Tag: #TD

What Can I Do With a Computer Science Degree? (Part 1)

The Tech and Data industry is one of the fastest growing industries and with that, there is a growing demand from companies for people with skills in computer science. But because this industry is so big, there are many broad applications of computer science. What kinds of jobs can you do with a Comp Sci degree and what are the main differences between these options? 

Career paths in computer science require strong programming, analysis and problem-solving skills with most jobs preferring a bachelor’s degree. Here are some potential career paths and their respective requirements.  

1) Software Developer: 

Software developers write and debug software for client applications by using debuggers and visual development environments. They also create applications that can work on their own or boost access to other servers and services and test client software.  

Many employers require candidates to have some prior experience in the field and a bachelor’s degree in software development, computer programming, information technology, or computer science. They typically work in office settings and may also work in a company’s IT department to use their skills to help with any technical problems. 

Software developers need strong programming skills. Some widely used languages include Python, Java, JavaScript, C++ and C#. Different jobs require different languages and will specify in their requirements section what kind of experience they are looking for so you do not have to necessarily learn many languages badly or at a mediocre level, when you can learn a few languages well. Once specializing, you can apply to jobs and/or internships whose requirements match with your skillset. For example, if you are familiar with R, Python and Java and a job or internship requires those languages, then it would be easier for you to perform well in the coding interviews and during the job. But if you spread yourself too thin, then you will not be able to perform as well.  

Developers also need to have good communication skills because they need to communicate with people from non-technical backgrounds like managers and clients. They also need to work well as a team and be able to pay attention to small details to debug their code when it is not working.  

2) Computer Information Researcher: 

Computer information researchers work with human-computer interactions. They study and analyze problems in organizations, using computing technology to provide efficient solutions. They may evaluate the effectiveness of existing technologies and improve them by testing software systems and looking at user needs, analyzing results, and presenting them to stakeholders or at academic conferences. 

A Computer Information Researcher is one of the few careers where employers are likely to require or prefer at least master’s degrees in computer science or related fields. However, there are some federal government positions that only require a bachelor’s degree. This is because researcher roles typically need more advanced degrees. For this reason, information researchers may go so far as to get graduate degrees in computer science as they need to know more hard skills and languages when doing research.  

Computer information researchers need to know about software development to write and maintain source code, machine learning to improve how computers perform certain tasks and how to analyze data to evaluate how effectively a program or software is running. They may also need to know how to use the programming languages, Java and C, and UNIX, a portable operating system that helps programmers develop and run code so that they can share with their colleagues.  

3) Web Developer: 

Web developers deal with building technical front-end and/or back-end code that informs site function. They may work only on front-end code, back-end code, or both, and many jobs also require overlap into web design. They may work independently on a freelance basis or with marketing or IT departments.  

Programming languages that web developers may frequently use include PHP, CSS, HTML, JavaScript, ASP.NET and Angular.Js. Soft skills include multitasking, organizational skills and attention to detail. Web developers also need to consider accessibility and how easily the user can navigate the website to ensure a good user experience.  

4) Video Game Design: 

Video game designers develop video games for as computers, websites, and gaming consoles. Companies like Electronic Arts, Rockstar Games, Nintendo, Ubisoft etc. Hire software developers, graphic designers, web developers and many more with each concentrating on certain factors of game design, such as setting, character design, gameplay etc. They may also work with other gaming professionals to build or test games.  

Like most careers listed here developers need to pay careful attention to detail to spot glitches and ensure efficiency for all elements of a game and be great problem solvers because they need to ensure that all elements (such as story, gameplay, characters, player interactions etc.) come together. However, for video game developers, there may be a greater emphasis on creativity and candidates would need to create their own stories and characters, as well as create innovative ways to keep players engaged. There is also a high emphasis on time management skills as companies need to put out games by hard-set publishing deadlines.  

If you want to have a deeper look at more specific aspects like salaries, job outlooks, other education requirements etc. you can check the careers page on computerscience.org to do so! For help on getting started with a job or internship search, resumes, or interviews, feel free to make an appointment with us, at the Career Center! 

The Military After Lawrence?

Jonathan Hogan

For those of us majoring in government, economics, or a similar field, the government is one of the most popular employment destinations. One position in the government that is often overlooked is the U.S. military, yet it turns out that joining the military after college, although somewhat unusual, is a viable career path.

The perks of an undergrad?

Okay, so it’s June of your graduation year. You’ve just walked, shaken hands with President Carter, and received your diploma. What do you get for that hard-earned diploma in the military? It turns out, actually quite a lot.

