View Full Version : [SOLVED] What happens after college?

September 30th, 2009, 02:17 AM
I just got back from a college visit, where I went to two CompSci classes (one of them ("Intro to Programming") was very easy, the other ("Intro to Systems") completely blew my mind with low-level discussions of how C is compiled).
It confirmed my belief that CS is a great field, and that I probably want to major in it, but I didn't do a very good job in finding out what people do after they graduate. I understand that a lot of people go on to be devs for random companies, but is there anything else? And if you do become a dev, does life get more interesting after a while? I feel like coding for 8 (or 20) hours a day in a cubicle might be fun for a few years, but it seems like it might get to be a bit much for a lifetime. Do people then move on and become project leads (what is that?), etcetera? Do you need more education after a bachelor's degree?


September 30th, 2009, 05:28 AM
you can also become a sysadmin and widen your tech knowledge. Eventually becoming a senior sysadmin and then a manager of whatever unit.

September 30th, 2009, 05:31 AM
There are literally endless possibilities after graduation. It depends entirely on what you are interested in doing.

As for the question of whether to continue coding year after year, again, that is completely up to you. I have an older brother (CS major) who coded for several years, got tired of it, and moved up into business/management positions at his work. On the other hand, my uncle has a billion kids and still codes to this day. I plan on graduating in a few months, and I anticipate I will be coding for a very long time. I simply never get tired of coding.

As for your degree of choice, that also depends on your future plans. If you plan on teaching anywhere, you'll likely need a masters.

Your future will also be dictated by the stuff you do outside of school. CS focuses many core aspects of programming, but it tends to lock you down to very generic knowledge. That's not a bad thing at all, but you'll find yourself doing extra stuff on your own (web development, game design, etc.).

September 30th, 2009, 07:28 AM
Do you need more education after a bachelor's degree?

Some of the CS classes in college will provide you with the theory of computing, others will provide you with practical knowledge (ie C++, Python, whatever language programming).

Languages and for that matter, OSes, change over the course of time. Thus some of the knowledge gained in college may become obsolete in a few years. The college graduate will always be a "student", learning new technologies as their career progresses.

As for employment prospects, the best jobs generally go to those people who are well-rounded, not just specialists in one little niche area of the CS field. You may find that knowing the theory behind computing is more important than knowing the details of any particular programming language.

For those CS engineers that also have an interest in the business side of the industry, they tend to pursue an MBA degree to complement their CS degree. This can lead them to pursue opportunities in project management, where they utilize business skills, CS skills, and common sense in steering many other engineers, system engineers, testers, etc to accomplish a task.

Obviously project management is not for everyone; most CS majors remain as developers/engineers throughout their career. I personally have worked as a system engineer a couple of times in my career, but I found it more comfortable working as a software engineer. The pay/rewards are just as good, and the job is more interesting. Of course, this is merely my opinion. Yours may differ (after 1, 5, 10, or 15 years into the job).

September 30th, 2009, 08:07 AM
After college it's all downhill ... :-(

Seriously, as TheBuzzSaw said, there is no limit to the possibilities, there is no reason to assume there is a fixed outcome. If you love computing, goferit and doors will open for you. And, as dwhitney67 points out, stay well rounded -- no one will frown on a CS major who also studied humanities.

Some of the most interesting people I've worked with were really informed on other (sometimes odd) subjects: European history, Sanskrit (yes .. dead languages seem to be a magnet for geeks), linguistics, music theory, economics, mycology (I swear I knew a guy who was an expert on fungus), psychology, philosophy .. etc.