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Non-Programming Jobs For a Computer Science Major?

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the not-quite-what-you-expected dept.

Programming 936

An anonymous reader writes "I recently graduated from a 'major' university in America with a BS degree in Computer Science. I unfortunately must admit that I am not very skilled with programming. I finished with the degree, and I've spent much of my college career working a job doing technical support (fixing laptops, troubleshooting Windows problems, etc). What jobs can I get with a computer science degree that are NOT mainly programming jobs? A little programming wouldn't be bad, but none would be preferred. And what kind of salaries do these jobs typically fetch?"

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Geek Squad (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24017967)


Program Manager (5, Interesting)

MarkPNeyer (729607) | more than 6 years ago | (#24017987)

You could get a job as a Program Manager or similar position. They do more design work than actual programming. Those positions pay about the same as programming positions.

Re:Program Manager (4, Informative)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018143)

Where I work (large company), Program Manager is in the business and writes requirements. Project Manager is the I/T function that deals with the schedules. Program Managers need to understand the processes in the business in order to document them.

If you want to continue in a more technical vein, then System Engineering, DBA, Network Administrators, etc. all would be a good fit.

Incidentally, Project Management is the fastest way into people management around here. So if you have aspirations in that direction, go get your PMP certification (Project Management Professional). While it's "just a piece of paper", for some reason people like it.


Re:Program Manager (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018161)

Also, database work needs a somewhat different thought process than programming, and people who have trouble with one often do much better with the other. (Which isn't to say that there aren't plenty of people who are good at both, or at neither.)

Re:Program Manager (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018197)

Yeah, because all we *really* need is a CS guy who can't program running our software engineering projects. I hear Microsoft does that a lot.

A BS degree in computer science indeed.

Re:Program Manager (3, Insightful)

Altus (1034) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018345)

better than letting them code.

How about (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24017989)

How good are you at computer security? You could be a penetration tester or security consultant.

Re:How about (4, Funny)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018009)

Yeah, like your average slashdot geek knows about penetration... /sarcasm

Waiter at Denny's (5, Funny)

swb311 (1165753) | more than 6 years ago | (#24017999)


McDonalds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018007)

You can become a chef at the double arches. I hear they make $6 to $9 per hour and the work requires 0 programming.

Accenture... (5, Funny)

Kr3m3Puff (413047) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018017)

Accenture is always looking for fresh faced graduates who can't actually do anything.

Re:Accenture... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018167)

Why is this modded "funny"? It's insightful as hell.

Re:Accenture... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018257)

As a former Accenture employee I can tell you that this is 100% true, but a few years at Accenture right out of college sure looks good on your resume.

Re:Accenture... (5, Funny)

dedazo (737510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018363)

You were modded funny, but your comment is right spot on. Also, their pay is commensurate to actually doing nothing.

If I had a nickel for every smart Accenture consultant I've ever met, I'd had me a whole dime.

Admin Jobs (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018021)

With that Degree you can apply for admin positions... maybe systems...which may require a little windows scripting, but also network admin, or even a managerial position over a help desk!

Whatever you do find... good luck!

Depends (4, Interesting)

sjbe (173966) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018025)

What else besides Computer Science do you know something about? Your degree is only limiting if it is the only experience you actually have. If you have some real world experience then do whatever you know how to do.

Go back to school. Get an MBA. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018027)

Mouth breathing PHB's will throw gobs of money at you because you have both a technical and a business degree.

Have you considered management? (2, Funny)

PhyrricVictory (773671) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018029)

Have you considered management? ;) Sorry, I couldn't resist.

BS? (5, Funny)

AllIGotWasThisNick (1309495) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018031)

with a BS

Looks like you'd be perfect for management.

What do you WANT to do? (4, Insightful)

BradleyAndersen (1195415) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018033)

You don't say whether or not you even want to use the degree ... are you interested in CS at all? If you are, there are plenty of IT jobs sans programming ... Sys Admins typically start out well enough and need to do some scripting, but not generally too much programming (where scripting = perl and programming = java, for example). Do what makes you happy, or you'll end up a crusty old man better armed than your local militias ...

