Computer Science Degree Program
A computer science degree is a versatile degree that may be applied to many different areas in the technological world. Students who wish to be successful in this field should earn at least a 4-year degree, and should gain as much experience as possible working with different technological elements.
There are many different types of IT areas; students should attend job fairs, talk to their advisors, and speak with professors when trying to decide which path is best for their specific wants and needs. The sooner this is done, the better. Many people know where their interests lie when beginning college, but the majority of students aren’t sure how their passions can transform into a career. Beginning career research early will put individuals ahead of their peers, and give them a foundation on which to build.
Those who pursue computer science degrees should search for programs that allow them to have a large amount of hands-on experience. While reading informational material and attending lectures may be the primary way of comprehending subject matter, most students find a hands-on approach greatly assists them in the learning process. Some programs may offer guaranteed internships, or the opportunity to work with different corporations with whom they have partnerships.
Some useful skills students should try to establish in their academic career include Java, mobile language, business intelligence, cloud computing SQL,.Net, and systems integration. No matter what specific field students choose, understanding and developing a wide variety of skills will result in a more marketable resume, and greater job opportunities.
Students will also need to take at least a couple classes in the math category. These may include Calculus I, Calculus II, Algorithms, Linear Algebra, Geometry, or Matrices, among others. This kind of math is usually very different from traditional math; computer science majors must thinking in a way that combines both science and programming. While students may not use some of the learned math in their careers, they should at least be familiar with the concepts involved. Many math-related topics can appear while programming in areas such as database querying or software testing.
While in school, students are likely to participate in courses such as computer systems, computer forensics, programming language, network defense and security, programming logic and design, and data structures and analysis. Students will learn how to develop and maintain software, build applications, manage hardware and software performance, and administrate databases. All these topics and skills are very in-demand in the IT world, and will be useful both in and out of the work place.
This degree may also be earned remotely. Online education is continually developing, and a computer science degree would be easier to learn online than many other degrees. Many programs teach lessons online, and have a mandatory internship students must fulfill at an approved location. This way, students can continue learning while maintaining a full-time job, and avoiding the daily commute to a distant campus.
Computer Science Degree and Learning Options
By gaining an accredited education in computer science students will have the opportunity to enter into a number of exciting career positions. There are a variety of accredited schools and colleges to choose from that allow students to obtain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the field of computer education. Students can enroll in the program that best fits their individual career goals to obtain the degree of their choice. There are four possible degrees to choose from including an associates, bachelors, masters, and doctorates level degree.
1. Associate Degree
Obtaining an accredited associates degree in computer science can be done by enrolling in a two year program. Students will be able to train in areas specific to their desired career. Coursework may differ based on the program of attendance but may involve:
- Data Structures
- Database Systems
- Software Engineering
- Systems Analysis
With the skills acquired through these types of courses students will have the necessary preparation to seek employment after graduation. Possible careers with an accredited associate’s degree in computer science may include computer scientist, systems analyst, database administrator, and many other related professions. With an associates degree students have the choice of furthering their training with a bachelor’s degree program.
2. Bachelor Degree
Students can earn an accredited bachelors degree in computer science by gaining a four year education from a number of schools and colleges. Bachelor’s degree coursework in this field may vary but typically includes the study of subjects like:
- Computer Programming
- Operating Systems
- Website Design
- Multi-media Systems
- Interface Design
By gaining the skills and knowledge provided by a bachelors degree program students can pursue the career that best fits their individual needs and goals. Students can pursue a variety of careers in a number of fields by gaining an accredited education at this level. Possible professions include computer consultant, computer programmer, IT worker, software publisher, and more. A bachelor’s degree will prepare students for work or a master’s degree program.
3. Master Degree
Master degree career training programs are available to those looking to obtain an additional two years of education. Curriculum for a master’s degree will vary depending on the program of enrollment and career desired, but may consist of studying:
- Computer Hardware Design
- Web Development
- Operating Systems
- C++ Programming
- Java Programming
The knowledge obtained through an accredited master’s degree program will allow students to enter into a number of careers in the field. IT manager, corporate information systems manager, database manager, computer consultant, and computer programmer, are all available careers with a masters degree in computer science. With an accredited masters degree students will be prepared to enter the workforce or further education at a doctoral or PhD level.
4. Doctoral Degree/PhD
Students have the opportunity to earn a doctoral degree or PhD in computer science. This can be done with an additional four years of training. Course subjects of study will vary but may include the study of:
- Operating Systems
- Computability Theory
- Natural language Processing
- Numeric Hydrodynamics
- Networks and distributes Systems
With knowledge and skill in these areas students will be prepared for careers working in computer graphics design, website development, network administration, research, help desk operation, teaching, and much more. By earning an accredited doctoral degree in computer science students can start the career of their dreams.
