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What are the Different Types of Computer Science Careers?

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  • Written By: John Lister
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2016
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Computer science careers are not always the same thing as vocations in Information Technology (IT). IT is more about how computers are used for specific purposes to help people in their lives. Computer science is about the systems behind computers and the ways they work. It deals with the way automated processes are used to define and then process pieces of information.

In some cases, computer science careers can be entirely based on theory and have an academic leaning. Though computers are man-made and based on logic, there is still a lot that is unknown or uncertain about their possibilities. In particular, there is a great demand for finding more efficient ways for computers to operate. Careers in this field require a great deal of expertise and are not necessarily well-paid, but they can be engaging and rewarding for those with an interest.

Similarly, there are several computer science careers that involve teaching the subject. It’s a particularly exciting field of academics as it is relatively new when compared with traditional educational subjects. This means that what you teach will constantly be changing as the field advances.

There are, of course, many computer science careers which are largely or entirely practical. These include working for manufacturers of computers or computer systems. Such roles can be well-paid as the ultimate goal of making computers work more efficiently without increasing hardware costs is something companies value highly.

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There are also many opportunities to specialize in a particular field of computing. While such computer science careers are still about the underlying systems of computers, this knowledge and research can be tailored to as many subjects as there are things to do with computers. For example, there are computer science careers in areas as diverse as computer security, video games development and accountancy.

A solid background in computer science can also give people many opportunities to diversify into even more practical careers. Most commonly, this would involve actually working as a computer programmer. The big difference here is that a programmer aims to solve the problem of having a computer carry out a particular task. It’s somewhat like the difference between studying biology and working as a sports coach in a particular event or game. These practical applications are sometimes known as software engineering, though the precise definitions of, and differences between, software engineering and computer programming are somewhat disputed.

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