What is Computer Science?
Computer Science is the branch of knowledge concerned with information processing or computing. It studies the fundamental capabilities and limitations of computers, the structures used to represent information, and the implementation of systems to perform information processing. Students of Computer Science work to understand both the theory of computation and the concrete applications of such theories. Here at Pacific University, we strive to give each student a strong foundation in the fundamentals of Computer Science as well as to place these theories in a real world context within our courses.
Why study Computer Science?
Students in Computer Science will be well prepared for life after college in graduate school or in an industry position. The skills gained while pursuing a Computer Science degree go far beyond software development and programming and are attractive to many employers. Some of those skills include:
- Technical Skills: programming skills, experience with industry standard software packages and hardware
- Critical Thinking: breaking problems into manageable units, reasoning algorithmically, evaluating solutions, and identifying theoretical concepts to apply to real-world problems
- Communication: documenting solutions, distilling a problem down to its computational essence, and describing technical solutions to peers and non-technical personnel.
- Organization: working in teams, planning complex tasks, and managing your time.
With computers so prevalent in society, many employers are looking for high skilled individuals who can develop software, manage computer, interact with technical consulting companies, or design and oversee the company's computing resources.
What jobs will be available after I graduate?
Potential employers include:
- Software Companies
- State and Local Governments
- Environmental Firms
- Manufacturing Plants
- Healthcare firms
- Public schools
- Public utilities
- Energy companies
- Federal Government Agencies
- Defense Industries
- Telecommunications Companies
- Law Firms
- Entertainment Companies
The Oregon Labor Market Information System, run by the Oregon Employment Department, projects Computer and Mathematical jobs to grow by over 18% between 2004 and 2014 in the state of Oregon. Included in this group are Systems Analysts, Computer Programmers, Database Administrators, Network Systems Analysts, and Statisticians, among others. The projected growth rate of each of these careers is between 9% and 25%.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook, produced by the US Department of Labor, projects a similar outlook. The Handbook lists Software Developers, Database Administrators, and Computer Systems Analysts as among the high growth industries for the next 10 years.
The US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics states, with regard to Tomorrow's Jobs:
"Employment in professional, scientific, and technical services will grow by 28.4 percent and add 1.9 million new jobs by 2014. Employment in computer systems design and related services will grow by 39.5 percent and add almost one-fourth of all new jobs in professional, scientific, and technical services. Employment growth will be driven by the increasing reliance of businesses on information technology and the continuing importance of maintaining system and network security. Management, scientific, and technical consulting services also will grow very rapidly, by 60.5 percent, spurred by the increased use of new technology and computer software and the growing complexity of business."
Occupations with the Most New Jobs:
(Bachelor's Degrees 2002-2012)
1. Elementary School Teachers, except special education
2. Accountants and Auditors
3. Computer Systems Analysts
4. Secondary School Teachers, except special and vocational education
5. Computer Software Engineers, applications
6. Special Education Teachers
7. Computer Software Engineers, systems software
8. Network Systems and Data Communication Analysts
9. Network and Computer System Administrators
10. Computer Programmers