Into the Computer-verse: What are my options?

By Jaadyyah Shearrion  
Hello everyone! Today I want to dive into what exactly is the Computer Science field. As some of you may know, I want to study CS in college and I wanted to help shed some light on the different options available within the field. 

Computer engineering 

If you like a more hands-on life then you would love the Computer Engineering path. Computer Engineering is the hardware side of the Computer Science field. If you have a vendetta against your computer because it doesn’t have enough dedicated RAM to run your Minecraft server, Computer Engineering studies can help you through that problem. This major also involves Electrical Engineering, which means that if you were to study Computer Engineering, you would also learn about how wiring and electricity plays a part in everyone’s computer. Depending on what school you go to, you could even get some experience building robots! 

Computer Science

This website that you are reading this on was created by a Computer Scientist! The creation of websites is a really cool aspect of CS. The whole major entails being able to problem-solve and employ technical skills. The skills I’ve been taught in this field include coding, creating a video game, and looking into how AI works. I personally have made my own game using the game engine Unity, which is fairly basic, but has some complex functionality. I even started to look at a concept called neural networks, which is a large part of AI systems. 

Information Technology

Do you ever wonder how those pesky hackers end up getting your information? Well, information technology (I.T.) deals with this side of the computer science world. I.T. also encompasses data collection and sometimes can be combined with a business degree. Cyber Security is a field that is always changing because we humans keep creating more technology, which makes some systems vulnerable. With an Information Technology degree, you could get a job as a server manager, in which you take control of the networks that house people’s information, a company’s information, or cloud information. You could even be a maintenance person who deals with the hardware side of computers, such as a Microsoft or Apple Technician who could remotely fix someone’s device. 

If you are interested in any of these, you should pursue your passion. In addition to doing research at your school’s specific program, you should also look into ways to get some hands-on experience before you arrive as well.

Breaking the Code: Computer Science

Srikar Karra ‘23, University of California Berkeley

My major, Computer Science, involves coding (mostly in Python) and developing programs and executing code in order to simplify tasks. The main job prospect for CS majors is as a software engineer.

Choosing Computer Science

UC Berkeley is known for its top notch Computer Science program so getting into Berkeley confirmed that I was definitely going to major in Computer Science. Prior to getting accepted, I really thought about becoming a CS Major since there are many job prospects and CS is a rapidly growing field in this century. I also really enjoyed coding throughout high school and took many Computer Science classes.

Favorite project

My favorite project was making a small game in PyCharm. I made a small game similar to Flappy Bird and got all my friends to play it. I developed and created the project in a platform called Unity on my Mac. It took us about a week to complete the project. My friend made the designs while I took care of the coding and implementation. Building my own game was very fun and I learned how other creators think and make their own games. It gave me a different perspective. 

Major culture

The CS department at Berkeley is huge – probably even the biggest in the entire college. The culture is amazing. Everyone works really hard and love what they do. It is very easy to find people around you to help you out as well if you ever need it. A lot of my friends are also in Computer Science here at Berkeley. They all love programming just like I do and they really enjoy all the facilities and opportunities Berkeley offers for CS majors.

Career goals

I hope to become a software engineer for a Forbes 500 company. My ultimate dream is to be able to start my own company and provide software tools for other top companies. Graduating with a computer science degree at Berkeley is not an easy feat. It requires a lot of persistence, hard work, resilience and most importantly, patience. These are all life skills that are very important to have. Some other examples of jobs that CS students can get are a Mobile Application Developer, Software Engineer, Systems Architect, Machine Learning Engineer and a Data Engineer

Similar majors

A lot of people who don’t want to do Computer Science choose to pursue a degree in Data Science or Cognitive Science which are also very similar and growing fields. Personally, I considered majoring in Economics or Finance, but I will probably end up minoring in them for now.