What is a Computer Science Major and Is it Right for Me?

From creating computer games to programming technology for the CIA or building the next Facebook, there are a lot of amazing things you can do with a computer science degree. It’s an exciting and constantly evolving field with virtually unlimited growth. And did you know that several successful celebrities are former computer science majors? Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and even comedian Jimmy Fallon all got their start by studying computer science.

What is a computer science major?

A computer science major involves the study of computers and programming languages. Majoring in this field will help you develop great technical skills and give you a new perspective on problem-solving. You’ll learn how to break problems apart and execute them effectively.

Is it right for me?

To be successful as a computer science major, you need to enjoy the process. This means that new technologies and software should excite you and you should be comfortable throwing out what you currently know to learn something new. This will ultimately lead you into a successful future, helping you deal with hard problems inside and outside of your career.

You can start by asking yourself the following questions.

  • Would I enjoy learning languages to communicate with computers?
  • Am I creative, logical and persistent?
  • Do I enjoy being able to solve challenging problems?
  • Do I like to create tools that increase productivity?
  • Do the latest technologies excite me?

What can I do with a computer science degree?

One of the best things about computer science is that it’s a rapidly-growing field. Many people with computer science degrees work as programmers or computer systems analysts, helping to build and maintain complex technological systems.

Some other potential career options include becoming a software engineer, business intelligence analyst or database administrator.

What do people with a computer science degree earn?

In addition to being an exciting field, computer science is also quite profitable. Starting salaries typically run between $50,000-$70,000, depending on location and experience. An established programmer with four to five years of experience can expect to earn anywhere from $100,000 to $120,000 per year.


Next, learn more about this college major such as Science and get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Use a Blog to Apply for an Internship.

How to Become a Software Developer

If you’re considering a career as a software developer, then you might be wondering about the best way to get started. What are some things you can do to set yourself up for success and land the job of your dreams? Should you take attend networking events or build a portfolio of your work?

Here are the relevant steps to take if you’re thinking of becoming a software developer.

1. Figure out what types of projects you want to work on

One of the key parts of becoming a software developer is deciding what kinds of projects you want to work on. Are you interested in solving complex technical challenges or building products that will be used by a lot of people? This is the time to assess that. Once you have an idea of your interests, take some time to research relevant companies in order to determine the type of role that best fits your skills and interests. For example, if you’re interested in getting hands-on experience with a broad range of applications, then you might want to consider working for a small company that will give you maximum exposure to those technologies. On the other hand, if you’re interested in doing a deep dive into a specific type of project, then working for a larger company that will let you specialize in one area might be the right option for you.

Pro Tip: Knowing what type of brand you want to work for is just as important as knowing what kinds of projects you want to work on. This is because being passionate about your work extends beyond the technology itself. By finding a brand that aligns with your broader interests and goals, you’ll be more likely to understand the problems the company is trying to solve and to enjoy coming up with the solutions.

2. Develop your skill set by taking relevant classes

Becoming a software developer requires having an understanding of certain front-end and back-end technologies and knowing programming languages such as Java, C++ and Python. In order to develop your skill set, it’s important to take relevant computer science classes in college and to use the skills you learn to develop projects of your own. This will show potential employers that you’re proactive about building your skill set and that you’re able to use those skills to build features.

Pro Tip: If you’re not a computer science major, that’s okay too. You can still develop your skills by taking a few computer science classes as electives or by teaching yourself to code through online programs like those developed by Khan Academy or CodeCademy. Since more and more developers are self-taught these days, not having a formal education won’t count against you as long as you can demonstrate your ability to build products.

3. Take on an internship

One of the best ways to develop your skills and figure out what types of projects you want to work on is by taking on an internship. This will give you a chance to get hands-on experience in a tech role while also helping you to identify your personal work style and determine the type of work environment that best fits that style.

Added bonus: Since software developers are in high demand at the moment, you’ll not only gain valuable experience during your internship but you’re likely to be well compensated too.

