What to know before Studying Computer science

Computer science is quite a broad field, and if you plan on getting a computer science major, you would definitely want to be a top student and prove you constantly advance your computing skills. Computer scientists play a major part in the upcoming age of human advancement by using codes, developing software, apps, and digital design we see in every tech-related product. Computer science graduates are faced with a lot of career options and unlike other fields, the job market is currently unsaturated and offers very lucrative opportunities.

What to know before Studying Computer science

There are however many misconceptions concerning studying this course. This is due to how broad this field is, its intertwined relationship with mathematics and engineering,  and lastly, the field keeps evolving daily leading to new theories and applications. Passion and being a very good techie are not the only requirements for a successful computer science degree and preparing your career path. Here are some other things you need to know and help you be outstanding in the competitive and skill-demanding tech world. They include:

  1. Career Prospects
  2. Personal Skill Development
  3. Coding
  4. Learning doesn’t stop
  5. Preparing ahead
  6. Time Consuming
  7. Integration/ Applications of Computer Science in other Fields

1.  Career Prospects

The computer science field has seen a significant boom as the Internet revolution came to play, driving the adoption of cell phones, tablets, computers, and internet-enabled devices. These have further created avenues for solutions in form of applications on mobile and web platforms, driving the Internet-enabled industries like banking, finance (fintech), e-Commerce, and education. The key role the internet plays has ensured a continuous chain-reaction IT revolution, where a new idea/ product underpins the growth of another. This explosive nature, consequently, leads to explosive demand in skilled individuals in IT development, management, application, and research. This trail of demands expels any doubt of the viability of the field as a career path.  The computer science bachelor’s degree ensures one has a solid background to further develop and advance in the field.

A career path in computer science is very rewarding and has great job security as opposed to a misconception of not being stable. A product manager’s services for example will always be required for a product’s update, review, and marketing. Also, there is high demand for computer scientists, there is 1 computer tech for every 15 job openings.

Some career paths in computer science include:

  1. Software tester
  2. Web developer
  3. Systems analyst
  4. Computer science professor
  5. Business analyst
  6. Network architect
  7. Software engineer
  8. Data Scientist
  9. Software developer
  10. Engineering manager
  11. User interface designer
  12. Artificial intelligence and machine learning engineer
  13. Chief information security officer
  14. Product manager
  15. Software quality assurance manager
  16. Full-stack developer
  17. Database administrator
  18. Cloud computing engineer
  19. Information security analyst
  20. Information technology specialist
  21. Mobile application designer or developer
  22. Research and development (R&D) scientist
  23. Computer scientist or computer science researcher

2. Personal Skill Development

As exciting as computer science presents itself, it is quite broad and demands specialization. Do not expect to learn everything in the classroom. However, to become an expert in any sub-field of computer science, one must have a basic understanding of other sub-fields, how they relate, and practical applications. This foreknowledge drives decisions on specialization. These interrelated aspects and skills may not be properly covered as required by your career path.

Do not forget to keep an open mind when venturing into computer science towards understanding, irrespective of earlier prejudice or inclination towards a sub-field. Understanding other subfields will make you a better computer scientist; surprisingly, it may affect a change in your area of specialization as interest builds for other subfields.

Create a schedule around your classes and academics, applications, websites, or software to test your strength and application of classwork theory. Supplement your assignments and projects with online courses and classes on programming, this will help foster assimilation and keep you ahead of your class.

3. Coding

This may be the aspect of computer science with a thousand misconceptions. So what is true? and what isn’t? The facts remains that:

  • You can have a tech-related career that doesn’t involve coding. There is so much more to do aside from writing program codes These tech skills do not require coding.
  • Your previous computer science background doesn’t matter providing you keep practicing your skills and keep an open mind toward learning.
  • Coding is not as complex as it sounds. Although coding can be exciting especially when your first codes run successfully, it can become tiring and seem difficult when you encounter more complex topics. Constant practice and learning would help you. Mastering coding involves dedication and hard work, it is not rocket science.

4. Learning doesn’t stop

This field will keep evolving, technology is constantly improving and changing. A computer scientist must always learn new languages, features, and tools in order to stay relevant in the tech industry. Constantly seek out new projects to embark on, problems to solve, learning new languages, building a software framework, and exploring new fields.  Being a techie isn’t enough, you need to keep learning and acquiring the modern skills of a computer technocrat to meet up with the continuous advancement of technology.

It is important you have the right learning attitude as you do not know it all. Be ready to always learn new technologies that are in demand and familiarize yourself with them.

5. Prepare ahead

Failing to plan, is planning to fail. To be successful while studying computer science, you must do your assignments on time, advisably 4 days before the deadline. Last-minute rush on assignments and projects will be evident as your code won’t work. Also, you will be stressed out and incapable of coding correctly. Completing your assignment before deadlines create time to ensure a program works properly.

Having a study schedule that complements your classes will help you top of the class. Do not choke your brain, take breaks and intervals, this helps with clarity of the mind when you feel overwhelmed. Also, seeking help from older students, joining a study group, according to research, learning, or studying in a group helps students retain important information. Share ideas amongst your peers and work on projects together, this also helps you learn teamwork which is important for a computer science graduate. This doesn’t mean you should spend all your time studying, remember you also have a life apart from academics.

Also, it is never too early to prepare and send applications for your internship. Internships ensure you can apply theories to real-life cases.

6. Time-consuming

Studying computer science is not a stroll in the park and can be sometimes very challenging. Students must fulfil many course requirements each semester. These required courses are known to be quite difficult. An example is the math classes like Calculus I and II often referred to as “weed-out classes”. Weed-out classes are classes that are very difficult and end up making many people drop from their major.

Math is a challenging subject for many likely because it requires a lot of studying and practice and involves many concepts that build off each other, it takes plenty of effort for some students and sometimes requires students to devote lots and lots of time and energy.

Computer science classes are also challenging due to proofs, discrete math, complex algorithms, and coding. Coding can be very time-consuming. When your program doesn’t run you may need to find the error, write a new code, debug and spend time testing your code to make sure it meets any requirements. Getting a code right may take a whole week. However, with constant practice and dedication, mathematics and coding challenges will be easier.

7. Integration/ Applications of Computer Science in other Fields

This field is so broad, cutting across a variety of other sectors.  Computer technology like machine learning is employed by experts in fields like medical and environmental researchers. Computer scientists may train data for a particular model, develop algorithms and complex applications to facilitate scientific research.

Also, computational science has given rise to a lot of stimulation work for airflow, fluid flow, alloy design, mass. Lots of screening of potential compounds, structural engineering, earthquake/flood damage assessment, basic skills in the design of information processing systems, sound knowledge in one area of application of computer science all play vital roles.

Computer science technology applied in other fields is purposed to create new computation strategies that stimulate complex problems capable of running efficiently on supercomputers. The study of computer science programming is to design data structures and algorithms.

Computer science technology can be applied or integrated into the following fields: General Science, Geology, Environment, Astronomy, Health And Medicine, Sociology, Biology, Robotics, Human Assistance, Government, Literature, Linguistics, Music, Exploration, Art, Helping Developing Countries, Cars, Sports, Etc.  This is why the labour market for computer scientists remains unsaturated as their services cut across all sectors.

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