Why Major in Computer Science?

Choosing a major can be challenging for people newly admitted to a university.

There are history majors, science majors, economics majors—it may seem cruel that you can only choose one or two. But that’s the nature of education and the professional world. While you can study all you want at home, you’re expected to specialize in just one or two subjects.

READ MORE: Ultimate Guide to Computer Science

Should I Major in Computer Science?

Are you a high school graduate or somebody soon to graduate, and you don’t know which major to choose? Are you fascinated by the tech industry? Maybe you know some code already, or perhaps you’ve just seen The Social Network and you want to emulate Mark Zuckerberg?

Either way, you should consider getting a computer science degree. Choosing a computer science major is conducive to a lifelong career as a tech developer, database administrator, software engineer, or one of over two dozen other careers in computer science. These positions pay well, and they’re often less stressful than other jobs at a similar pay grade.

“Sure,” you say, “but how about beginning my profession as a computer scientist? A senior professional’s salary only matters if it’s possible to reach that position.” Thankfully, computer science majors are some of the most prosperous groups when it comes to getting entry-level jobs. From Silicon Valley to New York City, graduates with a computer science major tend to have the best career outcomes out of any university degree.

There’s a lot of mobility within the profession, too. People in their 20s can rise the ranks as long as their computer science skills are evident. Mark Zuckerberg, Edward Snowden, Bill Gates, and Sergey Brin are just some of the people who have reached unprecedented success in their 20s as computer science professionals.

How? While other sectors often focus on experience and connections, computer science jobs prioritize merit. If you can code better than a senior computer science professional, for example, there’s a good chance you’ll be rewarded as such.

And because the sector is so new, there are constant groundbreaking innovations that seem to change the field itself. This means any 15-year-old in high school or college freshman with a computer science major can start something bigger than Facebook, Skype, or Google at any moment. And you can be a part of that, whether through a local startup or a growing business.

Computer science jobs are notably secure. Computer scientists support hospitals, corporations, banks, and all of the necessary services for a modern, functioning economy. If every computer scientist lost their job today, our world would look astonishingly different, and not in a good way. Thus, whether through a pandemic or a recession, computer science jobs are often the most vital, and very few people get laid off during economic downtimes.

READ MORE: Best Online Computer Science Degrees

Why Computer Science is the Best Major

We’ve made a case for the computer science career, but you can technically learn computer science through informal online classes. So why should you go to university, and why should you get a computer science degree?

Education is invaluable. Yes, it costs money, and it often costs a lot of money. But what graduates take away from their university experiences stays with them for the rest of their lives. We’re speaking both of structured education and the college experience, but we’ll focus on the former category here.

Computer science is a vast, complex field. While we often hear about self-taught computer scientists, many people understandably can’t learn as well without a structured environment. A computer science program lays out the required steps to become any type of computer scientist. Additionally, experienced faculty members impart the necessary information and wisdom that you may not find in a free online course.

Students in computer science programs gain profound problem-solving skills, analytical skills, and the foundation to prosper in computer science. They develop these abilities working on their lonesome, learning from experienced faculty, and collaborating with other students on structured projects. This last detail is important to note. While some genius computer scientists have developed ideas on their own, most of the websites and technologies we access are collaborations between many computer scientists. Through collaboration, you will learn the dynamics of any computer science-heavy business.

Computer science degrees have many more benefits as well. If you graduate from any reputable university, the computer science department will be sure to provide you with the resources and references necessary for you to get your first job. Additionally, professors will be able to narrow down your abilities and point you in the direction where you will stand out the most.

The computer science field is thriving, and as long as the technological revolution continues, it will continue to do so. And while there are many paths to becoming a computer scientist, we suggest getting a computer science degree.