Exploring Computer Science

In a world where over 50% of the population has access to the internet, and each user spends about 6 hours per day on it. A world where more than 2.5 billion people have smartphones, where 2 of the top 10 spots on the Fortune 500 list are technology companies, it may be reasonable to assume that the majority of us are fairly familiar with Computer Science as a career. However, just in case, let us explore it together.

Computer Science is a fairly young career, as some of the major developments in computers date back not much more than 50 years. For instance; the transistor was invented by Bell Labs in 1947, the mouse by Douglas Engelbart in 1963, the first “internet” by DARPA in 1968, the first browser by Marc Andersson in 1993.

When compared with other professions such as tailoring, dating back to the 1680s, or dentistry, dating back to the 1200s, despite its short existence, Computer Science delivers a very interesting combination of being applicable to many other professions, having an above average job outlook at 24%, and a high median pay of $103,560.

Computer Scientists spend their days conceiving, designing and building technology products such as smartphones and web based applications. They normally work in teams, and divide the work based on each of the specialties in the team.

For building a product like an iPhone, there are several types of Computer Scientists involved, to design and build the many hardware and software components of the iPhone. Some work on integrating the small electronic components of the hardware, such as memory, microprocessors, even speakers for the sound. Others work on the software components such as the operating system and the applications that run on it like the iMessage, Calculator, Email.

For building a product like Netflix, there are other types of Computer Scientists involved, working on powerful data centers, streaming technologies, and compression algorithms. It also involves hardware and software components, but in different sizes and scales.

To be able to stream movies and shows to millions of people, Netflix needs very powerful computers connected together and connected with the customers. They need software to shrink as much as possible the size of the video files, without compromising the quality. The also need to be able to send the video files over slow connections, optimizing the experience for the user.

Computer Scientists also work to support other professions such as Medicine, analyzing data to understand the what causes certain diseases, building systems to improve treatments and even to make surgeries easier and less risky. They also work with Financiers in banking, simplifying the handling and tracking of money, building systems to enable payments using smartphones, helping investors maximize the performance of their investments.

Computer Science is a 4 year career that requires some math, but not as much as other sciences. It also requires taking software development  and hardware design classes.


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