Preparing Students for the Careers of Tomorrow

Using computer science to springboard into high-paying careers that are tied with students’ passions in order to build a future that is rooted in adaptation, collaboration and innovation

We’re coming to an incredible moment in history for studying computer science, explains Dalhousie Computer Science Dean Andrew Rau-Chaplin. “Coming out of this pandemic, you realize the extent to which our future is going to be digital and the many social and economic opportunities that will come from this,” he says.

Looking at the broad spectrum of fields from healthcare to entertainment, we find a place for digital to manage, transform, and magnify our current systems and ways of working, learning and consuming. Along with this realization, comes the need for today’s graduates to possess digital and computing skills – and that’s where Dalhousie’s Faculty of Computer Science enters.

Applied Computer Science undergraduate student, Julia Embrett, came into the program with a love for writing and a strength in the social sciences, and says that even though computer science has technical aspects to it, it also appeals to the creative in her.

“No matter where you go with your career, there will be a tech aspect to every industry. There are opportunities to take this degree and go in any direction you want,” Embrett says about seeing a possible post-grad opportunity to intersect her tech background with the legal profession in helping new businesses with intellectual property law.

The Faculty’s programs intersect an interest in the digital world with skills including management, writing and communication while also enabling students to explore how digital can relate with topics they are passionate about. Both their undergraduate and graduate programs are professionally focused, connecting students with key relationships in industry. With the Master of Digital Innovation, students can even explore a partnership between the Faculties of Computer Science, Management, Medicine, and Law.

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“The key talent pool lies in those who feel comfortable in these different worlds, can engage with companies who are looking to digitally transform, and can become a bridge between the domains,” Rau-Chaplin says about the need for students who sit at this intersection. We will – and already are – seeing a need for translators who can harness digital technologies in service of the industry or activity that they’re engaged in.

Embrett feels prepared for the workforce and adds that through the Computer Science program she has not only gained coding skills, but also learned to work with students in all different years of study and backgrounds through group projects.

“They were warming us up for the professional world, and it’s important when going into any leadership or workplace role, that you understand that you’ll be working with others.”

As we look into a digital future, we must also see the people who will be creating this technology, Rau-Chaplin says about the collaborative nature of computer science. “Nobody builds technology by themselves. Digital technology and its jobs and professions are people-centric, they’re about collaboration and teamwork. It’s about putting yourself in other people’s shoes and understanding a new perspective.”

Dalhousie’s Faculty of Computer Science attracts students who want to take advantage of the many opportunities on offer for graduates with digital skills and those who are willing to use computer science to springboard into high paying careers that are tied with their passions. They must be eager to bridge disciplines and build a future that is rooted in adaptation, collaboration, and innovation.