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
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.
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
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.