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Jobs in Computer Science if You Don't Like Programming / Coding

Updated on March 29, 2011

Any graduate in computer science is expected to be familiar with the techniques and knowledge of solving problems. In many jobs, you should be able to develop an algorithm or a computer program that can perform a particular task. You'll be working as a software engineer on an existing system or new systems for clients.

But what if you're not really a code monkey like your fellow students? Or what if you discover after a while that you no longer wish to work on software projects halfway in your career? You like computer science and you like programming most of the time but you don't wish to write and debug code all day long?

In this article I'll share some career options of what you could do or what you could work towards in your career. Here are some jobs that involve significantly less coding than a full-time software engineer.

1. Research positions

Many big companies such as Google and Microsoft have a variety of research positions that focus on developing new techniques and ideas for solving a particular problem. You'll be advancing the state of the art which involves reading publications and making prototypes to test your ideas.

This does involve some programming but for a large part you're not rushing to get a product out of the door. You will hopefully be working with competent colleagues in your research projects and not some incompetent programmers whose code you have to debug.

A doctorate degree (PhD) in computer science is often required for these type of jobs. During a PhD you'll be doing research for several years and your research results are published in journals and the proceedings of conferences. Pursuing a PhD degree is certainly not for everybody as it requires dedication and a lot of work but it may be very rewarding if you love doing research.

2. Start a company

This is not really a job but if you have a decent idea for a software product or service then go for it. In the initial phase you can develop a prototype or a first version of your software product. You could also develop an online service which is quite popular these days for startups.

Let me be clear: you still need a passion for computer technology to pull this off. However, if you have other technical co-founders then they could focus on developing the product while you focus on the other aspects of the company. Your technical background is still very valuable when evaluating ideas or giving suggestions for improving the current product.

You'll need to get funding for your company and you'll need to find clients that wish to use your software product. In practice things are not as simple as I'm writing it right now but that's the gist of things.

Do you think the founders of companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and Twitter are still writing code? They have delegated that to dedicated teams and they're now overseeing the operations of the company.

3. Communicate technology to a broader audience

If you have good communication and writing skills you could transition towards a job at online or paper magazines. This involves explaining current developments in computer technology to a broader audience. These magazines could be very technical but also accessible to people without a technical background (e.g., tutorials on how to use Microsoft Word).

Computer technology is advancing at a very rapid pace and people are needed to help others in using it. You could start a blog to get noticed online and you could look for freelance writing jobs on topics in computer science and computer technology.

4. If all else fails, improve your programming skills

It could be that you simply need to brush up your programming skills. For example, if you're not good at debugging then your work as a software engineer will be a daily struggle. The skill of debugging is just as important, if not more, as programming itself. If you can catch bugs relatively quickly then working as a programmer becomes more enjoyable.

If you like working with computers but working as a software engineer is currently is a struggle then you need to review what the cause is. Do you really dislike writing code or do you dislike it for other reasons, such as debugging struggles and annoying team mates? It is surprising how many people are working in a computer job without really the proper skills and / or knowledge to do it.

If you currently have a job related to the field of computer science but you're not really writing code then let us know by posting a comment. Computer technology is so pervasive and I'm sure there are more types of jobs that don't involve coding.

This article was written by Simeon Visser. I am earning money online by writing here at Would you like to earn money online as well? Read the success stories and sign up today to get started!


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    • profile image

      ugr 2 years ago

      I am a developer , But i don't like this field , Can i change this field to other field now. which field is suitable for me as a girl, i have my own problems like health

    • profile image

      suresh 3 years ago

      i am suresh mca how deside course confus not progroming talent tell me course

    • profile image

      Brian 4 years ago

      You forgot about the Quantitative jobs that you can get with a computer science degree. I have seen people with computer science degree go into: Actuarial Science, Investment Analysis (I remember meeting one guy at a developers conference that worked as an analyst for an energy company. He had taken the first part of his CFA exam.) Also, I have seen people going into grad programs from computer science in: Applied Math, Biostatistics, Business Ph.D programs, and Economics to name a few. Also, with businesses becoming more quantitative, it would give a good skill set even if you never want to go into IT.

      Outside of quantitative jobs. There is also patent law. I had a friend who went to law school after his BS in Comp Sci.

      You could also go into another area of IT like Database or Network administration. I even knew someone who become an IT auditor for an accounting firm.

    • Java Programs profile image

      Java Programs 5 years ago from India

      Hi simeonvisser,

      Good article ....

      business analyst must have some understandings of technology ....

      Keep the good work up ...

    • profile image

      AndDow 5 years ago

      i have never seen something with this much info. nice job.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      All IT professionals should learn some programming, but this is a great intro to IT career tracks that don't emphasize software development. Communication, entrepreneurship and research offer strong opportunities.

    • profile image

      Mahesh 6 years ago

      Yes,It happns with most student that they really lack their coding knowledge.Good article for them!keep it up!

    • simeonvisser profile image

      simeonvisser 6 years ago

      @AllSuretyBonds: Fair enough, people who have knowledge about both the technology and the business side are very useful to companies.

    • AllSuretyBonds profile image

      AllSuretyBonds 6 years ago

      I like to program but programming is my first step I really want to end up on the business end of CS but want to get my feet wet and actually know what I'm talking about. CS is a great degree right now.

    • profile image

      susan t bucali 6 years ago

      I like your story!

    • simeonvisser profile image

      simeonvisser 6 years ago

      @melbel: I agree, various business processes are also about managing and distributing information and are not that different from computer science techniques. Similarly, logic is used in many fields, such as law, science, philosophy and of course, mathematics and computer science.

    • melbel profile image

      Melanie Shebel 6 years ago from New Buffalo, Michigan

      I totally agree with the last comment. Not only has computer science been helpful in work, but I also have found that since I've started studying CS, I have been looking at non-cs problems in a new light. It really has changed the way I look at things.

    • simeonvisser profile image

      simeonvisser 6 years ago

      Studying computer science is valuable even if you never end up working as a programmer. It's a lot more about analyzing, structuring and using information which is useful in many jobs. The most obvious career choice remains software development though.

    • peterhark69 profile image

      peterhark69 6 years ago from Canada

      I agree with this. Nice information. I know some people really knows how to program very well but don't want to program so they ended up working on different type of jobs like myi4u said. Some people wants it even if they are really bad in analyzing things. I know you have to be very good in analyzing for you to become a very good programmer.

    • simeonvisser profile image

      simeonvisser 6 years ago

      You just never know; many job specifications demand years of experience but it remains to be seen if that is really needed for that particular job. In any case, technology is a good field to be in given the job opportunities.

    • myi4u profile image

      myi4u 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great hub! I am an IT graduate but currently doing web programming. It's just show how funny things can be. Most of my CS graduate friends are not in programming jobs.

      But I guess education just couldn't match the demand of job specifications nowadays.

    • simeonvisser profile image

      simeonvisser 6 years ago

      Yes, that's right. There are many choices in a career path and many jobs to choose from :)

    • smcopywrite profile image

      smcopywrite 6 years ago from all over the web

      nice information. there are people who enjoy technology but simply dont want to program. its nice to hear about other positions that are available and know that there are choices.