Computer Science Degrees – To Do or Not To Do
If you’ve been trying to decide whether or not a computer science degree is worth investing your time, money, and effort into, here’s some food for thought:
According to the Computing Research Association, the number of new students in computer science programs continues to increase every year. A survey conducted by the association revealed that the total enrollments in CS departments across the country rose by 10 percent from 2009 to 2010*. What’s even more heartening is the news that this is the third consecutive year that total enrollments in computer science departments have increased-a far cry from the decline that the post-dot com era was witness to!
Does this indicate that the honeymoon between IT giants and popular offshoring destinations is over? The answer, quite simply, is no. But the trend does signify the revival of interest in computer science and other information technology programs amongst American teens, and more importantly, it also indicates that there is a demand for home-bred IT professionals in the country.
The computer science field, where the only constant is the constant evolution of technologies, requires talent to drive innovation of the kind that people like Steve Jobs achieved and inspired. And that kind of innovation can only come from the kind of deep technical skills that can only be developed with a solid academic background.
Benefits of Computer Science Degrees
If you’re still sitting on the fence as far as getting a computer science degree is concerned, maybe what will help you hop over is the knowledge that there are several advantages to entering a computer science program.
To start with, a computer science degree can open up a world of exciting career opportunities for graduates. Whether it’s programming or network administration, game development or mobile technologies, information security or tech support-the career possibilities for a CS graduate can be wider than you might imagine.
The degree also ranks amongst the top-paying undergraduate programs in the country. According to the 2011-12 salary report published by , computer science graduates can begin their careers with an average starting salary of $56,600. By the time they reach mid-career, their salary may be close to a hundred thousand dollars**. But no one will pay you that much if the skills you bring to your job position are not valuable to an organization looking to grow.
Additionally, those who graduate with computer science degrees may find it easier to pursue opportunities to move into managerial and leadership roles. It may not be hard to find an IT job with just a certificate, but the kind of problem-solving, communication, and strategic thinking skills that are expected of tech leaders can only be developed through a sound IT education.
And finally, the mind-boggling growth of social media and mobile applications has created very interesting work opportunities for IT professionals, working for companies of all shapes and sizes that are interested in pursuing the avenues social media and mobile computing can open up for businesses.
IT’s Business As Usual
Gone are the days when the professional world was divided into geeks and non-geeks. The geeks were people who lived in their own zone, seldom mixed with the “others,” and spoke in a language that was beyond the comprehension of ordinary minds.
In today’s business environment, there’s a seamless integration of technical and non-technical departments of an organization, and IT guys are an important part of the corporate team. They are expected to be business savvy, effective communicators, and customer-oriented in their outlook. Most of all, they are expected to be involved team players and demonstrate the ability to collaborate with others at various levels. A solid, well-rounded education that a degree program can provide can help you develop those strengths.