Exploring interdisciplinary computing
The world of interdisciplinary degrees is color and vast, with various opportunities available if you specialize in different disciplines. If you follow an interdisciplinary path and wish to focus on numerous seemingly conflicting fields, you may have the advantage when securing a job post-graduation. We at Cybernews Academy want to walk you through the wonderful realm of interdisciplinary, explain what these degrees are, and which degrees yield specific results post-graduation.
What is an interdisciplinary degree?
An interdisciplinary combines two or more disciplines from two fields of study to create a more personalized major program. Interdisciplinary studies are especially valuable if you focus on a specific career path. Interdisciplinary computing programs combine Computer Science (CS) with other fields of study to address complex issues while developing solutions requiring multiple disciplines' expertise. These degrees provide valuable skills while preparing students who want to pursue a career in the intersection of technology and other fields.
Why do we need interdisciplinary degrees?
The world is a melting pot of different cultures, theories, concepts, and schools of thought. Therefore, the interlinking of separate facets of society will naturally occur as we discover, explore, and engage with different communities. Interdisciplinary degrees are pivotal in expanding our understanding of the world around us. As our world is growing into a space reliant on technology, we must learn how tech functions, what it can do for us, and how we can incorporate technology into seemingly separate aspects of our lives. Due to the technological advancements of today, the demand for highly skilled professionals in nuanced fields is growing exponentially. Therefore, gaining a degree in an interdisciplinary field will open doors to new, exciting opportunities you never knew existed.
You can pursue a range of programs at university that encompass various disciplines across different schools of theory. Below, Cybernews Academy has named a few Computer Science (CS) combinations popular within universities worldwide.
- CS and Biology - this interdisciplinary degree provides a strong foundation in both disciplines and produces a new breed of uniquely qualified graduates to address challenges within both fields. Computer Science and Biology combine both fields to analyze biological data, model biological processes, advance genomics research, and many more.
- CS and Mathematics - this degree allows you to pursue two naturally occurring disciplines differently. Most of the time, mathematics at this level is taught through pure mathematics, numerical analysis, and statistics. You should expect to focus on algorithms, cryptography, and numerical methods. These areas will help you form a solid foundation in data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.
- CS and Business - you will gain commercial awareness and learn how business functions while learning the technical aspects of Computer Science. As business, commerce, and technology are at the forefront of everything we do, a CS and Business degree will open up many doors regarding employability. This degree can lead to management roles in technology companies and team leadership positions in computer science.
- CS and Medicine / Healthcare - we may have all heard of surgical robots or robot-assisted surgeries, but have you thought about the people behind those machines? Combining Computer Science and Medicine will equip you with the foundational knowledge of medical and computational sciences while providing you with keen research skills in various scientific disciplines.
- CS and Environmental Science - this degree combines both sciences to combat significant issues faced within modern-day society. Specifically, utilizing the understanding of computer science to tackle environmental challenges facing the planet. You may focus on climate modeling, object-oriented programming, and algorithms alongside topics related to environmental science.
- CS and Psychology - you can uncover the relationship between psychology and computer science by undertaking a degree in this field. Through this course, you may study Human-Computer Interaction and see the relationship between us and the devices we use regularly. This degree will target psychological research, theory, and knowledge and apply within a computational context.
- CS and Law - in the age of new technologies, all facets of society that have stood firm for generations face a newfound transformation in their operations. Those undertaking this interdisciplinary study will learn the foundations of both disciplines while acknowledging the natural intersection between the two fields. This degree should focus on the relationship between law and technology by delving into topics like cybersecurity.
- CS and Education - this degree aims to teach you the fundamental theories within computer science, teaching, psychology, and much more. This subject may prepare you to teach Computer Science at secondary school level (years 11-17). You may also learn how technology can supplement education by using various tools.
- CS and Economics - Computer Science and Economics combine both the theoretical aspects of computer science with economic concepts. You may explore the relationship between Computer Science and Economics alongside other disciplines like business, finance, and data.