4. Build your portfolio and professional network

In addition to developing your skill set and taking on an internship, one of the other key steps to becoming a software developer is to build your portfolio and professional network. The best way to achieve both of these things is by creating a profile on a platform like GitHub or Stack Overflow where you can showcase projects you’ve developed and contribute to open source projects that other developers are working on. This is a great way to establish your personal brand and to connect with other developers.

Becoming a software developer is an exciting and challenging career path that will give you the opportunity to work on interesting projects and come up with innovative technological solutions. The best way to find out if being a software developer is right for you is by interning at a tech company and getting a feel for what the industry is all about.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as Top 10 Things You Should Look For in a Company and find answers to common interview questions such as Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?

What Types of Skills Are Best for a Computer Science Major?

If the idea of writing code and coming up with creative tech solutions appeals to you, then becoming a computer science major might just be for you. What’s the best way to thrive as a computer science major and set yourself up for success? It starts with having the right skill set.

Here are the top five skills the most successful computer science majors possess.

Analytical skills

Being a computer science major involves identifying a problem and coming up with a technological solution to address it. This requires having strong analytical skills that will enable you to understand the issue you’re dealing with and evaluate different solutions in order to find the one that best fits your needs.

Problem-solving skills

One of the other key skills for computer science majors is the ability to solve complex problems in a systematic and logical way. This is because most of the projects you’ll be working on will require you to take a concept and turn it into a reality. In order to do this, you’ll need to be able to think about the best way to execute the project and then outline the steps needed to get it done.


Creativity goes hand in hand with problem solving and it’s one of the other key skills you’ll need as a computer science major. Since coming up with solutions to problems is almost never a straightforward process, out-of-the-box thinking is often required in order to ensure that you’re delivering the most innovative and effective solutions.

Critical-thinking skills

Critical thinking is an important skill to have in any major, but it’s especially important when it comes to computer science. This is because you’re going to be working on a variety of projects and using a variety of methodologies, so knowing which methodologies to use (and when to use them) is an essential part of getting the job done. By thinking critically, you’ll also be able to assess why certain solutions might not work and to save time in coming up with the right approach.


One of the key tenets of programming (at any level) is understanding that you’re most likely going to fail before you succeed. This has nothing to do with your programming abilities and everything to do with the process itself. Programming involves trying out different elements of code until you find the best solution and learning to be resilient, determined and humble in the face of multiple failures is part of the process.

Next, learn more about this college major such as What Is a Computer Science Major and Is It Right for Me? and get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as Top 10 Things You Should Look For in a Company.

Top 5 Software Developer Interview Questions

Being a software developer is an exciting opportunity to gain exposure to the tech industry and learn about innovative technologies first hand. If you’re considering a career as a developer, then you might be wondering what to expect from the interview and how you can set yourself up for success.

Here are some of the most common questions you’re likely to encounter during the interview process.

1. How do you interface with a team?

This question is considered a “fit” question and it’s designed to get a sense of the type of work environment you prefer to work in. Although culture fit questions are common in all types of interviews, the fit questions you’re likely to encounter during a tech interview are generally targeted towards getting a sense of how well you work with other team members and how comfortable you are working on software engineering processes on a team — including things like code review, version control and communication. To answer this question effectively, it’s important to talk about your prior experience of working with a team (either at a previous job or on a class project) and to explain how you approach working with others.

2. Tell me about a time that you had to build something and then support it.

Another common question you’re likely to encounter during a tech interview, this question is designed to test your understanding of the challenges engineers face when building technology for other people. The key to answering it well is demonstrating that you understand how to elicit feedback from end users and stakeholders, and that you know how to weave it into the product. From an engineering perspective, many employers want to see that you’re “thinking 100 steps ahead” but “building 10 steps ahead” — in other words, that you’re thinking ahead but not overengineering today.

3. Tell me about a project you worked on and explain how and why you chose to architect it the way you did.

This question is designed to test your critical thinking and problem-solving ability by asking you to describe the path you chose to take when architecting a specific project. When answering this question, it’s important to outline the steps you took in proceeding with the project and to explicitly state why you made certain decisions. For example, what tradeoffs did you consider when making those decisions? Mention this and be sure to justify why you chose the path you did. This will show the hiring manager that you’re thoughtful about your decisions, aware of possible drawbacks and that you take calculated risks when necessary.

