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Computer Scientist
What a Computer Scientist Does

The term computer scientist applies to a person who can perform a wide range of jobs in information technology and related fields. A computer scientist often uses current forms of technology, or creates new ones, in order to solve complex problems, thus applying information technology principles to real-world situations. Computer scientists work as robotics researchers, hardware designers, software engineers, technology consultants, and systems analysts for universities, government organizations, and private corporations. The results of their work support our intricate and highly-computerized ways of living. Computer scientists help us maintain proper air traffic flow in the skies above our cities. Computer scientists help shipping companies distribute goods to ports around the world. Computer scientists help us become healthier by improving our medical technology. The opportunities for someone interested in becoming a computer scientist are basically limited only to the vision of the person who wishes to one day use their education to work in the field of technology.

How to Become a Computer Scientist

To work as a computer scientist, you most likely will need to earn a PhD in computer science, information technology, or a related subject area. Although this requirement applies to a majority of jobs out there, you might be able to find a job in the Federal government with only a bachelor's degree; however, you will need to pursue further education if you want to keep up with developments in the field. Generally, a PhD in computer science takes about five years to complete on top of the standard length of time required for a bachelor's degree. PhD programs will familiarize you with foundational concepts of computer science before allowing you to specialize in an area of concentration, such as robotics or software development. In addition to this extensive academic background, computer scientists have a strong sense for mathematics and other technical concerns. A computer engineer must be able to concentrate on the details, while keeping in mind the overall goals of each project. Strong communication skills allow a computer scientist to work with other employees and build projects to their needs, even if they aren't familiar with computer technology.

Career Outlook for Computer Scientists

Computer Scientists will have excellent job opportunities in the next eight years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The market for computer scientists will grow faster than usual for other jobs, most likely due to the constant demand for the development of bigger and better technological solutions in all sectors. Furthermore, as the technology improves, more computer scientists will be needed to manage and apply it. From 2008 to 2018, jobs for computer scientists are projected to grow nearly 24 percent, making this occupation one of the fastest growing occupations in the nation. In fact, BLS has found that many companies often say that they cannot find enough employees to fill computer-related positions. Once hired, computer scientists tend to work for very good money. In May of 2008, the median annual salary of computer scientists was $97,970, and the top ten percent of computer scientists earned $151,250. Although only a few earned this much, it speaks to the great earning potential for someone interested in becoming a computer scientist.