Computer Science

Overview of Computer Science as a College Program

Computer science programs are usually regulated by a college or university's computer science department. Schools without a dedicated computer science department place computer science programs under their Mathematics department. Regardless of the program's classification, students will be required to take math and science courses such as discrete mathematics, logic, physics and statistics.

Computer Science Curriculum

A computer science degree curriculum is usually quite standardized among most universities. There are some variations between schools, but nearly all of them will teach these courses in some form:

  • Calculus
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Data Structures
  • Discrete Structures
  • Computer Architecture
  • Computer Programming
  • Computer Algorithms
  • Operating System Design
  • Probability
  • Systems Design
  • Software Design
  • Computer Security
  • Compilers

Education Levels Available for a Computer Science Degree

Computer science degrees are available at all levels and the level you choose depends on your career goals. An entry-level position in computer science generally requires a Bachelor's degree in computer science. This degree takes about four years to complete assuming the student takes five courses a semester. If you are not sure that computer science is right for you or want to save some money, an Associate's degree is the perfect choice. This provides about two years of schooling and allows you to get a feel for the topic.

Even though a Bachelor's degree will allow the graduate to obtain employment, a Master's degree will open the door to stronger positions after graduation. The Master's degree takes an extra two years to finish. Those interested in entering higher academia as professors must obtain a Doctorate degree in the field. This takes another two to three years.

Skills Developed through a Computer Science Degree Program

The curriculum for a computer science degree teaches students many different skills that will help them in their careers and daily life. Some of these skills include:

  • Ability to interpret problems logically and arrive at the optimal solution
  • Ability to find research opportunities and undertake the necessary steps to prove your hypotheses
  • Effective communication skills to translate your computing work to information for the layman
  • Knowledge of various programming languages including Java, C++, VBA, and others
  • Ability to create information management systems which can harness the power of data
  • Understanding of the technological environment in America and other parts of the world and the economic shifts which are changing it
  • Ability to utilize computing skills to improve processes for various causes/organizations
  • Knowledge of mathematics and physics that can be applied to other disciplines
Where to Obtain a Computer Science Degree

Computer science degrees are offered at a variety of locations. They can be earned at any university with an accredited computer science program. Those who do not want to attend a brick and mortar school can earn their degrees through various online universities.

Career Opportunities for Computer Science Majors

According to the government agency which tracks employment growth and the job markets, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are several careers available to computer science majors. These include network, systems, and database administrators, computer scientist, software engineers, computer programmers, support specialists, and systems analysts. The outlook for the computer scientist profession is quite strong, with growth of 24 percent expected by 2018. This is much faster than the rate of growth for other careers, and points to the strengths of obtaining a computer science degree.

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