Students new to the field of computer science might be wondering what kind of jobs they will land once they have their degrees in hand. We met with three different individuals who not only hold computer science degrees, but are using their knowledge to succeed in industries outside of the IT world most people think of.
Industrial Control Security Analyst
$85,000-$200,000 per year
Randall LeDoux’s role as an industrial control security analyst is to secure the computers used for automation and safety in chemical facilities. Graduating with a bachelor’s in computer science from McNeese State University in 1994, LeDoux started in information technology after college and later moved to his current job in 2012.
His job requires a range of skills, more specifically, a crossover of IT and systems management knowledge. In the past year his job has taken him to many countries, including Belgium, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia, to name a few. In a typical day LeDoux is in charge of giving directions to employees and reviewing the status of the different systems in the company. His favorite part of the job is that it is never the same day twice, so he does not feel stuck in a routine; while the most challenging part of the job is constantly having to stay up to date with any cyberthreats and federal documents addressing those threats.
Automation, Controls, SCADA Specialist
Tom Nguyen’s job as an automation, controls, and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) specialist is to create processes and build the items to make those processes work in order to increase efficiency. He graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a bachelor’s of science in both mathematics and computer science. Nguyen started out as a systems integrator after college and moved to his current job in 2014.
As a SCADA specialist, Nguyen is dealing with a lot of information and databases as well as problems throughout the day that he’s in charge of solving. He describes the job path as one similar to that of a software engineer, but his skills are being applied to oil, gas, electrical engineering, and control systems engineering simultaneously. His favorite part of the job is that it is autonomous, while the most challenging aspect is staying up to date with all of the changing technology.
$50,000-$75,000 at a startup company; $150,000-$500,000 at a larger company
Before founding in 2014, Cory Kidd earned a bachelor’s in computer science from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and both a master’s and Ph.D. in media arts and sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His company focuses on patient care management that combines the use of hardware (Catalia’s robot) and software (the artificial intelligence the robot uses to form conversations) to create a helpful relationship with a patient.
Kidd has been working with healthcare technology for more than 18 years now, and used his expertise in both healthcare and computer science to create the core technology and algorithms that Catalia uses today. His job allows him to travel to several locations, including Hong Kong, Korea, Dallas and Orlando. His typical day differs based on if he is traveling to meet with customers or in the office meeting with employees. His favorite part about the job is that it is always changing and that he learns something new everyday. However, this is also challenging in the healthcare industry, because he is constantly having to stay up to date on FDA regulations.