Perhaps the biggest perk is that all branches of the military allow someone with a college degree to join an accelerated program that will see them join as an officer. Officers, for those who don’t know, are essentially service members on an upper-level management track. Even at the beginning of their career, an officer is responsible for leading a small number of service members; however, officers, when promoted, become captains, majors, and eventually, generals. These promotions are typically unavailable to enlisted service members, who begin their military careers as privates.

Another major perk of joining the military with an undergrad is that some branches, such as the Army and Navy can enter a loan repayment program that will repay up to $65,000 in student loans. The Marines have a similar program that will pay up to $20,000 for loans and the Airforce will repay up to $10,000 for loans. It is generally expected that officers on a loan repayment program serve for a range of 3-5 years.

Economically speaking, the military is not only a strong option because of the loan repayment program, it also pays well. Officers, for example, immediately earn between $30,000 and $40,000 and typically are not responsible for their housing and food costs when they are posted at a military base. Because officers are often quickly promoted, it can be expected that one’s salary will increase relatively quickly over time. Furthermore, all U.S. service members enjoy extremely good health insurance.  The combination of minimal living expenses, a competitive salary that can be expected to increase over time, and superior health care constitute a job offer that is highly competitive for recent graduates.

Being a member of the military is also a strong resume builder for a variety of careers. Having served in the military is looked upon fondly by most governmental departments, and the general public (should one wish to get into politics). Furthermore, officers can often specialize in areas that will allow them to enter the market with valued experience. Cyber security is a good example of this, as officers that specialized in cyber during their time in the military can easily transition to high-paying private sector cyber security jobs.

As is perhaps evident by the extensive list above, there are quite a lot of benefits for joining the military after receiving a bachelor’s. This is, of course, not to say that joining the military is the right option for everyone. The military may not be the right stepping stone for one’s intended career. It is also, when compared to other jobs, a very large commitment that often sees service members deployed for months at a time. Furthermore, the military is often responsible for executing U.S. foreign policy at the cost of human life. One ought to be certain that they are ideologically/morally willing to take part in this institution and that they are ready to assume such high personal risk. Should one be unphased by these realities, however, the military is an option worth considering.  

Works Cited

Faris, Stephanie. “Benefits of Joining the Army With a Bachelor’s Degree.” Career Trend, 9 Dec. 2018, https://careertrend.com/benefits-of-joining-the-army-with-a-bachelors-degree-13654867.html.

“Joining the Military After College: Benefits, Steps, & Expert Advice.” Become, 9 Nov. 2020, https://www.learnhowtobecome.org/career-resource-center/joining-military-after-college/.

Jonathan is a Third Year German and Government major. He works as a Peer Educator to assist students in the CJW and GLI career communities. In addition to professional development, Jonathan is interested in the cultural construction of the modern nation-state, normative constraints on rational behavior, and all things German. You can schedule an appointment with him here to improve your resume, learn more about the CJW and GLI career opportunities, and work on anything else professional development-related.

Developing Technical Skills While at School

Aside from your CS coursework, where you’ll learn principles of programming and how to think like a developer, there are different ways to gain, expand, or deepen your technical skills while at school. Below, let’s consider three options:

  • Securing a campus job with Technology Services
  • Getting started with Git
  • Playing with game development

Work for LU’s Technology Services

LU’s Technical Services often hires student workers to work at the Helpdesk, serve as a Computer Technician Assistant, or act as a Student Web Developer. At the Helpdesk, you’ll be using problem-solving and communication skills as you help people from around campus resolve software problems. As a Computer Technician Assistant, you’ll primarily be fixing computer and printer problems. Student Web Developers develop web applications and web scripting components using a variety of languages, technologies, and techniques. Technology Services often hires a few positions in Fall Term, but keep an eye on Handshake in case they post additional positions in the middle of the school year.

Get started with Git

As you probably know, Git is a free and open-source version control system. Git allows you to create git repositories – these repositories record the change history of your project and are local to your device in the root directory of your project. You can also synchronize your local repository with remote repositories. GitHub is a hosting site for remote repositories. If you’d like to start learning more about Git, check out Git and GitHub Crash Course. At just over half an hour, this video breaks down the basics. OpenSource’s step-by-step guide to getting started on Git is another great place to start. Want to get visual? Learn Git Branching is a visual and interactive way to learn Git on the web using demonstrations of features.

Play with Game Development

Because game development can include skills in networking, I/O, graphics, even AI and data science, it can be a fulfilling and fun way to learn software engineering principles. Starting with a game framework like the Lightweight Java Game Library (LWJGL) will give you quite a bit of control over your game. For reference, Minecraft Java Edition uses LWJGL. Prefer C#? MonoGame (think Stardew Valley and Terraria) allows you to use C# and other .NET languages. All the code is available to you so you’ll have the ability to make changes when you need to or port to new platforms.

