BS Computer Science – The Five Roles

There's another aspect to the College of Computing's undergraduate curriculum, called Roles. While Threads focus a Computer Science degree in one of eight areas, Roles sharpen that focus a little further.

Roles allow students to accessorize their degree Thread; in effect, creating their own customized Computing degree mirroring their interests and career goals.

Many courses are associated with one of five Roles:

The 5 Roles

Master Practitioner – An expert programmer who possesses the technical skill and experiences to thoroughly design, construct, and validate computer-based systems either alone or as a part of a large team.

Entrepreneur – The creator and leader of new enterprises that bring technology to the public at large, specifically in the form of new products and services.

Innovator – A discoverer of new knowledge and constructor of ground-breaking solutions to problems.

Communicator – An individual capable of communicating technical information to the technologist and the layperson alike.

Policy Maker – An expert on how computing impacts the society including its governance.

Students may select extracurricular activities or minors and certificates beyond the basic BS in CS corresponding to whichever role they see themselves in the future. As one might expect, there's a certain amount of overlap among Roles, so students are free to choose from a single Role or take on a variety of activities representing more than one Role.

For example, a student with an entrepreneurial inclination who also wants a high level of programming expertise might select activities from both the Entrepreneur and Master Practitioner Roles.

The point is to help students prepare for a career by identifying up front the knowledge and skills they'll need to succeed. After all, students pursue a rigorous, top-notch computer science undergraduate program like Georgia Tech's not just because they want to learn something, but because they want to be something.

That suggests the Role we see for ourselves: Producers not just of degree-holding graduates, but producers of successful thinkers and doers.

Of course, you may wish to explore more than one role. You may want to be an entrepreneur who wishes to understand how to program on small devices to the same level as a master practitioner, or participate in UROC for one or two semesters.