How To Choose The Right Computer Science Program

Students interested in a Computer Science degree have made an excellent choice if they want a degree that has both great job prospects and is a challenging, exciting field. Many universities offer degree programs in Computer Science, so selecting the right one can be difficult. Online education lends itself well to the study of Computer Science, so this is an excellent choice for students who are too busy to attend class in-person.

Why Get A Degree In Computer Science?

Computer Science is a growing field with great job prospects for degree-holders. The average worker with a Computer Science degree makes a salary of $74,000 a year, and there are many positions available in software development. Computer Science graduates are not limited to only working for software companies; many corporations hire software developers to write specialized programs to manage their businesses.

Overall, Computer Science is a great choice of degree for people who want great job prospects after graduation and who have an aptitude with computers. Unlike with many other degrees, people who hold a PhD in Computer Science can find employment outside of academia with salaries commensurate to their education; companies such as IBM and Intel hire workers with Doctorate degrees in Computer Science to perform research. A university with an accelerated Bachelor’s to Doctorate program is an excellent choice for students who know that they wish to pursue a PhD in Computer Science.

Computer Science Curriculum

The first two years of a four-year Computer Science degree involve taking mathematics courses, including Linear Algebra and Differential Equations, as well as introductory courses in a programming language such as C++ or Java. These classes serve as a foundation for the next two years, in which students will take courses in Algorithms, Data Structures and Discrete Mathematics.

All of these courses serve as the basis for upper-level courses where students will begin to specialize in a particular area of computer science. Seniors and graduate students can choose from taking courses in Operating System Design, Programming Language Theory, Machine Learning, or Artificial Intelligence among many other specializations. Students should keep in mind what concentration areas they may be interested in specializing in when selecting a university; not all universities will have the courses or resident faculty for every specialization.

Job Placement And Internship Opportunities

Although job outlook for Computer Science degree-holders is phenomenal, having a strong job placement or internship program at the university will help graduating students secure positions with higher pay after graduation. Many universities partner with local businesses who recruit students for internship positions, usually over the summer. These internship positions allow a student to develop valuable experience working with computers and developing software, which can translate to more job opportunities with greater salaries after the student graduates with his or her degree.

Internships also allow the student a chance to network and develop connections within the industry, which is an important part of working in any field. Many companies will hire interns as full-time workers after graduation, since after an internship the student will be well-versed in the working environment and the company’s policies and procedures. Students who want to work for a particular company should search for universities that have partnerships with that company.

Online Degree Programs

Online courses are a natural fit for a Computer Science degree, since most assignments in the Computer Science coursework will involve submitting source code to the instructor, whether it was worked on in a small group or by the student alone. Unlike with many other degrees such as Communications or Music, online Computer Science degrees offer the instructor a chance to evaluate and grade students just as well as if it were an in-person class. Since Computer Science is both an in-demand field and staffed by people with an aptitude in computers, universities often have very high-quality online Computer Science courses. Many online courses also allow the student to work at his or her own pace, which is a boon for students who live busy or unpredictable lives and cannot devote regular time to studying.

With so many choices available, it can be difficult to choose an online Computer Science program. Students should make sure the university is accredited by a regional accreditation board. Many companies also do surveys of students who are taking online courses; choosing an online university with a high student satisfaction rate is a good idea.