Top Five Career Options for Computer Science Engineering Students

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Computer Science is considered one of the best career options, not only in India, but globally. This stream provides a variety of exciting employment opportunities in some of the best companies of the world, a job in this sector computer science is actually the next best thing to a government job. So what are the best career options that one can pursue after B.E in computer science ?

Technology manifests itself in so many ways in our lives that it is not possible to separate it from us. The computer has become a ubiquitous device and therefore the computer science engineering stream has also gained in prominence and popularity over the past two decades. The success stories of companies like Facebook, Google, and the rising profits of IT solutions providers like TCS, Infosys and Wipro back closer to home has made it even more obvious for students to go for a career in this field. The $270 billion Indian IT industry is on the way to be the largest IT industry on the planet while TCS is the third largest information technology services provider offering reasons to cheer for candidates deciding in favor of a career in this field.

What Can One Do With A Degree In Computer Science ?

It’s natural to perceive a computer science graduate as a programmer with coding skills. Programming is a primary skill that is taught to students of computer science engineering, however, a CS degree teaches students to solve real life problems. This can be done not only by working as programmer but also as a designer, analyst, animator or game developer. As companies continue to hire engineering graduates it is worth examining the various career options and average salaries on offer for students who have completed their computer science engineering courses.

Software Engineering

Most CS graduates work under this title. Software engineers are professionals working to find out complex solutions to a number of applications in different sectors. They are not programmers and both are vastly different disciplines. A software engineer creates the design the programmer implements. A software engineer follows systematic approach of understanding requirements, working with stakeholders and developing solution as per the needs of customer. They are often part of larger teams, handle greater responsibilities and hence get paid more. There are two species most commonly found in software engineering.

Application software engineers use a number of programming languages to develop a custom program after analyzing an end-user’s computing needs. The choice of programming languages depends on the application’s parameters and the platform on which the program is supposed to run. Modern application software engineer use Java, C, C++, Objective-C, Perl and Python. An example of application software engineer is mobile app developer.

The other species of the SE is System Software Engineer, who is responsible for creation, maintenance and expansion of an organization’s internal computer systems.

Remunerations according to Glassdoor.com, range around Rs.5, 00,000 (Mean Annual Salary). PayScale India puts the median salary of software engineers at a slightly lesser Rs.374, 637. In the United States system software engineer earned an average of $100, 420 per year as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2011 data. This is slightly greater than what application software engineers earned ($92,080 per year).

Graphic designing

Anyone with creative bent of mind and a computer science degree can think about making a career in graphic designing. Graphic designers have an exciting job at hand, as they get to work on interesting projects, and enjoy flexible work options along with good salaries. Front end web designing is one career path that computer engineers can opt for.

Front end designers spend their time creating the “look and feel” of websites. Along with knowledge of software packages like Adobe Photoshop and Dreamweaver, these professionals are also expected to know HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Some who are not satisfied with merely handling the front end aesthetics push themselves and gain complete expertise in other web technologies like PHP, and Ruby.

UI Designer (User Interface Designer) and UX Designer (User Experience Designer) are other offshoots of the designer species which further specialize in various forms of web and application design. A UX designer often handles the project in its initial stages who will outline, sketch and wireframe the basic workflow of the user.

Remunerations vary highly according to the area of design, job title, and experience. While a graphic designer earns an average salary of Rs. 231,104 per year, one who specializes in web design earns a bit at lower end of the spectrum with median salary of Rs. 186, 882. Experience can change this figure drastically and so can specialization such as UX designing. The average pay of user experience designer is Rs. 687,882 per year.

Software Testing

A software testing takes the important responsibility of improving the quality of the application. A tester or quality analyst essentially should have knowledge of the entire software development lifecycle as software testing is done in each phase of product life cycle, from requirement specifications, coding, to design. Though knowledge of programming isn’t mandatory, in the long run it will help more than you can imagine. Moreover, with a computer science degree one actually doesn’t have to worry about knowledge of programming languages.

A good software tester is expected to have a working knowledge of tools like QTP, Loadrunner amongst others. Experience, relevant training and practice are enough to teach these skills to any motivated individual. Software testers, which were considered more as of a unnecessary liability a decade back have now become show stopper for most applications and products. While earlier the responsibilities were restricted to test case execution, now the purview of software testing has expanded to other niche skills like SOA testing. The industry is full of opportunities for automation and performance testers. In addition to the computer science degree the employers expect to see certifications from QAI, ASQ, and ISQTB on the resume of a serious candidate for the best positions. These certifications are able to inspire confidence in clients.

The average median salary of software testers as per PayScale India data is Rs. 317, 248. Glassdoor also puts the average salary in the same range. However, these figures are just indicative of the salaries paid to entry level positions. Experience, skills, certifications and knowledge, all have an effect on the final number in the paycheck.

Information Security Professional

Information security is a dynamic field, not very old, but one of the most important from the future’s perspective. With a promise of a fantastic future, it’s no wonder the industry is attracting a lot of new talent. The Infosec industry is expected to grow to about $120.1 billion by the year 2017, which will be just double the $63.7 billion size that it was in 2011. If you are lucky enough to pursue your engineering from computer science, a career in information security could be your claim to glory. However, since the field is new there are certain caveats associated with it. Certifications are a must.

Whether it is pursuing the CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) or the CompTIA Security+, you will have start showing up some serious intent in order to move ahead. When you finally break into the industry, you can work your way up the ladder or earn more sophisticated certifications like Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). Expansion of knowledge in accordance with the latest industry trends is most vital aspect of this job.

Remunerations for a certified information security professional starts from a heavenly Rs.660, 000 and goes up to Rs 2,193, 930. Even an entry level Information security analyst earns somewhere in the range of Rs.303, 401 to INR 1,225,543.

Mobile Application Developer

Smartphones have become as commonplace as anything can be and with their rising use, there is a growing market of mobile apps. The strength of smartphones is through the diverse range of mobile apps that make every task a matter of seconds. Every business, in its plan to diversify and expand is now offering its services through mobile apps. Who develops these apps- Mobile app developers. For professionals with a degree in computer science and programming skills mobile app development offers a fresh opportunity to embark on a career makeover. As market demand surges for apps running on iOS, Android or whatever operating system that will power the next generation smart devices, IT professionals with skills in Java, C, C++ and native app development are much sought after commodity in the job market.

For all their expertise and hard work, mobile app developers are paid in gold. An entry level professional in this field earns a median salary of INR 353,904. (PayScale) This being a relatively new field, the growth opportunities are immense.

Thus, a computer science engineering graduate can be much more than the usual “software engineer” and that too without risking the comfort and security of a five or six figure salary. For starters, one should keep his resume updated by referring to resume samples from experienced professionals or expert resume builders. Networking with the right people is also highly important.