Computer science as a diploma: who is it for?
Are you someone who wants to know how computers and software allow us to create great things? Consider pursuing a degree in computer science. Computer science majors are highly skilled STEM specialists who develop software and hardware for the benefit of all of society. Not only that, but they are pioneers in the knowledge of concepts such as machine learning and artificial intelligence.
A misconception about this field is that it is inaccessible. In fact, most people can master computer science with determination. However, there are certain skills and interests that are likely to be better suited for this major. Want to learn more about the characteristics and skills that might make a computer science degree a good choice for you? Read on for that and to explore other considerations for computer science degrees.
Computer science as a diploma: what is it?
A computer science degree is an intensive STEM degree covering computer systems, software programming, and computational and information theory. Associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in computer science are offered in schools across the country. Many popular computer science careers, such as a software developer and computer programmer, require at least a bachelor’s degree.
Computer science students typically study subjects such as computer theory, programming languages, and operating systems, as well as computation and data science.
Does IT match my skills?
Becoming a computer scientist or software developer requires a unique skill set with an emphasis on logic, math, and pattern recognition. While the right skills for success in a computer job can be learned by anyone, some people may find these skills easier to master than others.
Computer scientists draw on a variety of STEM-focused skills, including:
- Computer knowledge
However, computer scientists also use soft skills. In order to do their job effectively, they also need skills in:
- Critical mind
- Problem solving
- Analytical thinking
Computer jobs require the ability to creatively solve problems while remaining patient.
Does IT match my personality?
A computer science degree typically appeals to people with brain personality traits and characteristics. Generally, people working in the IT field have a deep love for new technologies, especially in nascent fields like machine learning. Computer learners also typically have analytical and detail-oriented perspectives and are content to work independently for hours on end. Successful computer learners need to be able to focus intensely on very specific topics and notice small details that others might overlook.
Does a computer science degree match my career goals?
A computer science degree can lead to a wide range of STEM careers, but may not be an ideal choice for all career paths. Before committing to a computer science degree, consider potential careers in computer science. If you have a knack for abstract reasoning, consider leveraging your degree to become a data scientist. If coding is more your thing, you could pursue a job as a software developer.
The following list represents some popular careers in IT:
- Data scientist
- Computer and Information Researcher
- Software developer
- Network and IT systems administrator
- Computer teacher
- IT Project Manager
Can I afford a degree in computer science?
You can expect annual computer science tuition fees to vary as follows:
- Partner: $ 2,500 to $ 5,000
- Bachelor’s degree: $ 10,000- $ 30,000
- Master’s: $ 15,000- $ 60,000
- Doctorate: $ 30,000- $ 60,000
To pay for these huge costs, you can look for financial aid options like grants, subsidized loans, and computer science scholarships.
The price of the diploma is chargeable, however. National Association of Colleges and Employers declared in 2020 that the average salary for computer science majors was $ 68,670.
Alternatives to the Computer Science Degree
If a computer science degree isn’t right for you, there are other options that might fit your career plans. Check out the following computer science degree alternatives:
- Degree in computer science: An information technology degree might be better suited if you want to work as a network systems administrator or IT manager.
- Diploma or certificate in cybersecurity: Cyber security specialists are in demand and many schools offer diplomas and certificates in this field.
- Coding Bootcamp: A coding bootcamp is an accelerated learning experience that can lead to entry-level work in mobile and web development.
A computer science degree can propel you into an exciting and meaningful STEM career. Computer science majors follow a rigorous curriculum combining computer theory with practical knowledge for programming computer hardware and software systems. They leave this experience prepared for careers in research and product development. While this degree is quite intensive, it might be right for you if you are excited about the capabilities of technology!
For more information on what you will learn from different computer science degrees, what to expect from online computer science degrees, and other topics, check out some of our computer science degree pages.
Is Computer Science a Useful Degree?
Yes. A computer science degree, especially a bachelor’s degree or higher, can prepare you for a variety of entry-level roles in research, computing, and software development.
Do you have to be good at math for computer science?
Yes, an aptitude for mathematics helps. The typical computer science degree includes advanced math topics, such as calculus, or courses involving math, such as data science and visualization.
Why would someone specialize in computer science?
Someone may specialize in computer science because they want to work directly with computer systems in an entry-level role or above. They could also study this major to prepare to work as a researcher in computational and information theory.
Do people regret specializing in computer science?
While computer science is a multi-faceted degree, it may not be suitable for those interested in working outside of computer theory, software engineering, and computer programming. Research ahead of time is the key.
This article was reviewed by Monali Mirel Chuatico
In 2019, Monali Mirel Chuatico earned her bachelor’s degree in computer science, which gave her the foundation she needed to excel in roles such as a data engineer, front-end developer, UX designer, and computer instructor.
Monali is currently a Data Engineer at Mission Lane. As a data analytics captain at a nonprofit called COOP careers, Monali helps new graduates and young professionals overcome underemployment by teaching them data analysis tools and supporting them in their professional development journey.
Monali is passionate about implementing creative solutions, building community, advocating for mental health, empowering women and educating youth. Monali’s goal is to gain more experience in her field, broaden her skills and do meaningful work that will have a positive impact on the world.
Monali Mirel Chuatico is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education Independent Review Network.