4. What are some projects you’re working on in your spare time?

Being a great developer involves building your skill set by continuously learning new things. The best way to do that is by exploring projects on your own. When hiring managers ask this question, it’s because they want to know that you’re passionate about the work you do and that you’re learning about new technologies by working on one or more side-projects. A great way to answer this question is by referring to something you’re developing (or have developed) and highlighting the reason why the project is important to you. Are you trying to solve a specific problem or excited to try out a new programming language? Mention that and explain how it connects to the work you’ll be doing in the role you’re interviewing for.

Pro Tip: If you’re not currently working on any projects of your own but you’re collaborating on projects on an open source platform like Github, be sure to mention that. This is a great way to demonstrate that you’re involved in ongoing projects in the industry and eager to learn more.

5. Tell me about a project that completely failed.

Talking about your failures is never fun but being able to show that you’ve learned from them is extremely important, particularly when it comes to being an engineer. This is because failure is a crucial part of the programming process and being able to demonstrate that you’re resilient and able to iterate quickly will go a long way towards impressing the interviewer and showing them that you’re able to work well in an agile environment.

Interviewing for a job as a software developer might seem a bit intimidating at first but by knowing what to expect and how to prepare your answers, you’ll be sure to impress the hiring manager and get one step closer to landing the job.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Be Effective in a Remote or Virtual Job and find answers to common interview questions such as Tell Me About Yourself.

What is a Math Major and is it Right for Me?

Do you love working with numbers? Do you love the fact that numbers in themselves are a whole other language? Want to spend your day problem-solving and working with others? If so, being a math major might be perfect for you.

Many people are intimidated by the thought of majoring in math, or they have misconceptions about what math majors actually do. Here’s what the life of a math major is really like, so you can decide if it’s right for you.

What is a math major?

Becoming a math major is about more than just being good with numbers; it requires a big time commitment that includes going to class, meeting with study groups and teaching assistants (TAs) and solving problem sets. If you’re willing to take the time to be successful in the major, it can definitely be the right track for you.

Additionally, the term “math” is broad, which means that math majors often tackle a number of different topics within that concept. Potential classes include algebra, calculus, trigonometry, geometry, computational mathematics, statistics, number theory and discrete math. Thus, even if you consider yourself a “good” math student in school, you’ll want to be sure you can do well in any math course, not just in a particular subject area like calculus.

Furthermore, many math majors often concentrate in a particular math subject or even major or minor in that area. It’s not uncommon to meet people who double major in math and computer science or math and statistics.

It’s also important to note that often people in more quantitative fields decide to pursue graduate degrees (a Masters, PhD or specialized certification program), so that will also have to factor into your decision as well.

Is it right for me?

Here are several key questions to ask before pursuing a math major in college:

  • Am I willing to put in extra time going to study groups or TA (teaching assistant) sessions to work on my problem sets?
  • Do I like problem-solving, especially when the answer doesn’t come easily to me at first? Am I willing to work on a particular problem as long as it takes, no matter how hard it is?
  • Am I willing to ask for help from a professor or TA if I need it?
  • Do I like working on different types of math, including calculus, algebra, statistics, geometry and computational mathematics?
  • Would I be open to double-majoring, minoring or focusing on a particular area of math, like statistics, accounting or computer science?
  • Am I interested in pursuing a graduate degree to supplementing my undergraduate one if my career called for it?

What can I do with a math degree?

Very few people with math degrees go on to be “mathematicians” per se, but the great thing about this degree is that if you want to work in a quantitative field after you graduate from college, a math major gives you many diverse options.

Math majors have gone on to a number of interesting positions, including:

  • professor
  • investment banker
  • financial/business analyst
  • accountant
  • statistician
  • researcher
  • information technology analyst
  • engineer
  • programmer
  • …and more

What do people who majored in math earn?

Great news: Majoring in math and pursuing a quantitative career involving numbers and research can give you a great ROI (return on investment) after graduation. For example, actuaries make a median salary of $70,000, and operations research analyst managers have a median salary of $146,000.

