5 Hot Fields for Computer Science Grads

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Right now is a great time to be graduating with a computer science degree; but with myriad opportunities available, what kind of jobs should you be applying for? You can start by asking yourself these two questions:

  • What do you like doing?
  • Where do you see yourself in the future?

Here are five computer science-friendly fields that you may want to consider.


The computer science grad with a solid general skill set would do well to begin a career at a startup. “You’ll learn more about how a business is run and how to build technology quickly (to test ideas) than anywhere else,” said David Yang, placement coordinator and lead instructor at the Fullstack Academy of Code in New York.

Click here to find entry-level tech jobs.

“Fullstack,” or the ability to handle all aspects of the development process, is an area of growth, especially for startups: “Fullstack developer” is a term you now see in a lot of job descriptions. It doesn’t matter if the company is new or at a mid-level of expansion. John Vandersande, a Boston-based principal consultant in the Software Technology Search group for WinterWyman, concurred with Yang, adding: “Startups need people who can touch all areas. You don’t need to be an expert, you have to be flexible and move between backend, server side and front-end.”

Ultratech: Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo, Palantir

These are the giants in the field. By working at one of these companies, you’ll see the industry at a really high scale, go deep rather than broad and understand what it takes to run a Web behemoth. “Most likely you’ll be put in charge of something extremely specific because at scale, everything needs a lot of attention,” Yang said, “but you’ll learn a lot about how to be a productive member of a high-functioning team and will probably do some of the best programming of your life.”


Front-end Web development is probably the hardest skill set to find among developers, a situation that could continue for quite some time. “This is an area that’s going to remain very hot,” Vandersande said. “It’s a key skill set moving forward—especially for computer science majors.” The recruiter noted that his clients are looking for candidates who ideally have a computer science major and can build really complex interfaces.

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He also suggested data visualization as a sidebar to UI: “Visualizing data—charts, graphs, etc. is also really popular.” Grads need to remain current on their skills in that area, as the technology evolves rapidly.

Big Data

Both Yang and Vandersande recommended Big Data careers. Being able to work with large data sets is an in-demand skill in both the consumer and enterprise realms. “People are starting to do more real time data processing,” Vandersande said. “That area of data analytics, data processing and data science are all very active now and will all remain strong.”


The mobile market is solid for the long run. “Mobile is guaranteed to become more and more pervasive in people’s lives,” noted Vandersande. He added that native mobile apps and mobile Web are extremely important and, as everyone knows, iOS and Android are likely to remain in demand for some time.

Bonus: Tech Consulting (IBM, Accenture, Deloitte)

Tech consulting offers perks such as “travel, constant new clients and rapid career development,” Yang enthused. Grads who want to see a wide swath of how the tech economy works should consider consulting. You could spend three months in the insurance industry, then the airline industry and move to the retail sector. Per Yang, you won’t code as much, but it could set you up for engineering management if you keep your knowledge of tech trends sharp.

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4 Responses to “5 Hot Fields for Computer Science Grads”

  1. #1 Polished UI developers do not design “complex interfaces”. UI experts design intuitive simple interfaces (i.e. those not requiring a manual to use)

    #2 New grads do not have the experience required for Tech Consulting.

    • Eric Rini

      I worked as a tech contractor out of college, it wasn’t exactly “consulting” but I got to work on a lot of different things in a short period of time and see a lot of good (and bad) projects and environments. By the time I left that I did feel like a tech contractor, and knew a lot more about good system design than the average person with 2 years of experience just because of the diversity I had seen.

      Once you get a contract agency to vouch for your skills they will back you with their clients and it really helps get through the old “need some experience to get opportunities to gain experience” double standard that many employers have as well.

  2. John Anderton

    I have spent close to forty years in the building business as the fellow in the field doing the work.
    A consrtuction accident made it possible for me not to return to the field,
    I went to a special career college and learned how to do computer aided drafting and earned an assocites degree. as my building knowledge would be usefull in understanding how the components of a building are put together on paper.
    I was told by various persons I would be an asset to a firm with my background..
    I am glade I didn’t hold my breath,. I posted my resume on line, and had only four views
    with no result.
    To me it appears that the recruiting industry gives the axe to a lot of great talent, The computer is good at looking for key words to weed out applicants. And save time. In my view it only disqualifies alot of really good talent.
    To a hundred potentual employers it my say nothing, And to one it is the perfect person. And then those that past you, wonder how they ever missed this candidate. And that person could have been the ideal person for all of those companies.
    A resume is like a basic chocolate cake, Only with a varity of different flavored frostings, And the reader chooses their favorite flavor. “The presenttion” When the cake under it is what your really after.
    In my opinion. There needs to be a better process in finding talent. I never felt intimidated talking with a recruiter, only disgust!. A person is sitting across the table from me examining my qualifications, And that individual has no CLUE, about the work I am seeking.
    If I were looking for a specific talent, I would want some one from my firm who does what I am looking for do the interviewl. NOT a hiring agency.
    I was once told by firm in Delaware, while was still in school, “I still four months to go till I finished” That if I had a year of experiennce in some elses office, this firm would move me at their expence to their location, I never did get that year in some one elses office.
    What ever happend to the firms willing to train a person, to their standards?
    I am now retired . I lost 12 years of my life looking for a firm to work for. I am still healthy with another ten years in front of me.
    I have done part time and contract work on my own. I do home plans, as any thing else in the building industry needs to be done by an architectual firm who has a state license.
    I do rebar detailing now on my own ,However I still hit that imaginary brick wall, Who have I worked, for how long. etc, etc,,,,,,
    I have read posted resumes of people seeking the same arena as me, their postings are poorly written, But does that mean, just because they cannot write a resume, these people cannot do the work?.
    I wonder!