The field of computer science is rapidly growing. But what is computer science all about? Here are your questions answered.
Before jumping into studying computer science, you’ll likely want to understand all that it encompasses. With a general title, computer science degrees actually span a lot of professions and create opportunity to work for a broad range of companies and clients. If you find yourself asking “what is computer science all about?” Here, you will find your questions answered.
For starters, loosely defined, computer science is the study of computer hardware and software. It includes theory, design, development, and application. It involves both practical and theoretical aspects, like computer graphics which are real-world applications and programming language theory which focuses on how to implement computations.
Computer science traverses every industry and even personal households. According to the US Census Bureau, Internet use in private households quadrupled between 2007 and 2015. Usage has hit the 4 billion mark so more than half the world is connected.
The global nature of the business means that careers in the field are far-reaching. If you know that you enjoy problem-solving and are looking to have a real impact on the future of the world, computer science may be a great degree for you.
At University of the People, you can opt for an Associate or Bachelor’s degree with the benefit of it being completely tuition-free and flexible without sacrificing the quality education of a traditional university. In fact, Computer Science is the most popular degree earned at UoPeople, including 2,236 students earning their Associate and 5,238 getting their Bachelor’s degree, at the time of writing.
While there are many programs to choose from, we will take a look at UoPeople’s program goals and the abilities you’ll learn. Broadly, most of these points will overlap with other programs.
Program Goals and What You’ll Learn
The program goals for a Computer Science degree are multi-faceted. Upon graduating from our degree program, you will have the necessary skills to enter the workforce for a company or as a freelancer because you’ll understand both the framework of computer science, as well as practical knowledge to design, implement, and test solutions.
Here’s a quick overview of the program goals:
- Understand the use and structure of the common mechanisms for describing and designing software and hardware structures
- Understand the use of abstraction in the design, implementation, and use of databases
- Demonstrate proficiency in core programming skills to code, debug, and test programming solutions
- Apply appropriate methods in the planning, development, and management of design projects (B.S. level)
Courses You Can Expect
Whether you choose to earn your Associate degree or Bachelor’s, you’ll take a well-rounded list of classes that start with the basics and move into theory and conceptual topics.
For example, a few class titles include: Web Programming 1 & 2, Data Structures, Computer Systems, Programming 1 & 2, Communications and Networking.
You can view the full curriculum here.
Length of Study
For the Bachelor of Science program, there is a minimum of 120 course units required to graduate. An academic year has five semesters, each broken into 10 weeks, with a total of 11 proctored exams.
The degree is designed with employability as a main goal. An advisory board made up of industry experts and academic professionals design the curriculum together to prepare students for the workforce upon graduation.
As previously mentioned, Computer Science is the most popular degree program at UoPeople, followed by Business Administration. The degree’s popularity is not unique to our institution. In fact, it is the third most popular degree for international students coming to the U.S. to earn their education.
American institutions provide an advantageous place to earn a degree in Computer Science because there is a lot of investment in the field throughout the country. Additionally, America is recognized as a global industry leader in the realm, with massive amounts of opportunity to work for some of the world’s biggest companies hiring in Computer Science. Just take a look at Silicon Valley, where Apple, Facebook, Google, Salesforce, and more are headquartered.
Furthermore, no matter where you want to work, a Computer Science degree from an accredited online university can land you a job anywhere in the world. At UoPeople, the unique online structure brings together over 18,500 students from over 200 countries and territories in the world, meaning that the diverse student body all bring a unique perspective to the table. The small class sizes are structured to be able to learn from one another and collaborate, while also providing a space to perform peer-to-peer assessments, which further promotes understanding of each topic.
Since computer science is a broad, yet highly specialized degree, it opens up the door to a vast amount of careers. This list could go on forever, so here, we’ve compiled some of the positions that hire Computer Science majors, including their average annual salary pulled from U.S. Census Bureau data.
- Data Scientist: $76K
- Computer Programmer: $88K
- Computer Engineer: $95K
- Front End Web Developer: $93K
- Database Administrator: $85K
- Computer Network Architect: $111K
For more about the top ten highest paying jobs in the field, check out this resource.
With the rapid and exponential advancement of technology, there’s ongoing buzz around artificial intelligence, automation, blockchain, cloud computing and the like.
Since technology builds upon itself, each time there is an advancement, the effects are bigger than the cause alone. This contributes to the fact that Computer Science is experiencing faster growth than other fields. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, between 2014 and 2024, the job outlook is predicted to grow by 11%.
Furthermore, according to the World Economic Forum, by 2020, there will be a net loss of 7.1 million jobs. Most of these jobs will be white-collar positions and administrative jobs. However, most of the jobs that will be safe from this purge are computer science positions like data analysts. The STEM field continues to grow because technology is increasingly important for our world to function.
Where to Begin
Now it’s up to you to decide your next step. If you’ve never tried your hand at anything related to computer science, there are many free online resources to start with basic components of the field, like coding. Or you can jump right into UoPeople’s part-time or full-time Computer Science degree program. It’s clear to see that the return on the low-cost investment will be high as the field is growing and offers well-paying career options.
If you are ready to pursue your degree, you can find out more about the simple application process here.