Jobs in computer science can be very lucrative, with some netting over $100,000 a year. If you are interested in entering the field of computer science and making a career out of it, you first need to enrol in a course.
As with many specialised technological jobs, hirers will expect you to have some kind of qualification or degree before they consider offering a job to you. There are lots of different types of courses, offline and online, so you need to find one that’s perfect for you. This article will tell you how you can do that:
Which Category of Learner Are You?
There are three main categories of learners, and they are child, young adult and adult. If you are intending on taking a computer science course, then you will fall into the last two categories. Depending on your age, you can apply for different courses. If you are just leaving high school, then it may be easier for you to study computer science at an actual university. If you are older and have a full-time job, a university may not be a practical option. Factor your learning category into your course decision.
What Do You Want to Achieve?
What do you want to achieve from your course? Do you want to eventually go into a career in computer science, or do you just want to do the course because it is something that interests you, or is it a hobby? Your answer to this question should influence your decision regarding the type of course that you enrol in. If you just want to study it for fun, then enrolling in an expensive, full-time university course probably isn’t the best idea. Conversely, if you want to forge a career in computer sciences, then an unofficial, certificate-less course won’t cut it.
When Do You Want to Learn?
If you are currently already studying at college – or even school – then you could consider taking summer classes. There are plenty of schools offering computer science summer classes, which are a great option. Alternatively, if you are in full-time work, then you might need to take evening classes or weekend classes. The times that you are available to learn will have a huge influence on the type of course that you take. A university course, for example, will be full-time, which will suck up most of your time on weekdays, meaning that you won’t be able to work in the daytime.
What Area Do You Want to Specialise In?
Another thing to consider is the field of computer science that you want to specialise in. Computer science is a very broad term, encompassing many areas, including:
- Architecture and organisation
- Computational science
- Graphics and visual computing
- Human-computer interaction
- Information management
- Networking and communication
- Intelligent systems
There are also other fields. Computer sciences are broken down into 15 distinct fields. You need to be clear about what you want from your course so that you can find the one that offers you the course material closest to the field that you want to specialise in or work in. You can learn about course material by contacting the course’s director and asking for a copy of the curriculum.
How Do You Want to Study?
Do you want to study in person or remotely? Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, lots of people are choosing to study exclusively online. Many colleges and schools are also facilitating this, holding online courses for students who aren’t comfortable with studying in the real world. With that said, the pandemic seems to be coming to a conclusion now, so some colleges may require you to come in, rather than to study online. Even so, bear your preferred method of study in mind when you are choosing a course.
Do You Want to Pay?
Another thing worth bearing in mind is payment. Do you want to pay for your studies or do you want to study for free? If you are a young learner, then you may qualify for funding from your college of choice. If you are an adult learner, you may not. With that said, there are lots of online courses that you can take completely for free. Many of them are uploading to video streaming platforms like YouTube. You can also download them and watch them at your own pace. If you do want to pay, however – or you want to get funding for a paid course – the course material will generally be much better.
It’s also worth considering whether or not you want to work alone, or in teams. Many courses will require you to participate in teamwork in order to complete your course. Others will not. If you do not want to work with anybody else, then you need to look for courses that offer exclusively solo learning. Even if you do not work in a team, you may still have to work with a lecturer to complete your work and perform presentations. These things are mandatory in nearly all courses. Presentations are particularly important.
If you choose to study with a more established college or university, you will be given greater access to study resources. Study resources can be very useful, especially if they come from a prestigious university or learning centre. Many universities will allow you to copy study resources down so that you can use them in the future. Before you enrol on a course, go through the welcome package and see what kinds of resources they offer you. Remember, as a student you can also access free online study resources, from online libraries unconnected to your college.
Narrow Down Your Options
Once you have considered all of the points in this article, narrow down your options and begin going through them, individually reviewing them. Selecting a course shouldn’t be rushed, because the course that you take could have a lot of influence over your future. Try to find the best course possible.
If you want to enrol on a computer science course, then you need to find the one that is perfect for you. Every course is different, even if the curriculum is the same. The style of learning, location, and resources made available to you all need to be factored in so that you can make the best decision for yourself.