Why Study Computer Science: A Students Guide


Why Study Computer Science

As someone who’s half-way through my Computer Science degree, I’m often asked: “Why study Computer Science?” Sometimes it’s from curious family members and other times it’s from friends who are considering the major. The truth is that there are countless reasons to major in C.S. If you’re still on the fence, here’s why you need to study Computer Science.

Why Study Computer Science?

There are a few main reasons why students choose to study Computer Science. First, technology envelopes our whole lives and many strive to contribute to that technology. Second, Computer Science is an ever-growing field with boundless opportunities. Third, Computer Science education allows one to have a global impact via the technology they create.

However, it’s okay if you have your own reasons for studying Computer Science. There are far more reasons than just these three. To be fair, another great reason is automation. Technology and Artificial Intelligence are automating more and more processes. With the industry disruption we see with technology, there will be an increased unemployment rate. However, with a career in Computer Science your job should be safe for many years to come.

Why I Chose To Study Computer Science

After I graduated high school I had no idea what I wanted to do. However, I did know a little bit about myself. I knew the things I liked to do: draw, make music (digitally), cooking, and writing. Basically, I knew that I wanted to create things. But there are two other reasons why I study Computer Science. I want the things I make to help people, and I want the things I make to make me rich.

Reasons I studied Computer Science

  • I want to make things
  • I want to help people
  • I want to be rich (and that’s okay)

On Being Rich:

So, I looked at the richest people in America: Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg. They made things that the whole world uses and they became extremely wealthy in the process. Not to mention that Elon Musk is perhaps my single greatest living hero. Every company he starts becomes extraordinarily successful. His companies disrupt industries and change the world.

On Helping People:

Granted, I probably won’t be able to create anything on the scale of what Elon Musk creating. However, I don’t need to revolutionize an entire industry, such as what he’s done with SpaceX and Tesla. Sometimes just creating something that teaches someone a new skill or brings a smile to someone’s face is more helpful than you can imagine.

That’s why I started Comp Sci Central. If these articles help people even a little, then they were well worth the effort of writing. Computer Science can be challenging at times but if we’re here for each other as fellow students, we can all succeed together.

On My Decision:

I wasn’t a great student in high school so I took some time off before eventually enrolling at University. I knew that I would enjoy any of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) majors. However, I never asked myself: “Why study Computer Science?” The truth is that Computer Science is the only major I ever considered once I decided to continue my education.

Computer Science Vs. Other STEM Majors

Let’s take a look at other STEM majors and compare them to Computer Science. We’ll look at just 3 things: Salary, Popularity, and Difficulty. This way, you can get an idea of how C.S. stacks up against some other majors you might be considering.

The salary data is taken from a 2018 study by Visual Capitalist and refers to the median starting salary. Popularity data refers to how many students graduate with a bachelor’s degree. The difficulty is assigned by me with my limited knowledge of these majors so take them with a grain of salt. However, tbh I think it’s pretty spot-on.

Computer Science

Starting Salary: $55,900
Popularity: 55,843 Students
Difficulty: 6/10

Engineering

Starting Salary: $53,900 – $63,200
Popularity: 117,553 Students
Difficulty: 7/10

Mathematics

Starting Salary: $45,400
Popularity: 28,732 Students
Difficulty: 7/10

Physics

Average Salary: $50,300
Popularity: 8,518 Students
Difficulty: 8/10

Top 10 Reasons To Major In Computing

There are plenty of reasons to major in Computer Science. The most important reasons are those that are important to you. However, the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) has put together a list of the top 10 reasons to major in computing and it becomes more true every day. There are a few in particular that I find especially important. Are your top reasons on this list?

  1. Computing is part of everything we do!
  2. Expertise in computing enables you to solve complex, challenging problems.
  3. Computing enables you to make a positive difference in the world.
  4. Computing offers many types of lucrative careers.
  5. Computing jobs are here to stay, regardless of where you are located.
  6. Expertise in computing helps you even if your primary career choice is something else.
  7. Computing offers great opportunities for true creativity and innovativeness.
  8. Computing has space for both collaborative work and individual effort.
  9. Computing is an essential part of well-rounded academic preparation.
  10. Future opportunities in computing are without boundaries.

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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