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Emerging/Unnoticed areas to look for CS Careers?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I don't see this mentioned often. There are certain areas in the U.S. like Silicon Valley that are the popular places to be for technology jobs. Needless to say, those places are very competitive, and especially difficult to penetrate if one lives far away like I do. I just received a recruitment communication from a company in Palo Alto, so that got me thinking about where I could realistically end up right out of college in a year and a half.

I'd like to know if there are other less-known areas, maybe because they are still emerging or are just under the radar, with great computer science prospects, good pay, low cost of living, a good area to be in (or some combination of those) that you all would recommend exploring.
post #2 of 8
By "areas", I'm assuming you "locations", not "fields of work"

If my assumption above is correct, then there are a lot of them. Seattle has been a tech hub for a while, and Denver is rapidly growing in that area. The DC area and New York have a lot of technology jobs, and both Texas and North Dakota have a lot of technology work associated with fossil fuel extraction.

Frankly, CS jobs exist in pretty much every city in the US. And that's helped by the Internet allowing remote consulting/project development. It's more a matter of finding companies in whatever area you want to work than it is finding an area with companies in it.
post #3 of 8
CS is pretty much everywhere from basic IT software development to research and all the 'head in the clouds' type stuff. Being on the east coast I have found that the NYC up to Albany NY area, known as 'tech valley' there (global foundries, IBM, GE and other big names are in this 200 mile stretch) as well as around the DC area are really big for tech jobs. I would say the capital area might be bigger than the NY area from what I've seen in terms of overall positions hired, the government and gov't contractors hire constantly.
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post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
@Nick: Yeah, I meant locations, didn't think to make that distinction.

Thanks to both of you. I'm well aware that I can get a job in basically any field as a CSci major. I guess my thought process here is for finding growing hubs for this kind of work as a starting place to look for companies.

There's just so many places I could go that I don't know where to begin looking for work. It doesn't help that I have no idea what I want to work in.
post #5 of 8
Instead of focusing on location (as everyone said, everywhere!), I'd consider doing an internship before graduating and focusing more on gaining skills. This is a bit of a tangent, but SQL and .NET are probably the most neglected, most in-demand skills that could help a CS major. Java is big, but everyone does Java (Java and C++ are the majority of what is taught in universities). Management Information Systems is another big field (they do .NET and SQL), so having some familiarity with that will give you an edge and a wider array of job opportunities.

Try this. http://www.indeed.com/ . Now, search nationwide for just one keyword at a time. Try "SQL", ".NET", "Java", "C++", etc. - include whatever languages you know. There are 98,000 jobs listed that involve SQL, 65,000 that involve Java or C++. Anyway, you could shoot for low competition by going to some middle-of-nowhere, dead-end company or by choosing a niche, or by doing something to make yourself stand out. Going to campus job fairs, getting involved with clubs related to computer science (like Robotics club, for example), are ways to put you above the competition.

What else is big? Algorithms, Machine Learning (I'm guessing you'll probably take courses in these). There's a ton of money in becoming a Quantitative Analyst on Wall Street ($120-150k starting), typically they look for people with a MS in Computer Science, which would involve working on algorithms for trading stocks.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
It's unfortunate how little actual language instruction is done in universities, but I suppose they only have so much time. I may have to broaden my coverage a bit, which stinks because I'm already in a situation of more breadth than depth in my programming knowledge.

Thanks for the response.
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by EfemaN View Post

It's unfortunate how little actual language instruction is done in universities, but I suppose they only have so much time. I may have to broaden my coverage a bit, which stinks because I'm already in a situation of more breadth than depth in my programming knowledge.

Thanks for the response.

I disagree that it's unfortunate. Frankly, learning a different programing language is really easy. Learning to think like a programmer is hard. Most companies that you work for will have their own set of best practices, their own preferred language, there own preferred compiler, etc. If schools spent all there time teaching you languages, but then the job you went to didn't use those languages, or those practices, or those compiles, you'd be up a creek without a paddle. Instead, being taught theory allows you to think like a programmer, which gives you the tools to ultimately learn any programming language you come across.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Right, I didn't word it correctly. Basically, this early on, I'm so inexperienced that having all this breadth without depth means it's difficult to get going in. Once you're experienced and can work a language well, learning another language and ramping up seems to be easier. The comment about schooling is less that they don't teach languages, but that they don't give programming instruction in general beyond the very basics. But anyway, that's off topic smile.gif
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