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A Future in Computer Science
By Amber Gragert
There once was a young man with a bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of Michigan and a master's of the same study from Stanford University. He went on to pursue his PhD at Stanford and, while doing so, became friends with another young man also working on his Computer Science PhD. They both decided to put their studies on hold, rent a garage and develop the second young man's computer mining system into a functioning search engine -- becoming two of the most famous computer science majors in history. I'm talking about Larry Page and Sergey Brin, developers of Google.
The story of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook is also very well known by now thanks to a film called The Social Network. He was majoring in computer science (and psychology) at Harvard University when he came up with the idea of Facebook and the rest is history. I'm not saying making computer science your course of education is going to make you a millionaire, but I am saying that computer science degrees are highly lucrative in today's market.
Computer science majors use technology to solve problems. They learn the ins and outs of computer systems and how computers and humans interact from a scientific perspective. They design and build the tools that make every day computing easier, faster and more efficient. Take smart phones, for instance. Would you like to be the person that designs new technologies that make those devices work even better? How about designing entirely new devices? Tablets and smart watches are all the rage, but what's next? If those ideas interest you, or writing software, creating new apps, or developing websites and programs interests you - then you are in the right place.
Typical undergraduate course requirements are computer science, mathematics, natural science and a few humanities and social sciences courses. Think calculus, object-oriented programming, intro to computer science and discrete structures. After that, you get into learning computer programming language, algorithms, and the like.
Job recruiters are all but desperate to fill positions in the tech world so you can basically have your pick of employment opportunities with a degree in computer science. So, what additional skills will help you succeed in this industry? Adaptability, the drive to always advance and push yourself, creative and imaginative problem solving skills, precise and mathematical thinking, logical but also abstract thought processes. Good communication skills are a huge plus and are also quite necessary in this industry as you almost always are working with other people. It's one thing to have the ability to design a program but can you explain it to someone or pitch the idea to your boss? Communication is key - even in computer science.