Career Paths

With a background in Applied Computing, you will be able to add highly marketable skills to your resume that bring you one step closer to landing a rewarding job in Silicon Valley.

Below, we include descriptions of several career paths relevant to Applied Computing students, including highlights from a few interviews with different folks working in the tech industry who have a social science background.

 

 User Experience (UX) researcher

What is it?

  • The goal of UX research is to improve customer satisfaction through the utility, ease of use, and pleasure provided in interacting with a digital or physical product.
  • See this webpage for additional definitions from UX experts

What skills do I need?

  • Qualitative UX researchers require familiarity with computer programming in order to facilitate discussions between engineers designing products and users engaging with products. On a day-to-day basis, however, qualitative UX designers will not heavily use programming in their work. Knowledge of experimental design, subject recruitment, and basic statistics are useful skills for running studies of how users interact with products. Being able to demonstrate or discuss project-based work is also extremely useful.
  • In addition to the skills noted above, Quantitative UX researchers require more extensive expertise with computer programming and statistics knowledge in order to perform more complex analyses of experiments using user data.

 

Data analyst

What is it?

  • Data analysis involves extracting knowledge or insight from various forms of data. For example, companies like Uber and Lyft have massive amounts of data regarding the routes that their riders take, what times of day rides are most often requested, and so on. A data analyst would analyze data sets like these to help companies better understand the needs of their clients and to create superior products.
  • Several types of data analysis jobs also relate to using databases, i.e., library science, inventory tracking, marketing databases, etc.

What skills do I need?

  • Data analysts require computer programming and statistical skills in order to “data mine” rich data sets. Being able to demonstrate and discuss project-based work is also extremely useful.

 

Advanced Studies

What is it?

Learning - students studied together.

  • The term advanced studies refers to continuing your education after college by earning a graduate degree. The skills learned through ACBSS courses will improve your ability to collect and analyze data as well as present them visually, all of which are skills critically important for graduate school!
  • Typical graduate school paths for ACBSS students include Masters degrees in Research and Experimental Psychology, Economics, Human Factors, Design, or Data Science. 

What skills do I need?

  • Basic familiarity with computer programming and statistical skills will be huge assets when applying to graduate schools, as will prior research or project-based experience.

 

Project Manager

What is it?

  • A project manager is someone who plans and oversees the execution of project, managing it through its entire lifecycle. For example, you would manage the project schedule, identify risks and problems, improve processes, etc.

What skills do I need?

  • To manage a multi-disciplinary team, it is necessary to have computer programming experience to understand the technical aspects of a project and how to direct it accordingly, as well as management experience.

 

For more information on potential career paths and general information about ACBSS, please take a look at our Orientation Slides.

 

Future Jobs

What is it?

  • By "future jobs" we mean that, in the future, technology will continue to progress and become integrated into our lives such that having technical skills like computer programming will become increasingly important. 

For more details, please take a look at The Important Skills of Tomorrowaccording to five global leaders.