4 answers

How much computer science experience do I need before I decide to major in that in college?

Asked Roanoke, Virginia

I want to major in computer science because I think it's a really cool subject and I want to learn more, but I feel like I don't have as much experience as everyone else who majors in that. I'm in AP computer science right now and I'm getting it as I go along, but everyone else in the class is catching on so much quicker because they've been programming for a long time. I don't want to be behind in the game, so I'm not sure if it's the right major for me since others are naturally better at it, but at the same time I like it and want to study it. #computer-science #computer-software #technology #computer-programming #computer-games #computer-hardware #computer-networking #computer-security

4 answers

Kathy’s Answer


Zero is needed prior to college, so I'm glad you are already taking AP Comp Sci and enjoying it!! Don't worry about the other kids, figure it out at your own pace. When I was in college, there were always classmates who caught on faster & coded faster than me. But I also did find other guys who coded at the same pace as me, and we'd always team up on projects because coding at the same pace we both would learn more from the experience. :-)

So I say - forget those faster kids. If you enjoy it, keep at it!! Take AP Calculus and AP Physics too if you can. You just need a 4 or 5 on those tests and you can get credit for the college classes. These are all required classes for Computer Science degrees. And again don't worry if you don't take the AP courses if you don't have time. You can take them your first year in college as well.

Also, if you're still debating whether you should major in it or not, I'd say - think about why you like your Comp Sci class? For me, I like the math aspect of coding, figuring out the algorithms and feeling the high when the code actually compiles successfully. I also like music & games. When I was 5 years old, what drew me to the computer first was wanting to code MIDI songs / music in BASIC (this was back in the 80's). Then when I was in college, I felt so awesome that I could code Tetris from scratch in C/C++ and build an actual working game. Computer animation class was another step up where we created moving 3D objects leveraging coding & physics concepts (particles of mass and shadows & reflections of light) and my class partner & I recreated the aliens in Toy Story from scratch to make our own mini story. Totally fun!!!! :-)

Moe’s Answer

Updated Austin, Texas

Hello, if you like the material, don't worry about how you are doing relative to others who have more experience - you will get there.

While the fundamentals persist, many aspects change and evolve rapidly and constantly in tech. If you focus on building a solid base, even if this takes time, and then are willing to be a life-long learner - you will do fine.

Continue to build your math skills this is very important, also engage in activities that help you bolster your problem solving skills.

It helps if you like the subject matter - which you do!

Welcome to the field :)

Thank you so much!!

Brian’s Answer

Updated Phoenix, Arizona

I would recommend focusing on math, science, logic and reasoning. You will be much better served by these areas of study than by mastering anyone computer programming language. It would be helpful to have a good understanding.

Anita’s Answer

Updated California, California

Not much "needed", assuming it is a bachelor's degree in computer science. However, a proficiency in Math and logic would be necessary, and any aptitude demonstrated in computer science whether it is an introductory course, or programming on your own, will help build your case.