Students pursuing a bachelor's degree in computer science learn how to develop and encode computer systems and programs. By encountering and repairing programming mishaps, they also gain critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.
Students working toward a computer science degree may be able to pursue specialized tracks, such as game design or artificial intelligence. Although almost all computer science bachelor's degree programs comprise programming lessons through the core curriculum, electives or both, individuals most often specialize in this field through advanced schooling, independent study or professional pursuits upon graduation. These programs may also offer opportunities to gain hands-on experience. Some programs may be available online.
Those wanting to enroll must have a high school diploma or GED. Prerequisite courses in introductory programming, discrete mathematics and calculus may be necessary as well, and some schools have minimum GPA requirements.
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Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science
Those seeking 4-year bachelor's degrees in computer science are typically required to complete a senior project and may also take part in a professional computer programming internship or co-op experience. Aspiring computer programmers take foundational classes in physics and statistics. They also study:
- Structural components of computer systems
- System organization principles and operating system essentials
- Development and analysis of algorithms
- Database management concepts
- Software engineering principles
- Computer programming languages
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Computer programmers are responsible for designing, building, testing and fixing websites, information management systems and software programs. Many United States computer programming jobs have been cut back due to global outsourcing. However, employment of computer programmers is expected to decline 8% from 2014 to 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of 2015, computer programmers made a median salary of $79,530 annually.
Continuing Education Information
Because of competitiveness in the computer programming field, it is imperative for job candidates to stay up-to-date on usable languages and technologies. Consequently, these individuals may decide to pursue a Master of Science in Computer Science. Another advanced degree option for a computer programmer may is the Master of Science in Management Information Systems. However, continuing education classes, professional seminars and organization memberships may help programmers stay on their game.
Individuals who complete a bachelor's program in computer science typically acquire not only solid programming skills, but also skills in database administration and software engineering. These programs can lead to entry-level programming employment or can act as a stepping stone to graduate study in programming.