Of all the courses in engineering and the sciences, computer science is one of those with the strongest misconceptions attached to it. One of those misconceptions is that computer scientists automatically know how to repair and maintain computer hardware as if they were computer engineers. Computer science graduates operate within similar spheres and career paths but take on jobs and positions that are altogether distinct.
Computer Science Careers
Technical specialization and niched training means that computer science grads will most likely land in technical or research-related jobs. Corporate postings are rare for computer science degree holders and are nearly nonexistent for new grads; tenure and experience are usually the key factors in getting a job behind a desk in a plush office.
Now that computers and electronic devices are so ubiquitous in modern life, computer science graduates are in demand in a wide range of fields. From analysts to technicians, a computer science degree can get you into a variety of positions and job descriptions. One common denominator, though, is that the focus is almost always on the software side of the operations. Regardless of where you end up working, you’ll most likely still spend hours coding in front of a computer screen.
Software development is perhaps the most well-known route for computer science grads to take. That’s because that job description runs the whole gamut from entry level coders who spend most of the work day on a keyboard to managers and directors who work with teams of people instead of computers.
Computer science degrees are also sought for administration jobs for different kinds of software. Web, database, server and network administrators are the most popular species because they’re also the most often sought. Employers can range from small businesses to large schools and offices that require someone on the job to make sure that the integrative software runs smoothly and consistently.
How Much Will You Make?
Salaries tend to be on the high-side for computer science graduates, even ones fresh out of school and working in the Philippines. That’s because the pool of workers is relatively small, what with each graduate having specialized with a particular language, system or infrastructure. One need not leave the country to find a job with above average wages.
Aside from the research jobs that are usually found at big universities, new grads can get employment as a programmer, animator, designer or worker. In the Philippines, this can mean a salary of PhP20,000 to PhP30,000 as a newbie. This can easily climb up to twice that amount with enough experience or a promotion to analyst, engineer or developer level. Short of a revolutionary or marketable new idea, experience is often the key to a better job title and a higher salary.
It’s pretty much the same story in other countries, particularly North America. Salaries for computer engineers tend to be high; in 2006, software engineering was named the most best career by CNN Money. This is largely due to the small, specialized work force and demand that’s increasing exponentially – a trend expected to continue to 2012.
As of late 2009, fresh grads were making over $50,000 per annum in the United States, well over the national standard. Salaries go even higher with extra experience and better job titles; it’s not uncommon for managerial and leadership positions to rake in six-figure salaries every year. The keys to entry – and promotion – both locally and abroad is a good academic record in college and an aptitude for critical thinking and problem solving.