Computer science may sound like a new concept but it dates back centuries to 2700-2300 BCE when the Abacus was invented. This little “computer” consisted of wires and beads, and formed a simple calculator that’s still used by some people today. And, even though it may seem basic, especially compared to the computers we have now, the concept of computer science remains largely the same – to make calculations quicker than the human brain.
There’s no denying that computer science has evolved dramatically over the years to provide us with all the mod cons we’re used to, including mobile phones and tablet devices. But the perception of computer scientists is also changing. Previously, one may have pictured a computer scientist as someone wearing thick-rimmed glasses and who can only communicate through code. But today, computer scientists are becoming the cool kids on the block. This is because computer science is being increasingly recognized as a fundamental part of the world, both for business and personal reasons.
So, if you want to be a part of this revolution, a course in computer science may be the ideal choice for you!
Types of Work: In stark contrast to the traditional perception, a computer scientist has to be incredibly adept at communicating with others. They’ll be heavily involved in working with others to invent and design new ways of using computers, while also finding innovative new ways to use existing technologies. Solving computing problems is required in most industries, which is why you’ll find computer scientists working in all niches, from medicine to science and from business to leisure.
On a day-to-day basis, computer scientists will be exploring computing’s fundamental issues, helping engineers and scientists to solve these. They’ll look to invent new computing methods, tools, and languages alongside developing and improving current software systems. Once they find a solution, they’ll design an experiment so they can test their theory and analyze the results of this test. If their findings are significant, they’ll then discuss these in academic journals, perhaps even presenting their discoveries at a relevant conference.
As a computer scientist, your career path can vary significantly, depending what you want to specialize in. You may work in an academic setting, focusing most of your efforts on research and development, or you may be hired by an organization to work on a project that will generate more revenue for the company. Alternatively, you may decide to teach others about computer science, as many people from this type of background become postsecondary teachers.
Career Outlook Statistics: Because computer science is becoming an increasingly important role, the demand for computer scientists from 2014 to 2024 is expected to rise by 11%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is 4% higher than the average for all jobs, providing you with added security when pursuing this type of career. Furthermore, the financial rewards are also bountiful with the average computer scientist earning $110,620 per year. And to succeed in this role a professional or doctoral degree is recommended.
Types of Courses: Computer science courses can vary according to the type of work you want to get involved in afterwards. For example, you may want to focus on cyber security or web development. However, most computer science courses will cover a wide range of topics, including programming (which will be done in several different languages); database management; operating systems; computer architecture and systems; and object-oriented programming.