November 14, 2016
Career Opportunities for Computer Science Majors
A computer science major is a wonderful opportunity to develop your coding and problem-solving skills while learning about the technology industry. And because computer science majors are in high demand, it’s also a great way to open up the door to multiple career opportunities, including those related to new technologies like machine learning, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.
Here are just a few of the many technological trends creating opportunities for computer science majors.
Virtual Reality (VR)
In the past couple of years, we’ve seen substantial advancement in the field of virtual reality with new hardware and programming making it possible to create the immersive digital experience experts having been trying to develop for years. At the moment, virtual reality is especially popular in the video game industry and the need for software developers and product managers is increasing steadily in this field. If you’re interested in learning more about cutting edge technology, working on video game development with VR technology might be a good fit for you.
What to learn
The main programming languages are C++ or C#. These languages will be handy once you start actually developing content in Unity and Unreal game engines, which are the main Software Development Kits (SDKs) used in VR.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Not too long from now, we’ll start to witness machines communicating with each other. Smartphones, cars, bridges, even trash cans will have the ability to “talk” to one another other. In its essence, IoT is about bringing together devices through the use of sensors, cloud and data and it’s a trend that promises to affect almost every industry from retail to technology, creating new job opportunities along the way.
What to learn
IoT itself is really broad, so let’s break it into three categories:
● Embedded programming: C/C++ and Python
● Device Level (Smartphones and tablets) : Android and iOS
● Hardware and basic electrical engineering
Machine Learning / Artificial Intelligence
TechTarget defines machine learning as a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that allows computers to learn without being explicitly programmed. At present, most machine learning is used for crunching large sets of data that power technologies including:
● Virtual reality assistants (e.g., Siri)
● Intelligent agents (e.g., automated online assistants)
● Expert systems (e.g., medical decision support systems, smart grid)
● Embedded software (machine monitoring and control systems)
● Autonomous robots (including self-driving vehicles)
● Purpose-built smart machines (such as neural computers)
Because of the broad range of applications machine learning enables, the technology is affecting every type of company from social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to eCommerce companies looking to interact with their customers more easily. If you’re interested in learning more about machine learning, working as a developer in one of these industries could be a great fit for you.
What to learn
According to Machine Learning Mastery, a website dedicated to teaching machine learning, the most popular languages are R, Python, SQL, SAS, Java and MATLAB. There are also a lot of open source projects like Tensor Flow that allow you to develop your skills and learn at your own pace.
Virtual reality, machine learning and Internet of Things offer the most untapped potential for computer science majors to explore. Whether you’re considering a paid or unpaid internship or an entry-level job, entering these industries will be beneficial for you in the long term, especially as the industries become more mature.
Next, find out more about opportunities for computer science majors such as the Types of Internships for Computer Science Majors and Types of Entry-level Jobs for Computer Science Majors.
This article was written in partnership with the team at Outco.