Exploring Paths to CS Career

Updated 7.24.2020

I was not accepted into one of the CSE majors. Now what do I do?

We understand this can be a very stressful, overwhelming, and disappointing process. The university has Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) available for students free of charge. CAPS has individual advising, group sessions, and self-help resources for helping students set goals, build self-awareness, manage expectations, and other useful personal and professional skills.


A common misconception is that students only have one real viable option for entering the field of computer science at UCSD – a degree from the CSE department. While the CSE department at UCSD is well known among students who are interested in pursuing a career in computer science, there are multiple other majors that students should also consider, including but not limited to: Bioinformatics (through the Biology or Bioengineering departments), Cognitive Science, ICAM (through Music or Visual Arts departments), and Math-CS. For students who want to explore these other possibilities, reviewing the information on the Computing Paths webpage is highly recommended. The webpage contains a lot of useful information for students who want to pursue a career in computer science. Students should also meet with their college advisor and consider meeting with department advisors from the computer science-related departments.


Career Services is also a valuable resource for students. The Career Services Center staff can talk with you about your career aspirations and then tell you about the various majors that can help you attain your goals. They can help you set up informational interviews to talk with professionals in various fields.  They also can point you to various self-study surveys that might help you discover options for a major or career that you had not considered before!


Students who are interested in pursuing a career in computer science are encouraged to stay active in the CSE community through various opportunities: getting involved with student organizations, conducting research with a CSE faculty member, being a tutor for a course within the CSE department, completing individual projects, and pursuing internships related to specific interests.