Next, learn more about this college major such as What Types of Skills Are Best for a Math Major? and get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as What is an Internship?

Do I Need Coding Bootcamp to Become a Software Developer?

In recent years, coding bootcamps have become increasingly popular in tech-centric cities like New York and San Francisco. This is largely because these bootcamps are designed around the idea that anyone can learn how to code, an idea that is very appealing to many recent grads who don’t have a traditional engineering background. If you’re interested in becoming a software developer, then you might be wondering whether you need a coding bootcamp to get started. Will a bootcamp help you develop your skills and get you job ready as quickly as possible? It depends.

Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to sign up for a coding bootcamp.

What are your current skills and professional goals?

One of the keys to understanding how close you are to landing the job you want is being able to assess your current skill set and your professional goals. For example, if you’re a computer science major with some coding experience and basic knowledge of programming languages like Python and Javascript, then you’re already well on your way to becoming a developer and would likely benefit more from an internship than a bootcamp. On the other hand, if you’re just becoming interested in programming and are eager to learn a lot very quickly, then a structured program like a bootcamp might be a good fit for you.

Pro Tip: Since most bootcamps offer intensive courses over a period of eight to 12 weeks, figuring out how much you want to learn (and how quickly) will likely play a big part in your decision. A key thing to note is that because of the intense nature of these programs, most bootcamp students aren’t able to complete them while also having a job, so if you decide to do a bootcamp, you’ll need to commit to it fully.

What can you learn on your own?

With so many options for self-study out there, including free online classes from Codecademy and Khan Academy, there’s a lot you can do to teach yourself about coding and to figure out where your programming interests lie. If you’re comfortable taking a less structured approach (or developing your own curriculum), then teaching yourself how to code can be something you do in your spare time, even while you’re still in school.

Added bonus: Since many coding bootcamps charge upwards of $10,000 for a full training course, being able to design your own program will allow you to potentially save quite a bit of money.

How can a coding bootcamp help to fill remaining gaps in your knowledge?

Once you’ve assessed your skills, goals and what you’re able to learn on your own, it’s important to figure out whether there are any knowledge gaps that a coding bootcamp can help to fill. For example, if you’re interested in learning how to program in Python in order to improve your job prospects, then a coding bootcamp could potentially be a good way to supplement your existing knowledge.

Deciding whether to sign up for a bootcamp involves assessing a lot of factors such as your financial circumstances, professional goals and time commitments. In order to make an informed decision, it’s important to figure out what your needs are and to determine whether a bootcamp is the best way to meet them. And if you want more hands-on experience without going the bootcamp route, an internship could be a great option for you.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Become a Software Developer and find answers to common interview questions such as What Are Your Strengths?

What is Technology Sales?

If you’re interested in the innovation going on in the tech world — like big data and the Internet of Things — you may wondering what career opportunities are available in the industry and whether they might be a good fit for you. One of the rapidly growing areas of technology is sales and it’s a great chance for recent grads to get their foot in the door while learning all about the industry. To find out more about it, we asked the team at Dell to tell us what you can expect from working as part of a technology sales team.

Here are some of the key things you need to know about the field.

What is technology sales?

Focused on connecting consumers with innovative tech products, technology sales is all about identifying the customers who can benefit from a particular solution and showing them how that solution can meet their needs. Encompassing hardware (computers, servers, networking devices), software (operating systems) and services (applications, big data and cloud computing) technology sales can vary greatly depending on the particular company you work for and the type of sales you do. At a company like Dell, which offers solutions across all three of these areas, there is also a lot of potential to learn about different types of technology sales and broaden your understanding of the field as a whole.

What do technology salespeople do?

From learning the ins and outs of the particular technology they work with to researching potential clients and putting together packages to meet their needs, technology salespeople have two main goals: 1) Promoting the products of the company they work for and 2) Making sure that their customers are getting as much value as possible from the technology solution they are buying. And while you might think that you need to major in a technology-focused subject to work in tech sales, that’s not always the case. At Dell, many employees in tech sales started with a strong interest in tech and learned the rest on the job.

What are the challenges of working in technology sales?

