One of the most important reasons for attending college is to
prepare for a career. So it makes sense to figure out exactly what
kind of career you are interested in. Once you know, it will help
focus your studies; you'll know what courses are important in
preparing you for your career. If you cannot make a decision, try
to choose your courses so that you can leave your options open and
explore new possibilities.
There are many, many opportunities in computer science right
The Career Services Office provides several ways to help you
choose a career. They typically hold several job fairs during the
year. They also have information on jobs, including part-time jobs
while you are still in school.
Many companies send job postings directly to us; we post copies
of these in the Lab.
The Butler University
Information Technology hires a number of students, mainly
to help in the labs around campus. This is excellent experience,
especially for Computer Science majors. For more information,
contact the computer center at (317) 940-9420.
In the department, we have a number of pamphlets and books on
careers in Computer Science. You should look them over. We also
maintain a list of department graduates you can contact.
Finally, you should ask faculty and other students about
possible careers. Don't wait until you are a second semester
senior; start now!
A summer internship is an excellent way to gain experience and
find out what a job is like. The idea is to find a summer job (or a
part-time job during the regular semester), and get credit for it
For details, contact Jon Sorenson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Research and Independent Study
Independent study normally involves in-depth study of some topic
not covered under normal courses, and must be supervised by a
faculty member. If there is some topic or project that particularly
interests you, you should consider independent study. Note that an
independent study requires the Dean's approval.
Research differs from independent study in that research
involves doing some work or project that has never been done
before. As a result, students often do research by working on a
project with a faculty member. At the least, research requires
close supervision by a faculty member.
Butler sponsors a summer research program, the Butler Summer Institute, that
pays for room and a small stipend (about $2000). You must apply
during the Fall semester before that summer. Butler also sponsors
an Undergraduate Research Conference, which is free, every
If you are interested in independent study or research, contact
any department faculty member.
If you are interested in pursuing research for a career, are
interested in obtaining a masters degree or PhD, or are interested
in teaching at the college level, then graduate school is for you.
If you want to work for a computer-based company such as Intel,
Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, etc. then a masters degree is
highly recommended. A masters degree typically requires 2 more
years of study, and a PhD 2-6 more than that, for a total of 4-8
Most graduate programs require their applicants to take the
Graduate Record Exam (GRE). This exam has two parts: the general
test, with sections for math, verbal, and analytic, and the subject
test. The general test is similar to the SAT, and the subject test
can be difficult. Always choose the subject you are best at; this
need not match the subject you want to study in graduate school.
Some programs do not require the subject test; if it is not
required, you probably don't want to take it. There are a few
graduate schools with application deadlines as early as November,
so don't put this off.
To choose a graduate school, look at the Peterson's Guide or
some other guide, or attend a graduate school fair. Butler holds
fairs every year, and Argonne National Labs near Chicago holds a
free fair with over 100 graduate schools represented. Most graduate
departments are more than happy to send information, and they all
maintain web pages.
Finally, all the faculty in our department attended graduate
school, so they are an excellent source of information. They may
even know several people at the school(s) you are interested
Don't forget to apply for graduate fellowships. Each year the
National Science Foundation awards a number of full, four-year
fellowships for graduate studies based on merit.
Most graduate programs will offer teaching assistantships
(half-time) which earn enough to cover the cost of tuition and
provide a minimal, if meager, living.
Most of the faculty are quite willing to serve as references
when you apply for a job or to graduate school. It is a good idea
to provide Amy Aldridge with a copy of your resume to put in your
file for use by your references when they write a letter on your
behalf or speak to a potential employer over the phone. Make sure
you also include a list of awards you may have, either in your
resume or attached. Oh, and be sure to post your resume on your web