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General Information About Computer Science
The computer science program at MSU is a professional program. The expectation is that virtually all of its graduates will enter the profession of computer science upon graduation, or after completing graduate work in the field. The computer science curriculum has a core of courses designed to accomplish two primary objectives:

1) provide practical knowledge that will be of immediate use in the profession, and

2) provide a solid foundation in theoretical computer science so that graduates will have the fundamentals necessary to acquire knowledge in a rapidly evolving discipline. We are dedicated to prepare and develop students to be the next generation of scientists, and professionals who will be able to effectively compete in the changing global society.

Career Options

Computer systems consist of software, hardware, people, and data. Careers available to those with a computer science degree can be understood in terms of one of these major areas.

Computer scientists who work with software can be involved in the development of new software (programs) or in the maintenance of existing systems. In small computer organizations, one person may see a project through all phases of software development, from analyzing the need, to designing and coding the solution, to installing the final product for the end user. In larger departments, the tasks of analysis, design, implementation, testing, and installation may be divided among many different people or teams. Some computer scientists work in new areas of software capability, such as artificial intelligence, while others are concerned with specialized software application in areas like scientific computation and computer graphics.

Although the task of designing new hardware systems typically falls to electrical engineers, the job of keeping computers, peripherals, and networks running smoothly and efficiently falls to computer scientists. These computer scientists, often called system administrators or network administrators, become proficient in using and modifying the complicated system software that governs the behavior of computers and networks.

Entry level computer jobs that are centered around people include positions that focus on sales and service of a particular product. In addition, there are an increasing number of positions for computer professionals who train the non-computer scientists of a company and troubleshoot a variety of software and hardware products for them. Later in a career, a computer scientist may hold a position focused on managing a number of other computer professionals.

Jobs in data and information services provide many new opportunities for computer scientists. With the rapid growth of the Internet, companies are recognizing the value of information and the challenge of retrieving pertinent information. A degree in computer science can be an important starting point for a career in data and information management.