What's the best thing you can do with a CompSci degree?

  • #1
So I don't really know what kind of career path to pursue with a computer science degree. I'm going to be starting my second year in autumn. What's the best kind of work you can do in terms of interestingness/wage/impact on the world/whatever other kind of metric? I know's it very difficult to predict future trends in industries but I have no clue, I just went to university because I didn't want to work and I'm good at maths so why not. Maybe I should go to grad school? I really need some sort of guidance. Thank you! :)
  • #2
The popular trends right now are game programming, mobile apps (smart phone/smart watch/smart home/ smart wearables) and web application development. They all overlap somewhat but you get the idea.

Basically you need skills in web technology and database design as well as message queuing and operating systems. Most web technology uses java on the server-side (although that's changing with Node.js javascript servers) and javascript+html+css on the client web browser side (which is also changing checkout Elm for example).

Longer term, AI skills and Quantum computing may become more important. You can see Google and others are feverishly developing self driving cars that use extensive amounts of AI. Researchers are getting closer and closer to a general purpose quantum computer which will require specialized skills to program to and to interface with.

Many companies are actively looking for people with these skills.
  • #3
Oh well that's good since my degree is in 'computer science and artificial intelligence'. One of my lecturers recently said that quantum computer people have always been saying that quantum computing is close.

Mobile apps/games does not sound like something I would want to dedicate my life to, but I'll research it.

Thanks for the guidance.
  • #4
I would recommend to build a strong foundation on the essential concepts in CS, first. Only then, you can tell what you're really interested in and create - in small steps, your own personal "roadmap" that will guide you. "Interesting" is a subjective thing and can mean many things to many people.

A good wage is also a subjective thing. In any case, it works on an offer - demand base. This follows some trends and you can always stay informed - google is the way, so to do the appropriate choices, but again you have to be good enough in order to have some serious chances to succeed.

Impact on the world, is something that belongs primarily, to the research realm. In order to get there, you must spend a lot of time and efforts but it is not impossible. Again this naturally follows from strong foundations.

As a final comment, there's no point to pursue a goal just because it is trendy. If you're not really interested in this and not willing to spend your time, chances are that you won't achieve it.
  • Like
Likes Delong and loomis
  • #5
dedicate my life
I would not recommend dedicating your life to any particular area in computing, unless you plan on having a rather short lifespan.
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Likes Kerrie and Tolklein
  • #6
I would not recommend dedicating your life to any particular area in computing, unless you plan on having a rather short lifespan.

Hah, you're quite right.
  • #7
Hey loomis.

Many jobs become work after a while so you probably should be aware of that.

Data science is meant to be a popular thing right now but basically if you can keep learning and keep abreast of the new technologies, knowledge, algorithms and understanding in mathematics and computer science and fit in with the organization you work for then you should have a far better chance in this field.

There is quite a lot of change and things will probably accelerate in the years to come so if you want to keep up with the change then that is a good sign.
  • #8
I think with any career path, especially today, it's important to stay current on the trends of that field. Continuing education is vital to keeping up with the competition in the job market.

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