A fast-paced field, technology sales does have a few challenges. These include staying on top of ongoing product updates, sourcing and connecting with potential customers, ensuring that customers are satisfied with their purchases and problem-solving the issue when they’re not. Although these challenges are part of the day-to-day life of almost everyone working in technology sales, they’re also fairly straightforward to overcome, particularly when you work for a company that offers great customer support and a whole range of resources for their sales team. At Dell, this means being part of a team that sees problem-solving as one of the key components of their work and aims to provide the best experience for both their customers and their employees.

What are the benefits of working in technology sales?

While there are certainly a few challenges to overcome in technology sales, there are even more benefits. These include working with cutting edge technology, meeting talented and innovative people across a broad range of industries and having the opportunity to learn and grow with others on your team. In fact, working in sales is a wonderful way to expand your professional network both within the industry and beyond, which can help you grow your sales business or move into other sectors of the tech world.

What is a typical salary for a technology salesperson?

Another benefit of working in tech-focused sales is the high earning potential. With a base salary between $40,000 and $92,000, and bonuses and commissions that can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, technology salespeople are often high earners, with many earning upwards of $100,000 per year.

An exciting field with uncapped potential, technology sales has a lot to offer recent grads. By knowing what to expect and what skills you need to succeed, you’ll be able to decide if this career is right for you.

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.

Types of Internships for Computer Science Majors

If you’re majoring in computer science, an internship is one of the best ways to explore career paths in the tech industry. In addition to learning on-the-job responsibilities, you’ll also discover what types of team dynamics best fit your style of working. As an intern, you’ll usually be paired with a more experienced engineer who will act as your mentor, giving you guidance on the technical aspects of your project as well as helping you to manage and execute it. While you don’t have to go into engineering just because you’re a computer science major, an internship will offer you the opportunity to see what the field is like and whether it’s a good fit for you. And because computer science majors are very in demand among employers, the internship is also likely to be very well compensated.

Here are the most common types of internships for computer science majors.

Front-End Engineering Intern

As a front-end engineering intern, you’ll gain real-world experience working on the user-facing portion of a website or application. In addition to writing code in HTML, CSS and Javascript, you’ll also be testing and debugging that code to ensure that the user experience is as smooth and immersive as possible. During your internship, you’ll get hands-on experience executing challenging projects and helping to build incredible products.

Back-End Engineering Intern

As a back-end engineering intern, you’ll be working with the data that powers a website or application and using programming languages like Python, Ruby and Java to connect the server, application and database. Similar to a front-end developer, your responsibilities will include writing code pertaining to your project and testing the code to ensure a robust finished product. You’ll also be responsible for debugging and figuring out which parts of your product are not working properly. In addition, you’ll most likely go through code reviews to make sure that you develop best practices and that you learn to work in an agile development environment.

Full-Stack Software Engineering Intern

As a full-stack engineering intern, you’ll be combining the best of both worlds by working on both front-end and back-end technologies, seeing how data flows through the application and how it’s transferred and displayed. By being actively involved with the technological components the customer sees and with the back-end data that powers the site, you’ll quickly develop an understanding of the different technologies and you’ll be able to implement optimizations to enhance performance. This is a great internship for anyone who wants to understand how to build a feature end-to-end.

Information Security Intern

Security is what protects every company’s confidential information. During this type of internship, you’ll be able to see the security challenges that companies face on a daily basis and to understand how to react in such situations. This type of internship is especially common in the healthcare and finance industries where information security is used to protect patient records and sensitive financial materials.

Mobile Engineering Intern

As a mobile engineering intern, you’ll be working with one or more types of mobile technologies to develop user-facing applications. Depending on what type of mobile technology you’re working with (iOS vs. Android), you’ll be using different types of code and potentially getting both front-end and back-end development experience.

iOS Engineering Intern

As an iOS engineering intern, you’ll gain hands-on experience developing apps that are specific to Apple. You’ll be using XCode, Swift and maybe even React Native to work on both front-end and back-end components of the app, thereby getting full-stack experience. Patience will be necessary as you learn the process of publishing to the App Store, which includes provisioning profiles, getting developer certificates and submitting apps once they’re developed.