Would you like fries with that? (1, Insightful)

madcowtrav (1285772) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018035)

McDonald's is always hiring and Washington has the highest minimum wage at $8.07/hr

Anonymous (5, Funny)

daliman (626662) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018039)

Yes, anonymous was probably the right way to go with that submission on this site ;)

I hate to be the bearer of bad news.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018043)

But I'm afraid it's MickyD's for you my friend.

Entry level QA (4, Informative)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018045)

You can probably get QA easily enough, especially if you can write automation scripts or programs.

Pay is probably 3/4 of a programming position.

Re:Entry level QA (2, Informative)

d3matt (864260) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018153)

My best offer coming out of school was for a QA position. I took it with the intention of moving over to development at a later date (which I finally did!).

Re:Entry level QA (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018211)

Not only that, a lot of QA (or QE, Quality Engineer) positions prefer people with a Computer Science degree.

The pay will depend on the place, although generally yes most organizations don't realize just how valuable good QA & QE are...

Re:Entry level QA (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018293)

There's good money to be made in software testing, but make sure that you land in a mature organization that has it's QA/QC processes ironed out.
If not, you won't learn much and probably burn out in a few years.

It helps to have some background in project management, program management, business architecture, development, etc.

Re:Entry level QA (5, Insightful)

RazorBlade99 (69657) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018413)

Just wish people quit pushing the ones that can't hack in CS to QA. I work for a software company as a developer, but so wish the QA people aren't just CS rejects. They need to be good at what they do and good QA people are hard to find. There can be a lot of scripting and programming in QA in the right environment and not just script monkeys that runs what they are told. QA really is a calling.

There are lots of possibilities (5, Informative)

kgb1001001 (199064) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018049)

Project Management
Product Support
Software Sales
Systems Administration

Programming is just one part of computer science; there are needs for all of these other areas as well.

Tech Support? (1)

frission (676318) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018055)

If you like doing tech support, why not start your own business as a at-home tech support. Like the Geek Squad, but without having to answer to anyone but yourself?

Re:Tech Support? (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018203)

If he is fresh out of school, it would be good to go full time into a tech environment before starting his own business. There are some really important pieces to running a business besides the tech part. I paid for part of my college education by building PCs. If I tried to translate that into running a business at that point in my life, I would have flopped.

The bottom line is the question asker did not provide enough information to adequately answer his post.

Non-programming jobs (2, Informative)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018059)

You could go into management. An MBA helps but is not essential. Just check the mirror first, if you see pointy hair sticking up above the ears, do NOT get into management in any technical arena, you won't be doing the rest of us any favors. *joke*.

If you can do "lite" programming, running a web site, doing system administration, or database administration might be your cup of tea.

You could also consider hardware work or being a technical instructor. There is a demand for teachers for high-school/trade-school-level certifications such as A+. There is also a need for technical instructors who can teach "office" skills or "lite database" skills such as beginning and intermediate Microsoft Access.

You probably have a math or science background. Have you considered teaching these classes at the secondary or community college level?

Sysadmin? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018061)

If you're into troubleshooting, I'd say system/network administration. Setting up routers, RAID, virtualization, etc.

Re:Sysadmin? (1)

archen (447353) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018295)

Was going to post the same thing myself. I think however this comes down to why he does not like, or is not good at programming. If you have solid logic skills then honestly the entire IT field will work well with your style of thinking, and for that matter most computer related tasks seem to have a very similar mindset. If however you don't like the logic behind programming, chances are you're not going to be all that great at troubleshooting either (which is just more logic).

A networking job of some sort would get my vote, although a BS in computer science may not open the right doors for that. Jokes aside, doing management might not be such a bad avenue either.

Applied Statistics (3, Informative)

Kensai7 (1005287) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018069)

Are you good at maths? I would probably say something like statistics in applied disciplines such as Biomedicine. Medical Scientists and Researchers are always short off smart guys who can help them analyze data and publish fancy data reports.

