A computer science degree is perfect for someone who is comfortable with the ever-changing technology field and has a deep passion for computing. Computer science is currently one of the fastest-growing areas in the tech industry. Programming, networking, and information technology are just a few of the specialities which intersect in this field.
A degree in computer science will prepare you for designing, developing, testing, and producing computers and their subsystems. Deciding which education path to pursue is necessary to enter the exciting industry of computer science. Some education options include an online or in-person Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, or computer science bootcamps.
One of the most popular options in the tech industry is a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. Popular and extremely challenging, a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science can sometimes be the minimum requirement to enter the industry.
The degree itself can take anywhere from four to six years to complete, depending upon your chosen concentration. It is essential to research schools and their programs thoroughly before enrolling.
- Career Karma matches you with top tech bootcamps
- Get exclusive scholarships and prep courses
But before that, you may be wondering if dedicating years of your life to the degree is worth it. Read on to discover the ins and outs of earning a computer science degree and if it is truly worth it.
Computer Science Degree Courses
Computer science degree courses vary upon the institution, especially when it comes to elective courses. However, below are some topics your computer science degree courses will likely cover:
· Artificial Intelligence
· Data Logic
· Data Management
· Information Management
· Machine Language
· Operating systems
Furthermore, students may have to choose from a BA or a BS in computer science. So, what is the difference between the two and how do you know which one is right for you?
It may be obvious, but a BA in computer science is a Bachelor of Arts while a BS in computer science is a Bachelor of Science. In terms of employment, both a BA and a BS in computer science are credible. However, depending on your goals, you may want to choose one over the other.
A BS in computer science will focus heavily on the sciences and mathematics. In addition, there may be more math courses along this route than in a BA. The BA program may be right for you if you wish to pursue a career as a leader in the field as a BA in computer science can be accompanied by a minor in business.
Another factor to take into consideration is whether you want to attend online or in-person computer science courses. There are benefits and disadvantages to both. An online program offers the ability to study on your schedule while attending an in-person institution has the appeal of a traditional education experience. Both of these options have their pros and cons, so it’s important to consider what might be best for you.
Computer Science Specializations
A computer science degree will begin with general courses that are used as an introduction to the field. Some of these could include theory of computation, fundamentals of computer science, compliers and operating systems, information theory, and basic programming.
As learning continues within the degree, there will be choices to make. One of these decisions will include which specialist topics you pursue further. Some of these specialization classes can consist of the following:
Programming Language Theory: Mathematics, software engineering, and linguistics will be covered in this topic. The design, analysis, and categorization of programming languages and their features will be explored. In the entry-level courses, programming languages will be introduced. This course then takes a step further, exploring the syntax, natural semantics, structural operational semantics, and abstract machine code of programming languages.
Computer graphics: Computer graphics study involves the ability to manipulate visual and geographic information using a computer. Students will learn how to create two- and three-dimensional images using computer programs and software. Students who wish to explore computer graphics are able to understand data greater than those who do not. Currently, the demand for computer science professionals with computer graphics capabilities is growing.
Artificial Intelligence: Using computers and algorithms, the study of artificial intelligence (AI) addresses problem-solving, decision-making, and environmental adaptation. Furthermore, AI uses systems to develop behaviors in machines and software. The fields of mathematics, electrical engineering, philosophy (of mind), neurophysiology, and social intelligence are all involved in the study of artificial intelligence.
Computer Science Degree Job Prospects
Computer and Information Research Scientist
The career of a computer and information research scientist entails inventing and designing new computing technology approaches and creating new uses for existing technology. A bachelor’s degree may suffice in some cases; however, a master’s degree is typically required for this position.
Furthermore, those who choose to specialize will need to take additional classes on their specialization. Analytical skills, communication skills, critical-thinking skills, logical thinking, and math skills are all characteristics that those who wish to pursue a career as computer and information research scientists should have.
The median pay of a computer and information research scientist is $122,840 per year or $59.06 an hour. The employment for this career is expected to grow by 16 percent within the next eight years.
Data Science is said to be one of the hottest jobs in modern society due to the demand for big data. A data scientist works with business stakeholders to understand their objectives and determine how data can be used to accomplish those objectives.
A bachelor’s degree is required to become a data scientist as it is impossible to break into the field without one. Furthermore, a master’s degree or PhD is preferred because 73 percent of people working in the industry have a degree in higher education, according to GetEducated.com. Experience in your industry is recommended as well. For example, if you want to work in as a data scientist in healthcare, then experience working in the healthcare field is preferred.
According to Glassdoor, the national average for a data scientist’s salary is $113,309. Furthermore, a job as a data scientist comes with job security. Demand for these professionals is well above the national average and 50 percent higher than software engineers and data analysts.
The web developer position is projected to rise by 13 percent by 2028. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a web developer is $68,524, with the lower salary being $44,000 and the higher coming in at $111,000.
A software developer creates the applications or systems that run on a computer or any other device. To become a software developer, a bachelor’s degree is required, along with ample programming skills. In addition, professionals should have knowledge in the field in which they are working.
The average salary for a software developer in the United States is $ $106,816. Entry-level software developers can expect to make $101,178, while senior-level developers can bring in $118,898. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this job is expected to grow by 21 percent by 2028, which is much faster than many other positions.
The life of a computer programmer involves writing and then testing code that will allow computer and software applications to run properly. Computer programmers use a variety of coding languages. Furthermore, computer programmers and software developers work closely and even sometimes overlap their job responsibilities. To become a computer programmer, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree. In addition, most programmers will specialize in a programming language. Computer programmers can go on to become computer systems analysts, software developers, or take on manager roles. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay is $86,550, with the low end being $50,150 and the high end of $140,250.
Is a Computer Science Degree Worth It?
So, is a computer science degree worth it? The good news is that computer science is a vast and easily adaptable field. Therefore, upon graduation from an accredited university, students will have a variety of opportunities in the job market awaiting them.
There is consistently a demand in the job market for students with computer science degrees and computer science specializations. Furthermore, computer science professionals’ salaries are a huge draw for potential students and that includes salaries for entry-level computer science professionals.
The bad news is that a computer science degree can be especially challenging. This fact leads to many students not being able to complete the degree and dropping out altogether. This means that students who only desire the paycheck of a computer science job probably are not in it for the right reasons.
The same conditions apply to higher education for a computer science degree. Those who go on to pursue a Master of Computer Science can quickly be promoted in their company and acquire a pay raise sometimes up to $30,000 more than those who do not have a master’s degree. Additionally, a higher degree in computer science opens up many more career opportunities in the tech industry.
Finally, a master’s or PhD gives professionals a sense of job security. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is predicted that there will be an increase of over a half-million computer and information technology jobs by the year 2028. A master’s degree will set you apart from other candidates in the field.
In conclusion, a degree in computer science, whether a bachelor’s or a master’s, is entirely worth it. If you have the time and finances to complete a degree, it is advised to do so. Career Karma is here to help you with your education journey. Learn more by going to Career Karma.com or by downloading the Career Karma app!
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.