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The Bigger Picture

Where Computer Science could take you?

"Used by millions of people around the world, Google+, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Facebook and Vine are all made possible by inventive coding. In less than a decade, social media has transformed the way we interact. So what will computer science make possible in another 10 years? And how could you be part of it? “The world is just starting to wake up to a technology revolution,” says Peter Argent, director of Coder Factory – a Sydney-based tech education business. “Young people need to think about pursuing careers that will still be around in 10 years.” Pinterest lead engineer Tracy Chou agrees: “More and more people understand the vital role computer science plays, and are compelled to take part.” A computer science (CS) course can lead to careers and experiences beyond your wildest dreams. Once you know the principles that underpin all software, you can improve lives in thousands of different ways. Peter Morton, who’s originally from Melbourne and now works at Google HQ in California, is a software engineer working on self-driving cars. “It’s very exciting working on such an ambitious project that will have a big impact on the world,” he says. Whatever your passion, a degree in CS opens doors. All you have to add is your ‘X’ factor – your passion."

"If you’re a fast thinker, you might pit your brain against cyber criminals, with the Australian Signal Directorate (ASD), a government intelligence agency whose mission is to protect our secrets, while revealing others’. Once you graduate with a CS degree, you can apply to the ASD to become an information security professional, finding new ways to respond to sophisticated cyber threats. Or, you might have a passion for music, like percussionist Alon Ilsar and drummer and computer programmer Mark Havryliv. They’ve designed a ‘gestural electronic drum kit’ called AirSticks, where people can trigger and manipulate sounds and visuals in a 3D virtual space to create an amazing live electronic music show. If your passion is helping people, you’ll be inspired by the researchers using everyday technology to solve complex health problems. The work of Ewa Goldys and her team at Macquarie University is a great example. They’ve built a smartphone app to perform a medical test that can diagnose serious diseases such as cystic fibrosis and rheumatoid arthritis. It does this using the light and camera on a regular smartphone. “Coding enables you to move from being a consumer of technology to a creator,” says Ewa. Computer scientists are in great demand by employers. Information and communications technology is one of Australia’s fastest. "