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What Is Computing, Anyway?

Computer scientists, software engineers, programmers—what do they actually do?

Two women at architectural design firm, using computer.

Woman sitting in front of computer drawing a flow chart on a pane of glass.

In earning a bachelor's degree in computer science, students learn problem-solving skills and programming languages (the instructions that tell a computer what to do). Computer professionals may work in a medical lab or a university, a high-tech business or a law firm. Some of the most common computing job titles are:

  • computer scientist
  • software engineer
  • computer programmer
  • computer systems analyst
  • information technology specialist
  • web developer

While computing jobs vary greatly, all computer professionals have this in common: they use the power of computers to find solutions that make a difference in people's lives.

What Skills Are Important for Computing?

Does your daughter like math, and is she at least a B student in it? (It's not necessary to be a math whiz to go into computing, or even to love math—it's just necessary to be competent at it.) Does she enjoy solving problems or figuring out puzzles? Is she determined and persistent? Does she have a curious mind? Then computing may be a good fit for her.

For More Information

See What IS a Dot Diva? and What's Your Passion? to find out more about careers in computing. Visit our partner, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for more information on what computing professionals do and what the different computing disciplines and majors are.