There’s also the option to start building your game on a game engine. You’ve probably encountered Godot (Sonic Colors: Ultimate), Unity (Cuphead, Stranded Deep, Hearthstone, and Hollow Knight), or Epic Games’ Unreal Engine (Fortnite, Borderlands 3, Ark), CryEngine (Far Cry, Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2), OpenAge (Age of Empires). Engines like these are especially great if you want to actually release a game.

These are just three ideas for starting to build out your technical skills, but there are plenty of other strategies out there, like participating in Hackathons or securing summer internships.

Woz U Highlight

Want to get a head start on your technology career? Interested in working with industry professionals and learning the ins and outs of tech and data science careers?

Woz U is a company devoted to providing technical education, offering courses in software development, cyber security, and data science!

Woz U emphasizes one-on-one mentorship with experts who will not only help provide hands-on courses in technology and data curricula, but also help you figure out what career in technology is right for you. Created by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Woz U partners with accredited institutions to educate the next generation of high-tech employees.

Engage with industry-relevant curriculum and project-based learning to dive into the world of technology and data development. From software development to cyber security training to big data and data analysis, each line of curriculum is designed to take students approximately 8 months, and is entirely virtual.

Learn more about Woz U from their website!

Gap Year Opportunities in Technology and Data Sciences

With graduation just around the corner for many of our seniors, it’s never too late to start thinking about next steps. Whether post-secondary education is on your radar for Fall 2021 or not, here are some program ideas that can help tide you over between graduation and your next great adventure. Or maybe you’re taking some time off during your time at LU and want to look at learning options. Read on for some ideas!

Gap Year Academy
Gap Year Academy matches students with mentors to help guide them through their interests in a variety of fields. All courses are online, although mentor-student relationship is emphasized over textbook and busywork learning. The Gap Year Academy has programs in software development, cyber security, data analysis, and more!
Learn more from their website here!

Harvard Extension School
The Harvard Extension School has various programs, two of which are exciting options for the #TD community! The Academic Gap Year program offers a variety of study paths, both for credit and noncredit, including one for math and computer science. This program is built for those who wish to take online classes during the typical academic year, perhaps during a break from your regular coursework at LU. Another option for those looking to continue their computer science education after graduation is the graduate-level programming certificate!
Interested in the Academic Gap Year program?
Click here for info about the programming certificate!

Coding Dojo
Coding Dojo offers an online, 14-week coding boot camp for burgeoning software developers. In addition to the 3-stack program where students work with industry professionals as instructional staff, students are additionally supported by integrated career services experience. Coding Dojo hosts 1:1 calls to answer potential admissions questions, as well as Open Houses where interested parties can meet the team and get a full breakdown of the boot camp!
Check out Coding Dojo here!


You may have heard the term tossed around a few times, but do you know what a hackathon is? What are some of the pros and cons of hackathon? These are a few things to consider if you’re thinking about registering for a hackathon!

What is a hackathon?
An event focused on collaboratively creating software, usually in effort to solve one or a variety of problems utilizing computer programming. Hackathons tend to have a specific focus (be it programming language, OS, or any other number of specifications), and usually involve team competition and collaboration. They typically last for a weekend and occur year round!

What are some pros of participating in a Hackathon?
Networking. One nice thing about attending a hackathon is you can be sure that you share something in common with everyone else there — a love for computer programming. In addition to the rigorous hackathon event itself, there’s often opportunities to get to know other programmers and spend leisure time together.
Camaraderie. In line with just making connections, the intensive nature of a hackathon will foster community between attending members. Either for the weekend or for years to follow, you will find a community at a hackathon.
Creation. The focus of the hackathon, of course, is on problem solving and software development. So at the end of the weekend, no matter what the problem was, you’ll have created something incredible — be it an original application or altering the purpose of an appliance. Over the course of the hackathon, you might work with people from vastly different programming backgrounds than yours and on projects that are vastly different than ones you’re familiar with. Hackathons provide opportunity to branch out and test some less-used programming muscles.

What are some cons of participating in a Hackathon?
Tiring. As can be expected from spending a weekend developing new code and software, hackathons can take a toll on your sleep habits.
Frustrating. As with any high-pressure, low-time event, there are bound to be frustrations along the road. From bad or unusable code, to bugs that simply cannot be fixed in the time constraint, unfortunate things can happen unexpectedly. Like any competition, the prospect of spending hours and hours working on something, only to come up short in the end should be considered.
Loss of focus and drive. Burnout is real, and it’s unfortunately not uncommon at hackathons. Between sleep loss, frustration buildup, or simply brain fatigue and procrastination (which occur at hackathons just like they occur before your big paper is due!), it can be difficult to focus on completing hacking tasks.