What Is Computer Science Like? A Simple Guide


What is computer science like?

Have you ever wondered, “What is it like to major in Computer Science?” Then you’ve come to the right place! Computer Science is awesome. I’m only halfway through my Comp Sci degree, but I know that I have some very valuable insights. I’ve already completed my Gen Eds including Calculus and I’ve also learned the basics of Java, Python, Object-Oriented Programming, Data Structures and Algorithms, Computer Networks, and even a bit of Web Development.

What Is Computer Science Like?

Computer Science can definitely be hard at times, but it’s also really fun and rewarding. Of all the STEM fields, I believe Computer Science to be less challenging than some of the other majors. However, I personally think it’s more fun than other majors and also allows the most creative freedom.

For instance, for our senior project, we can create almost anything we want as long as it’s approved by the Professor. I still won’t take that class for another few semesters but I can’t wait. My plan is to make something that would be useful to other students just coming into Computer Science. I have no idea what it might be yet, but I promise to release it for free when it’s complete!

How Hard Is A Computer Science Major?

Many people believe that Computer Science is a hard major, and I agree. However, it’s certainly not the hardest major. Again, this might differ a bit depending on the school and the student, but overall, I can think of several more challenging degrees. Engineering, mathematics, and physics are a few examples of STEM majors that I believe to be harder than Computer Science.

That said, Computer Science hasn’t been all breezy for me. There were a couple classes that I’ve struggled with so far. When I first took Calculus, it took up so much of my time. My Algebra and Trigonometry skills were lacking and it affected my whole semester. I ended up passing Calculus and learning a lot through my struggles. However, because it took so much time away from my other classes, my grade in Intro Java took a hit.

I failed my first class.

That was a disappointment to say the least. However, I’m a lot more tenacious than I am smart, so I didn’t let it keep me down for long. I took Java again and passed it, but after that I transferred to another University. My first semester there, I was able to take three Computer Science classes and zero math classes which was exciting. I learned so this past semester and made some really good friends at my new school. But that’s not all.

I got straight A’s.

This was so exciting to see, considering a got a ‘C’ on my midterm for Data Structures and Algorithms. Honestly, it wasn’t easy. However, having friends in my courses to speak with about assignments and to hold each other accountable made a huge difference. If you’re going to major in Computer Science, don’t be a loner. Talk to people and make friends. Work on projects together. I promise it will make you a better developer and a better person.

Straight A's in Computer Science

Is Computer Science Fun?

Let me put it this way: if you don’t think Computer Science is fun, then you should probably choose a different major. I absolutely think it’s fun. That’s why I decided to dedicate four years studying it. I love that it gives me the power to create something useful and beautiful.

Web design in particular is an aspect of Computer Science which draws on my creative ability, rather than my analytical ability. Yet, I also love the logical and analytical side of Computer Science, such as optimizing algorithms for maximum efficiency.

That said, there are so many interesting areas of Comp Sci to choose from, you’re bound to find something you like. Besides, it’s not just the subject matter that makes Computer Science fun. I’ve met some of the nicest people since starting school and they definitely add to the experience.

Should You Major In Comp Sci?

That really depends on you as a person. As I said before, if you don’t find programming and developing software fun, then computer science may not be the best major for you. However, if you’re an analytical person and you love computers, technology, efficiency, and design, then you’re probably a really good fit. It helps to be good at math but let me tell you, I wasn’t great at math when I started.

I suppose when it comes down to it, you may want to look inward and do a self-analysis. Who are you? What are your interests? How do you want to spend your life? Who do you want to work with? Do you want to make things? Or maybe you can’t see yourself sitting at a desk for eight hours every day. Or maybe you love the idea of working from home. These are all things to consider. Oh, and the pay is pretty good, too.

Tim Statler

Tim Statler is a Computer Science student at Governors State University and the creator of Comp Sci Central. He lives in Crete, IL with his wife, Stefanie, and their cats, Beyoncé and Monte. When he's not studying or writing for Comp Sci Central, he's probably just hanging out or making some delicious food.

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