If you’ve been contemplating a graduate education in computer science, one of the highest-paying master’s degrees, you might wonder if you’re too late. After all, computer technology has advanced at a rapid pace over the last few decades. If you’re worried that the scope of potential improvement of modern computer technology is too small to continue supporting the sustained growth of computer science careers, it may ease your mind to know that the field is still thriving. Two areas of computer science that are far from obsolete are improving existing systems and models of computer technology and expanding the use of technology into other products and industries.
Advances in Improving Computer Technology
Not so long ago, relatively speaking, computers used to be massive, scarce and require advanced technical training to operate. Computers today are everywhere, much easier and more intuitive to use and often small enough to fit inside a mobile phone or a smartwatch. This doesn’t mean that new advances in the field of computer science are no longer being made. Instead, a lot of the advances in computer science today involve expanding and improving the use of computer technology beyond its current uses and capabilities.
For example, some experts in computer science are working to change the foundations of artificial intelligence systems and machine learning models. These innovations can help existing and emerging computer technologies learn, adapt and process information in ways that are more similar to the human brain – and, as a result, more intuitive to use. Although theoretical in nature, research into computer learning can have a profound impact on computer technologies of all kinds.
Although many aspects of computer science have changed a lot in recent years, some of the theoretical underpinnings of how computers work are much the same as they were back when the first computational model for artificial neural networks was developed in the 1940s.
Expanding The Use of Computer Technology
While it may seem like computers are everywhere, the market isn’t saturated yet – especially to skilled and resourceful computer science professionals who can dream up innovative new uses for existing technology.
When the World Wide Web was developed in 1990, this innovation wasn’t the end of work involving the Internet. If anything, it was a new beginning. Now that the World Wide Web existed, it could be used in ways and for purposes that were previously unimaginable. Eventually, different kinds of media could be accessed through the Internet, full-length and high-definition video content could be streamed, and interactions like real-time video calls became possible. Companies in all industries started to use websites, not only for marketing purposes but also for practical purposes of online shopping, scheduling service appointments and more.
Although the invention of the Internet is arguably one of the biggest advances in the field of computer science, the same is true of other computer technologies. While today’s cars include the technology to sense concerns within and around the vehicle, other professionals in the field of computer science are working on creating fully autonomous vehicles. Although artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistants like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa have existed for years, professionals in computer science are still implementing these technologies into other systems. For example, computer science and engineering professionals are integrating Amazon’s Alexa artificial intelligence system into the dashboard multimedia systems of cars, connecting them to smart home technologies and developing new devices, including wearable smartwatches, that use the technology.
Other potential areas of focus for modern work in computer science include cloud computing, mobile computing technologies and cyber threats. These areas of the field, in particular, are relevant in almost any industry. Companies and organizations of all kinds are increasingly turning to cloud computing for security and convenience and making use of mobile device technology, including commissioning the development of their own mobile applications. Cyber threats are a concern in just about any industry that deals with data, including healthcare, legal, banking and finance, insurance and even retail. In these areas, in particular, skills in computer science are far from obsolete.
IMAGE SOURCE: Pixabay, public domain
Although there may be fewer opportunities for today’s computer scientists to pioneer brand new technologies, the upside is that working in computer science now means having access to more tools and technologies than ever before that you can use to build your contributions to the field.