Off the top of my head... (4, Informative)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018077)

What jobs can I get with a computer science degree that are NOT mainly programming jobs?

A lot of jobs you could get with any or no degree: financial services; screenwriter; salesman; etceta. If a job doesn't require a specific degree, and few do (accounting, law, medical fields, anything that requires certification), then you could probably get involved even if it's unrelated.

SysAdmin, Security Analyst, White Hat (1)

GeckoFood (585211) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018079)

You could pursue being a sysadmin. There is a little bit of shell-scripting involved but *typically* little coding of software.

Another possibility is to go into system securtity and hardening. There is a market for people who know how to lock down systems and keep out the riff-raff.

Still another is to find a job as a white hat. We have a few of them where I work, and their job it to try to violate the network and tell the systems folks how they broke through (and how to fix it).

There *are* non-coding jobs that pay. For an entry level position, it will depend on where you are and who hires you as well as sector of the market.

QA (2, Interesting)

Kevin72594 (1301889) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018081)

A QA Engineer position or really anything in a QA department may be a good fit. As far as I know you can get pretty comparable salaries as a programmer as well.

Systems Administration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018087)

Though it does take experience, most sys admins do not need to code. Learning a scripting language helps, but it isn't a requirement.

Unix is still a hot market and some companies will train you to learn about their environment.

That all depends on you (5, Informative)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018089)

You are in a unique position; us programmers can't stand to be in management, we simply cannot do our jobs there (not to mention we're slightly introverts!). If you are skilled and don't mind managing, you can bring home a decent wage. Especially if you know how to manage programmers! Good management for a development team is a sorely needed position.

Just my $0.02. Any fellow programmers want to back me up or dispute my claims?

Well.... (3, Interesting)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018093)

I find it a little difficult how you made it through a CS degree without working on code. Then again, "programming" is not experience in one language or expertise in using pre-built functions. If you know algorithms, logic and how a piece of generic code works, you are already a programmer. You just haven't done it long enough to become biased on one language. That will come in time.

So, do just not enjoy programming or do you not know enough?

A System Admin or "plumber" is your best bet for getting a job. It really depends then on your experience with certain platforms, programs, System tools, etc. Same goes for a Network Admin, email admin, etc.

I still wonder how you hacked it through a Computer Science degree without loving code. Why didn't you get a Business IS or Business degree instead?

Tech Support? (2, Insightful)

ryanisflyboy (202507) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018095)

How do you graduate with a CS degree, and not know how to program? What kind of CS program are they running at this 'major' university?

Tech support? Your experience is TECH SUPPORT?!?!?

Maybe if you work hard you'll make assistant tech support manager some day.

Your best bet at this point is to either beef up your scripting skills, networking skills (or both) and jump over to system administration where a degree is almost ancillary. Entry level positions typically start in a NOC, and go up from there.

Re:Tech Support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018395)

Im a programming, not a manager. He is right. I like being told what needs to be done and then doing it. I dont have to worry about anything else. I dont even have a telephone! Its great :)

Lawyer (4, Insightful)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018109)

If your grades were decent, consider law school. People who are successful there aren't only good BSers, but have a strong sense of logic, generally something you possess if you're into programming or math.

Of course, if your grades in programming weren't that good, don't let that stop you. The practice of law is overrated. :-)

What school? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018111)

Please let me know what school you went to so I can make sure my kids DO NOT go there. If they gave you a CS degree and you're not very good at programming and don't want to program, then they're doing it wrong.

SQA/Test (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018119)

I would think a CS degree could be quite useful in an SQA position. Understanding how software is built is very helpful when trying to figure out test strategies. Plus, there is oftentimes a need for scripting for automated testing, so the ability to code is also highly valued. Depending on how much of your coursework was devoted to testing philosophies, techniques and tools, you might consider taking a course or two to come up to speed on this branch of computer science. Another advantage of this path is there is a clear growth path from tester, to test-writer, to test plan writer to SQA group manager.

