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What is Computer Science?

North Carolina is well-known for its production of tobacco. It also produces chemicals, electronics, and computer products. Real estate, insurance, and finance organizations also make their home in this state and are included in the top industries.

Being right on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, the state leads in commercial fishing, catching flounder, blue crabs, shrimp, and clams. To top it all off, the state’s highest-earning industry is manufacturing ($11.7 billion).

Computer science is a good fit for any industry in North Carolina. Students planning to earn a computer science degree in North Carolina can both attend school and find work in the state. Computer science is vital in all areas of the country and across the world, and graduates benefit from earning these degrees partly because of the wide variety of industries and careers they gain access to.

Computer science professionals have many different skills. They may have learned how to create software, or improve it, so that it helps organizations function more efficiently. They can work as support staff when just starting out, IT project managers, and even work their way into the C-suites after a long, successful career.

Today, tech professionals and cyber security professionals are in constant demand, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools and organizations to close their doors, increasing the number of people working and attending classes online.

Professionals in this field can work on software or hardware systems, intra-networks, support, management positions, as consultants, with database management firms, and more.

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Online Computer Science Education in North Carolina

Insurance companies don’t just assign a risk number to a customer randomly; they gather data from multiple sources onto their network, run it through an application, and then store that data for any future use. Every part of this is tied to computer science, with them using the internet and networks to gather data, an application created by a software developer to analyze that data, a database for storing information, and cyber security experts to design firewalls and stop intrusions to keep that data safe.

Looking at the state’s fishing industry, computer science may help fishing crews as they strive to keep track of fish, crabs, or shrimp, which respond to environmental pressures and move to different areas over time. The finance industry wants to hire professionals who can adapt; finance organizations that invest in data science, AI, and engineering training programs may drive tech innovations from within.

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Online Associate Degree in Computer Science (AS)

Online associate degree candidates who choose a two-year community college degree program can earn an Associate in Science (AS) or Associate of Arts (AA) in the field. Once they graduate, they could jump into the field right away or continue on to earn their bachelor’s degree in computer science.

An associate degree from a community college may be designed specifically for those students who plan to continue learning and earn their four-year degree. However, even if they aren’t created for this purpose, they should include the same general education courses you’d expect to complete in a bachelor’s such as math, biology, English, and others. Those who ensure that they can transfer all of their credits earned to a bachelor’s degree should be able to start as juniors instead of freshmen.

After completing general education courses, you’ll take your core computer science courses. These courses should cover subjects such as Python, Java, C++, data structures and algorithms, creation of a digital portfolio, software development, agile project management concepts, systems analysis, and systems design.

What are the Admission Requirements for a CS Associates

Online Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science (BS)

If you’re interested, there are plenty of online degrees available in computer science, information technology, and other similar options. Regardless of the option you choose, you’ll benefit from studying and working on cutting-edge topics in the field, which will provide the knowledge and skills needed to succeed. Options for concentrations include robotics, networking, artificial intelligence (AI), cyber security, machine learning, and many more.

Computer science programs can be accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission - ABET. Graduating students can find employment with engineering organizations, science-related companies, healthcare facilities, cyber security firms, and more throughout a huge range of industries.

In these degree programs, students may learn about programming geographic information systems, developing and building web apps, protecting computer networks against cyber-attacks, working with large databases, developing modern systems using machine learning, AI, and more.

What are the Admission Requirements for a CS Bachelors

Online Master's Degree in Computer Science (MS)

A master of computer science degree is often considered to be the terminal professional degree in this field. The Department of Computer Science at your chosen school may require graduate students to take part in classes and seminars or conferences.

Students at this level will often need to complete a project or pass a comprehensive exam in order to earn their degree. Required courses often cover subjects similar to those in bachelor’s programs, such as theory and systems and machine learning, though at a much more in-depth level. Many schools also make internship opportunities for students available through partnerships with local businesses.

What are the Admission Requirements for a CS Masters

Online PhD Degree in Computer Science (PhD)

At most universities offering a PhD in computer science, the focus of the degree will be in teaching and/or research. Students usually work closely with a research advisor and/or an advisory committee.

During their time in a PhD program, students can publish papers based on their research. Candidates will write their dissertation based on research they have been working on and defend it in front of a dissertation committee to complete their program and earn their degree.

