By Enda Glacken

Since the early 90s, the rise of information technology has been relentless. Year on year sees increasing growth and at breakneck speeds. If there were any doubts about technology after the dotcom bubble, we can safely put them to bed. Computers are here to stay, and that means : programmers, software engineers, I.T professionals are and will continue to be in huge demand for the next number of years. 

Never before has an education in I.T looked so attractive. While the world economy has been in recession over the last number of years, arguably, the I.T industry has come away the least affected. Indeed, in certain tech hubs throughout the world, the demand for skilled programmers, software engineers and data analysts is even increasing. With high salaries and the opportunity to work in funky offices ala Google / Facebook, it is no wonder that an increasing number of young people are opting to study computer science in London and programming compared to traditional routes such as business/sales.

A degree in computer science is a superb foundation to a promising career in I.T. You’ll likely spend 4 years learning the basics of programming through a specific language, often Java, and then branch out to several different languages for a wider view of the programming landscape. As with the breakneck speed of changing technologies, programming must also keep up. This means that new languages, or frameworks based on older languages are sprouting up quicker than ever before. For instance, with the development of node.js, javascript can now be used to program on the server backend rather than the frontend of websites and web apps as it was traditionally used. This has opened up a plethora of opportunities for skilled javascript coders. Jobsites are awash with requirements of frameworks such as node.js, angular.js etc.

Programming isn’t just programming anymore, there’s web development, software development, database programming, and the list goes on and on. It can all be a little confusing and overwhelming at first but doing a Bachelors in computer science is the best way to discover your particular strengths, and which track might suit you in the future.

By K.lee , via Wikimedia Commons

One of the exciting aspects of computer science and development, is the rise, rather explosion in popularity of web start ups. Major cities across the world, such as New York, San Francisco and London have traditionally been centres of innovation over the last 20 years or so, during the tech boom. But over the last few years, smaller cities across the globe are seeing startup hubs spring up out of seemingly nowhere. They all need good programmers and developers, so the increased demand is only good for the industry.

There’s obviously a reason, rather a few : the availability of cheap capital for tech startups, a large pool of young skilled programmers and developers, increasing opportunities to network, willingness to take risks.

Visit nearly any medium sized city, and you’ll find they have a startup scene. Dublin, a relatively small capital city, just had the WebSummit – an annual gathering of the tech industries brightest talent. Berlin, Amsterdam, Manchester, the list goes on. Even the Chilean government has not stood by. They have a government program that sponsors and attracts startups from around the world to come and world in Santiago to boost their sector.

Vajrapani666, via Wikimedia Commons

Then there’s games. With the advent of smartphones, tablets and powerful laptops, the demand for games has gone through the roof. Angry Birds, Farmville, Candy Crush are some of the most popular app games in history. The profit on this games is staggering and drives a huge amount of business into developers. Then there’s console gaming with titles such as Call of Duty, GTA V, that are on titanic budgets. It’s an enormous industry which also draws a huge pool of talent from computer science.

As you can see, it has never been a more attractive time to jump into an education in computers. It is here to stay for a long time, and the career outlook is very positive. My advice, start early and be prepared to work hard!   

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