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Is Computer Science Right for You?

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Computer science is becoming ever more relevant as the fourth industrial revolution slowly proceeds into maturity. If you’re deciding whether to start studying computer science, whether you’re looking to change careers or you’re coming up to college applications, you will likely be attracted by the high growth projections and salaries. If you like tech, you might feel a job in computer science is ideal, but if that’s the case, you should think about a few things before you jump into the decision.

What sort of Tech do you Like?

If you’re drawn to the tech industry and feel computer science might be right for you because of that, you need to decide whether information technology might actually be a better decision. If you’re unfamiliar with the difference, computer science has a lot of math, a lot of theory and is suited for programming and software development; IT, on the other hand, involves working with computers and software, designing hardware and services, and configuring and maintaining computer systems. The best way of thinking about it is that Steve Wozniak would choose computer science while Steve Jobs would choose IT (or possibly marketing).

If you already enjoy coding, cracking open apps, and looking at what’s inside, you might want to consider computer science over IT. Traditionally, computer science does come with a price tag as you have to bring your own capable hardware for homework and projects, etc. However, coding doesn’t typically require much processing power, and there are plenty of laptops that are affordable for computer science majors.

What do you want to learn about?

You should choose computer science because you have a passion for the theory behind it. If the prospect of learning about web analytics, enterprise architecture, and advanced application development thrills you, check out the modules on the school you’re looking at to see if you feel equally passionate about the others. If you can’t associate with 90% of the courses that you would take, you might want to have second thoughts.

Is it too hard?

Computer science isn’t too tricky, as long as you’re prepared to dedicate a lot of time if you’re starting from scratch. You need patience and discipline because you’re basically learning a whole other language in order to solve problems. This is never going to be an easy task, but just about anybody can learn a language if they try hard enough. Set aside the time and effort, and you will not struggle with computer science.

Most Common Jobs for a Computer Science Major

Some of the more common jobs involve software development engineering, working with java and javascript, developing software, and engineering systems. Computer science is also a great choice if you’re looking to get involved with start-ups, so if you have a practical entrepreneurial mind, it might be the choice for you. If you get a job with your computer science degree, it’s unlikely for you to be earning under $50k a year. Web developers earn about $60-70k, and software application developers have a median annual salary of just over $100k.

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