A Comprehensive Guide To A Career In Computing

Whether you like it or not, technology and computing are at the forefront of development and innovation and as a result, a career in computing is one of the most secure and exciting career paths to pursue.

Whether you are interested in changing the nature of your career entirely, moving in a different path within the industry you currently work in, or have just graduated fresh out of college or high school, continue reading for a comprehensive guide to a career in computing. 

Why Pursue A Career In Computing?

There is a myriad of benefits to choosing to devote your professional career to computing and computing science, including but certainly in no way limited to the following:

  • Computing is the basic foundation of any business, regardless of size or industry
  • The job market for computer scientists and related professionals is booming
  • It is a good way to stay ahead of trends and curves in new technologies 
  • You will be able to embark upon computing research, sometimes with incredible results
  • The professional skills that you will develop in computing and computer science are transferable to a wide range of professions and industries

What Is Computer Science?

Essentially, computer science is the thorough study and research of everything associated with computational systems and computers themselves. 

Professional computer science experts vastly differ from computer and electrical engineers, in that the former mostly involve themselves with software systems and software packages—working to improve their design, application, development, and theory. 

The fundamental areas under the umbrella of computer science include the following:

  • Vision and graphics
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Theory of computing
  • Computer networks and systems
  • Bioinformatics
  • Computer security
  • Software engineering
  • Human and computer interaction
  • Programing languages
  • Numerical analysis

Becoming a Computer Scientist

Studying Computer Science At Postgraduate Level

As computing is such a broad and complex field, and one in which the rules and configurations—as well as the technologies and computer systems themselves—are constantly changing and developing, academic qualifications are an absolute must. More pertinently, if you are serious and dedicated to a career in computing and computer science, it is strongly advisable that you embark on an exceedingly challenging and equally beneficial online masters computer science degree from a reputable and renowned facility. 

Advantages Of Studying Computing Science At Postgraduate Level With any postgraduate degree, the nature of the study means you will be fully immersed in the subject and will face many challenges in terms of both the workload and the detail required for assignments. However, the advantages of studying computer science are multi-faceted and impressively diverse:

1. Computer Science Lends Itself To Online Study

As computer science naturally deals predominantly with working and analyzing computers, computing systems, and software packages and development, it is the ideal postgraduate course to embark upon through online means. 

Online learning also affords the student the ability to learn, study, and submit at their own time and pace and in the comfort of their own home. The freedom to set your own personal schedule of study is unrivaled, and you are also able to work your studies around your employment and any personal roles and responsibilities you currently have. 

Another incredible benefit of studying your postgraduate masters degree in computing science online is the fact that you can rewind, pause, and even record each and every lecture and seminar and re-watch any and all you require in order to complete a specific paper.

2. Computer Science Masters Degrees Come With Ultimate Job Security

Over the last few years and interestingly because of the disruption and downright devastation of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, the demand for and subsequent availability of careers in the world of computer science have risen exponentially. 

With the passing of each year, businesses and industries across the entire professional spectrum become steadily more and more reliant on computers for the basic, core, and essential business functions, and as a result, your new career will never be in jeopardy. 

Computer scientists are in the most secure of professional positions possible, and this is exceedingly unlikely to change in the future. 

3. The Research World Is Your Lobster

Another incredible benefit of studying computing and computer science at postgraduate level is the simple fact that there is no limit—and no knowing—as to where your research and studies will take you. 

New innovations and developments in both computing technologies and software occur regularly, and in some areas, almost constantly, so with a masters degree in computer science you will join those professionals at the very edge of the frontier into new discoveries and inventions. 

4. Professional Computer Scientists’ Salaries Are Impressive

Careers in computing and computer science boast an impressively high annual salary, which easily beats the United States national average. 

Obviously, you are hopefully not interested in pursuing a career in computer science just for the purposes of earning more money, but the added benefit of being financially rewarding for your time and professional dedication cannot be ignored. 

Even for newly qualified professional computer scientists, their wage starts at around $60,000, with wages rising to $75,000 (and more) over time. 

5. Computer Science Is Constantly Developing

Computer science is one of the most exciting, innovative fields in the whole of the business spectrum and as a result, a career as a professional computer scientist will be an incredibly rewarding and multi-beneficial one. 

Computers are involved in virtually everything in everyday life, from the car you drive, to the machinery and equipment you use in the bathroom and kitchen, to the entertainment systems you have in and around your home. 

When you undertake a postgraduate degree in computer science, you will gain a thorough and unprecedented amount of knowledge into the inner workings of each and every element within the discipline and will therefore be able to undertake your own research, developments, and even inventions to improve even the most basic of equipment. 

Having a professional career in the field of computer science means you will be the one who can practically apply your knowledge and skills and even invent new software packages and hardware elements to further the development of computing as a whole. 

