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What do those who major in computer science do?

Hello! I am a senior in college, looking through majors and career options for my near future. The thing that appeals to me most is a computer science major, as computers have been a large part of my life, and I find myself constantly thinking about them, especially now, as I am using a computer at *this very moment* to type my question. However, I am not quite sure what a class would be like. Does anyone know from personal experience, or from a friend? #computer-science

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Daniel’s Answer

Computer science is exciting and the field is wide: you can learn more about how to create great software, or learn how the hardware works, or advance the field theoretically through mathematics-based study, and much more.


There's a difference between computer science and learning a computer language, or studying a piece of electronics. Computer science requires you to, for instance, learn the math behind why arrays sort the way they do, or what is the most efficient way to write to a computer's memory. Learning a language is a high-level way of using a computer that lets you build applications but is a lot less theoretical (at least at first). Studying electronics can be hands-on, finding ways to make physical objects perform computational tasks.


Try out a computer science course online, of course, but my best advice is to think about what you enjoy most: hands-on building things like robots or fixing old computers, or making websites, or knowing why calculus has important applications, or something else. That will lead you to the relevant part of computer science coursework.

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Jimmy’s Answer

The field is very broad and the coursework involved with a computer science degree can vary from school to school. From a theory perspective, computer science is close to mathematics. You will learn how to solve problems in as an efficient way as possible using math to help prove it. Using those theoretical aspects, it would then be possible to apply them to more practical use cases (e.g. how mapping software find the fastest route from point A to B).


There are other courses that may focus more on software engineering or practical portions which teach about different programming languages and how to write code. These may involve concepts that pertain more to code organization and being able collaborate with others. They will teach you different programming paradigms (ways to structure code to solve a problem) and how the language breaks it down into machine language (what goes on behind the scenes when you write a line of code).

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Whitney’s Answer

Hi,
I started out with studying Computer Science as a course that was offered at my high school. Then I moved on to graduate from Computer Engineering, and have close relations with friends that studied Computer Science as well. With this type of background, you can get internships and jobs at many technology companies, writing code and developing programs for different current and upcoming technologies.


A typical class in computer science involves learning by working first-hand on code. Usually the instructor will start you off with sample code pieces, show you an example, and have you recreate it yourself and expand on it. Programming is best learned by actually writing the code yourself and testing out different cases. A lot of logic is involved with programming as well, so an interest in mathematics would help with your understanding in the classes.

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SamStouch’s Answer

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Hi Willis! I took computer science courses in college, and I now work in technology (programming is part of my job). Learning about how computers work is a really awesome experience. Frankly, CPUs are amazing! It's real physics, performing useful actions, in a tiny tiny package. If you major in CS, you'll study how computers work, and then you'll spend time programming computers to complete tasks. There are a lot of ways you can take it: you can learn about networking, about machine learning, advanced image processing, robotics, and more! If you are really serious about getting an idea of what the coursework is like, why don't you take a course in your spare time! You can sign up for an intro to Computer Science course on Coursera or EdX for free! (These are great resume boosters, by the way)

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Hanish’s Answer

CS is a very broad area and there are multiple fields within it that you can work in like Artificial Intelligence, Software Engineering, Security Engineering, Embedded Systems Engineering, etc. If you're someone who wants to get into the tech industry quickly, I would suggest trying out for fullstack engineer roles. I would suggest focusing on data structures and algorithms and mastering at least one programming language. A lot of people start out with python or javascript because they’re easier to learn compared to an object oriented language like Java or C++. Data structures and algorithms are crucial for anyone that’s trying to learn CS concepts because once you start interviewing for jobs, most of these jobs will focus on your ability to solve problems using common data structures like linked lists, arrays, stacks, queues, etc. Try to solve questions on leetcode in different programming languages like python, javascript, java, c++, etc. Leetcode has a section of problems dedicated to just interview, from personal experience I can vouch that you can expect to get these in atleast 90% of the time. Good luck!
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Shruti’s Answer

Here are the list of opportunities available in this field are:


Developer

System Administrator

Network Engineer

Site Reliability Engineer

Database Administrator

Web Developer

Mobile Developer

UI/UX Designer

Graphic Designer

Backend Developer

Frontend Developer


There is ample of opportunities available in this field provided whats your area of interest.



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Raashid’s Answer

Computer scientists use technology to solve problems. They write software to make computers do new things or accomplish tasks more efficiently. They create applications for mobile devices, develop websites, and program software. ... “It's building the tools that enable everyday computing.”
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Divye’s Answer

Most computer science graduates become software engineers. Your experience as a software engineer will be different based on which area of CS you decide to focus on. In internet companies web technologies are very important as as an engineer you will be more concerned with efficiency, simplicity of design and iterative building. If you decide to join a systems company you will probably be more concerned about memory management, robustness of code, portability. CS graduates also become product managers where they get to define the vision of a product and their role spans across tech and business. Data sciences is another popular track especially if you are interested in algorithms.

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Jamie’s Answer

Hey! You could do a lot with a computer science major. It opens the door for you to go into product management, application development, web development, user experience design, or just being a software engineer either in building really cool things in infrastructure, search analytics, site reliability, or data mining. If you like having a vision of building an overall big picture product, then product management is a really cool opportunity. If you like thinking about how to build something that scales theres a ton of different specialties within computer science that will have tons of opportunities. CS classes really emphasize a way of thinking, problem-solving, and teach a very analytical perspective.

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Clark’s Answer

There are many different options, it just comes down to what you like doing. Some options are:
Developer
System Administrator
Network Engineer
Site Reliability Engineer
Database Administrator
Web Developer
Mobile Developer


Basically you just need to try many different things and then choose what you are passionate about.

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Vijay’s Answer

You have asked for valid question. Based on my experience, Computer Science degree will give wider scope which includes internal (basic hardware) and also software programmings. In addition to that you might chose your interest ares such as Machine learning & programming, data algorithms and etc. Basically these students gets recruited in companies and get involved mostly in few specific areas. Offecource, creativity plays major role in here. There are new set of requirement came up recently in Computer industry and I hope very few university teaches about this coerces, something like Data Mining, Algorithms in social networking, User predictive analytics, automated QA and Mobile development tools. In simpler words you learn theory in your graduation and practicing in your career to make social impressions.

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Jason’s Answer

There are many different areas that computer science majors can go into. You get into many of them based on the things you study at school and on your own time as well as the projects you do. As a personal example, my friend entered college as a computer engineer, but in his second year he decided to go into game design. He sort of switched into computer science and started taking more design and algorithm courses and he started to work on his own game. Now he works as a game developer.


In the end it's your own effort and interests that bring to you the areas that you are interested in. However there are many areas to go into and try out, so there is always the option of switching and trying something new out.

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