Computer Science

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Major in Computer Science at Christian Universities

Article by Rachelle Wiggins

Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.”

Computers have infiltrated every area of our lives! Most of us are engaged with digital devices for a large percentage of our day and there is not an industry on the planet that does not depend, in some way, upon the use of technology.  A degree in this flourishing field is a priceless commodity and places computer-savvy employees in high demand!

Computer science involves the theory, development and engineering used in the design of computers and computational systems.  Computer science branches out into topics as diverse as network security, numeric analysis, programming language, human computer interaction, bioinformatics, computer forensics and the theory of computing. 

Those with a natural interest in technological areas like these and gifted with high math aptitudes are the students most likely to be drawn to a computer science major. If you do not enjoy computer programming on some level you will not enjoy this degree! Since so much of the world of computer science revolves around solving problems of one kind or another, an analytical, attentive and logical mind is of the essence. Some other important skills and traits needed include:

  • Creativity. Whether you land in an area of design or IT troubleshooting, it’s great to be able to look at things from a new angle or perspective.
  • Commitment to lifelong learning. In an industry that’s changing every day it’s imperative to add learning to learning so as not to be left behind.
  • Memorization skills. This comes in extremely handy in being able to absorb programming languages and other technical details.
  • Resilience and Persistence. In a field where a large percentage of what you do, all day every day, is to solve problems with technological solutions, it helps to be patient and have a never-quit attitude.

Because computer science is essentially a branch of applied mathematics, you can be sure you will encounter plenty of advanced math courses in your degree. Be prepared to study calculus, probability, algorithms and statistical and numeric analysis. When you first step into your major you will spend time learning about the most basic programming language and will then be introduced to more complex coding methods. Classes you may take include:

  • Theory of Computation
  • Electronics
  • Java Programming and Web Design
  • Computer Networks
  • Operating Systems
  • Computer Architecture and Organization

A computer science degree at Christian Universities offer problem-solving life skills that are used in a wide variety of contexts--from business to science to social. With an employment growth rate of 13% (much higher than that of other fields which average about 7%) it is not difficult to be hired in diverse areas of employment, including opportunities for international travel if that sparks your interest. In general, computer science careers can be broken down into three main categories:

  • Development (software, web, games, systems, programs and products)
  • Analyst/Consultant (systems, technical, business continuity data)
  • Administration/Management (database, network, information systems)

Someday we will stand before God and give an account for what we did with what He’s given us. If He’s gifted you with an analytical mind, hard-wired for a job in a computer based field, then embrace that gifting and move forward with confidence in your educational and career pursuits!

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.