Those you can't do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018123)

Manage. Program manager/Project Manager. Although, you sounds like you are ripe for an MBA. Go back to school, work on your MBA and "find yourself". Good Luck-

why major? (1)

norbac (1113477) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018131)

Why exactly did you major in CS if you don't like programming? Isn't that the point? And, how exactly did you finish your major without much programming skills?

please, don't try sysadmin (3, Interesting)

alta (1263) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018141)

In every company I've worked at, from ones with thousands of employees, to ones with a dozen, we have learned that programmers make horrible sysadmins. I don't know if it's the training they receive, a personality thing, or what... So please don't do it!

Now if you told me you FAILED at being a good programmer, I'd hire you on the spot as a sysadmin ;)

Re:please, don't try sysadmin (1)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018315)

I'm curious why. I went from programmer in school to sysadmin due to lack of programmer positions in my area and the job was open. Now, I hate the developers, I hate the programmers and I can't stand the shortcuts they make and poor decisions they make. Knowing what I know from both sides makes me a better Sysadmin I feel.

Re:please, don't try sysadmin (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018417)

From the question:

I unfortunately must admit that I am not very skilled with programming.

Looks like you need to hire him.

Nothing wrong with support jobs (4, Interesting)

sirwired (27582) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018145)

I do enterprise level tech support for a tech company you most certainly have heard of, supporting $M+ installations of computer storage. I've done this for just under a decade, and make pretty excellent money doing it. My salary right out of school was in line with the students that did take dev jobs.

Before graduating, my experience was identical to yours, doing PC work, a little bit of web work here and there, etc.

Except for a couple of scripts here and there, I have not written a line of "real" code since day one.

I was actually pretty decent at programming, but didn't enjoy it. (I was a CompE, not a CompSci.)

I am pretty concerned that it is July and you don't have a job yet. The "college hiring cycle" is kinda over... That means you may be stuck with true entry-level jobs, instead of the "college hire" jobs, which in my company anyway, are a bit different. (An entry-level support tech is going to be working the call center, while a college-hire tech is going to be working in Level 2 or 3, right off the bat (with a whole lot of OJT, of course.))


QA (1)

thehickcoder (620326) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018149)

Have you considered a position in Quality Assurance? I started my career there and someone with the knowledge to test the boundary conditions and intelligently describe a bug as well as the steps needed to reproduce it is very valuable. Unless you are doing test automation there is little to no programming involved. The bad side is the salary is not that great and the job can be tedious.

People skills (5, Funny)

BorgDrone (64343) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018151)

Well, you could take the specification from the customer, to the programmers.

If you've got people skill that is.

CS Degree != programmer (1)

soast (690658) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018155)

If you wanted to be a programmer you should have went to a school for programming. Computer science (or computing science) is the study and the science of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their implementation and application in computer systems. (wiki) You solve the computing problem and let a programmer program it for you. You don't get a business degree to work as an employee or do you.

Re:CS Degree != programmer (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018369)

I dunno what CS degrees you know of - my program (note this was University of Tulsa - Math and CompSci dept. circa 1989-1993) taught us data structures, computer architecture, database development, programming practices, and we had to write a LOT OF PROGRAMS. We also learned bits of project management and spec writing. However, I wrote a lot of programs: compilers, assembly, SQL, implemnting algorithms... we did a lot of small-scale concept-to-implementation stuff over the 4 years.

Re:CS Degree != programmer (1)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018403)

I dunno, my school's CS department didn't consider programming "optional". It was very heavy on actual programming for the first two years.

Government (2, Interesting)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018159)

Federal government is an excellent way to go, particularly if you are elligible for a security clearance, and able to take the time needed to get one. I'm a code monkey myself, but many of my friends went into Department of Defense fresh out of a CS undergrad and the most coding they seem to do is the occasional bit of scripting to make their true task easier.

