5 Ways to Set Yourself Up for Success as a Computer Science Major

Career Preparation Tips for Computer Science Student

  • Learn More Languages
  • Study Job Postings
  • Seek Out Internships
  • Consider Graduate Programs
  • Develop Professional Skills

The field of computer science encompasses a vast array of theoretical and practical disciplines related to digital and information technology. There is strong and growing demand for qualified professionals throughout various industries in all types of businesses and organizations. Students graduating with a degree in computer science can enjoy a diverse, engaging and rewarding career, especially if they follow a few simple strategies to ensure long-term success.

Related resource: 30 Most Affordable Residential Bachelor’s Degrees in Computer Science

1. Learn More Languages

One of the biggest mistakes computer science students and young professionals can make is to limit their study of programming languages. Most academic programs expose their pupils to many of the major languages, but it’s up to the students to become proficient and expand the scope of their skills. Anyone interested in a career in computer technology should seize every opportunity to master programming languages and learn about new developments as they emerge.

2. Study Job Postings

Preparing for a successful career requires knowledge of the requirements, expectations, and preferences of employers. It’s a good idea for students to start looking at job postings and descriptions long before they graduate. This can help identify key skills and abilities to work on or potential career paths that wouldn’t have been considered otherwise.

3. Seek Out Internships

Internships are a fundamental part of the college experience for many majors and they are particularly important in computer science. There are many unpaid and paid opportunities for computer science interns, allowing them to fulfill program requirements and gain practical experience in their industry. Interning not only provides invaluable experience, it can also be a great networking opportunity for young professionals looking for useful contacts.

4. Consider Graduate Programs

While many people start computer science careers with only a bachelor’s degree, there are some potential benefits to finishing a graduate program. Computer and information research scientists dedicate themselves to the study and improvement of computing technology itself, which is the foundation of the rest of the field. While positions usually require at least a master’s degree, qualified professionals earned a median annual salary of $114,000 in 2017 and enjoy a strong job growth outlook in the years ahead, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

5. Develop Professional Skills

There’s more to being a successful computer scientist than knowledge of hardware and software. Many professional environments require strong coordination and communication skills, including the ability to present information and manage relationships. Computer science who want to prepare themselves for success should consider participating in courses or activities outside of their comfort zone. Public speaking, theater, and debate classes are just a few examples of opportunities to build other essential professional skills.

There is no simple formula that guarantees success, even in the burgeoning information technology industry. However, there are plenty of things undergraduate students can to do improve their prospects and create a secure plan for their future. Computer science majors who stay informed and take an active role in their education are already moving down the path towards a successful career.