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Transitioning to Computer Science From Other Fields

Americans cite many reasons for switching careers, such as poor work-family balance, too much work for too little pay and benefits, bad bosses and difficult workplace culture.

The employment exodus was particularly acute during the COVID-19 lockouts, when 37% of Americans lost or changed their jobs. Still, employment for life is an antiquated notion. Americans average 12 jobs over a lifetime, spend about four years with any one employer and make a major career change before turning 40.

At the same time all this career swapping is going on, Fortune Education reports that enrollment in online master’s degree programs is surging, driven in part by a desire for professionals seeking to transition to future-proof their careers: “Interest in the domain of computer science still will be relatively high … [with growth in] potential jobs in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, robotics, web applications [and] software applications.”

What Courses Can Help the Transition to Computer Science?

McKinsey & Company reports that the fastest-growing trends in technology include applied artificial intelligence (AI), advanced connectivity, wireless networks and mobile technologies.

An online curriculum that explores those domains, such as La Salle University’s online Master of Science (M.S.) in Computer Information Science with a Specialization in Data Science program, equips graduates with the insights and expertise that employers value.

Program courses that immerse students in leveraging digital technologies to solve real-world problems include:

  • Artificial Intelligence studies big data and data mining techniques that help create AI models used by autonomous aircraft and automobiles, personal assistants, the Internet of Things, IT cybersecurity operations and fraud investigations.
  • Client Interface Development focuses on implementing standards-based technologies that enable users to deploy with web applications, access their functionality and interact with servers and data. This course uses market frameworks such as FLASK.
  • Web Database Development Services emphasizes technologies to access components that enable developers to connect to various data sources and perform operations such as retrieving, manipulating and updating data. Some technologies that are used include ASP.NET, PHP and Python.
  • Mobile Development explores applications and integrations that develop layouts and interactions with device sensors. Applications will implement user interactions, as well as manage data sources locally and from database providers. The results are emulated in a testing environment and prepared for deployment in a mobile marketplace. The course uses Kotlin and Android Studio.

Overall, La Salle’s online CIS M.S. in Data Science program provides graduates with expertise in those important domains as well as database services, enterprise and web solutions, and integrations.

“It’s a golden age right now for computer science,” according to U.S. News & World Report. “For people who study computer science in their education, it’s a great, great time, and essentially the sky is the limit.”

While Technical Computer Skills Are in High Demand, “Soft” Skills Top Employers’ Wish Lists

Career-changers should not discount a transition into computer and data science because they lack technical expertise before enrolling in La Salle, which does not require a GMAT/GRE and evaluates applications on a holistic basis comprising interest, aptitude and potential for achievement.

And success in tech fields depends on much more than technological literacy, which is third on the World Economic Forum’s top-rising skills list, along with the following:

  • Cognitive skills, including analytical and creative thinking
  • Power skills, such as curiosity and life-long learning and resilience, flexibility and agility
  • Systems thinking
  • AI and Big Data technical expertise
  • Motivation and self-awareness power skills
  • Talent management skills
  • Service orientation and customer service engagement skills

“As long as people are working in tech jobs, soft skills matter,” according to Forbes, adding that initiatives to build diverse, inclusive and kind workplaces make “soft skills … a vital part of this initiative across all industries, including tech.”

Learn more about La Salle University’s online M.S. in Computer Information Science with a Specialization in Data Science program.

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