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How to Begin a Career in Computer Science

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For those who excel in math, careers in computer science offer growth potential and high wages. Professionals in the computer science industry enjoy good working conditions and stable paychecks even in unstable economies. Whether you choose to pursue programming, engineering, or administration, computer science will prove a challenging yet rewarding career field.

Enroll in a community college or a university. While you will ultimately need a bachelor's degree to compete for many jobs, an associate's degree can help you obtain an internship or a part-time programming position, which will provide valuable experience.

Apply for an internship or a part-time job in computer science. Even an unpaid position will provide experience you can use on your resume, and your efforts will reflect ambition. Visit sites such as or for a list of open internships.

Select an area in which to specialize. For example, you may focus on a specific programming language such as C or C++, or pursue a job in network administration or computer repair. Different jobs in computer science require different academic or work experience, so choose your classes and jobs accordingly.

Build a portfolio of programs. Showcase your talent by coding software. If you want to specialize in Internet programming, code several JAVA programs to show potential employers. If you want to specialize in Windows programming, code C++ or Visual Basic programs. A portfolio of coded programs will show recruiters your coding style and ability to handle complex projects.

Complete your bachelor's degree in computer science. A bachelor's degree can help you compete for system administration jobs, service manager jobs, or some upper-level intern positions. While top-level engineering or programming jobs require a master's degree or a Ph.D., you can find many entry-level job opportunities with a B.S. in computer science.

Distribute your resume. Specialized websites like Dice and ITJobs can help you apply for positions with technology firms. You can also take advantage of your school's career center, which may offer job listings and advice for job hunters.