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What courses would you take in high school to make college computer courses easier?

My name is Liano I live in Az, I want to be in cybersecurity. What courses did you take in high school that made cybersecurity courses easier to understand?
What are some difficulties that you may face?

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Debbie’s Answer

Fantastic Decision, Liano!

You're on the right track with your career choice! Any high school course or subject that's related to computer science will be beneficial for you.

During high school, it's a great idea to focus on math, technology, and computer science courses. A cybersecurity career doesn't demand as much math as a computer science career. However, it's always beneficial to take as much advanced math as you can while you're in high school. Keep up the good work!
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Celeste’s Answer

Hi!

I looked for extracurricular opportunities:
FRC robotics is a great way to expand your knowledge in computer science.
academic summer camps may be super nerdy, but they're a great way to take specific courses usually not offered in high school. Example: I took a 3 week class on AI when I was 15 at WCATY (a summer camp on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus). I'm sure there are summer courses for cybersecurity at some academic summer camps like the one I went to, you just have to look around. If financially, these are a problem, there are usually scholarships you may apply for.
There are also a ton of online materials for computer science and cybersecurity.
When looking at colleges, I'd also see if there's a hacking / cybersecurity student organization. Its just something to keep in mind when applying to colleges.
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Karin’s Answer

Hi Liano,

University is good because it gives you a solid grounding in all things computer science.

For cybersecurity you need a number of different certifications. You can check them out here:

https://www.isc2.org/

They also run specific courses in cybersecurity to earn those certificates.

Good luck!

KP
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Bob’s Answer

Liano,
I encourage you to seize every opportunity to enroll in as many math, science, and computing classes as possible while you're in high school. In your free time, immerse yourself in a multitude of articles about cyber security. This will not only expand your knowledge but also fuel your passion. Keep going, you're on the right path!

Bob recommends the following next steps:

Maybe during Summer take the from Coursera course Google Cybersecurity certificate.
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Chung’s Answer

Which aspect of cybersecurity do you want to be in? Cybersecurity may mean:
- Working in the information security department of a company in order to secure IT systems, monitor for potential attacks and carry out investigations
- Working in law enforcement or military
- Working at companies that provide cybersecurity technologies
- Working on the security aspects of products at technology companies

Depending on the type of cybersecurity career that you want to pursue, the focus of your study will be a bit different. In order to do cybersecurity, you need to have some knowledge of the technologies that you are securing. In other words, you need to have knowledge of how computers, networks and various types of software work. Any course in high school that helps you develop your interest and knowledge in computing would help. Examples include AP Computer Science A, AP Computer Science Principles, and the computing courses offer as part of Project Lead The Way (PLTW) high school engineering program.

AP Computer Science A will give you a taste of college level computer science course. It is equivalent to the first quarter or semester of a typical college freshmen computer science course. It focuses primarily on rudimentary coding concepts and assumes no previous coding knowledge.
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Atul’s Answer

Most high schools provide Computer Programming courses like Python and Java/Javascript. If these are available, make sure to enroll and strive to excel in them.
In addition, consider taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses in Math and Science. A high GPA in these subjects can demonstrate your aptitude for a Computer Science major.
Try to find internships, whether they're paid or unpaid, where you can gain experience in writing software for real-world applications.
If you excel in these areas, consider tutoring other students, even if it's on a volunteer basis. This experience can be beneficial for you.
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Mira’s Answer

Here are some courses you can consider:

Mathematics:
Algebra: A strong foundation in algebra is essential for many computer science concepts.
Geometry: This helps with understanding spatial relationships, which can be important in computer graphics and game development.
Computer Science:

Programming: Courses in programming languages such as Python, Java, or C++ can give you a head start in college.
Computer Science: If your school offers computer science courses, take them to learn the basics of algorithms, data structures, and problem-solving.
Science:

Physics: Understanding physics can be valuable for topics like computer graphics and simulations.
Chemistry: While not directly related to computer science, it's a valuable science to understand as it can be relevant in certain fields.
English:

Strong communication skills are crucial in any field, including computer science. Writing and verbal communication are important for explaining your ideas and documenting your code.
Electives:

Advanced Math: Courses like calculus and discrete mathematics are fundamental in computer science.
Electives in Technology: If available, take courses in web development, database management, or networking.
Advanced Placement (AP) Courses:

Consider taking AP courses in computer science, calculus, and physics if available. Earning college credit in high school can lighten your course load in college.
Online Courses and Self-Study:

If your high school doesn't offer computer science courses, you can take advantage of online resources, such as coding tutorials and courses on platforms like Coursera, edX, or Khan Academy.
Participate in Coding Clubs or Competitions:

Join coding clubs, hackathons, or coding competitions to gain practical experience and to work on projects. This will help you apply what you learn in your courses.
Internships or Summer Programs:

If possible, look for internships or summer programs related to computer science. This can provide you with real-world experience and a deeper understanding of the field.
Develop Strong Problem-Solving Skills:

Computer science is about problem-solving. Practice solving puzzles and problems, perhaps by participating in math or programming contests.
Remember that your high school courses can give you a strong foundation, but college-level computer courses may still be challenging. College courses tend to go into greater depth and complexity. So, in addition to taking these courses, be prepared to work hard, study consistently, and seek help when needed to excel in your computer science studies at the college level.
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Colleen’s Answer

To simplify your journey through college computer courses, it's highly recommended to take these high school courses:

Math: Start with Algebra I, then Algebra II, Geometry, Trigonometry, Precalculus, and finally Calculus.

Science: Begin with Physics and then explore Chemistry.

Computer Science: Kick off with an Introduction to Computer Science, followed by Computer Programming, and then delve into Data Structures and Algorithms.

English: Start with Composition, then Rhetoric, and finally Literature.

Foreign Language: Spend at least two years learning a new language.

By doing this, you're setting yourself up to be a versatile individual with a comprehensive understanding of computer science. It's like building a strong foundation for a skyscraper - the more solid your base, the higher you can reach!
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Helena’s Answer

Great questions! Answers to each below

What courses did you take in high school that made cybersecurity courses easier to understand?
Computer Science, any sort of programming experience is helpful if you have this available. Math is also helpful to practice problem-solving — a lot of cybersecurity is finding solutions to potential problems. Overall, my biggest recommendation would be to get as much practice programming and maybe even trying to "crack" your own code - try and see how people might see it and where vulnerabilities might lie. There are also a ton of YouTube videos about ethical hacking that are also worth checking out!

What are some difficulties that you may face?
Cybersecurity requires a lot of creative thinking. Unlike other types of software engineering, this is not providing solutions to know problems but rather challenges you to think about potential problems that may arise. The way around this is to practice a lot! And ask a ton of questions.

Wishing you all the best!
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Eddy’s Answer

It's fantastic that you're aspiring to enter the field of cybersecurity! To best prepare for college courses and a successful career, I recommend taking a mix of high school classes.
First and foremost, focus on mathematics with advanced courses like Algebra II and Pre-Calculus, as they form a solid foundation for cryptography and algorithmic understanding.
Additionally, explore computer science courses that delve into programming languages such as Python or Java. These skills will prove invaluable in cybersecurity, where programming knowledge is often applied for various tasks.
I am hoping all the best for you, and it is amazing to show interest in cybersecurity in high school and I am hoping you all the best
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