Is a Computer Science Degree Right for Me?


By Chris Bigelow Published on January 4, 2014
“Whether you’re trying to make a lot of money or whether you just want to change the world, computer programming is an incredibly empowering skill to learn.”
Hadi Partovi
Co-founder of Code.org

More and more, the world runs on computers. This means we need more computer experts! With your degree in computer science, you can help create amazing new ways for people to use computers, whether for business, industry, or fun.

Even former president of the United States Barack Obama has called on more Americans to learn computer science. “Don’t just buy a new video game—make one,” he said to kick off the 2014 Computer Science Education Week. “Don’t just download the latest app—help design it. Don’t just play on your phone—program it. No one’s born a computer scientist, but with a little hard work—and some math and science—just about anyone can become one.”

So, what’s your relationship with computers? Do you enjoy learning everything your computer can do? When other people have computer problems, do they often turn to you? Maybe you’ve already started to do a little programming yourself.

Why Earn Your Computer Science Degree?

With a computer science degree, you can turn your love for computers into an exciting, lucrative career. In the high-tech field, a college degree helps open the door to a rewarding professional future. Many of the industry’s most successful leaders prepared for their career by getting their degree in computer science—and you can too!

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the computer field is growing fast, and companies desperately need educated people like you. For example, employment of computer and information technology occupations is expected to grow 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is faster than the average for all occupations.  Software developer jobs are expected to grow by 30 percent through 2020, and database administrator jobs will grow by 31 percent. These growth rates are much higher than average for all professions. This means that your prospects of landing a good job are likewise much higher, once you get your degree.

In fact, our nation is currently facing a shortage of people with the right computer science skills and credentials. Here’s an eye-opening video from Code.org that illustrates how badly we need more computer experts, how open the field is to anyone, and how amazing a computer science career can be:

 

 

Helpful Traits for a Degree in Computer Science

Must you be a genius to become a computer expert? No! You just have to be determined and get the right training and experience. A computer science degree will unlock the potential of both sides of your brain, left and right. Your degree will teach you how to be more logical and analytical. At the same time, it will also teach you how to be more innovative and creative. Employers will be impressed!

If you want to explore the possibility of getting your degree in computer science, start by asking yourself these questions:

  • Do I like to think critically, analyze, and solve problems?
  • Am I willing to put in some effort on math and science?
  • Would I enjoy learning computer languages?
  • Would I enjoy dreaming up ways for computers and mobile devices to work better and do new things?
  • Do I like working on teams to tackle challenges?

If you’ve got what it takes, a computer science degree can open the door to a rewarding, high-paying career. Here’s what two CollegeAmerica graduates said:

“I got a job at HP as a field technician. I am making more money, and that came with the job. First college degree in my family . . . I am proud of myself for completing the schooling.”
Joseph Alonge
Computer science with a networking emphasis (bachelor's)
“One to two classes a month really makes time fly by very fast. I got a great internship at an observatory that was going through changes to upgrade much of their network. Best job I’ve had.”
Reid Anderson
Computer technology and networking (associate's)

Jobs You Could Get with a Computer Science Degree

Computer-related firms will create over 1.3 million new jobs by the year 2020. Businesses need tech-savvy people like you to develop new software and mobile apps, program their websites and databases, and run efficient information networks.

With your computer science degree, you’ll get the practical and theoretical knowledge you need to help guide the future of programming and networking. When you graduate, you could be competent in programming, network administration, computer security, database management, and/or client interface. These skills will make you more valuable to potential employers.

Computer science graduates often find entry-level to mid-level positions as software engineers, network administrators, web developers, computer programmers, project managers, and systems analysts. In addition, some computer science grads become future technology entrepreneurs.

How Can You Get Started?

If you’re a working adult, you need to find a computer degree program that’s designed for you and your challenges. At CollegeAmerica, for instance, we have flexible class schedules so you can go to school without having to quit your job. You can choose between daytime, evening, or online classes.

CollegeAmerica also offers accelerated programs, so you can finish your degree faster.2 You can earn your associate’s degree in 20 months or less or your bachelor’s in 36 months or less. In addition, you could qualify for one of the Fresh Start Scholarships and save up to $5,000 on tuition.Find out more about computer degree programs at CollegeAmerica here.

1 Online programs are offered by an affiliated institution, Independence University.
2 Accelerated Degree programs are compared to traditional colleges and universities. See National Center for Educational Statistics, Table 4 .
3 Scholarship awards are limited and only available to those who qualify. See www.scholarshipshc.com for details.