CU Denver Professor Dave Ogle, PhD, lecturing students in class.

What Can You Do with a Computer Science Degree? 

March 21, 2024

Curiosity feeds the mind, and for many wanting to enter a tech-related career, the question “What can you do with a computer science degree?” looms large. In an age where technology is the heartbeat of society, a computer science degree is more than just a qualification—it’s a gateway to a life of innovation, creativity, and strong career potential.  

While it is a wide field offering unique career avenues, some common applications for people with a computer science degree are:  

  • Software Engineer/Developer: Responsible for designing, developing, and testing software applications. Software engineers play a pivotal role in creating innovative solutions across various industries. 
  • AI and Machine Learning Engineer/Data Scientist/Data Analyst: With expertise in data analysis, machine learning, and statistical modeling, data scientists and data analysts extract valuable insights from large datasets to drive informed decision-making. 
  • Cybersecurity Analyst: In an era of increasing cyber threats, cybersecurity analysts are tasked with safeguarding digital assets, identifying vulnerabilities, and implementing robust security measures to protect organizations from malicious attacks. 
  • Web Developer: Web developers specialize in building dynamic and interactive websites and web applications, utilizing programming languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and frameworks like React and Angular. 
  • Systems Analyst: Systems analysts evaluate existing computer systems, identify areas for improvement, and recommend enhancements to streamline operations and enhance efficiency. 
  • Software Quality Assurance Engineer: QA engineers perform rigorous testing procedures and troubleshoot issues to ensure the reliability and functionality of software products. 

At CU Denver, computer science students are trailblazers of the digital age, poised to make their mark in a world shaped by bytes, algorithms, and qubits. Computer science grads are hard at work developing the next breakthrough app, parsing deep into endlessly vast datasets, or unraveling the mysteries hidden within machine learning—the possibilities are as limitless as the imagination itself.  

CU Denver Undergraduate Computer Science Programs 

At CU Denver, our computer science programs cater to a diverse range of undergraduate students, by offering both Bachelor of Science (BS) and Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees in Computer Science, and a Computer Science Minor. Students can also choose a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity.  

Tech develops quickly, so our computer science faculty makes great efforts to keep curriculum up to date. We hire in areas that are desired in industry—areas faculty need to teach. They bring in materials that are novel and relevant. Topics such as mobile computing, data science, machine learning, and cybersecurity, all areas that are of high interest for workforce development.

—Farnoush Banaei-Kashani, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering

BS Computer Science 

The BS in Computer Science program at CU Denver provides students with a comprehensive understanding of core computer science principles, programming languages, algorithms, and software development methodologies. With a strong emphasis on theoretical foundations and practical application, students delve into areas such as: 

  • Data Structures and Algorithms 
  • Operating Systems 
  • Software Engineering 
  • Artificial Intelligence 
  • Database Management Systems 
  • Cyber Physical Systems 

For the BS, you get the full breadth, and you get exposed, during your junior and senior years, to some interesting deep computer science that could get you ready to jumpstart your graduate studies or do other things in industry, beyond software engineering, like machine learning, data science—things that are in high demand out there.

—Farnoush Banaei-Kashani, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering

The curriculum is designed to equip graduates with the technical skills and problem-solving abilities necessary to thrive in various roles across the tech industry. 

BA CS+ Program 

The BA CS+ program offers a more interdisciplinary approach that combines computer science coursework with studies in fields such as mathematics, business, or the arts. This program is ideal for students interested in leveraging their computer science skills with other specialized domains to pursue careers that demand a broader skill set or earn a second undergraduate degree to quickly retrain into a computer science career. 

A student in CSCI 3762 (Network Programming) reviews his codebase during lecture.
A student in CSCI 3762 (Network Programming) reviews his codebase during lecture.

Computer Science Jobs 

CU Denver graduates are well-positioned to pursue a multitude of exciting career opportunities in the tech industry. In terms of what you can do with a computer science degree from CU Denver, internal data show strong placement and income for these roles: 

 

 

A degree in computer science from CU Denver opens doors to exciting career paths in the ever-evolving tech industry. With a solid foundation in computer science principles and practical experience gained through coursework and internships, graduates are poised to make meaningful contributions and thrive in today’s digital economy. 

Our alumni are not only within big tech companies…they are also spread around. They show up in small businesses, performing well in roles that mix computer science with a variety of other specialties.

—Farnoush Banaei-Kashani, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Farnoush Banaei-Kashani, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering 

Dr. Banaei-Kashani currently directs three U.S. DoEd GAANN Ph.D. Fellowship Programs in “Big Data Science and Engineering,” “Data-Driven Cybersecurity,” and “Infrastructure Informatics,” as well as an MS track in “Data Science in Biomedicine.” He is passionate about performing fundamental research toward building practical, large-scale data-intensive systems, with a particular interest in Intelligent Data-driven decision-making Systems (IDSs), i.e., systems that automate the process of decision-making by applying data scientific solutions to big data. He has organized his research and education activities around two tracks: a Data Science track and a Data Management, Mining and Modeling (machine learning) track.