How to Start Your Career in Computer Science

Computer science is an innovative and dynamic industry that offers a wide variety of rewarding job roles. Computer science graduates are in huge demand and enjoy fantastic career prospects along with attractive job perks such as high earning potential and flexible work schedules.

Here are some steps you should follow to launch your computer science career and achieve your professional goals:

Complete a computer science degree

Most computer science roles require a bachelor’s degree or higher, e.g., a master’s or a P.h.D. A computer science degree will teach you core computer science principles in areas like computer theory, coding pattern recognition, networking, and machine learning. You will also complete placements as part of your studies to build hands-on industry experience.

Once you graduate with a computer science degree, you will be able to apply for a wide range of computer science roles. According to U.S. News, some of the top roles for computer science degree-holders are as a data scientist, software tester, web developer, and network architect. Take the time to research various roles in the computer science industry.

You have the option to attend a traditional campus-based degree program or complete classes online via distance learning. Worcester Polytechnic Institute explains how their online master’s in computer science can usually be completed in five semesters. Online learning is the ideal flexible solution for students who are working or have family commitments.

Build hands-on experience

Building hands-on experience is the best way to prepare for a career in computer science. Most computer science degree programs allow students to complete a work placement with a local organization during the course. You can also build your experience by volunteering or completing practical projects while you study.

Work placements and internships will give you insight into the industry and help you choose which area of computer science you want to specialize in. You should try and complete a variety of placements across a range of computer science settings. Start gaining relevant experience early and be proactive when it comes to building your portfolio of work.

Get the most out of your placements by asking lots of questions, going the extra mile to impress employers, and making an effort to build meaningful relationships. Connections made during placements may help you secure employment once your graduate. Take a look at this article by International Study for tips on how to get the most out of work experience.

Choose a computer science specialization

Computer science is a broad industry, and you can choose to specialize in various sectors. You should explore the different specializations and pick an area that suits your skills, interests, and preferences. You can learn about the different computer science specializations by doing individual research or completing work placements.

Here are some common computer science specializations to consider:

  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Networks
  • Game design
  • Computer graphics
  • Information security
  • Software engineering

Enter computer science competitions

Entering computer science competitors is a fantastic way to build your experience and show off your skills to potential employers. Computer science competitors can be an exciting way to challenge yourself and create impressive material to include in your resume. Many computer science competitions also offer attractive rewards such as cash prizes or scholarships.

Earn computer science certifications

You can earn additional certifications to improve your skills and credentials in most computer science specialties. For example, a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification will demonstrate that you have the skills and expertise to lead projects and teams. Visit to learn more about computer science certifications.

Research what relevant certifications are available and consider completing any courses that will enhance your resume and make you stand out in the hiring process. Many computer science certifications can be completed online, meaning you can earn the qualification alongside work and other commitments.

Write a compelling resume

Computer science degree-holders are in high demand, and most graduates find employment quickly. That said, you will still need to write an impressive resume if you want to stand out from the competition and resume the best jobs. Statics show that 24% of hiring managers spend less than 30 seconds reading a resume, so you don’t have long to impress!

Here are some tips to help you write a compelling resume that will impress hiring managers:

  • Be specific about your qualifications and level of experience.
  • Highlight relevant achievements, e.g., that you won a computer science competition in high school or achieved the highest grade in your class first year of college.
  • Don’t forget to mention important soft skills such as teamwork and the ability to collaborate with colleagues.
  • Check your resume for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.
  • Customize your resume for each role that you apply for.

Ace your interview

When you get invited to an interview, you must present yourself in the best possible light and go the extra mile to impress hiring managers. Do as much research as you can on the company before you attend the interview and have some questions prepared for the interviewer. This will demonstrate that you have a genuine interest in the company and role.

It is a good idea to prepare answers to typical interview questions such as “tell me about yourself” or “why do you think you’re the right person for this role.” You will find the interview process much less intimidating if you prepare beforehand and feel confident. Dress professionally when attending interviews and bring any documents requested by the interviewer.

You should emphasize your skills during the interview but avoid exaggerating your abilities or knowledge. Be honest about your limitations and explain how you plan to expand your skills in any areas that you’re not familiar with, e.g., by completing computer science certifications.


Computer science careers are lucrative, abundant, and rewarding. Professionals with technical skills are in high demand, and computer science degree-holders enjoy fantastic career prospects and job perks. Follow the above steps to start your career in the rewarding field of computer science.