Analyst or QA position? (3, Informative)

revlayle (964221) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018173)

(sorry if already mentioned)

Maybe going into a Business Analyst position any sort of Software/Development Analyst might be for you? They gather requirements and provide functional and sometimes technical specification documents for software dev shops.

...OR... QA with a programming knowledge can garner good money at some companies these days.


Customer support jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018177)

I know a lot of companies have customer support jobs who primarily take customer issues and store them as bugs. I dont think there is much programming required there.

Testing/QA (1)

Flyin Fungi (888671) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018181)

You can get a job doing testing work. Your job will consist mainly of running through a bunch of tests every 2 weeks to a month to check if there are any bugs with the latest build. However there are many testing jobs that require programming, testing code, automation, etc. You should be able to find a job though you can get away with no coding. I have some coworkers who never programmed anything here and are in testing, but I have some that's 1/2 of what they do. You can make anywhere from 40-60k starting plus benefits doing testing. If you get good you can manage the team or a project in the future and make anywhere from 80-100k. Testing isn't for everyone though and there are a TON of different kinds of testing in the field.

Duhh US Government as a Programmer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018185)

You can be a programmer, make the bucks and do nothing for 30..40..50..65 years and retire. All without producing anything...

technical writer (5, Funny)

Maglos (667167) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018189)

If you did good in english, you could write documentation.

Educational technology (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018191)

Many Educational Technology positions like a BS/BA, and don't require programming. Look for things like "instructional designer" and such...

What exactly is it you don't like? (2, Insightful)

intx13 (808988) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018199)

As is said often on Slashdot (and bears repeating), CS is not software engineering and there are many opportunities in the field that are not assembly-line-programming jobs.

What comes to mind for me, however, is that if you have a problem with programming after going through 4 years of computer science education, maybe it's not the programming in X, Y, or Z language that you don't like, but the whole idea of thinking in processes, algorithms, computational theory, etc. If you don't like coding in C++ you may still enjoy a job in CS... but if you don't like coding in C++ because you don't like thinking about and designing processes and algorithms then maybe computer science as a field isn't for you. Not every CS job will involve writing the boring "phone book" applications you did in school... but every CS job will involve the theory behind those applications, at some level of abstraction.

Analyst (1)

Diddlbiker (1022703) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018201)

Look for analyst positions in financial or market research departments. It is usually work that requires the developments of large models and a lot of data handling. The amount of programming that comes with it is moderate and you'll usually get ace reviews as you're the "wizard" who's able to handle data nobody else can since they don't have the skills to write scripts to process it.

Tech Support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018215)

Since you admit you have done some tech support, why not find a nice position with a tech/IT outsource company such as UniSys?

You will start by doing things familliar to you, installing windows, running cable, removing spyware, etc.

Going through the ranks you might cross train with the web folks doing some simple html or php/ruby programming.

Another option is software testing. This is where most companies place the 'fresh faced' graduates. It requires little programming knowledge, and give you a chance to interface with experienced programmers.

Don't expect to be paid much more than an entry level position in either jobs, but when you have little drive or experience, expect to start at the bottom of the ladder and work your way up, major university or not.

Can't Program (1)

c0d3r (156687) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018221)

I don't know about that, but where I studied at Cal, you couldn't even be admitted or yet pass the first problem set if you couldn't program. I remember seeing people stading up and yelling "fuq this" and dropping out. Are you sure it wasn't some mail order degree or maybe an IT or CIS degree?

Clarification (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018223)

Did you get the degree of B.S. in Computer science, or did you get a "B.S. degree" in Computer science? I think the former one will have a lot more benefit long-term. I have a fine art degree and I'm a senior systems engineer, so I guess you could go be an artist and we'd cancel each other out.

Systems Architect (1)

Sunshinerat (1114191) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018225)

Need to understand business processes and how it technically would fall altogether, you provide/manage the holistic view of the enterprise systems as opposed to detailed system by system knowledge.

hmm. (1)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018227)

First off, my compliments - that post on this site must of taken guts and flame proof underpants.

