What does a computer scientist do?
Computer scientists study computer science in-depth to apply theories to complex problems and create and use new technology. They usually deal with the theoretical components of computer systems. They conduct a variety of research from hardware design to complex theory. Some work on a variety of multidisciplinary tasks such as designing robots, developing and advancing virtual reality, and improving human-computer interaction. Computer scientists research new ways and improve current ways of solving computer problems. They also evaluate the performance of computer algorithms and write reports and papers on a variety of computer science topics. Some computer scientists focus on specific areas such software engineering, development of algorithms, computer programming, and computer graphics.
What kind of training does a computer scientist need?
Computer scientists must have at least a bachelor degree, but most employers prefer applicants with a master or doctorate degree in computer science or other closely related field. Most computer scientists complete courses in computer science, computer systems, information technology, computer programming, and mathematics. Most employers provide some on the job training. Many computer scientists gain voluntary certifications to remain competitive in the field. Since technological advances are always rapidly changing in the computer science field, computer scientists must stay up date on their skills. They often complete continuing education and participate in additional training throughout their careers. Many employers provide continuing education courses and training on many different topics.
What are the prospects for a career as a computer scientist?
Employment of computer scientists is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 22% from 2006 to 2016 (1). Technological advances and companies incorporating new complex technology will drive job growth.
Job prospects are expected to be excellent especially for computer scientists with advanced education and high skill levels. Many job openings will stem from the need to replace computer scientists that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do computer scientists make?
As of November 2009, the average annual salary for computer scientists is $68,000; average annual computer scientist salaries vary greatly on location, industry, employer, experience, and benefits (2).
A career as a computer scientist is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in computer science. Computer scientists must have logical thinking and strong analytical and problem-solving skills. They must be able to deal with many different tasks at the same time and pay close attention to detail. Computer scientists must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and be able to effectively work independently as well as part of a team. They must be able to work under stress and pressure and meet strict deadlines.