Online Computer Science Training
The field of computer science encompasses a wide range of career possibilities, ranging from information technology specialist to software engineer. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates an annual growth rate in the field of computer science of 48 percent until at least 2020. This makes computer science one of the fastest growing careers of the decade.
If you enjoy working with computers, mathematics and solving complex problems, you may thrive in a computer science career. One misconception about the field of computer science is that it attracts people who are logical and lack creativity. Computer science is a broad enough career field to include website design, which is a very creative career, to a more logic-based career like systems analysis. Before you choose a career path in computer science, it is important to take the time to analyze the type of work you enjoy doing with computers. Once you have determined that, your next step is to find a degree program to teach you the skills you need to enter the computer science field of your choice.
Educational Options for Computer Science Majors
When you pursue higher education for a computer science degree, you have the option of selecting an associate degree or certificate program, bachelor's degree, master's degree or even higher. The level of education you pursue depends on your ultimate career goals. For example, if you are looking to start your career as a help desk operator, a two-year degree may be sufficient. However, if you are looking to teach computer science to others, you usually need at least a master's degree. That is why it is so important to have a clear career focus before you begin your formal education.
At the two-year associate degree level, the primary focus is on teaching students how to apply practical skills. This includes learning about hardware, software, systems design and the infrastructure of the computer. Community and technical colleges that offer computer science programs tend to focus on a broad overview of skills. This is done with the understanding that students are looking to put their computer science skills to immediate use upon graduation.
At the bachelor degree level and higher, computer science students will be more involved in learning about the theory behind their specific job functions. Both in school and after graduation, people at this level are expected to demonstrate understanding of a broad scope of knowledge in their specialty area. For example, if you graduate with a Bachelor of Information Technology, people will look to you as an expert in this field. You should also have at least a general understand of related fields, such as computer programming and network security.
Career Outlook and Typical Pay for Computer Science Majors
When you major in computer science, you are entering a career field that the BLS has ranked as one of the fastest growing careers overall. However, it is important to keep in mind that the specific salary and growth rate of your job in computer science depends upon the specialty that you choose.
According to the website Top 10 Reviews, the most popular and well-paying job for computer science majors is that of a software engineer. People who specialize in this type of computer science typically start out their careers earning over $60,000 a year. Software engineering is growing at a rate of 32 percent annually, according to the BLS. Even so, there are computer science careers with higher growth rates and lower starting salaries that software engineering. It all comes down to identifying your specialty area, procuring your first position and working your way up to the highest salary levels.