Wondering if computer science is the right major for you? A real-life CS major takes you through the skills you’ll need, the courses you’ll take, and the career paths you can explore with a CS degree.
Have you ever wondered if computer science is the right major for you? Do you have an interest but worry that CS is just programming, hacking, and learning a bunch of fancy symbols? Do you think that CS majors only land jobs at tech companies?
In reality, computer science is about much more than declaring integers and writing functions. It is an exciting field that combines the principles of engineering, mathematics, and science. Computer scientists study and develop applications, networks, hardware, software, databases, and much more.
Here we’ll clear up some common misconceptions about CS and take you through the skills you’ll need, the courses you’ll need to take, and the potential career paths you can explore with a CS degree to help you decide if CS is the right major for you.
What skills do I need to succeed as a CS major?
Computer science involves problem-solving, creativity, and critical thinking. If you have any of these skills, then you are a perfect match for a degree in computer science. Moreover, working in the industry often requires strong communication skills, as you’ll need to explain your deliverables to others from non-technical backgrounds.
What courses will I take as a CS major?
So what exactly is the coursework required for a CS degree? While requirements may vary slightly between universities, CS majors can rest assured they’ll take a range of exciting courses.
These courses may include Discrete Math, Data Structures, Machine Organization, Languages and Automata, Programming language Design and Implementation, Software Design, Systems Programming, Computer Design, and more.
What will my career path look like after graduation?
Some people are under the impression that CS majors only go on to work at large tech companies. This isn’t true. Computer science skills are valuable in many fields. Computer scientists work in healthcare, economics, fashion, marketing, education, and more. As long as you’re curious, computer scientists can thrive in virtually any industry. Plus, many are lucky enough to be able to switch industries if they get bored.
Computer science majors often go on to work as software engineers, system analysts, product managers, consultants, product designers, data scientists, web developers, game designers, cyber security experts, database designers, data engineers, DevOps, software architects, and more.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of computer scientists is projected to grow 21 percent from 2021 to 2031. This is much faster growth than the average for all other occupations. Moreover, the median annual wage for computer scientists was $97,000 in 2021. Not only are budding CS professionals entering a fast-changing industry—they’re also securing very lucrative positions.
If these courses and potential career paths sound interesting to you, speak with your advisor about the beauty of computer science and the steps you can take to major or minor in it.
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