Randal Moss

Randal Moss


College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology

For Randal Moss, hard work and meeting the right people during his time at Cal State LA helped him land his dream job.

The 26-year-old Moss, who will graduate with a Master of Science in computer science, recently became a software engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena. 

Managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology, JPL is the nation's leading center for robotic exploration of the solar system.

As a young boy, Moss enjoyed disassembling, reassembling and tinkering with computers. That interest was reignited in high school when he took a summer programming class at Cal State LA. By the time he graduated from high school, Moss knew he wanted to pursue computer science.

He enrolled at Cal State LA and found an environment that supported and nurtured success. “The professors had a vested interest in me,” he says. “And I felt I should excel because of that.”

Moss did excel in his classes, and he graduated from Cal State LA in June 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in computer science. He decided to continue at the University to pursue his master’s degree.

While at Cal State LA, Moss was able to meet professionals in the local computer science community. He was invited to join the campus chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), serving as vice president and president. He was offered a job at JPL by the previous ACM president and began working part time.

Moss completed his course work in winter 2016 and recently started full time at JPL.

“I feel very fortunate to get what I feel is my dream job,” he says.

Tenacity, a willingness to learn and hard work have been crucial to his success. “I started from the bottom rung and worked my way up to something,” he says.

Influenced by his experience as president of ACM, Moss hopes to eventually become a supervisor or manager at JPL. He says he would like to be a leader who is able to help others unlock their potential.

“The sky’s the limit at the moment," he says. "I’m noticing that there’s tons of opportunities.”