The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected demand for computer science and technology workers will grow much faster than the average for all occupations. About 546,200 new jobs are expected to be added between 2018 and 2028. Demand will stem from greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data, and information security, the BLS said. In May 2019, the median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $88,240, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $39,810.
Hamid Aina, a 2019 computer science graduate from the University of Maryland College Park, joined Ray Kennedy, managing editor of Career Communications Group (CCG) on Facebook Live Wednesday to talk about how to prepare for jobs in one of the best science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields in the world. Watch the video here.
Tune in today at 3:00pm(EST)| Student Interview with Hamid AinaUniversity of Maryland, College ParkBachelor of ScienceComputer Science and Minor in Applied Mathematics#ComputerScience #AppliedMathematics @UnivofMaryland
Posted by BEYA on Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Way back in the fifth grade, Hamid recalls one teacher wanting the class to see connections between skills and career paths. Hamid remembers looking at software engineering and software development-related roles in computer science and liking what he saw.
“It’s very nice that you can translate an idea in your mind to an actual product that can help people,” he explained. “What if we had something like this? There’s nothing like that so far. What if we could innovate? What if we can build on that? How does that work?” Hamid said trying to know the why and the problem-solving aspect of computer science was enticing.
Hamid also thinks computer scientists can help organizations mobilize and diversify to reach people faster during disruptions. As a recent grad, he has found the COVID-19 pandemic an isolating experience.
“Normally, you’ll have that support group of individuals who you see face to face,” Hamid said. “Now, you can’t do that. It’s more about what can you do to keep yourself motivated: seeking opportunities or connecting others to opportunities.”
Hamid said he’s coped by having a to-do list: setting daily and weekly goals, keeping tabs on his own progress and holding himself accountable. He encouraged young people to consider computer science and think of the possibilities in creating games that they can play on their mobile phones with friends and family.
He also said it is important for students to get programming experience, something he didn’t have to start with at College Park.
“It was a steep learning curve for me,” he said. “But finding resources, help, and who to turn to comes with time…Computer science is one of the largest majors at the university.”
Professional and training opportunities such as conferences, internships, workshops, and fellowships also played a big part in his development. Together, they “all helped me prepare for success,” he said.
Last summer, Hamid took part in a software engineering internship at Twitter in San Francisco. His other internships include serving as a teaching assistant at the University of Maryland Department of Computer Science and as an undergrad research fellow at the computer science department of Bowie State University.
Back in 2016, after connecting with CCG’s Rod Carter, student recruiter and career coach for BEYA’s College Program, Hamid attended the STEM Conference for the first time. Although Hamid was still a senior in high school, he saw the professional event as a chance to grow his skills and broaden his network.
“Walking into the BEYA STEM Conference, you see a level of excellence and professionalism,” Hamid told Kennedy. “The way everyone was dressed and presented themselves wasn’t something I saw often coming from a public school environment.”
There wasn’t just a lot to learn from people he met at the BEYA STEM Conference, he also got to hear about projects being managed by big corporations such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman to name a few.
“As the conference went on, I became more confident to walk up to a (career fair) booth and talk to people,” he said. “You never know where your network can take you.”
On Monday, Hamid starts a new job as an iOS Engineer (Apple devices and apps) at Square, Inc. The financial services and mobile payment company helps millions of sellers run their business from secure credit card processing to point of sale solutions. Hamid will be working on Cash App, a mobile payment service developed by Square, Inc., which allows users to transfer money to one another using a mobile phone app.
With social distancing guidelines still in effect, Hamid will be working remotely.