by Robert S. Balan
Computer Science degrees are some of the most popular study programmes worldwide. If you’re passionate about computer hardware and software, you might already know that Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in IT lead to rewarding and lucrative careers. But are the benefits enough to compensate for the difficulty of the classes and projects you’ll undertake? Keep on reading as we’ll walk you through the most important reasons why you should study a Computer Science programme in 2019.
Computer scientists make the world better
As we live in a digital age, most industries rely on data and software programmes. Computer Science & IT impacts everything, from scientific research to health development, transport, banking, communications, you name it. Even objects like microwave ovens, fridges, or door locks are now connected to our Wi-Fi networks and personal assistants.
Technology has made the world better, faster, and more connected. But this didn’t happen by magic. We arrived here thanks to the brilliant minds of IT graduates, who took their passion for technology and used it to create gadgets and computer programmes which help us every single day.
You can be one of the people who work on innovations that will take humanity forward.
- Is blockchain the future?
- Can we predict when the next big earthquake or tsunami will happen?
- How can we stop the next major cyber-attack?
- Will AI have the answer to humanity’s major problems?
With a Computer Science degree, you’ll learn all the concepts and skills you need to answer these questions and many others. Technology is part of our future, and it is up to people like you to decide how it will impact and shape our world.
You don’t need to dream of becoming the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. After all, Windows is still buggy, and even iPhones are not what they once were. But you can develop the next generation of gadgets or software programmes which will improve the lives of millions of people.
Computer Science jobs are lucrative and rewarding
The constant development of new technologies also means that there’s a constant demand for brilliant tech minds who can create, maintain, and fix both gadgets and code. According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, there will be a 13% increase in Computer Science jobs by 2026. You can notice a similar trend in the EU, where the number of ICT (Information and Communications Technology) specialists grew by 36.1% over 10 years (2007–2017).
The best Computer Science jobs
This demand for qualified IT specialists means that Computer Science careers are well-paid. In the United States, for example, the median annual salary for IT occupations was 86,000 USD in 2018. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the best IT jobs and their average annual salary according to U.S. News:
- Software Developer: 101,000 USD/year
- Computer Systems Analyst: 88,000 USD/year
- IT Manager: 139,000 USD/year
- Information Security Analyst: 95,000 USD/year
- Database Administrator: 87,000 USD/year
- Web Developer: 67,000 USD/year
- Computer Network Architect: 104,000 USD/year
Develop transferable IT skills for a successful career
To become an expert and occupy one of the best Computer Science jobs, you’ll need to develop certain skills. Critical thinking and problem-solving go hand in hand and will help you whether you work on debugging a programme or are trying to figure out how to prevent hackers from breaching your company’s firewall. Analytical skills are especially useful for professionals who work with big data or algorithms and are looking for patterns or creating instructions.
Attention to detail can make or break your application or software programme. One bad line of code is all it takes to create a bug or a security breach. This is why you’ll need a lot of patience to go through trial and error countless times until you finally create the result you want. But you know what’s the best part? You can take these skills and apply them to IT occupations anywhere in the world. Programming languages are the same everywhere, and if you want to travel throughout your career, IT careers will allow you to do that.
Computer Science is a lot of hard work, but it’s also one of the most rewarding careers out there. Remember when you created your first page in HTML? You felt like a billion bucks, and that’s what IT careers are all about.
Top universities offer IT degrees
The best universities and colleges in the world realise the importance of studying Computer Science. This is why they offer numerous IT degrees taught in English, thus making them available to international students like you. Below, we’ve listed some of the best Computer Science universities according to Times Higher Education 2019 Rankings:
- University of Oxford, in the UK
- ETH Zurich, in Switzerland
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in the US
- University of Toronto, in Canada
- Tsinghua University, in China
The average tuition fees for an IT programme at these schools can vary a lot. The cheapest Computer Science Master’s degree starts at 1,000 EUR/academic year. However, for the most expensive study programmes, you’ll need to pay up to 46,000 EUR/academic year.
Find affordable Computer Science degrees
Don’t worry if these tuition costs don’t fit your budget. You can still find great IT programmes for which you don’t need to take out a student loan. There are many universities and colleges offering quality Computer Science degrees at available costs or even for free. Check out very affordable IT programmes at these higher education institutions:
- Tallinn University of Technology, in Estonia
- Uppsala University, in Sweden
- University of Helsinki, in Finland
- University of Stuttgart, in Germany
- University of Liège, in Belgium
Online Computer Science degrees make life simpler
IT degrees are all about computers, networks, and software. Therefore, it makes total sense that you can study a Computer Science degree online. Whether you’re looking for an online Bachelor’s or Master’s in IT, universities and colleges around the world offer numerous courses taught in English.
The main advantage of studying a degree online is the freedom to determine your schedule. You might have a part-time or full-time job or have other obligations you need to take care of. With online courses, these won’t be a problem. While you do have this flexibility, keep in mind that assignments and exams have fixed deadlines, and you need to meet them.
Tuition fees are another convenience of studying from the comfort of your home. You can easily find Computer Science degrees available for free and for the other online study programmes tuition costs start at around 1,000-2,000 EUR/academic year. You’ll also be saving on the expenses you’d need to cover for moving to another country, finding accommodation, transportation, and so on.
An often overlooked benefit of online studies is the ability to re-listen to a lecture. Concepts taught in IT are difficult. You might not grasp them immediately, and that’s why having the ability to replay a class as many times as you want is a great asset. If you’re already a fan of audiobooks, there’s a high chance you’ll love online classes. You can even listen to them while commuting or travelling. Once again, all this is possible thanks to technology.
Computer Science scholarships support your studies
We’ve already talked about tuition fees several times in this article. If free or more affordable IT degrees don’t satisfy your needs, you can always choose to study at a big-name university abroad. Still, this doesn’t mean you need to cover the large tuition all by yourself. There are numerous Computer Science scholarships available. In the US, for example, companies like Microsoft and Google offer funding worth up to 10,000 USD, or they might partially or fully cover an entire academic year.
There is no centralised database with all the financial aid programmes available to prospective IT students. But many websites are listing Computer Science scholarships. A great place to start is ComputerScience.org, but feel free to explore other options. If you want to find scholarships based on the country in which you’ll study abroad, Scholarshipportal.com has you covered.
Top tech companies offer Computer Science internships
Computer Science degrees offer you the opportunity to work as an intern for some of the most famous tech companies. The easiest way to find internships is to look on a company’s website. Many Fortune 500 companies offer these programmes, as they look for young talented students who could become members of their teams.
In the US, there’s also the Silicon Valley internship programme, which lasts for one year. It is available to graduating Software Engineering students, and it represents a unique opportunity to work for a Silicon Valley company.
You’ll find paid Computer Science internships in Europe as well. Some of them are offered by top companies like HP, Vodafone, Amazon, etc. The length of the programme can vary from a few months to one year. The easiest way to compare these internships is to look on sites like Glassdoor, select your country, and search for intern positions. LinkedIn is a useful resource for internships as well, so make sure you’ll leave no stone unturned.
Ready to start your Computer Science education?
We live in a digital age, and there’s no going back. As we move towards the future, technology will keep developing and help us overcome problems for which we don’t have a solution right now. A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Computer Science is not easy, but it’s definitely rewarding.
This is not the kind of career path that you only choose for the money, though. You’ll need a lot of passion and determination to go through the curriculum and take in all the theory and concepts. If you’re up to the task, it is now easier than ever to find an IT degree that satisfies all your needs.
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