Once upon a time, if you enjoyed computers and technology, people might suggest that you study computer science and become a programmer, a software designer or perhaps a systems administrator. These days, opportunities for those interested in these fields have exploded. From game design to virtual reality to big data, artificial intelligence and more, fields that may have seemed more in the realm of science fiction than reality just a few years ago are fast-growing and offer exciting business opportunities.
Pursuing an Education
Although there are plenty of exciting stories of tech startups begun by college dropouts, most people will need a bachelor’s degree at minimum in a field such as computer science, information systems or computer engineering. If you already have a particular area that interests you, you might want to look at schools that specialize in that area. Someone who is interested in becoming a data scientist may not benefit from a faculty with a strong program in robotics.
You can also look at how you will pay for your education. You may need apply for private student loans. You can apply with a private lender, and even combine along with a federal option as well. Other ways to secure funding include grants and scholarships. If the area you want to specialize is in particular demand, you might be able to find an employer who is willing to pay all or part of your tuition. You may need to commit to remaining employed for a set amount of terms after finishing your degree, as the company would have paid a large portion to invest in you.
Robotics and Artificial Intelligence
These are considered to be two of the most exciting emerging fields in computers and technology. If you want to be on the cutting edge of new technological advances in the decades ahead, you may want to consider these fields. A career in robotics means you may be designing robotics systems for space missions, industry or even film depending on your area of interests.
Becoming an AI specialist means that you design computers and machines that can start to learn and think to some degree. One example of where AI is being developed is in the automobile industry, where tech companies are working to develop autonomous cars. Although they are anxious to get these on the road in large numbers, the development process will be an involved one because it will be necessary for the cars to be able to think and make decisions in life-or-death situations. You could be on the forefront of this kind of development.
There is still plenty of demand in more traditional computer science fields as well. Companies will always need programmers and software designers. You might work on developing new apps, overhauling a company’s database or in multimedia programming. Nearly every industry has a demand for someone with a computer science background, and you might want to combine majors or take classes in a particular field if you are interested in it alongside your studies.