Computer Science Degrees – To Do or Not To Do
If you’ve been trying to decide whether or not a computer science degree is worth investing your time, money, and effort into, here’s some food for thought:
According to the Computing Research Association, the number of new students in computer science programs continues to increase every year. A survey conducted by the association revealed that the total enrollments in CS departments across the country rose by 10 percent from 2009 to 2010*. What’s even more heartening is the news that this is the third consecutive year that total enrollments in computer science departments have increased-a far cry from the decline that the post-dot com era was witness to!
Does this indicate that the honeymoon between IT giants and popular offshoring destinations is over? The answer, quite simply, is no. But the trend does signify the revival of interest in computer science and other information technology programs amongst American teens, and more importantly, it also indicates that there is a demand for home-bred IT professionals in the country.
The computer science field, where the only constant is the constant evolution of technologies, requires talent to drive innovation of the kind that people like Steve Jobs achieved and inspired. And that kind of innovation can only come from the kind of deep technical skills that can only be developed with a solid academic background.
Benefits of Computer Science Degrees
If you’re still sitting on the fence as far as getting a computer science degree is concerned, maybe what will help you hop over is the knowledge that there are several advantages to entering a computer science program.
To start with, a computer science degree can open up a world of exciting career opportunities for graduates. Whether it’s programming or network administration, game development or mobile technologies, information security or tech support-the career possibilities for a CS graduate can be wider than you might imagine.
The degree also ranks amongst the top-paying undergraduate programs in the country. According to the 2011-12 salary report published by payscale.com, computer science graduates can begin their careers with an average starting salary of $56,600. By the time they reach mid-career, their salary may be close to a hundred thousand dollars**. But no one will pay you that much if the skills you bring to your job position are not valuable to an organization looking to grow.
Additionally, those who graduate with computer science degrees may find it easier to pursue opportunities to move into managerial and leadership roles. It may not be hard to find an IT job with just a certificate, but the kind of problem-solving, communication, and strategic thinking skills that are expected of tech leaders can only be developed through a sound IT education.
And finally, the mind-boggling growth of social media and mobile applications has created very interesting work opportunities for IT professionals, working for companies of all shapes and sizes that are interested in pursuing the avenues social media and mobile computing can open up for businesses.
IT’s Business As Usual
Gone are the days when the professional world was divided into geeks and non-geeks. The geeks were people who lived in their own zone, seldom mixed with the “others,” and spoke in a language that was beyond the comprehension of ordinary minds.
In today’s business environment, there’s a seamless integration of technical and non-technical departments of an organization, and IT guys are an important part of the corporate team. They are expected to be business savvy, effective communicators, and customer-oriented in their outlook. Most of all, they are expected to be involved team players and demonstrate the ability to collaborate with others at various levels. A solid, well-rounded education that a degree program can provide can help you develop those strengths.
Careers With Computer Science Degrees
Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Page, Sergey Brin – all these names command huge respect not just in the world of technology, but across the global corporate landscape. If these are the people you idolize and computers are your world, then it won’t be a bad idea to consider a career in computer science.
Apart from being one of the highest paid professions, computer science is a fascinating field that keeps evolving as more and more businesses increase the use of technology in their operations. This has created a huge demand for trained computer scientists and information technology experts.
While a computer science degree is already a popular choice among students, the Bureau of Labor Statistics points out that job prospects are best for applicants with a bachelor’s or higher degree. A Bachelor of Computer Science will prepare professionals for high competency jobs in programming, network administration, and database management.
There are mainly four career paths that an individual can follow with a computer science degree. First, and probably the most respected, is research. However, to enter into the field of research, one needs to acquire higher degrees such as a Master’s or a Ph.D. Computer science researchers are employed by academic institutions or the research and development wings of technology companies.
The second option for someone with a degree in computer science is to enter the exciting world of computer programming. Computer programmers write, test and maintain programs that are designed to make computers complete specific tasks.
Programmers work in a variety of organizations including computer design system companies, software publishers, financial institutions, and government agencies. Many computer programmers are self employed or work as consultants on a contractual basis. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 17,000 computer programmers were self-employed in 2006.
Third is the field of database management. Database managers or administrators design, implement, maintain and repair an organization’s database. It’s a highly responsible job involving security administration and data analysis among other things. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts excellent job prospects for database administrators with 37 percent growth in employment from 2006 to 2016.
Lastly, computer science degrees equips you with skills to work as a network administrator in an organization. Network administrators are responsible for the maintenance of computer hardware and software within a network and ensure their smooth functioning.
Most of these jobs involve working in comfortable offices and laboratories and have attractive compensation packages. According to a survey published by National Association of Colleges and Employers, the average salary offered to computer science graduates in 2007 was $53,051. So, if you want to join the next generation of computer whizzes who will replace Gates and co., now is the time to hop on the technology bandwagon.
CollegeAmerica was established in 1964. It has six campuses with comfortable facilities in Colorado, Wyoming and Arizona. It has trained generations of graduates for new careers in high demand jobs through its high-value degree programs. CollegeAmerica offers accredited degree programs for undergraduates and graduates in healthcare, business, graphic arts and computers. CollegeAmerica also offers flexible online programs through its affiliation with Stevens-Henager College.