Software Engineering Insider
home button

 

Computer Science Degrees: The Approach

find school

Computer science is a versatile field. Computer scientists may work in the field of software development, software engineering, software systems or a related area. Many graduates pursue careers in networking; cyber security is another popular choice. Advanced study can also lead to a career in research or academia. [Learn about online Computer Science degree programs]

Syracuse University's College of Engineering and Computer Science offers an online M.S. in Computer Science focusing on subjects crucial to understanding emerging systems. Request Information about this program.

Find Computer Science Degree Programs in Your State
usa map Washington Oregon California Nevada Alaska Idaho Utah Arizona Montana Wyoming Colorado New Mexico Texas North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Minnesota Iowa Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Wisconsin Illinois Hawaii Mississippi Tennessee Kentucky Indiana Michigan Ohio Alabama Florida Georgia South Carolina North Carolina Virginia Pennsylvania New York West Virginia Maryland Vermont New Hampshire Maine Massachusetts Connecticut New Jersey District of Columbia Delaware New Hampshire Vermont Massachusetts Rhode Island Delaware Maryland Connecticut New Jersey District of Columbia
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
District of Columbia
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

Beginning the Journey

Students typically begin their studies with four year degrees. There are many programs to choose from – 258 accredited by ABET alone. Programs vary in selectivity. At some schools, admission to the computer science major is a separate process from university admission. Students may be expected to have advanced math courses already on their transcripts.

The Basics: Computer Science Accreditation

Institutional level accreditation is imperative. Program level accreditation can also be an important indicator of program quality. Computer science programs may hold programmatic accreditation by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. In order to be accredited, the program must go through a lengthy and ongoing review process.

ABET-accredited programs meet rigorous curricular standards. If you’re enrolled in a baccalaureate computer science program, you can expect to do at least 1 1/3 years of computer science coursework. Your coursework will include algorithms, data structures, computer architecture, and software design. As a computer science student, you will be exposed to many computer languages and will develop proficiency in at least one higher level language; you'll also learn the concepts behind programming languages.

You can also expect to take quite a few math and science courses. ABET-accredited programs include at least half a year's worth of mathematics. Discrete mathematics is always included in the curriculum. Other options could include statistics, symbolic logic, or linear algebra. Calculus is not an accreditation requirement, but chances are good that you’ll be expected to master it. Some programs include courses through third semester. You will also take some laboratory science courses and develop your understanding of the scientific method.

Within the general framework, there's a lot of variety, and a lot of choice. In fact, you may find a lot of choice within a single university. You can take some of your computer science courses as electives. You may get to select a specialization, for example, cryptography and data security or databases and data mining.

You may also have the option of completing an internship. This is your opportunity to make connections in the professional world.

This all being said, Computing Accreditation Commission programmatic accreditation of a computer science program is not a requirement. There are numerous colleges and universities offering computer science degree programs that are highly regarded and offer similar curriculum to those accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission.

Choosing a Program

US News and World Reports has made a list of the top ranked computer science programs.

First place is a four way tie between Carnegie Mellon University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and the University of California-Berkeley. Other contenders are Cornell University, the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign, and the University of Washington.

There are many very strong programs, though, and selection largely comes down to personal choice. The following are factors that you may want to consider: What options will you have when it comes to choosing a specialization or minor? Will you have the opportunity to do a senior capstone project?

You may also want to ask what career services are available and where graduates are finding employment. Schools are required to disclose employment data about their graduates. Sometimes you need to ask. Often, though, you’ll find some data posted. You may even have the chance to read profiles of individuals who have graduated from the program. This can put a human face to future opportunity.

Beyond the Classroom

If you make the most of your undergraduate education, your job prospects should be solid. According to a 2012 salary survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employees who graduated from programs in the computer sciences during 2011 were pulling in an average of $60,594 their first year. Of the eight disciplines reported, this was the second highest, ranking just behind engineering. It was more than $18,000 higher than the average for all disciplines. Of course, there's quite a range; most graduates were seeing between $47,432 and $70,194.

View Schools by State


 

Home  |   About Us   |  Contact
© 2011-2017 SoftwareEngineerInsider.com. All Rights Reserved.