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Computer science graduates are prepared to work in an ever-changing technological world. Job opportunities with highly competitive salaries are open in computer system architecture, programming, training, management, and operational specialties in all areas of the economy: retailing, banking, manufacturing, agriculture, service, education, and government, as well as computer manufacturing and software development.
About 1.2 million people are currently employed in the California Information and Technology (ICT) Workforce, across all industries. That is roughly 1 in 20 California private sector jobs. California will create 30,000 new ICT Workforce jobs and more than 80,000 ICT Workforce job openings due to replacements, for a total of more than 110,000 new and replacement jobs between 2011 and 2013. ICT Industry firms expect 8.5% employment growth and non-ICT industry companies expect -0.4% employment growth over the next 2 years. In California, the median ICT Workforce hourly wage is about 60% higher than the median wage for all jobs. Information is the second highest paying industry sector in California, after utilities. With annual earnings per worker of about $110,000, the information industry sector pays 90% higher wages than the average across all other industries in the state.
Programming is an indispensable tool in engineering, technology and many other scientific and technical fields. However, programming is a means to explore the processes of reasoning that is found between and among several different programming languages. Computer science also concentrates on areas such as artificial intelligence, graphics, distributed systems, robotics, machine vision, numerical analysis and applications of computing in other fields.
Computer science courses require a firm understanding of critical issues and concepts of computer science: problem analysis, data abstraction, algorithm development, program implementation, testing and validation, computer organization and basic system control. Other courses in the curriculum focus on skills needed for essential activities such as communicating, designing logical programs, working as a member of a project team and understanding potential areas of application. All computer science courses have both lecture and lab components. In computer labs, students analyze problems and then proceed to design, write and debug computer programs. Studying computer science demands a substantial time commitment; therefore, students should be prepared to spend a considerable amount of time on coursework.