6. Computer Science Skills Are Incredibly Transferable

The nature of postgraduate research degrees mean that you will be fully enveloped and be consistently and constantly applying newly acquired research skills, which are certainly not only applicable to the particularly subject you are invested in. 

Computer science postgraduate degrees will provide you with a myriad of incredibly beneficial and transferable skills, which will not only boost your overall employment prospects but also ensure your résumé stands out from the crowd. 

Should you choose to pursue a career in computer science itself, or else move onto other areas of the industry of information technology, the skills acquired—such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and analytical research—can be applied to a host of other career pathways. 

7. Paid Internships Are Currently In Abundance

As previously discussed, because careers in computing and computer science are currently in such high demand, there is a high level of availability of professional and fully paid internships in the discipline. 

Unlike with other career paths, where having successfully acquired a postgraduate degree, it can be incredibly hard (and even, in some cases, nigh on impossible) to move directly into a practical application of your degree, computer scientist postgraduates can easily move into the world of work straight after their degree is complete.

For the employer who is providing a professionally paid internship in computer science, if the individual shows and proves their potential in the job role, they are highly likely to employ the individual on a full-time employment basis in the future. 

Professional Job Roles In Computer Science 

Perhaps naturally, considering the previously noted importance and usefulness of professional computing and computer science experts, there is currently an abundance of professional computing jobs available. Moreover, there appears to be more job roles in computing than there are fully qualified applicants to fulfill the posts. 

There are ten main professional careers whereby an undergraduate, and subsequently a postgraduate, qualification in computer science would be most necessary, pertinent, required, and useful:

  1. Software developer
  2. Web developer
  3. IT systems manager
  4. Business analyst
  5. Computer engineer
  6. Data scientist
  7. Software tester
  8. Systems analyst
  9. Product manager
  10. Graphic designer

Computer Science And Software Development

Of all the above-mentioned roles, one of the most advantageous careers to embark upon after the successful acquisition of a postgraduate masters degree in computing and computer science is to enter the world of computer software development. 

Essentially, a career in software development involves working in a demanding and challenging working environment and using mathematical and scientific theories and principles to solve software and software development problems and to create software programs themselves. 

Usually, software developers work closely alongside systems architects and systems analysts, and together they test both software and hardware systems to resolve and maintain system problems and faults. 

A professional career as a software engineer primarily working in software maintenance, engineering, and development includes the following key responsibilities:

  • The evaluation of software and software systems that are integral to the efficient running of computer hardware and systems
  • Writing systems to control allowed access in offices or from remote systems and devices, as well as writing systems to control job scheduling
  • Consulting with colleagues and clients alike to discuss the performance and maintenance of software, and working on maintaining and monitoring the present operating systems
  • Testing and writing codes, including rewriting and refining as and when necessary
  • Communicating with other programers and professionals involved in the task
  • The integration of existing software products and software systems to fix problems with incompatible platforms and programs
  • Maintenance of software and software systems by correcting any detected defects
  • The constant updating of your own personal technical skills and knowledge by both enrolling on external courses in your own time as well as in-house study groups and courses
  • Exploring, investigating, and analyzing new software and hardware packages and technologies
  • Writing, designing, and researching new software programs
  • The creation of technological computing specifications
  • Working together professionally with sales and marketing professionals, project managers, system analysts, graphic artists, UX developers, and other developers 
  • The analysis and improvement of all user requirements and access restrictions
  • The development of existing computer programs by identifying elements that need improvement
  • Collaborating with technical authors to write operational documentations

Skills Required To Become A Professional Computer Scientist

As a professional computer scientist, you will be required to draw upon a range of different skills, as well as rely on a plethora of personality attributes in order to be as efficient, productive, and ultimately as successful as possible: 

Mathematical And Technical Skills

One of the most important pre-requisites for the successful acquisition of a career as a computer scientist is a strong and ever-improving set of technical skills and mathematical knowledge. Regarding mathematics, it is important to be experienced and well-versed in discreet mathematics, statistics, liner algebra, and calculus. 

Skills In Technical Writing

Additionally, potential computer scientists should have a strong background knowledge in information technology, as well as being up to date and passionately interested and focused on developing their knowledge.

Professional working computer scientists use their strong technical writing skills to document project data, to create and modify technical manuals, and to complete all other tasks which involve technical documentation. 

Project Management Skills

Regardless of the particular specialism in which you majored during your computer science postgraduate degree, it is important to ensure you acquire sufficient knowledge to be able to confidently and competently project manage a task—sometimes several tasks at the same time. 

You must possess the ability to initiate a technical project or task, develop and plan said task, and consistently monitor the progress of both your own work and that of others.

Critical Thinking

Another crucial pre-requisite in an individual who is dedicated to pursuing a professional career in computer science is that of clear and analytical critical thinking. 

The ability to synthesize and evaluate system information to either solve a current problem or else prevent a problem from occurring in the first place is incredibly important, and is frequently needed in a computing science career.

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