When it comes to personal economics and life choices, one of the most heated disputes is whether or not to pursue further education. It’s a classic model that’s crumbling, owing to rising costs.
When young high school graduates leave the financial security of their parents’ income, they embark on a path littered with debt and the possibility of living in poverty for the rest of their lives. Not everyone who earns a Bachelor’s degree ends up in Silicon Valley or earns $100,000 or more immediately away. The concept is appealing, as evidenced by the media’s portrayal of Google’s huge amusement park campuses and our own fantasies of grandeur. Some argue that pursuing a Computer Science degree is a trap, while others will attest to its value. But the issue remains: is it still worthwhile to invest $40,000 or more on a Computer Science degree in this age of self-teaching?
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Benefits of a Computer Science Degree
Prepares you for a wide range of occupations: Computer science graduates have abilities that may be used for a variety of jobs, allowing them to explore a wide range of options in a variety of industries.
You’ll be a part of a rapidly expanding industry: Computer and math occupations are growing at a considerably quicker rate than the national average, making computer science one of the most viable degree alternatives.
Provides Access to High-Paying Jobs: Graduates of computer science have some of the best starting wages of any major. If money is a priority, a computer science degree should be near the top of your list.
Computer Science Degrees are in High Demand: Companies are having difficulty filling computing roles since the amount of computer science graduates entering the workforce is significantly smaller than the demand for them in the industry.
The Drawbacks of Getting a Computer Science Degree
Strong emphasis on concepts and theory Most computer science courses have a strong emphasis on theory, so if you’re not interested in abstract thinking, a computer science program is probably not for you. Students who are more advanced in their understanding of computer systems may want to consider a concentration like software engineering, which focuses on practical application.
Only a few classrooms are available.
Colleges are struggling to meet demand for computer science courses as the number of undergraduates majoring in the subject expands, making it difficult to get a position in one.
Math is given a lot of attention.
Many students are drawn to computer science because of its financial rewards. However, if you have difficulty with math and problem-solving, this degree may not be for you.
A Computer Science Degree is Expensive
Professional coders and programmers can get degrees through online learning platforms or coding bootcamps at a fraction of the expense of a four-year institution. If you want to work for a top tech firm like Apple, Google, or Amazon, you’ll almost certainly require a bachelor’s degree in computer science.
Is a Computer Science Degree Difficult?
You must be comfortable dealing with technology in order to succeed in computer science. Patience, inventiveness, and problem-solving skills are also required in this area.
Because computing concepts have mathematical roots, students seeking a computer science major should plan to take many statistics and analysis courses.
A computer science major, like any other field of study, necessitates a commitment to understanding and mastering the principles. You may face a high learning curve if you have little to no experience working with computers.
Computer science is widely regarded as a challenging and competitive major. You should expect to spend a lot of time studying concepts and putting them into practice through your own coding projects, and keeping up with your peers may be difficult.
Finally, as long as you’re enthusiastic about the subject and willing to put in the necessary time and effort, you may attain your objectives.
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Courses and Curriculum in Computer Science
Computer science is an excellent major since it includes a wide range of courses that prepare students for careers in both established and emerging fields. Here are some of the courses that are commonly included in a computer science major:
Basic Programming gives students an overview of the programming languages and standards that are used to create and maintain digital architecture and infrastructure.
Calculus is a mathematical basis that can be used to work out sophisticated computing and design concepts.
Computational Thinking teaches students the principles of how computer scientists examine and develop new concepts and procedures.
Data Management provides instruction on data storage, use, interpretation, and optimization.
The engineering side of computation is covered by Electronic Design.
Statistics provides a foundation for understanding the algorithms and statistical features that underpin tasks such as speech recognition and picture analysis.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of available courses. In fact, to keep up with the demands of this rapidly changing business, schools and institutions are offering new computer science classes every semester.
The good news is that such specialist courses might make you quite appealing to potential employers! A STEM degree, such as computer science, can put you on the cutting edge of being prepared for the current and future economy.
Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, informational systems, information management, and design are all topics covered in most college and university curricula.
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Is it Worth It to Get a Computer Science Degree?
For many students, a computer science degree is worthwhile. Over the next ten years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an 11% increase in computer and information technology jobs. Computer support specialist, security analyst, software developer, programmer, computer scientist, and chief information officer are all common jobs in this industry.
A computer science major can help you prepare for a profession with opportunities for advancement and specialization. In today’s economy, a STEM degree is the gold standard.
If you enjoy math, science, or technology, you should take advantage of the opportunity to major in computer science. What gets you pumped up in the morning?
There are numerous programs that provide particular concentrations and degree paths.
