3 answers

Best undergraduate computer science colleges?

Asked Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I'm a CareerVillage staff member and I'm posting this because we know that many young people are looking for the answer to this question. This is among the most popular questions searched by youth, and we're hoping you will take a moment to share your response to it. Thank you! #college #it #computer-science #computers #undergraduate

Things you can consider for this specific question...

What colleges rank highly for their undergraduate computer science program?
If you studied computer science, where did you attend? What did you think of the program there?

3 answers

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

It really does not matter where you go to school for computer science. The most important things to consider are to get to know yourself better to determine if this is the best major for you to follow and how you might want to apply it as this career area has a vast array of applications and to get to know how you can pursue this career area without accumulating vast amounts of loans.

Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .

Ken recommends the following next steps:

  • The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
  • Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
  • Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
  • It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##
  • Here are some good tips on how to make the pursuit of a degree most economical without accumulating huge debt. ## http://www.educationplanner.org/students/paying-for-school/ways-to-pay/reduce-college-costs.shtml ##

Daniel’s Answer

Updated Seattle, Washington

Echoing the other two responses, undergrad specific college choice doesn't really matter as much.

I mean if you want a literal answer to your question, the top programs are probably some ranking order of:

MIT, Berkeley, CMU, Cal Tech, Stanford. Maybe also include Georgia Tech, UMich, Harvard in there.

I couldn't get into any of those, so I went to a cheap state school. Actually I think I might have gotten into UMich, don't quite remember, but I couldn't afford it because it was 4x as expensive, so whatever. My Uni's comp sci program was OK. Some parts were really good, but most of it was only decent. Some of the classes were complete jokes.

For comp sci what's gonna matter more than the specific Uni is how much time you're willing to spend learning how to program.

Joanne’s Answer

Updated Montclair, New Jersey

Honestly, I would focus more on the goal of the college.

How much debt do want to incur?

Are there internships because experience and contacts help find employment after college?

Are you interested in a research university that generates folks with doctorate degrees and theses verses teaching universities that generate employees?

I have degrees from Temple University (teaching), Drexel University (great intern program), and LaSalle University (teaching). I have found that experience, in addition to solid grades, was more valuable to my job searches.