We live in a digital world. And like it or not, you have to solve digital problems every day. Whether it’s to charge a phone with a dead battery or it’s to fix the TV, you solve several problems related to digital devices at home or at work. Pursuing a computer science and Information technology degree problem is a crucial step in helping you become the expert at solving digital problems you are meant to be.
What is Computer Science and Information Technology?
Contrary to popular opinion, computer science and Information Technology are two different fields. However, the two fields are interrelated. Most inventions in technology have come to pass as a result of the synergetic efforts between the two fields. For example, the use of IT in e-commerce has expanded the businesses of most people. Nonetheless, it’s through computer science that it’s now possible to carry electronic devices everywhere and carryout businesses with them.
Computer science is a science degree in the sense that computer scientists study why and how computer programs work. Computer scientists use advanced math, algorithms, and coded language to develop new ways to manipulate computer programs. At the college level, computer science students learn how to code, how to design software, and why the computer operates the way it does.
Information Technology relates to the use of technology. IT experts utilize already made programs and software to manipulate the computer to solve different problems. As such, IT experts construct networks from computer programs and software. At the undergraduate level, IT students study database design to a broader perspective.
In colleges and universities where computer science and information technology are offered in one program, students are taught broadly about the two fields before they specialize in their areas of interest in the second or third years of study.
Why should you study Computer Science and Technology?
Computer science and IT jobs are projected to grow at higher than average rates in the next decade. Jobs in these two fields will be plenty as technology continues to penetrate deep in industries. Besides that, here are other reasons to pursue a degree program in computer science and Information Technology
1- High Paying Jobs
There is a huge career pool for computer science and Information technology experts, and they are mostly well-paying. Working for Silicon Valley IT firms, banks, insurance companies, retail businesses, or business to business organizations all come with huge salary packages. Even low IT positions in many companies still attract high paying salaries.
2- The Industry is Diverse
The computer science and Information Technology fields consist of hundreds of diverse jobs. Virtually every modern company will have an IT position, and all these jobs need to be filled by people like you. Additionally, IT jobs continue to increase as technology changes, resulting in more jobs than any other field in the next several years. Career positions in programming networking; database management, chief technological officer are all potential opportunities for someone with a degree in this field.
3- It’s a Practical Field
What you study in computer science and Information technology can be applied anywhere in the world. The skills you gain in the field are all practical, meaning you get to learn how to make things, how to solve digital problems, and when to change them. What you create will be used by potentially millions of people. And even if you don’t create world-famous software, your skills could be used in everyday life.
4- You can Make Money While at College
Since the skills you learn are mostly practical skills, you could use them to make money while you still study. Your skills in web support, IT networking solutions and coding are all needed, whether you are studying or you’ve already graduated. In addition, graduate prospects in the field are some of the best. Most students who complete their studies having acquired the right skills in the field get jobs at a much faster rate than other students.
5- Great Job Satisfaction
Since computer science and Information technology degrees attract high salary packages, job satisfaction in the field is higher than average. Most people in the field find it very easy to change jobs, to work where they want, and to accomplish their dreams in life. And because computer science and IT are global fields, pursuing the program gives you a better chance to work with global companies in any part of the world.
What Skills do you need?
Technical and non-technical skills are both important in any field related to computer science and information technology. IT and Computer scientists need to know how to interact with people, vendors, and customers as much as they communicate with computers. Here are the top skills needed by people in the technology-related fields.
Most jobs in IT and computer science need a good grasp of oral and written communication skills. Some of the major responsibilities in the field include writing proposals, writing white papers, sending emails, working with peers and bosses. Most IT and computer scientists work under superiors. They constantly have to explain processes and developments in their job in a layman’s language. Part of the communication skills needed is listening skills. You will often have to make what your client wants and not necessarily what you think is best for the client.
Although some computer science jobs are done by individuals, most of them revolve around teamwork. Being good at teamwork is therefore indispensable for an IT or computer scientist. You are required to work towards a bigger objective in many firms, and you must be prepared to play your role accordingly.
Sometimes as an IT expert, you will be asked to oversee a certain project. You will be expected to lead the IT department, become the Chief technological officer, or even be the CEO of a computer science or IT-oriented company. Most of the world’s biggest IT companies such as Facebook and Google have CEOs with IT-related education qualifications.
Flexibility is a skill that you’ll need while working in computer science or IT related firm. Sometimes programs and software develop bugs, systems malfunction, and you will be asked to handle them immediately. Learning how to accept last-minute changes in your project so that it meets the new demands of the vendor is a crucial skill in the industry.
Developing unique programs that can solve people’s problems requires a creative person. It takes a creative mind to develop solutions that will be relevant both in the current and in the future. This sort of ingenuity requires someone creative, someone, who can work around a problem until a clear solution is made.
Part of the job of an IT expert or a computer scientist is to present your work during meetings with your clients and seniors. You need an organized and logically flowing presentation if your ideas are to be accepted and sponsored. You can learn how to be good at presentations while working with presentation tools such as slides.
Admissions-What are the Entry Requirements
The entry requirements for a computer science and Information technology degree program include:
- A high school diploma with a high pass grade of above 3.5. In most US universities, a pass rate of above 4 in math and science is required.
- Pass with A grade in at least five GCSE subjects in the UK, and have an A in math, science and English language.
- Have a pass rate of at least 75% for many international students, and meet IELTS requirements if you are studying in the UK.
Duration of Study
The program takes four years to complete in most universities around the world. In the UK, an undergraduate program takes three years to complete. Usually, students are introduced to broad concepts in computer science and Information Technology in the first year and a half of study, before specializing in an area of interest. In most universities, students are also required to take a one-year internship program before graduation.
What are the Job Opportunities?
There are dozens of computer science jobs and career opportunities for IT graduates. Here are some of them:
- SEO specialist
- Application analyst
- Game developer
- UX analyst
- Web and mobile app developer
- Database administrator
- Network engineer
- Digital copywriter
- PPC specialist
- High school teacher
- Security systems analyst
- Data scientist
What is the Expected computer science salary?
The median computer science salary scientists in the US is $75,000. Shortage in IT experts and specialists within the computer science spectrum are expected to raise salaries even higher. Besides lucrative packages, many organizations have also boosted their perks to offer free lunches, flexible hours, and fringe benefits to attract the best of these experts. With enhanced studies, an IT expert or computer scientist can have their pay packages top those of CEOs in medium and top organizations.
Top 10 Computer Science and Information Technology Schools
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)-MIT is one of the world’s most famous computer science and Information technology schools in the world. It’s joined by the following nine schools from around the world.
- University of Oxford-UK
- Stanford University
- Harvard University
- University of Cambridge-UK
- The University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
- Princeton University
- National University of Singapore
- The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
- Swiss Federal Institute of Technology