Secondly a job is dictated by two things - qualifications and experience. You have no experience having just graduated and your qualifications are not specifically in the vocation that you want. So I fear you might need to spend some time getting relevant experience. It can be done, I did it the other way around - moved into embedded firmware from construction then later on got my qualifications in software. But my first few jobs were lowing paying bottom of the barrel for a year to get experience to open the door to better jobs.

What do you enjoy? (1)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018231)

I mean it really depends on what experience you have and what you enjoy. You could always working with networking at a company, but knowledge of Linux and Cisco would probably be needed. It really depends on your real world experience and what you enjoy and what you want to do. If the only reason you are in Comp Sci is because it pays well, I think you chose the wrong career. Don't get me wrong I think coding can be boring depending on what language it is being written in and what I am writing, but not liking any coding all together sounds like you picked your major for the money and not for something you like.

Unskilled or disinterested? (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018237)

If you're only unskilled in programming but still enjoy doing it, you can still easily enough get a job doing it that will pay well. This is kind of unfortunate of the industry, but if you get a job at a place with an established code base and some good team leads, you will pick up nearly everything you need to know for the job pretty quickly.

If you actually don't like programming, maybe go back to school? Get your Masters and just do a ton of theoretical research. But it also sounds like you're ready for the workforce so I suppose I would recommend testing/QA. If you get hired by a large enough company you can move around within the company as you grow more comfortable with their systems, standards, etc. and so if you get the hankering to program, you can also do that.

Damn you're lazy (0, Troll)

plopez (54068) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018241)

And not the right kind of lazy, either.

Just google "hottest IT jobs".

The fact that you need to be "held by the hand" and can't solve a simple problem without guidance does not bode well.

QA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018245)

QA is what I did. I was a CS major and while I have a moderate interest in programming, I couldn't do anything productive in the real world--it's mostly there as a fun sort of hobby that I play with every so often, but nothing that would put bread on the table.

I worked tech support for some years, and that seems to be a prerequisite for everyone I've ever met with a cool tech job. I worked at my college's help desk for a few years doing...just about everything. When I left that job and posted my resume on Monster, headhunters picked up on one of the aspects of my tech experience and gave me a ring. So while I technically work for them instead of the corporation where I work, it's a pretty awesome gig and I hope they're forgiving if their logs show me posting on Slashdot. >_>

Join Microsoft (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018247)

They can always use people who can't code :)

Systems Analyst / Business Analyst / Project Mgr (1)

richardtallent (309050) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018253)

In larger companies, you can play a role of working as a liaison among the business users, IT folks, and development teams.

This requires solid communication skills and an understanding of the business needs you are modeling, but also the technical understanding to ensure that the resulting IT solutions are solid and elegant.

Project management is also an option--software projects need people who understand that building software is not like building a bridge.

No programming? Learn...? (1)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018255)

Take an IT job and brush up on your shell scripting or Batch/VBscript skills. You can make just as much running an IT department as you could as a senior programmer somewhere.

You could also look into grad school for HCI or IT management--you may never have to look at code again.

Lots of things.. (1)

krnpimpsta (906084) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018259)

IT, Systems Integration, Software Engineering, Systems Engineering..

I got a BS degree in Electrical Engineering a couple years ago and started out as a "Hardware Engineer" (by title only, didn't do any E.E., more like Systems Integration Analyst.. basically I picked which computer/network/etc hardware to buy, and made sure whatever it was would work. Rarely ever touched the hardware, except in the lab for reproducing/troubleshooting issues that the first line of defense could not figure out).. last few months I spent as a "Software Engineer," writing some code.

I think a technical BS degree these days is really just a license to work in a technology-related job, and that if you have the desire/motivation, you can really do anything you want right now (except R&D, unless you have a higher degree or are the cream of the crop of B.S.-having candidates).

become a PHB (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018265)

it is a golden rule of any corporation that the boss knows less than the people who work for him. however, you need to lose the honesty and humility and you demonstrate: you come out and flatly say you aren't a good programmer

no: you don't get to flat out say you know less about programming anymore. if you wish to make it in middle management and make 2x the salary of what the programmers under you make, then you have to actually know less than them yet somehow believe you know more than them

so lose your integrity, and you will make more money than the guys who got As in the classes you got Cs in, and they will work for you

You Won't Get Very Far (5, Insightful)

ibmjones (52133) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018269)

A little programming wouldn't be bad, but none would be preferred.

