What Are the Different Fields of Computer Science?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2019
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There are many different fields of computer science (CS) a person can choose to specialize in, including networking, data recovery, programming, and artificial intelligence (AI). Most of these fields overlap in certain ways, such as networking using different pieces of hardware, software, and firmware that may require some knowledge in programming to properly utilize. There may also be numerous subdivisions within these fields, such as specializations in neural networks, voice recognition programming, and data processing within the field of AI. As the technology used and developed in computer science continues to change, new fields may also arise and require new skills and understanding of technology.

Computer science typically refers to the field of inquiry in which various aspects of computers and computer technology is explored. This is a massive field of research, and as computer technology advances, the field continues to expand and develop. One of the biggest fields within computer science is in networking, including related fields such as network administration and network security. This field focuses on understanding how different types of networks, both wide area and local, are created and maintained for private and public use.


Data management and recovery is also a vast field within computer science. This field covers everything from how hardware is used to store data, including disc drives and solid state drives, to how that data can be managed and stored through various software applications. Such data management can bleed over into networking, as the portable nature of data has become increasingly important due to the proliferation of the Internet and access to global networks. The security of such data and how it can be most efficiently transferred between users is an important aspect of computer science.

Programming is a field of computer science that is related to nearly all other fields. Software programs are typically not created in a vacuum, but instead are made to fill a need or reach a potential market that is not being met. The separation between software and hardware development has also largely disappeared as firmware installed into hardware has become increasingly important in recent years.

Other fields within computer science, such as explorations of artificial intelligence, continue to grow and develop. Numerous practical applications have been found for developments in AI research, such as voice recognition software and devices used to electronically “sniff” for drugs and explosives. Ongoing research into new fields of CS is likely to continue and develop, including nanotechnology, cybernetics, and expansions of computer systems beyond the surface of the Earth.


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Post 3

@MrsPramm - Is it all just about whether you like working with people though? I don't particularly like working with people, but if I had a bunch of talented programmers to work with and we all got on well, that would be an awesome job.

And I don't think people looking for work should be all that picky. If you really love doing something in particular and you think you'll be able to find work doing it, then go for it.

Post 2

@Mor - To some extent I think this has more to do with the job you choose to have after you earn your computer science degree, rather than before. Very few people get that specific in the first couple of years of university. There's plenty of time to change your career trajectory if you realize you'd prefer to work with people or not.

Post 1

If you're currently deciding what kind of computer science to study, I would suggest that you look at the day to day lives of the people who have different kinds of computer science careers.

With some of them you'll be closely collaborating with colleagues, with others you'll be answering to a boss but mostly working alone. With some you'll be heavily interacting with the public and people who have no idea how to work technology and with others you'll be constantly faced with new technology yourself that you have to learn how to use.

I think people get this idea that, for example, they love computer games so they want to work in that industry, even though they hate collaboration and would rather work alone. And that just won't work.

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