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The My College Options® Resource Center provides up to date news and information for students and parents.

COMPUTER SCIENCE

WHAT IS COMPUTER SCIENCE?

Computer science is the science of computation, and as such, it has two roots. The first is mathematical and deals with creating theoretical models. The second is an engineering root, which deals with implementation, both in the sense of hardware and in the structure of software. The science aspect of the field applies to finding boundaries and limitations of the content, speed, and efficiency of what can be computed. Computer science includes the study of algorithms, the step-by-step description of how to solve a problem. Algorithms then become the blueprints for problem solutions in the form of computer programs.

WHAT COURSES DO YOU NEED TO TAKE?

Basic courses in a computer science program include:

  • Algorithms
  • Computer Organization
  • Data Structures
  • Discreet Mathematics
  • Introduction to Hardware
  • Introduction to Programming
  • Operations Systems
  • Programming Languages
  • Statistics

Electives often include:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Automata Theory
  • Compiler Construction
  • Computer Architecture
  • Computer Graphics
  • Database Management
  • Human Computer Interfaces
  • Multimedia
  • Networking
  • Software Engineering
  • Theory of Computation

In addition to course work, internship programs are an excellent way to gain experience in the field.

WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH A DEGREE IN COMPUTER SCIENCE?

Computer scientists, especially those who complement their technical knowledge with communication and business skills, can build interesting careers for themselves in almost any sector of society. Although competition for jobs has grown, computer science majors can find positions as technical administrators and software engineers, as well as non-technical jobs in product support, sales and marketing for wholesale and retail trade, documentation, and technical writing and editing.

An advanced degree qualifies a computer scientist to work in a research lab or for a consulting firm. It qualifies him or her to teach at the college and university level as well.

Reeves, D./Bradbury, M., MAJORS EXPLORATION: A Search and Find Guide for College & Career Direction, c. 1999

Electronically reproduced by permission of Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.

 
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