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Become a CIS Professional in North Carolina

While computer science used to be a brand-new career option and many professionals were self-taught, that is no longer the norm. With more and more educational options in the field, employers expect their new employees to have some form of education. However, unlike some jobs, there are no state requirements for licensure or credentials. But that doesn’t mean credentials of some kind won’t help. Certain employers will actually require certain certifications that prove you know what you’re doing in a particular field.

A computer science job applicant whose qualifications are just as high as another’s can make themselves more attractive to employers with one thing: professional computer science certifications. Earning a certification to put on your resume tells potential employers that you have the skills they are looking for. In a tight job market, that can mean the difference between being passed over or getting a job offer. There are many, many options when it comes to computer science certifications, depending on your specialty or focus. Here are just some.

  • ISACA Certified Information Systems Auditor

    For computer science and IT professionals who focus on either auditing or security, this certification is a good choice. By earning this recognition, IT professionals show they have the knowledge and skills they need to meet the ever-changing environment in an IT department.

    For this certification, candidates are required to take an examination, and they must have several years of experience in IT security, auditing, or control.

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional

    This certification is recognized around the world. A cyber security professional who earns this certification shows that they have the skills they need to protect their organization organizations from cyber-attacks.

    They must have the full range of skills needed to manage information security programs and processes and must know about engineering these applications. Before taking this certification, the professional should ensure that they have the technical skills required.

  • CompTIA Cloud Essentials

    This certification is native to the CompTIA suite. The study program and exam go over cloud computing information and knowledge. This program also provides information on visualization skills and the certification is intended to build upon a foundation.

  • Apple Certified Support Professional

    Help desk employees and technical coordinators are the intended audience for this certification. Professionals responsible for providing tech support for Apple users or managing computer networks will find this certification helpful.

    Once they earn their certification, these professionals should be familiar with macOS functionality and should be able to troubleshoot and configure key services as well.

Careers for Computer Science Graduates

  • Software Tester

    This professional designs testing scenarios to determine the usability of software. They run the tests and write detailed reports on usability any possible defects. The production team acts on this report to make any needed changes.

    Software testers may also communicate with clients as a way of understanding what they need from the software so they should be skilled in conversing with others and possess current knowledge of both software test design and programming.

  • Systems Analyst

    This professional is responsible for helping to meet an organization’s business needs in terms of computer systems. They accomplish this by choosing and implementing information systems, databases, and other tech solutions. They also maintain systems and provide support.

    A bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering, information systems, or technology is required. After some time as a systems analyst, they may move into supervisory or project management roles.

  • Business Analyst

    A business analyst obtains business data to develop insights on the organization and suggest any changes they think are necessary. They focus on finding and identifying issues throughout the organization, which they present to executives for discussion and implementation of changes. Areas the business analyst may study may include staff development or organizational structure.

    This professional is vital in helping organizations to become leaner and lower their costs. Typical tasks may include:

    • Budgeting, forecasting, and carrying out financial and variance analysis
    • Using specific software to analyze large data sets
    • Developing financial models used to help decision makers
    • Pulling together tables, charts, and other data
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  • Cyber Security Analyst

    A cyber security analyst may be the only protection professional in an organization or they may be one of a larger team. Their responsibility is to monitor computer networks and keep an eye out for attempted break-ins or evidence of previous intrusions. If they find evidence of unauthorized entry, their role becomes one of defense. They may actively attempt to remove an unwanted presence from a system, or they may work to create new firewall protections to stop another intrusion in the future.

    Some of the responsibilities of a cyber security analyst include:

    • Overseeing network traffic and looking for any intrusions
    • Carrying out risk assessments or trying to penetrate systems for testing purposes
    • Investigating attempted or successful intrusions and responding as they happen
    • Researching threats
    • Writing reports of any intrusions
    • Creating and promoting best practices
    • Installing software
    • Correcting any vulnerabilities
  • UI Developer

    A UI developer focuses on the look and usability of a website, making it attractive and intuitive for those who use the site. UI developers may also work on applications that ensure usability and attractiveness, which they can market to companies looking for easy to use solutions when they are developing their own sites. One example would be a cart widget used to allow customers to quickly and safely check out from an E-commerce website.

    A successful UI developer is fully familiar in using specific computer languages such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. Teamwork is a must; this developer works with other professionals who contribute to the completion of an app or website.

  • Application Developer

    This professional may also be called a software architect or software developer. In their role, they write and edit source code which is used in software applications. The developer should have solid knowledge of software engineering, strong analytical skills, and more. Developers focus on meeting client or consumer needs.

Computer Science Career Paths for Graduates

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