It doesn’t hurt that having a well rounded career provides personal gratification. Obtaining a degree that leads to job offers means that in only a few years, your creative signature might be on programs and infrastructure that are utilized by millions of people.
Do you want to make a living by building, programming, and developing? Make a plan to apply to colleges that provide computer science degree programs so you can be considered for employment that only STEM graduates are qualified for.
A computer science degree clearly places graduates in high demand due to the hard skills they gain. However, networking is still necessary for securing crucial positions at major corporations. Joining a professional association is one of the finest ways to keep connected with colleagues in the tech sector.
The major professional associations for computer science graduates are as follows:
IEEE Computer Society Association for Computing Machinery Computing Research Association
When you join an association, you gain access to periodicals and industry details. You might be able to attend events or have access to private employment boards as well. At an event, you never know who the next up-and-coming Silicon Valley celebrity will be.
When selecting degree programs, regional accreditation should be considered in addition to national accreditation.
Going to a regionally approved school provides a lot of prestige. Additionally, credits obtained at regionally accredited colleges tend to be more transferrable. Computer science majors may benefit from accreditation that is focused on a certain field.
A speciality is proof that a school has met or exceeded accrediting authorities’ requirements. Do regional accreditation for computer science majors matter to IT employers? Many people do.
If this is the industry you want to work in after graduation, finding a school that offers a special accreditation in cybersecurity, for example, could be a significant benefit.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
This degree is a good investment because of the earning possibilities for computer science graduates. When studying technology, you must, of course, consider how you will pay for your school. For computer science majors, there are numerous financial aid possibilities.
Furthermore, scholarships may be able to pay a significant portion of your tuition expenses. This is true even at some of the greatest computer science universities.
Here are some scholarships that all computer science majors, both future and current, should be aware of:
Scholarships of up to $3,000 are available through the ESA Foundation Scholarship Program for women and minorities pursuing full-time undergraduate study in computer and video game arts at accredited four-year institutions and universities.
Through the American Indian College Fund, the Ford Motor Company Tribal Scholars Program offers $3,000 to qualified applicants each year.
The Gates Millennium Scholars Program supports 20,000 excellent students of color with financial aid.
Microsoft Tuition Scholarships are merit-based incentives given to students majoring in computer technology and related STEM fields.
The Regeneron Science Talent Search is the oldest and most prominent STEM competition in the country.
The United States Department of Defense (DoD) offers the SMART Scholarship to students pursuing STEM degrees at the bachelors, masters, and doctoral levels.
The Wayne V. Black Memorial Scholarship Award is an annual scholarship offered by the Energy Telecommunications & Electrical Association’s Board of Directors (ENTELEC).
A minimum 3.0 GPA is required for most computer science and STEM scholarship programs. Furthermore, applicants must display distinct academic, personal, and professional skills.
Is a Computer Science Degree a Job Guarantee?
There’s no way to guarantee that you’ll get a job with a degree. When compared to the overall economy, however, the prospects for computer science majors are substantially brighter.
The world is likely to be the oyster of a passionate, enthusiastic graduate from a reputable program.
How to Pick the Best Computer Science Degree Program Online
When researching computer science degree programs online, students should consider a variety of aspects, including cost and curriculum. Students should also make certain that the online colleges they are investigating are accredited.
While the Computing Accreditation Commission, which is part of ABET, accredits many of the best on-campus computer science degrees, some of the greatest online programs are recognized by smaller regional bodies.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, for example, accredits the University of Florida, whereas the Higher Learning Commission accredits the University of Illinois at Springfield. These certifications are significant, especially when it comes to seeking a career after graduation, because they demonstrate to companies that students are prepared to work in the field.
Students should examine the cost of a program as well as wage forecasts for specific job tracks while evaluating programs, as they will have to begin repaying their loans with cash earned from their new work.
For example, an online bachelor’s in professional technology studies from Pace University may cost more than $67,000, while a B.S. in computer science from the University of Florida could cost roughly $15,500 for an in-state online student. Meanwhile, according to the BLS, the median wage for all computer occupations was more than $86,000 in 2018. Students should also look into a program’s coursework and specialization options.
What Does it Cost to Earn an Online Computer Science Degree?
Although online computer science degrees are typically less expensive than traditional degrees, they can still be costly, costing anywhere from $15,000 to $80,000.
Here’s an example of a price disparity: An online bachelor’s in computer science would cost roughly $15,500 for an in-state student at the University of Florida. In contrast, a Florida campus-based in-state student would pay nearly $10,000 more in tuition and fees over four years, not including room and board.
Tuition for online students who live in the state can be much lower at many schools. For example, a nonresident online student at the University of Florida would pay $50,000 more in tuition than a Florida resident. Other colleges, on the other hand, charge the same tuition regardless of where a student lives.
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