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What colleges should I be looking into if I want to pursue an education in Computer Science?

I need to know since I do not want to end up taking a college that does not even teach CS. college computer-science computer education professor

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Bryan’s Answer

Hey Bruce,

Your question can have many different answers! I'm going to make the following assumptions:

- You want college to be affordable
- You want to get a Bachelor's (4-year) degree in Computer Science
- You want to attend a college that will help you get an amazing job
- You are a resident of California

With this in mind, here are a list of schools that are a great fit (ranked based on Niche Best Colleges for Computer Science in California):

1. Stanford University
2. California Institute of Technology
3. University of Southern California
4. Harvey Mudd College
5. University of California, Los Angeles
6. University of California, Berkeley
7. Pomona College
8. University of California, Irvine
9. University of California, San Diego
10. University of California, David

Extra Details:
- Going to an in-state school is more affordable than going out-of-state
- California has tons of universities that have incredible computer science programs
- The university you attend has some influence over what jobs you are offered, but it will mostly depend on your own knowledge and expertise. In other words, it doesn't matter *too much* what university you attend, so long as it has a Computer Science major (I went to a school with a low Computer Science ranking, yet I still got several offers at big name companies and landed a job at Atlassian!)
- Further reading:
- https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/best-colleges-for-computer-science/s/california/
- https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-science-schools/computer-science-rankings
- https://www.universities.com/find/california/best/computer-science-degrees
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Tim’s Answer

Hi Bruce,

Choosing a college obviously a big decision for any HS student. If obtaining a Computer Science degree is what you're interested in doing, I would recommend finding a college or university that has the program and has the type of experience you're seeking (intern opportunities, specific areas of learning like AI/ML, game development, etc.). You basically, want the school to not only have your CS program but make sure it's an environment and school that meets all of your other needs.

Be sure you're researching as many colleges and universities as you can via your high school's college/career services office, the local library, and online resources. You don't need an Ivy League CS degree to get hired by a tech company or another company looking for an entry-level developer or software engineer. You simply need a combination of education (including internships) and experience (volunteer, side projects, etc.), and a passion for building things via software.
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Mackador’s Answer

There are universities known to be a great CS schools which can definitely make it easier to get into companies such as Google, Apple, Amazon, etc., but as far as I've seen as long as you get top grades and do some side projects, you can easily get internships at companies like that during your 4-year bachelor's degree without being at a top school. If you get into a top school, great, if not, no need to stress about it.
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Steve’s Answer

Hands-down, the best value for a Computer Science degree here in California (and the nation) is the University of California, Irvine (UCI) - Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences. Here's why...

UCI is one of the top-rated universities in both the nation and the world
UCI is dynamic school that is constantly growing, innovating, and expanding
UCI's Bren School has one of the largest computer science programs in the country, and offers 7 different majors covering all areas of computing
UCI has strong ties to local industry and alumni
UCI is located just minutes from the beach, offers outstanding student study & recreation facilities, and has a huge park at its center
UCI majors make it easy to purse inter-disciplinary studies
UCI is at the leading edge in areas such as informatics, game science, software engineering, and data science
If you're a California resident, the cost is *much* lower than attending any private school (e.g. Stanford, USC, etc.)

Check it out at:
https://www.ics.uci.edu/ugrad/

Good luck!
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Emily’s Answer

Hi bruce,
Many universities have a computer science major that students can apply to. Make sure to research and explore which schools fit your interests and how they would be able to help you find a job in the future. Do they have internships that you can apply for? Do they have volunteer opportunities on campus that can attend? Make sure you research how these schools that interest you are actively trying to help you get a job in the future with a computer science major.
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Samuel’s Answer

Hi Bruce, I imagine you want to find a university that offers a Computer Science program as you'd like a career in a Computer Science related field. What I've found is that getting experience early can give you a leg up on the competition. I graduated from UCI with a degree in CS and the biggest advantage that I found was that many major companies and smaller companies show up to the career fairs looking for new talent. In addition, many programs and clubs will provide you with experience with hackathons or interactions with companies in general to eventually land an internship. Rather than pick a university purely for its esteem or ranking, I'd also highly recommend looking into what companies have headquarters nearby. One resource that was valuable to me when looking into universities was the Fiske Guide To Colleges. It listed details regarding each university and also organized their ranking by major.
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