If you want to succeed in IT, you NEED programming. You may not be building enterprise-level programs - but when comes to pushing updates, creating a simple Intranet, building or troubleshooting a compiled/interpreted application or just plain keeping yourself sane*, having a programming background goes a very long way.

Perhaps IT is not a best fit for you.

*For some of us, it may be too late. :D

Project Management (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018277)

Those who can't do- Manage.

Database Administrator (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018283)

Database Administration. Good money. Lots of positions. Just hope you like Oracle....

At least you admit it.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018285)

Most people who are in your position don't have the self awareness to realize that they are not good programmers. Isn't that part of the reason that the profession is in the state it is? Or maybe the glaring problem is you graduated with a degree in CS without being able to program decently? The system fails once again...

If you aren't good at the programming but still like computers try QA(testing), management, systems admin, networking, help desk/support, what everyone else said.

Interaction Designer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018303)

One that I don't think has been suggested:

You could be an Interaction Designer - I just graduated with a CS-related degree (granted, it incorporated some visual design and communications as well) and I have a job that pays quite well doing Interaction Design for a web firm. Haven't written a line of code yet, and hoping to keep it that way. :)


Technical Writing (1)

Godling (42833) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018321)

If you'd rather take essay tests than multiple-guess, then you might be a technical writer. People who can write clearly and understand technology at the same time are rare. Pay is maybe 80% of developer, but stress is 10%, so to me it's a big, big win

Skip IT Entirely (1)

techsoldaten (309296) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018331)

People are going to have a lot of responses that are focused solely on jobs in the IT world.

I suggest you skip IT entirely. There are 3 things every IT person needs to know something about: server administration, programming and databases. If one of these doesn't appeal to you at all (and you are honest with yourself and know this for a fact), then you are setting yourself up for a natural limit in how far you can go.

Possession of a college degree itself is proof you are capable of something for most employers. There is nothing about your choice of academic major that locks you into a career path. I studied English and Philosophy, was a programmer for about 10 years, and now own a political technology company.

Look into marketing or business management jobs, you do not necessarily need more than a college degree to get started there. Some of the most successful managers I ever had never went to college, or studied something unrelated to what they were doing at that time.

If you look at it like you would be throwing out your degree, consider banking jobs. You will be working with a bunch of systems and your background in CS will serve you well.

Try not to get too stressed out about it. Your future is going to happen no matter what you do, and all you are trying to do is find something you are going to be happy doing for a long time to come.


Process Engineering (1)

UseCase (939095) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018333)

I worked quite happily as a process engineer for a while before doing any classic coding (c,c++). There are also plenty of CSs doing systems engineering and scientific work, algorithm analysis etc......

Anyway CS does not = programming! As a BSCS you should know this already.

Easy ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018335)

Got good qualifications, but lack any real ability ?

Work for the government.

If you are particuarly untalented, you should be able to get a job allocating funding to projects that least deserve it.

Timing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018343)

Aren't these the questions you should have been asking 4 years ago?

Those that can do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018347)

you could always get you doctorate and teach programming.

Observe, Hypothesize or Experiment? (1)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018353)

computer science is a misnomer, really. I've heard that a more accurate name would be Information Science. Calling it computer science is like calling geometry, rulerography - naming the field after the tool is a problem.

In that sense, programming might be considered the application of information science - truly the engineering side

As with the sciences, you are either garnering new data (research), promulgating that knowledge (teaching/instructing) or you are creating technologies with the acquired knowledge (engineering).

If you don't want to program or be involved in programming (management or otherwise) then you are going to have to work in a teaching or research field. ...Unless you want to do sales and marketing - I do hear those folks have the nicest ark of all.

