The leaving certificate can be one of your most stressful years as a teenager. Not only is this stress caused by exams – anxiety also emerges from not having a definite target or career choice to aim for. At such a young age how are you supposed to know about the multitude of career paths available? When I was in leaving cert, I scoured through endless lists of courses with names I had never even heard of – and to the majority I simply scrolled past. When I came across computer science I didn’t really know what it would entail. The first thing that came to mind was a socially awkward computer nerd who sat in his bedroom alone programming and playing video games all day.
At first, I completely dismissed computer science as a career choice. It wasn’t until I began to learn more about the course that I began to consider it. My father studied computer engineering in college and with his advice and encouragement he motivated me to give it a try. Before this, I had a very false idea of what programming actually was and had no idea of the infinite amount of possibilities that could emerge from it.
Firstly, Computers are a part of everything we do. In my opinion today, understanding computing is part of the necessary skill set for an educated person in the 21st century. We use computers on a daily basis – whether it be your phone, laptop, tablet etc. and these technologies are only going to get bigger and better. As Barack Obama said –
“Don’t just buy a new video game; make one. Don’t just download the latest app; help design it. Don’t just play on your phone; program it.”
There is a HUGE variety of career paths when it comes to computer science. You could be working in medical informatics and creating the technology to cure cancer, working in animation or game design, creating software for the new technologies to come, and maybe even making apps in your spare time. The possibilities are endless; technology is a part of everything we do.
Computer jobs are here to stay and they are among the highest paid and have the highest job satisfaction. Currently, there are not enough graduates to fill jobs in IT and these jobs are predicted to grow at a faster rate than any other field.
In computing, it is nearly impossible to predict what will happen next. This is what is most exciting about this field of study. Technology will constantly be advancing and who knows what the future holds for my computer science career.