Why Study Computer Science? 7 Compelling Reasons to Consider
It is hard to find any part of our world today that isn’t changed by technological advancement. Whether you work at a farm in the Midwest or a tech giant in Silicon Valley, developing technology is changing where you work.
Many of these far-reaching changes are the product of tech professionals with a background in Computer Science. This practical and versatile degree can be an excellent starting point for a variety of tech roles, but you need to know more than that before diving into a highly technical field.
So, why study computer science? We’ve compiled a list as to why you should consider this education path.
7 Reasons to study computer science
There are several compelling reasons to study computer science, including:
- Careers associated with computer science have a positive job outlook
- Computer science provides a versatile foundation for several solid careers
- You’ll have flexibility as you chart your career path
- Computer science can tap into a childhood fascination
- You’ll be equipped to be a digital “builder”
- The field is not stagnant
- Work related to computer science can have big benefits for society
There can be a lot of positives to consider for this career path. Read on to discover why studying Computer Science could be the right choice for you.
1. Careers associated with computer science have a positive job outlook
You know a degree alone isn’t going to be what pays your bills—you need job opportunities to apply what you’ve learned. Fortunately for Computer Science graduates, those opportunities are not few and far between.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that computer and information technology occupations are projected to grow by 13 percent from 2020 to 2030—that amounts to a projected 667,600 new jobs in the field.1 Thanks to the continued growth of cloud computing and data collection, as well as an increased need for cyber security, the job outlook for technology careers in general looks positive—and that’s good news for anyone interested in computer science.
2. Computer science provides a versatile foundation for several solid careers
A Computer Science degree can set the stage for many different job titles. With courses covering mathematics, data structures, programming languages, software engineering, algorithm analysis and more, Computer Science graduates are equipped with a versatile skill set that can be applied in a variety of roles.
Here are just a few of the job titles you could land with a Computer Science degree, along with each role’s median annual salary in 2021, according to the BLS:1
- Computer programmer: $93,000
- Computer systems analyst: $99,270
- Database administrator: $96,710
- Information security analyst: $102,600
- Software developer: $120,730
“The degree has been excellent,” says Sean Pour, a co-founder of SellMax who earned a computer science degree for the boost he knew it would give his business. “While I’ve been working on my own project, I know that I certainly could find a job. There’s a shortage of good coders, and my peers all got picked up by respectable companies almost immediately.”
3. You’ll have flexibility as you chart your career path
For many people, one of the biggest worries facing them when choosing a degree is pigeonholing themselves into a career trajectory they may not like down the road. As you can see from the list above, there’s room to branch out—and also sub-specialize within roles.
“Do you want to be a pure developer? A team lead who manages other developers? A product manager who guides and oversees products; a project manager or coordinator who organizes people and tasks?” says Cornelius Fichtner of OSP International LLC. There are a lot of potential niches or closely related roles you can begin to explore once you’re established.
4. Computer Science can tap into a childhood fascination
Many computer science and IT professionals started out as kids who fell in love with all the new and exciting things they could do on computers. “I remember going to my cousins’ homes after school and spending hours trying new things on their computers,” says Richard Lubicky, founder of RealPeopleSearch. “While others would like to play video games or watch movies, I was interested in learning the working of this machine and installing different programs.”
This initial curiosity and excitement over exploring this technology lends itself perfectly to a burgeoning career. A degree in Computer Science can open even more opportunities to explore your curiosity to its fullest—in fact, these types of problem-solving skills are highly valued in the tech world!
5. You’ll be equipped to be a digital “builder”
There’s a certain sense of accomplishment that comes with being able to create something from (practically) nothing. That’s true for a craftsman framing a house and for a software engineer tasked with designing and building a new program feature.
Understanding various programming languages, databases, hardware systems and what makes them work means computer science professionals have the skills to build apps, tools and software programs from the ground up. While you’re not likely to be taking on an entire software development project by yourself, you’ll still have the satisfaction that comes with being a creator.
“It is empowering. If you’ve got an idea, you can go out there and build it,” Pour says. “It’s fascinating what type of complex systems can be made.”
6. The field is not stagnant
The computer science field doesn’t stay still for long—there are advancements, improvements and new approaches spurred by changes in technology. While this might seem a little intimidating when you’re just starting out in this career field, it also presents an opportunity for growth. If you’re wary of spending years doing essentially the same thing repetitively, this is the field for you. Continuous learning throughout your career comes with the territory. Embrace it, and you’ll do well.
“Make sure you set expectations and are ready to learn new stuff throughout your career,” says Viachaslau Matsukevich, a cloud solutions architect for Altoros. Matsukevich recommends paying close attention to all the little projects you enjoy in your free time, as they could be used to spice up your resume. “It is a fast-changing industry, and you need to keep learning new things to stay up to date and competitive on the job market.”
7. Work related to Computer Science can have big benefits for society
Computer science professionals are playing a large part in shaping the future of our world and bringing benefits big and small to all aspects of society. These tech pros can make waves in fields like healthcare, research and education while empowering underserved communities and increasing equality along the way. There’s no shortage of challenges in the world, and the skillset of computer science professionals can be instrumental in solving many of them.
Ready to study Computer Science?
Now you know there are many compelling reasons computer science is a worthwhile career field! But there’s another important question to consider besides “Why study computer science?” You also need to ask, “Am I ready to handle a Computer Science degree program?”
Get a better feel for what it takes to succeed in this field by reading our article “How Hard Is Computer Science?”
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2020 and has since been updated.