- CS and Philosophy - this combination is an intricate dance between a new-age science and one of the oldest disciplines in the world. As computer systems and artificial intelligence have become so prevalent, so have the ethical and moral shadows that loom behind them. These new technologies raise substantial ethical and social issues. Throughout this degree, you will engage in analytical, logical, and critical rigor relating to computer science.
Benefits of interdisciplinary
The benefits of an interdisciplinary degree in one of the above areas range from obtaining new skills to exploring subsections of your chosen discipline that you never knew about. You could gain new perspectives and even an incredible career from your unique and unrivaled perspective on your subject.
If you take an interdisciplinary degree, you’re free as a metaphorical bird. You are open to new opportunities and aren’t restricted to one field of study. You have more options regarding job roles and positions when you have two disciplines under your belt. This could lead to more opportunities, money, diversified skill sets, and a broader perspective on your discipline.
Tailor your experiences
With an interdisciplinary degree, you can tailor your educational experience to fit your interests and skills. Suppose you have a natural affinity for technology, yet you’re interested in the human mind and our relationship with technology. In that case, Computer Science and Psychology is the right path for you. In most cases, an interdisciplinary degree involves different areas of specialization that allow you to delve deeper into certain aspects of the disciplines you are most interested in.
If you take a degree in Computer Science and (for example) Philosophy, you may see relationships and synergies that those who just take Computer Science can’t see. Everything in our world is interconnected in one way or another. The beauty of taking an interdisciplinary degree is you are taught ways of thinking that are multidimensional, meaning that you may see multiple significant details where others observe in a one-dimensional manner.
You could obtain some serious skills while learning the concepts and fundamental theories of each discipline you study. If you take on a Computer Science and Law degree, you will acquire skills related to logic, problem-solving, high-level analytical, and communication skills. These skills naturally intersect as technology is an evolving, integral, and often unregulated facet of society. Those who have studied Computer Science and Law may be able to educate legislators and government officials on technology matters so individuals don’t create detrimental laws that could negatively affect society. If you undertake an interdisciplinary degree, you are more likely to develop transferable skills that you can utilize later in your professional career.
Interdisciplinary jobs in tech
The jobs open to you once you undertake an interdisciplinary degree are seemingly endless. You specialize in specific areas of your discipline and find a niche occupation that could turn into a lucrative career.
Machine Learning Engineer
A Machine Learning Engineer is responsible for designing, developing, and implementing machine learning algorithms and conducting experiments. These individuals have strong coding skills, knowledge of data science, and expertise in statistics. According to Glassdoor, the yearly salary for a machine learning engineer is anywhere from $109,000 - $182,000.
Human-Computer Interaction Designer
A Human-Computer Interaction Designer is responsible for understanding user and system processes. This individual is concerned with the scientific research surrounding the relationship between humans and computers. They also design unique user behaviors, animations, and features that enable users to interact with the system. According to Glassdoor, the average yearly salary for a Human Interaction Designer in the U.S. is approximately $106,074.
A Geospatial Analyst uses Geographical Information Systems or GIS to analyze and visualize geographical data for urban planning and resource management. They also examine a range of data from geographical records, which includes photographs, a variety of maps, and environmental samples. According to Glassdoor, the average yearly salary for a Human Interaction Designer in the U.S. is approximately $70,131.
A Computational Linguist develops natural language processing algorithms for applications while researching, creating, and maintaining models that allow technology to process human language. Computational linguists have a strong understanding of current and emerging technologies like artificial intelligence as these technologies relate to language analysis. According to Glassdoor, the average yearly salary for a Human Interaction Designer in the U.S. is approximately $92,877.
Interdisciplinary degrees are some of the most diverse and versatile courses to date. These programs boast various benefits, from tailoring your unique educational journey to your interests to securing a niche and highly specialized job post-graduation. Why settle for one field of study when you could broaden your horizons and engage with various concepts and theories that naturally intersect? Alongside the four we have mentioned, high-paying specialist positions are abundant for those who have completed one of the many interdisciplinary computational courses available. There’s an old saying: a jack of all trades is a master of none. We disagree with this statement, as a jack of multiple disciplines is the one that catches the dollar.