How do you get into the field of computer science and is it worth it ?
I’m a senior in high-school and I though of persuading a career in computer science, but my problem is; will it be difficult for me to get a job afterwards and will it be worth it?
I got into computer science by a combination of studying and play. I took CS classes in college, but I also just enjoyed coding and would work on fun projects during my free time.
From my experience, a job in CS is about knowing the basics and then being willing to continue learning. The field is continually evolving, so you need to keep learning to stay current. But there is also plenty of space to learn as you go. Your job is to be a problem solver. You’ll need to be comfortable researching, asking questions, and thinking about problems analytically so you can find those solutions.
I love working in CS. It’s fun and fulfilling. If you’re interested, I’d say go for it! CS is a great field to work in.
To further enhance your prospects, building personal projects and contributing to open-source initiatives can showcase your abilities and demonstrate your commitment to the field. Internships and entry-level positions offer practical experience and a chance to apply your knowledge in real-world scenarios. Networking within the computer science community and staying abreast of emerging technologies through continuous learning are also vital steps to a successful career in this dynamic field. Whether computer science is worth it depends on your interests and career goals. It's a field known for its high demand, competitive salaries, and opportunities for innovation. If you enjoy problem-solving, working with technology, and have a passion for learning, computer science can provide a satisfying and lucrative career path. However, as with any career, it's essential to align your choices with your personal aspirations and interests to find fulfillment in your work.
**Getting into Computer Science:**
1. **Education:** Start by pursuing a computer science degree, typically a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Science or a related field. You can explore universities and colleges with strong computer science programs.
2. **Learn Programming:** While in high school or before starting college, begin learning programming languages like Python, Java, or C++. Online courses and tutorials are readily available.
3. **Practice Projects:** Work on personal projects or contribute to open-source projects to build a portfolio of coding projects.
4. **Internships:** Seek internships or co-op programs related to computer science during your college years. These provide practical experience and networking opportunities.
5. **Networking:** Attend tech-related events, join computer science clubs, and connect with professionals in the field. Networking can lead to job opportunities.
6. **Master Soft Skills:** Develop soft skills like problem-solving, communication, and teamwork. These are essential in the workplace.
7. **Continual Learning:** The tech industry evolves rapidly. Stay updated with industry trends and consider pursuing certifications in areas like cloud computing, data science, or cybersecurity.
**Is It Worth It?**
Whether computer science is worth pursuing depends on your interests, career goals, and the job market. Here are some considerations:
1. **Demand:** The demand for computer science professionals is strong and expected to continue growing. There are diverse career paths, including software development, data analysis, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity.
2. **Earning Potential:** Computer science careers often come with competitive salaries, which can make it financially rewarding.
3. **Job Satisfaction:** Many people find fulfillment in computer science careers due to the problem-solving nature of the work and the opportunity to create innovative solutions.
4. **Flexibility:** Computer science skills are transferrable across industries, so you can work in fields ranging from healthcare to finance to entertainment.
5. **Challenges:** Computer science can be challenging, and continuous learning is required to stay up-to-date. However, if you enjoy problem-solving and learning new things, this can be stimulating.
6. **Passion:** It's important to have a genuine interest in computer science. A passion for technology can make the journey more enjoyable and fulfilling.
7. **Work-Life Balance:** The tech industry can sometimes involve long hours or tight project deadlines, so work-life balance may vary depending on your specific role and employer.
Ultimately, whether computer science is worth it for you depends on your personal and career goals. If you have a genuine interest in technology, enjoy problem-solving, and are willing to invest in ongoing learning, it can be a highly rewarding field with ample job opportunities. Consider talking to professionals in the field and seeking guidance from career counselors to make an informed decision about your future in computer science.
For me it was a combination of passion and inevitability.
When I was 9 or 10 my mother took me to the book store and of all the choices, I picked "Java for Dummies." I did little tidbits of programming here and there in my spare time just to see what it was about and whether I liked it or not. I loved it - changing around the code and seeing what would happen, creating my own programs to do calculations for me, things like that. So you have to experiment at least a little, just to see.
Then when I was 17 or 18 it was time to pick a university course for leaving high school, and like everyone else, "I didn't know what I wanted to do". We were given a phone-book-size list of courses and the skills required for each, and I read through them all without bias. Programming kept sticking out to me - saying you need high attention to detail, logical thinking, problem solving, good mathematical ability, things like that. They sound generic on their own but the full set was a 100% fit for me.
To answer your questions...
1. You will have no trouble getting a job. Programming jobs are very prevalent in our world now. To the same end, there is no shortage of programmers. You can't afford to be picky about your salary when starting out. Even if salary.com says a role pays $80k or $100k, expect to enter the field at about half that. I was hired as a Junior programmer in 2011 at only $48k and I was "peeved" but had no right to be. It was decent pay for a 20 year old and at a really great company. Now 12 years later I'm halfway across the world, I still love programming and earning about $120k, so you will get there eventually. The college courses will teach you straight "business programming" and so you can't enter a specialized field as such. You would have to build up 1-2 years of experience doing basic business programming and then if you've proven that you like it or you're good at it (or both), you can branch out and ask for specific training to specialize.
2. "Worth it" is tricky and subjective. It's only worth it if you like it, and to like it, you have to at least try it. Job selection is tricky so it's hard to pick "the one" on your first go. It's like love, in that sense. Depends what kind of person you are, whether you are one who sticks things out when the going gets tough, or whether you give up easy or want constant change in your life. "Having a job" and supporting yourself and your family is far more worth it than not, so don't be picky when starting out but also don't settle for the first or easiest thing that comes your way.
Overall it's a very fulfilling job. I love telling the computer what to do and watching the results, and constantly learning from it.
Hope this helps :)
As for specifics, there are a lot of web developers, so it's relatively difficult to stand out in that field. Full-stack developers are less common, and then there are those who specialize in security, infrastructure, AI etc. who are much less common. I like to think the latter would find jobs relatively quickly.
But I certainly think it's worth it. I can only see the trade becoming more important in the future, not less. So while I can't lie to you and say the going is always great, I'm 100% sure your skills will always be valuable in some point in time.
Here are some specializations within Computer Science that you can pursue based on your interests:
- Computer Science
- Information Technology
- Software Engineering
- Data Science
- Web Development
- Network Administration
- Computer Forensics
- Artificial Intelligence
In a world that's rapidly evolving with technology, Computer Science stands out as a degree worth considering. It provides a solid foundation in programming, algorithms, and computer systems, all of which are crucial for any tech-related career. Moreover, it sharpens your problem-solving and critical thinking skills, which are key to success in any field.
Equipped with a combination of technical and soft skills, Computer Science graduates are primed for a bright career path in competitive industries. These include software development, data science, and cyber and information security, where high starting salaries are the norm. The field of Computer Science offers a plethora of job opportunities across various sectors.
I hope this information is helpful! Wishing you great success in all your future endeavors!