Computer scientists impact society through their work in many areas. Because computer technology is embedded in so many products, services, and systems, computer scientists can be found in almost every industry. Design of next generation computer systems, computer networking, biomedical information systems, gaming systems, search engines, web browsers, and computerized package distribution systems are all examples of projects a computer scientist might work on. Computer scientists might also focus on improving software reliability, network security, information retrieval systems, or may even work as a consultant to a financial services company.
Computer scientists should be creative, inquisitive, analytical, and detail oriented. They must have a strong grasp of mathematics, including calculus, probability, and statistics, and computer systems. Preparation in one or more of the sciences, such as, physics, chemistry, biology, is also a requirement. Abilities to work as part of a team and to communicate well also will be important as computer science jobs frequently require interaction with specialists outside of computer science or engineering. To hone these skills, recommended coursework includes English, writing, social studies, and humanities.
More detailed information about Computer Science is available on the Career Cornerstone Center's Computer Science site.
Career Guidance Suggestions for Pre-University Students
Pre-University students should take as many math and science courses as possible, both during school and as part of after-school programs. Students aged 5-9 should do additional math, puzzles, and building or design projects. Students aged 9-12 should take extra math, and if inspired, explore pre-algebra and geometry. Students aged 12-18 might consider taking advanced algebra, chemistry, calculus, geometry, trigonometry, physics, building, design, and engineering concept courses. Student of all ages might try simple computer programming prior to university studies. At the university level, computer science students will study topics such as algorithms, data structures, software design, concepts of programming languages, and computer organization and architecture.
There are also several lessons and activities, and projects and competitions that can help provide students with an interest in engineering first hand exposure to electrical engineering principals. Students who implement these activities and participate in projects or competitions have a better understanding of engineering and its impact on society. They'll be better able to determine if engineering is the career path for them by sharing their interest with other students, and experiencing hands-on applications of engineering. Summer programs and internships are another great way for students at the pre-university level to explore engineering.