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How a Computer Science Certificate Can Prepare You for Your Career Pivot

February 20, 2024

With a 3.5 million-person shortage of IT professionals, the demand for qualified workers is at an all-time high. This need for qualified professionals will only continue to grow–the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 377,500 annual job openings in computer and information technology from now through 2032. 

While the computer science field boasts a median annual wage near or over $100,000 for roles such as information security analyst, network and computer systems administrator, and web developer, 86 percent of companies are struggling to recruit tech talent. The reason? The IT skills gap. According to a McKinsey survey of tech job postings, many of the skills in greatest demand have less than half as many qualified candidates per job posting. Employers want professionals with expertise in areas such as machine learning, cloud computing, and big data but cannot find enough candidates with the advanced skills they need. 

Addressing the skills gap requires training more workers to meet rapidly evolving tech needs across industries. Certificate programs, such as the Tufts online Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Computer Science, can help career changers with little or no experience in the field develop the skills and knowledge required to land entry-level computer science jobs quickly while preparing to pursue a master’s in the future.

How to Make the Pivot to Computer Science

For professionals interested in pursuing a computer science career, it’s important to consider the possible pathways into the field. The most practical options include certificate and master’s degree programs. Online training programs are ideal because they typically offer a more flexible schedule for full-time professionals.

While both certificate and master’s degree programs can help professionals stand out in the job market, they serve different purposes. Certification programs are usually less expensive, shorter, and centered around specific skills. Master’s degree programs, on the other hand, take longer to complete and require a bigger investment but provide students with deeper knowledge and a broader skill set, a process designed to produce more versatile and valuable employees. 

At schools like Tufts University, learners new to computer science can choose an online post-baccalaureate certificate program that allows them to transition into a master’s degree program after earning their certificate. Both the certificate track and the master’s track offer students the opportunity to earn a credential, learn from expert faculty, and develop the technical and soft skills needed to succeed in the workplace.

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Tufts Online Post-Bacc in Computer Science: A Pathway to a New Profession

The online Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Computer Science from Tufts offers a promising pathway to various career options that can offer six-figure salaries. Through online computer science courses such as Data Structures, Discrete Mathematics, Programming Languages, and Introduction to Machine Learning, you’ll build the technical and problem-solving skills to help you get there. 

The certificate can be completed in as little as one year. By the end of the program, you’ll be prepared to:

  • Write reliable and efficient programs in high-level language
  • Employ a range of proof techniques and mathematical formalisms to analyze computational problems
  • Provide reasoning about the semantics and structure of programming languages
  • Analyze the complexity of computational problems
  • Prove important properties of fundamental algorithms and data structures
  • Find and fix security flaws in programs and systems
  • Employ machine learning models to find complex patterns in data sets
  • Develop complex software, following best practices and industry standards

With these foundational skills, you can pursue entry-level roles in areas such as software development, solutions architecture, cybersecurity, and data science, among others.

Take the First Step toward Entry-Level Computer Science Jobs and Advanced Roles

Choosing to change careers and pursue a new credential is a big decision, and Tufts offers several ways to help you decide if the online Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Computer Science is right for you. Through virtual admission events and on-demand webinars, you’ll learn the differences between the certificate and master’s tracks so you can make an informed decision based on your goals and academic history. 

No matter which track you choose, you can count on Tufts School of Engineering faculty and staff to support you every step of the way. The program features both live online classes and self-paced coursework, so you can complete your studies on your schedule while still making connections in the virtual classroom. Tufts also offers student support services, including faculty advising, tech support, career counseling, and an alumni network, to help students achieve their educational and professional goals. 

Take the first step toward a new or advanced career path in computer science with the online Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Computer Science from Tufts. For answers to your questions about the admissions process, tuition and financial aid, and curriculum answered, reach out to an enrollment advisor

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