Today, technology plays an integral role in nearly every occupation, and its field continues to grow. With the technological advances constantly happening in society, occupations based in programming and engineering are in high demand, and more people have decided to major in technology-related careers. Some of these occupations include a computer scientist, systems engineer, and security analyst.
For the career of computer science, I had the opportunity of interviewing Andrew Morato, who is a recent graduate of George Mason University with a B.S. in computer science.
Crucial attributes needed by computer scientists are the ability to solve problems quickly and process data efficiently. Mathematics is often involved in the process of analyzing data. A basic idea studied in computer scientists is low-level machine architecture.
“Low-level machine architecture is basically how a computer works,” described Andrew Morato.
Computer scientists use binary codes to create applications for the computer. Not only do they create an application, they also manage the stored memory and use programming to manage the entire software in the device.
“There are many branches in the field of computer science, for example, networking, which focuses on the internet, security, databases, games, and artificial intelligence which is very popular and we study if it is possible to teach a computer to learn.”
When studying to be a computer scientist, there are many projects that involve programming. The course is mostly composed of projects that reflect what would be done in the real world.
“An example of a project we did was musical chairs (C using the Pthreads Library). It mimics a musical chairs game where each chair is a lock and each player is a thread; N threads race to acquire at most one of the N-1 locks concurrently,” explained Andrew.
There are many opportunities in the computer science field; in fact, it is a career in high demand. Andrew Morato suggests this career for anyone who loves technology, problem-solving, and willing to understand new solutions. He also recommends computer science to anyone who loves working on technological group projects.
Andrew Morato said, “I’d say the most memorable experience I had is working with fellow programmers on projects. Each person really offers a new perspective and working with them on assignments shows you how they think.”
Security analysts are also known as the “good hackers” or “ethical hackers”. They help identify threats by hacking into an organization’s system, finding any weak spots, and working to minimize the effect actual hackers can have if they entered the system. In this career, a Bachelors of Science in computer science or a certificate in cybersecurity is necessary. Other requirements include knowing how to write formal reports, having good public speaking skills, and having knowledge in the programming languages Java, C, and C++. Security Analysts are in a high demand and are considered one of the fastest growing STEM jobs with a salary of about $95,000 a year.
The main goal of a systems engineer is to make everyday tasks easier for society. They try to maintain certain software and work on installing systems. People in this position do not work alone; systems engineers must collaborate with a large group of people, including security analysts, to achieve an efficiently working system. A common task is to plan recovery measures with security analysts if a major threat in the system occurs.
This occupation requires a B.S. minimum in systems engineering or computer science; however, a master’s degree is recommended for six-figure salaries or in order to be a strong candidate to work in the government or military. Systems engineering also requires a good foundation in programming languages such as Python and in English and writing because constant reports have to be submitted.
These are just some of the careers in technology that are growing at a rapid pace. Today, there is a myriad of opportunities available for those that enter a computer science or technology-based field. Job openings exist in the military, privately owned firms, the entrepreneurial world, and the government.