7 Things To Do After You Get A Computer Science degree
I remember graduating with a bachelors degree in computer science and not being too sure of what I was going to do next. And the thing with technology is that it is a part of everything we do. Every company needs that ‘IT guy/girl’. This is great but with so many options, it can be difficult to narrow your options down to something specific. Its important to know your options after graduation for any career choice. So I have compiled a list of 7 things you can do after you get your bachelors degree in Computer Science.
1. GET HIRED
Below is a list of some of the jobs you can take with a degree in Computer Science. As you can see, the options are many because technology is a part of everything we do.
Note: If you are reading this from Zambia where your options might be a bit more limited, look out for my post on Technology jobs in Zambia.
2. START A COMPANY
Ok I’m not going to lie, starting a business is hard. Starting one right out of university might be even harder. But starting a company is everyone’s dream for a reason: If its successful, its worth it.
I like to look at it this way, there really is no perfect time to start your own company. If you wait for the perfect time, you’ll wait forever. Too many people fall into the habit of working for someone else, and the longer they do it, the harder that habit is to break.
As a matter of fact, if there ever was a perfect moment to take such a risk, its while you are still young because you have a lot less to lose at this age. If your startup fails, there’s still many options for you.
Lecturing can be a very rewarding job. You get to speak about what you are passionate about, you have complete autonomy over your lectures and for the most part work hours are flexible. If you have a heart to inspire young minds and don’t have the passion to get into the fast paced commercial world, then this might be the place for you.
If you have a heart to inspire young minds…then this might be the place for you.
Now to get into lecturing, particularly at university level, you will almost exclusively need to have done some form of further study. There are obviously exceptions to this, Bill Gates could get a job teaching at virtually any university in the world, and he doesn’t even have a bachelor’s degree. But, unless you are in a unique category like that, you should be prepared to get an advanced degree of some sort.
However, depending on where you apply and the demand for lecturers there, you could be exempt from these rules even if you’re not a Bill Gates. But that would have to be a discussion between you and the university.
If teaching at university level is not an option, you can always look into teaching at college or high school level. With a computer science degree, you should be competitive for teaching positions in mathematics, physics, computer science/technology, and possibly other sciences.
4. FURTHER STUDY/SPECIALISE
An IT related degree alone wont make you employable.
Computer Science is broad and while this gives you many options, employers tend to look for specific skills. If a company is looking for a Cyber Security expert, they are more likely to hire someone specialised in that instead of someone who is not. Take your time to narrow down what area of computer science intrigues you most then look to specialise in that.
If you’re already specialised, thats great but theres still more you can do. One thing I’ve learnt is that an IT related degree alone wont make you employable. The world of technology is a volatile one. Coding practices are always being improved or abandoned. This is why you cant depend solely on what you’ve been taught in lectures and think you’re set for life. You constantly need to improve your skills and learn new skills. It is always a good idea to pick up more skills, qualifications and certifications that will give you an edge over other graduates.
5. THE UNCONVENTIONAL CAREER PATH
Computer Science teaches you think a certain way. You learn to think in a critical, systematic and computational way. One of the key skills you would obtain through this computational thinking is problem-solving. Jeanette Wing wrote a great paper on “Computational Thinking” if you want to read more about that.
The point is, these are skills that are useful outside the world of technology. These skills are useful in medicine, business law, chemistry, sociology and just about anything else. The sky is the limit! If you do not wish to pursue the conventional career path, there are limitless unconventional ones you could follow.
6. CREATE AN APP
Mobile applications are all the rage right now. Everybody is glued to their phones these days and there’s a lot of money to be made from that. My advice is, if you have programming skills, why don’t you try to see if you can get your share of profit from app development while apps are still a thing.
Not sure of what to create? Approach it this way:
This may seem like a risky alternative but if your skills are good and you are patient and driven, it may just work for you. When I graduated, I went straight into freelance work. It was very minor work for small startups and paid very little but if this is what you want to get into, you will have to start small. Large companies that pay well are not likely going to want to hire someone with no work on their portfolio. But in the long run, it truly pays off.
Defining your own working style, choosing your work hours and choosing your salary.
Freelancing can be stressful because you find yourself working at odd hours and there is a lot of pressure to deliver. You can’t hide your failures behind a company. Nevertheless, I would pick freelancing any day. Working for yourself just has so many perks. Defining your own working style, choosing your work hours, choosing your salary, I could go on.
Still, don’t go into freelance without fully doing your research on the market and considering the risks of this decision. I’ve heard horror stories of people who have gone into freelance and could barely get by due to prolonged periods of not being hired. Also, if you intend to work for a company later, these prolonged periods will start to look like unemployment and that’s never attractive to employers.
NOTE: Look out for my post on How to get into Freelance as a Recent Graduate