If you’re working in IT already, the chances are that you are surrounded by many qualified professionals doing exciting looking stuff! You probably want to take your own career in a more exciting direction, but the problem is which direction? The possibilities are seemingly endless! On top of this, once you’ve decided where you want to specialize, you then have the additional problem of making yourself stand out from the pack so that you can land yourself your dream job.
In this article, we will talk about how to approach evaluating yourself and what the best career path would be for you, how to make yourself a valuable asset in your chosen field. Finally, we’ll discuss the prospects and day-to-day working lives of three of the computer science branches to give you some insight into what they entail.
Evaluate What You Want
When you are thinking about what you want out of your career, it can be useful to start by simply envisioning how your perfect workday would look. Would you be working at home or in an office environment? Would you be working alone or as part of a team? Would you like to get your work done early in the morning or at night? Crucially, would you like to work for yourself or in an organization?
Next, think about what you want to get out of your work. Do you want to be leading people, or would you prefer to be problem-solving in a more independent capacity? Come up with a few things that you would like your job to include and try to think about the things that you really DON’T want your job to include as well. In most jobs, you will probably have to do some things that you don’t exactly relish, but this shouldn’t be the majority of your day, and it shouldn’t be things that impact your mood and ruin the rest of your time!
Once you have some answers to these questions, you can begin to do your research on what careers might allow you to have the working life that you want to have.
Make Yourself A Valuable Commodity
If you want to make yourself valuable in the IT community, then an ms in computer science isn’t a bad place to start. It shows that you have advanced knowledge in your area and that you are passionate about your subject.
However, it’s important that you make yourself valuable in other ways too. For example, ensure that you keep up to date on emerging trends in your subject area. This is why it’s important to choose your subject area wisely and not just based on the salary. You won’t want to keep informed on topics that you don’t care about! It’s a good idea to try and make contacts in your chosen area too. Reach out to potential employers and ask their advice on how to make it in your field. This not only gets you contact, but it also shows that you have initiative, which employers love.
Make use of social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, and post regularly with content that builds up the image of yourself that you want to portray. This way, you can regularly reach many people who may be valuable contacts in the future.
Software Engineering will differ wildly depending on the company that you work for and the culture that they have adopted. Often, businesses allow flexible working so that software engineers can work at the most productive time. There are a few things that are usually part of a software engineer’s day.
The main responsibility of a software engineer is to write the code behind computer programs. They will do this based on the requirements of the end-user. However, these requirements often evolve and shift over time, so software engineers often have to be somewhat flexible!
They will spend a lot of their time coding, sometimes documenting their code so that other people know what they have done and sometimes in meetings to discuss what they are doing and how they are progressing.
The median salary for a software developer is $107,510 per year.
Data Scientists play with data. It is their job to collect huge amounts of data on all sorts of different things and then store and organize that data so that it can be easily used for analysis. They will also write models to carry out said analysis and make suggestions to the company they are working for about what they should do with what they have learned. For example, a data scientist might notice that a particular product type is selling well to a certain demographic, and would suggest to their employer why that is and how they can use this knowledge when developing future products.
Data Scientists generally work office hours, and they have quite a lot of collaboration with stakeholders, so people skills are important. They must have good problem-solving abilities and an aptitude for maths and statistics.
The median salary for a data scientist is $100,560 per year.
Cybersecurity is absolutely key to keeping an organization’s data safe, including things like customer bank details and salary information.
Working in Cybersecurity means keeping on top of all of the latest developments in technology and how criminals might use these technologies to try and steal company data. They will plan out the security measures to keep a company safe and periodically test those measures to make sure they are effective.
The median pay for cybersecurity professionals was $99,730 in 2019, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is predicting that the field will grow thirty-one percent between 2019 and 2029! This is because of the huge increase in online businesses and the advances in technology that come with that. The more ways we use technology to solve our problems, the more ways criminals will try to use it for their own ends. Cybersecurity professionals will be in constant demand to stop that from happening.