Been wondering what is computer science all about? Read on to learn what computer science is, if it’s the right field for you, and lots more.
It can be confusing to try and figure out what is computer science all about on your own. Here we answer your burning questions on all things computer science, including what it is, some interesting areas of computer science, whether computer science is right for you, potential jobs and salaries a computer scientist can earn, and how to get started in the field. Computer science isn’t for everyone, but those interested in the field can have a bright, exciting, and potentially lucrative future in store. Let’s dive in!
What is computer science?
Computer science is a very vast field with many different areas, specializations, and applications. Basically, computer science is the study of all the different components of computers and computer systems.
A computer scientist is someone that specializes in the theory and design of these computational systems. Most computer scientists mainly deal with the theory, design, development, and application of software and software systems, as opposed to hardware. Computer hardware is normally designed by electrical and computer engineers. Information technology (IT), on the other hand, mainly deals with the installation, organization, and maintenance of computer systems.
Programming is an essential part of the computer science field, but it’s not the only thing that computer scientists do. They may also design and analyze algorithms to solve programs as well as study the performance of computer hardware and software systems.
What are some of the different fields of Computer Science?
Computer science encompasses a very wide range of fields, and new ones continue to emerge as time goes by and new technologies are invented. Because there are such a dizzying number of fields, most computer scientists choose to specialize in one specific area. It would be impossible to become an expert in everything!
Some computer science fields include:
1. Artificial intelligence:
AI focuses on computer systems that are able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as decision-making, speech recognition, translation between languages, etc.
Focuses on computational challenges and solutions in the biological and medical informatics application areas.
3. Computer and Network Security:
This important field designs and develops secure and safety-critical systems that keep the world’s computers and networks safe.
4. Human-Computer Interaction:
HCI focuses on user-centered design to develop computers and systems that are more user-friendly.
5. Information Management:
This wide field is focused on the design, development, management, and use of information in order to better understand and utilize the data in the real world.
6. Mobile Computing:
Focuses specifically on the design and development of mobile devices (such as smartphones).
Computer programming is the process of writing instructions that get executed by computers. There are many programming languages, including Java, Python, Ruby on Rails, C++, and many others.
8. Software Engineering:
Design, develop, implement, and modify computer software.
This is just a taste of the varied and numerous fields that computer science offers. The opportunities are limitless with computer science, especially as technology continues to rapidly progress.
Is Computer Science right for me?
Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula to knowing whether computer science is a good fit for anyone. However, there are some helpful questions that can help you decide whether computer science is a good fit for you or not.
Try asking yourself:
- Do I like to think critically, analyze, and solve complex problems?
- Am I logical and analytical?
- Do I enjoy math and science? (Not all fields of CS require math skills, but many do.)
- Do I enjoy continuously learning new things?
- Do the latest technologies excite me?
- Am I a creative thinker?
- Am I willing to focus on one task until it is complete?
- Am I persistent when it comes to solving problems?
- Do I like to create and invent new things?
If you said yes to all or most of these questions, then computer science could be a good fit for you.
To know for sure, simply jump right in and see if you like it! There’s plenty of free online courses, YouTube videos, books, and blogs out there that can teach you more about all things computer science. See what excites you and what doesn’t!
The only way to truly know whether computer science is right for you is to jump in and start learning and see whether you enjoy it or not. It might be difficult and a bit overwhelming at first, since there’s so much to learn, but if you have the drive, passion, and commitment, anyone can become a successful computer scientist.
What education do I need to get a Computer Science job?
Before you can be qualified to get a job in a computer science field, you will first need to commit to studying and learning many different aspects of computer science. It is possible to teach yourself and practice these skills on your own, using the many resources on the internet. Not all jobs will require a degree, but you will need to have the experience to back it up.
However, if you’re looking for a solid foundation and knowledge and you don’t have any experience yet in this field, it’s highly recommended to look into getting a degree in computer science. There’s tons of great programs out there to look into, whether you’d like to get an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree. Having a degree in computer science will give you a big advantage over others when it comes to finding a job, as it shows employers you have completed a rigorous program successfully and have the required knowledge and experience.
How much do Computer Scientists make?
Computer science jobs are complex and challenging, and they’re in a very high demand right now. As a result, the average salary for jobs in this field are quite high. Here’s some national averages of annual salaries that computer scientists make in the US, according to Indeed.
- Software Engineer: $107,066
- Computer Programmer: $49,920
- Mobile Developer: $107,839
- Database Administrator: $94,536
- Systems Analyst: $74,712
- Front-end Developer: $108,419
- Back-end Developer: $126,800
- Information Security Analyst: $83,566
- Machine Learning Engineer: $144,883
How to get started
If all this sounds exciting and interesting to you, the next step is to jump in and start learning. There are a lot of free online courses out there that are a great way to start getting your feet wet straight away, without any commitment.
One of the most popular free online programs is CodeAcademy, which starts you at the very basics of HTML and CSS and allows you to move on to more advanced languages like Python, PHP, and Ruby.
Harvard University even offers a free online Introduction to Computer Science course.
If you want to go deeper and become a highly qualified computer scientist, getting a degree is the way to go. There’s great universities all over the world that offer cutting-edge programs, both online and on-campus. Do plenty of research to find the perfect computer science program for you.
If you’re looking for an associate or bachelor’s degree in computer science without the hefty price tag that comes along with most other universities, check out University of the People’s Computer Science degree programs. We are the world’s first tuition-free, completely online, accredited American university. With UoPeople, you will gain a strong academic foundation with real-life applications. We prepare our students for employment through plenty of hand-on experience, specialized internships, and mentoring programs. Choosing a computer science degree with UoPeople can set you up for a successful future in the computer science field of your dreams.
If you’ve gotten this far, it means you have a deep interest in the field of computer science. Now’s your time to take the next steps to becoming a computer scientist of your own! As the world becomes increasingly globalized and technology continues to become more advanced, computer science is one of the most promising fields out there to get involved in.
You’ll be able to get a great career in some of the most exciting industries out there, and since CS jobs are in such high demand, you can find a job anywhere in the world. Plus, you’ll be directly playing a part in creating new technologies that just may end up making our world a better place. Good luck and have fun on your computer science journey!