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Computer Scientist

Computer science is the study of how data and instructions are processed, stored and communicated by computers. It involves designing software and addressing important scientific questions about computing procedures but also involves many aspects of hardware and physical components of a large computer systems.

In a nutshell, computer scientists are scientists and mathematicians who develop new ways to process, understand, store, communicate, and secure data. They also create the brains in our smartphones, they keep airplanes from falling out of the sky, they help surgeons do a better job and automate machines, to name but a few.

If you are interested in a career as a computer scientist, visit Qualifax (www.qualifax.ie) to search for relevant courses at all levels and entry points.

Some alternative job titles for this role

  • Computer Engineer
  • Software Scientist
  • Software Engineer
  • Computing and Information Scientists

What the job involves 

  • Solve computing and maths-related problems and challenges
  • Develop new products 
  • Research and develop new designs, hardware, techniques and materials
  • Research modelling procedures (replicate a process using a computer)
  • Work as part of a research team with programmers, IT professionals, and mechanical, electrical or software engineers to solve problems and create new products
  • Study and investigate technology such as artificial intelligence, robotics or virtual reality
  • Improve the performance of existing computer systems and software

How your career can develop

Graduate computer scientists can work across a huge selection of career fields with plenty of opportunities to specialise and grow. 

Why it matters?

The Higher Education Authority’s annual survey of graduate prospects shows computer science students are most likely to be snapped up by employers after graduation. Some 77% of computer science graduates with an honours bachelor (level 8) degree last year were in employment nine months after graduation. 

Skills

  • Excellent maths skills
  • Excellent computer and technology knowledge and skills
  • Ability to analyse problems 
  • An analytical approach to work and problem solving
  • Attention to detail 
  • Strong ability to solve problems
  • A born organiser – able to organise and classify large amounts of information

Typical employers

  • Research foundations
  • Large computer and software companies
  • Social media companies
  • Government
  • Large manufacturers
  • Financial service providers

Typical salary 

  • Graduate/Starting      €30,000
  • Senior/Potential        €65,000+

Typical qualifications

A computer science or computer science and information technology degree is the norm. Gateway degrees also include Electronic Engineering, Software Engineering, Physics and Mathematics. Postgraduate study to PhD level is common in the profession, especially in academic research.

Alternative routes to a bachelor’s degree in this area may apply to students that have a PLC qualification in a related course or general computing/IT certification or diploma. For further details on eligibility requirements for third level entry following a PLC qualification, students should visit the CAO course search at Careerportal.ie

Further information