Android Engineering Intern

As an Android engineering intern, you’ll work with a team to design and build advanced applications for the Android platform. Communication will be very important as you collaborate with cross-functional teams to define, design and ship new features. You’ll also assist with technical planning, development and systems integration on client engagements from the definition phase all the way to implementation. Critical thinking is essential in this internship since you’ll be analyzing requirements, wireframing and listing capabilities of related systems to propose appropriate solutions.

Product Management Intern

An increasingly popular type of internship for computer science majors is a product management internship. This involves working with a team of engineers to develop the strategy and roadmap of a specific product as well as to QA test the product. As a product management intern, you’ll also act as a bridge between the engineering and marketing teams, helping to do market research and come up with effective marketing strategies for your product.

Data Scientist Intern

If developing statistical modeling, segmentation, quantitative analyses and customer profiling sounds exciting to you, then you may want to intern as a data scientist. During this internship, you’ll learn how to build and deploy complex statistical models to generate powerful insights and predictions useful to the business. Part of your job will also be to discover new insights in order to best understand your customers by performing advanced statistical analysis and modeling.

Data Engineering Intern

As a data engineering intern, you’ll be collecting, storing and processing data and creating a system that will allow others (particularly data scientists) to analyze that data. Combining coding skills with an understanding of data science, data engineers create infrastructure for processing huge amounts of data, enabling data scientists to do their job more effectively.

Whether you’re considering a summer internship or an internship during the school year, taking on an internship will give you the experience you need to pursue a career in the technology industry after graduation.

Next, learn more about this college major such as What Is a Computer Science Major and Is It Right for Me? and get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as When to Start Applying for a Summer Internship.

* This article was written in partnership with the team at Outco.

What is a Network Development Engineer?

A rapidly growing and incredibly innovative field, the technology industry has a lot of exciting opportunities for recent grads who are passionate about working with cutting-edge technology. One of these opportunities is network development, an area of engineering that focuses on automating and scaling networks in order to allow companies to process data more efficiently. To learn more about network development, we sat down with the team at Dell to find out what you can expect from this career path.

Here’s what you need to know about being a network development engineer.

What is a network development engineer?

The short answer is that a network development engineer is a person responsible for building and scaling data networks. The slightly longer answer is that a network development engineer is responsible for creating, deploying and automating networks that will enable data to move swiftly between different data centers.

What does a network development engineer do?

Depending on the type of company they work for, network development engineers can be responsible for a variety of things. This can include meeting with clients to understand their networking needs, designing solutions to meet those needs and then testing the solutions to ensure that they’re able to scale as the company grows. Network development engineers are problem solvers and project managers who are able to see the big picture and address challenges related to how data is transmitted. At a large company like Dell, this means leveraging the organization’s resources and technologies to create solutions that will not only scale, but that can also be automated and updated as needed.

What training do you need to become a network development engineer?

Training to become a network development engineer starts with taking relevant classes during college. These include technical computer classes that will give you the coding skills you need to do the job and also more theoretical classes that will teach you about the theoretical side of programming. After completing your undergraduate education (or even while you’re still in college) you can look for opportunities to get hands-on training. Dell’s University Relations Program offers a lot of these opportunities and gives students and recent grads a chance to learn about what it means to work in network development.

What are the benefits of being a network development engineer?

One of the main benefits of working in network development is being able to solve problems creatively and coming up with unique processes that help companies scale their business. In addition to the creative challenges of the role, network development also provides great insights into other areas of the tech industry and gives you a wonderful overview of exciting things that are happening across different fields. Working at a company like Dell also comes with additional benefits including access to cutting-edge solutions and employee-focused initiatives designed to help employees grow both personally and professionally.

What is a typical network development engineer salary?

Although network development engineer salaries vary slightly depending on location, they typically start at around $60,000 for an entry-level position and go up from there with experienced network development engineers earning upwards of $110,000 per year.

An exciting part of the technology industry, network development is a great opportunity to develop your technical skills while helping companies establish processes that will allow them to handle and process data.