Helpdesk (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018361)

I finished with the degree, and I've spent much of my college career working a job doing technical support (fixing laptops, troubleshooting Windows problems, etc). What jobs can I get with a computer science degree that are NOT mainly programming jobs?

Well if you want to keep doing troubleshooting work, the obvious answer would to be to get some kind of helpdesk position. The good news there is that they can't really outsource that very well, so if you live someplace with lots of businesses, someone will need good helpdesk personnel.

The not-so-great news is that you probably could have done that without your degree. Lots of people hiring for helpdesk will put more stress on experience than education/certification, and rightly so. It's not rocket science, but it's important that you know the pitfalls of that sort of work.

The bad news is the pay is generally crappy, and half your job will be non-technical customer support skills. In other words, people will treat you like crap and part of your job will be to take it with a smile. This isn't unusual for jobs, though, when you're just starting out.

Back to the good news, though-- it's not necessarily a dead-end job. It can be, but I know people (myself included) who started out as a peon helpdesk tech and worked up to the executive level. If you pay attention to the business needs of your company, and apply your troubleshooting skills there (and not just in technical matters), you can make yourself pretty valuable.

On the other hand, you could just take what you know and go into something completely unrelated. You don't *have to* work in a field related to your major. Either way, keep in mind that when you're starting off, your first job probably won't be glamourous. That's ok. Take what opportunities you have available to you, make the best of them, and maybe they'll lead somewhere.

There's more to CS than programming (1)

Zarhan (415465) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018367)

Try these:

    - Software production&design (Using Rational Rose instead of emacs work for you...leave the coding part for monkeys)
    - Networks & Protocols (TCL gets you far here for running eg. simulators)
    - Digital signal processing (all you need is Matlab)
    - Usability research&development
    - Standardization
    - ...

    Granted, most of this requires some "programming", but that counts, at tops, some shell scripting and really basic stuff.

Networking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018373)

I was in much the same situation when I graduated with a CS degree two years ago. I was good at writing code but I absolutely hated it. I ended up taking a network engineer job working on one of the biggest enterprise networks in the world. My salary started out as good or better than my programmer friends and will only go up from there.

Quality Assurance (1)

acecamaro666 (1243364) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018377)

Quality Assurance people with programming skills are often in demand.

Tons of jobs for a CS (1)

jhfry (829244) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018379)

The great thing about a CS degree is that it's not really a programming degree... if you look at it a bit differently.

A CS degree is a degree in applied mathmatics... especially in the areas where there are large amounts of data or repetitive math.

A good CS can get almost any position a mathmatician can get, can work anywhere that data is collected and studied, and can even do things that many engineers do these days.

If I were you I would first decide where your interests lie... then look for a function in that field that requires the analytical and logical mind of a CS major. For example I have known CS majors that made excellent QA engineers in the automotive sector, CS majors that worked in pubic works as traffic planners, CS majors who worked for major polling/statical analysis organizations, I even knew a CS major that consulted as a financial data analyst... he didn't know finance but he did know how to manipulate data on a spreadsheet to find abnormal activity or trends.

Remember, most people don't work in the field in which they obtained their degree... but they usually bring something unique to their position because of what they learned in school. Sure you can't write a decent program, but your gonna be far better at learning to use skills that require the logical processes used in programming than a acountant for example.

Think outside the box!

Good luck!

Design or managment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018397)

I was a programmer for a few years and it turns out I'm not particularly good at it. I was able to turn it into a design/management position that pays quite well.

what does a matter? (1)

ArcadeX (866171) | more than 6 years ago | (#24018399)

Every job posting I look at in the IT field usually says a 4 year degree in MIS or CS or ENG, doesn't care which. Only programing jobs usually specify, and then real world exp. plays more than a four year info regurgitation certificate does.

BS is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24018405)

I recommend prostitution. You have a degree so you're a shoe-in for a pimp position, but the fact that it is in CS means you may have to start as a ho and work your way up.

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