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Computer science graduates follow a variety of career paths. Approximately 40 percent of the graduating class move on to Master of Engineering, Master of Business Administration, or PhD programs, immediately following graduation. Other graduates go directly into professional employment. Of these, a fair number will eventually return to school to pursue graduate degrees. The list of post-graduate activitiesshows the destinations of some of the graduating seniors.
Typical employment destinations include: computer manufacturers, independent software companies, large corporations with internal development staffs, financial companies, small entrepreneurial ventures, and various consulting firms. Some of the typical employment sectors include;
- Software Engineering and Development
- Microprocessor Manufacturing and Development
- Client/Server Software
- Financial Services
- Communications and Networking
- Entertainment, Graphics, and Media
- Management of companies and enterprises
- Computer systems design and related services
- Data processing, hosting, and related services
While at Cornell, many students take advantage of opportunities offered through various groups. Engineering Career Center as well as Arts & Sciences Career Services offers students the opportunity to gain productive work experience in cooperating organizations throughout the world. The Co-Op is open to CS Majors in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering. In addition to Co-Ops and Internships, valuable experience can also be obtained through enrolling in independent research at Cornell. Computer Science Undergraduate Research enables students to conduct independent study with a professor and apply course credit toward their CS degree.
Career Information is available through RSOs and professional groups. Employer Information Sessions, such as those hosted by the Association of Computer Science Undergraduates, are a great place to hear guest speakers and talk with recruiters. The ACSU has recently held information sessions for employers such as Morgan Stanley, Accenture, and Microsoft. Additional career planning advice is available from the three professional societies that have a strong following in computer science. These societies are the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), and the The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Various degree options exist on the undergraduate and graduate level at Cornell. Students interested in getting an undergraduate degree in two colleges may consider the Concurrent Degree Option. On the graduate level, students interested in continuing education often consider the Masters of Engineering Program at Cornell or the Johnson School MBA Programs. In addition, the careful study of electives will enable students to select a program from a number of graduate fields including;
- business management
- cognitive science
- computational biology
- computer science
- information science
If doctoral studies are of interest, many undergraduates also consider PhD Study upon completion of their degree. Cornell's undergraduate program in CS is widely recognized as one of the best in the country and the faculty all have international reputations. This gives the CS Major interested in graduate study a real advantage when applying to the top PhD programs. Students with these ambitions should enroll in graduate-level CS courses before the eighth semester so that strong letters of recommendation can be obtained. A solid record of undergraduate research through CS 4999 is also important. Applications to the Cornell Computer Science PhD program are generally discouraged because the student is usually better attending a different school for the sake of breadth. However, it is instructive to browse through our Ph.D. program pages to see what is involved in such a rigorous course of study. Faculty who are familiar with your interests and academic record can help you with the selection of appropriate graduate schools.
All students majoring in computer science (in either college) may take advantage of the student job and internship postings offered through Cornell. In addition, there are services offered which include: resume books sent to companies, on-campus interviews (which can lead to plant trips), Cornell Career Services and Handshake, a web-based system that Cornell Career Services uses to bring you career-related information, job and internship postings (including on-campus recruiting), alumni mentor contacts, and more. ), and summer employment announcements.
All CS students, including those in A&S, have access to on-campus recruiting for full-time, Co-op, and internship positions in both Barnes Hall and Engineering. Assistance with preparation for recruiting (resume critiques and mock interviews) as well as general job search advising can be obtained in both college offices. Additional services include career exploration resources and advising as well as alumni mentoring and job shadowing.
Additional reports and salary charts provided by CECC can be viewed at https://ccs.career.cornell.edu/dash/dashboard_employment.
Finally, the ACSU (Association of Computer Science Undergraduates) holds many corporate information sessions as well as graduate school panel discussions. The ACSU maintains a resume book which is made available to employers who are interested in hiring Computer Science Majors. The ACSU also mails hardcopy resumes to over 100 top employers of CS graduates.