer science jobs?
The best jobs with a computer science degree are for multinational computer hardware, software and Internet corporations such as Apple, IBM, HP, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo! or Facebook. Though many of these companies have not been around for long, they are worth billions of dollars and are often famous for providing their employees with great perks, such as game rooms and gourmet cafeterias, in addition to generous health benefits.
According to Business Insider magazine, the top 5 tech companies to work for are Guidewire, an American backend software company, Barracuda Networks, a young anti-spam software company, Rackspace, a web hosting company, MITRE, a corporation specializing in high technology systems engineering, and Google, the Internet search giant. Most of these companies are located in California’s Silicon Valley.
Another top employer is the U.S. government, which includes agencies such as NASA, the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, all of which have a need for computer scientists in multiple positions.