Computer Science Careers

A mother wrote to me: “My son is a fourth-year Computer Science student. He has another year before graduate but he is still not sure about what to do with his career in the industry. We do not know much about it either. Can you tell me what are different careers in the industry so I can help him choose a right career. Thanks.”

Answer: The Information Technology (IT) industry has many job openings and currently has a critical shortage of workers. You son has selected the right field of study and his job opportunity is very good so you should not worry too much. There are many career paths for Computer Science graduates depending on the need of the local market. Almost all entry-level jobs require skills in programming. As a Computer Science graduate he could start as Software Tester or Software Developer. As he is gaining more experiences, he could move up to System Architect, or Project Manager position. Over time, if he did well he could move to Program Manager, Software Director then Chief Information Officer (CIO). He may decide to stay in the technical areas and be a technical specialist such as Security Specialist, Requirement engineer, Network Specialist, Database Specialist etc. Currently Security specialist is a “Hot” career that he may want to consider. As the number of hackers and computer virus are increasing, the need for computer security specialist is in high demand. Database Specialist is another “Hot” career, as more companies are using computing the amount of data is also increasing, the need for Database specialist is also in high demand.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Jobs often vary in each company and in local job market. The best thing is for your son to contact career counselors in his school. They know more about the local job market and can provide better advices.


  • Blogs of Prof. John Vu, Carnegie Mellon University