Advance Your Career into Computing with this Simple Guide

Computing is a skill that everyone needs and yet only a few have dedicated themselves to it. It is for this reason that almost every career in computer science is in demand and pays exceptionally well. With a good grasp of the basics, you can easily jumpstart your career at any time, allowing you to move from software engineer to data scientist easily.

Those first few steps of progress are going to feel like mountains as you learn the computing languages and start to become proficient in the behind-the-scenes world so many of us take for granted. Once you surmount these initial steps, however, it’s easy sailing, with new steps easily learned and new concepts perfectly in line with your existing skillset.

If you currently work as a web developer, have a good understanding of computing, or are just incredibly passionate about the industry and desperately need to get in, you can advance your career forward into the wonderful world of computing with this simple guide:

Skills You Will Need as a Software Engineer

There are many jobs available in the sector, but almost all of them are going to be infinitely easier if you have a good background as a software engineer. Knowing computer programming, software development, and how to test and debug software is one of the key basics for any computer scientist. Even if you move on to other areas, such as data science or cyber security, knowing the basics of how programs work is a fundamental you cannot ignore.

It’s so important, in fact, that you will find it impossible to take any specialization course or degree without these skills:

Computer Programming

Computer programming is the bare basics and you can learn any of the computing languages at your own pace and with resources that resonate with you. There are books, online guides, video tutorials, online classes, short courses, and even foundational degrees.

Software Development

Taking your knowledge of computer languages and translating those into demonstratable results is another skill you will need to know. Thankfully, this is something that comes naturally alongside learning computer programming, as many courses or tutorials focus on how to complete a project.

Object-Oriented Design

Though this is just one approach to software design, it is essential. Object-oriented design focusses on creating a system of interacting objects to solve any software issues you come across. You should learn this, along with other approaches to design, alongside computer programming and software development.

Software Testing and Debugging

This is likely the least fun component to the process, but you cannot avoid it. Software testing and debugging is just a fact of life, in every industry. With computers, it can feel exhausting as you work through the lines of code to work out what broke or try to diagnose what external software is not compatible with yours and why.

Thankfully, it is easy to obtain these skills at your own pace. Start by learning at least one computing language, though once you know one the others are much easier to learn. Python is a great option for beginners, allowing you to understand the fundamentals and building the groundwork to move on to C++ or Java.

Other Job Roles Available in Computer Science

There are so many great jobs you can enjoy with a computer science background:

  • Cyber Security
  • Data Analysis
  • Forensic Computer Analyst
  • Games Developer
  • And More

How to Direct Your Career into Computer Science

There are so many job roles and industries you can get involved in when you are a computer scientist, especially if you specialize further and make your skillset essential to the biggest businesses in the world. To begin your journey, however, you are going to need the skills to succeed.

Take Foundational Courses or Degrees

You don’t have to be a computer science major to start directing your career into the computer sciences. There are online Masters in Computer Science for non CS majors available. They will take longer because there are a series of foundation courses you will need to take to get your knowledge set up to par, but this means more people can specialize into computer science than just those that had the foresight to do so in their undergraduate degree.

Learn a Computer Language

If you don’t get accepted just yet, don’t worry. Take a beat and start to learn a computer language. There are so many books, tutorials, guides, and videos out there so you can learn all the top languages.

Tackle and Experiment Programming with Personal Projects

Put what you learn to good use by creating pet projects. These can be used later in your application to showcase your knowledge.

Learn on the Job

You could even learn right on the job. See if your employer will allow you to shadow different roles and learn new skills.

How to Specialize Your Career in Computer Science

Most good MSc degrees will allow you to specialize at the latter end of your degree. This way you can get the skills and knowledge you need to start going for your dream job right from the start. The only thing that you need to do is make sure that the specialization you choose will help with securing your dream job.

How to Keep Your Knowledge and Skills Current

Whether you learn on your own or have an MSc in Computer Science, you cannot let yourself get lax. People have computer science degrees from the 90s. Do you think they still use what they have learned back then? No, they have built upon that base knowledge, but what they do now is fundamentally different to back then.

You need to keep your knowledge and skillset sharp throughout the ages, otherwise you will become defunct. Technology moves at a rapid pace and if you are not at the top of your game every day, you will fall behind.

There are many other ways you can keep your knowledge current as well:

  1. Invest in Leading Literature
  2. Take Courses
  3. Learn While Technology Evolves
  4. Network Through Events, Workshops and Conferences

Love what you do and you will be able to advance your career into computing and whatever specialization you are most passionate about.