How Hard is Computer Science?

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Serious student typing on laptop keyboard during studies

When the demand for computer science and information research jobs should grow by 21% by 2031, it’s no wonder that computer science is a popular field of study. But is computer science hard to learn? We’ll explain why computer science is so demanding and what you’ll need to do to be successful in computer science.

Is Computer Science the Hardest Degree?

According to a college survey, computer science ranks as the second hardest major because you need to learn:

  • Programming languages
  • Operating systems
  • Data structures
  • Software development
  • Computer engineering
  • Theoretical computer science
  • Other advanced technology like machine learning, artificial intelligence, and algorithm development

The degree requires high proficiency in math and science and can be extremely difficult to learn independently. But your hard work doesn’t go unrewarded. Computer science jobs are some of the highest-paying and in-demand jobs.

That said, if math and logic come naturally to you, you may find that much of the coursework makes sense and won’t be too challenging to learn.

What is Computer Science?

Woman Holding a Laptop

Computer science studies computational theory, computational systems, computers, hardware and software design, algorithms, and human interaction with technology. People who get a degree in computer science choose career paths in:

  • Computer programming
  • Hardware engineering
  • Software development
  • Systems management
  • Web development
  • Software engineering
  • Database Administration
  • I.T. Architecture
  • Network Administration
  • Systems analysis
  • Security analysis
  • Information Research
  • Data Science
  • Web design
  • Video game development
  • Health Information technology

Is Computer Science a Lot of Math?

The short answer is yes. But computer science has many career paths, so the math you’ll need will depend on your focus on the degree. To be successful in computer science, you will need to be proficient in the following:

  • Problem-solving
  • Engineering
  • Critical thinking
  • Calculus
  • Algebra
  • Statistics
  • Discrete mathematics

Computer science utilizes advanced math because it is the computing language. The computer science degree will also require additional math courses to ensure proficiency and competence.

Is Computer Science the Right Career Path for You?

While computer science jobs are in high demand and high paying, it isn’t for everyone. Individuals who are good at math, logic, and abstract thinking are better suited for a computer science degree.

Computer science requires problem-solving, analytical skills, and close attention to detail. For those who thrive in a challenging environment where you enjoy a deep sense of satisfaction after building an elegant software, hardware, or web solution, then computer science might be right for you.

Want to certify in popular computer science programming languages? Sign up for a web development or data science six-month certification program where you can learn Python and JavaScript.

Related Link: Software Careers with High Salaries 2023

How Much Can You Make With a Computer Science Degree?

The average salary for a computer science career is $131,490, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average pay range is between $74,210 to $208,000. Entry-level positions pay at the lower end of that range, and data scientists make the higher end of that scale.

Experience, location, and career specialization are the driving factors that affect your salary with a computer science degree. San Francisco and the Bay Area are the highest-paying locations for computer science jobs.

What are the Best Computer Science Universities?

According to U.S. News, the best computer science universities are:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Stanford University
  • University of California-Berkeley
  • University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
  • Cornell University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • University of Washington
  • Princeton University
  • University of Texas-Austin

What are the Most Popular Computing Degrees?

Several degrees specialize in computer science and engineering. These are the most popular degrees:

  • Information Technology and Information Systems
  • Computer Science
  • Information Science
  • Computer Animation
  • Software Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Cybersecurity

There are many traditional and online higher learning options to get your degree or certification in these in-demand professions.

How Many Years Does it Take to Get a Computer Science Degree?

Most computer science programs are for four years66% of computer science professionals have a bachelor’s degree, 19% have masters in a computer science field, 7% have an associate’s degree, and 6% get a doctorate. The average income of a computer science professional with a bachelor’s degree is $107,844.

At Tech I.S., we offer coding certification for Web Programming and Data Science. Our six-month programs can certify you with the necessary skills to bolster your computer science resume or begin your career in a computer science field.

What is the Dropout Rate for a Computer Science Degree?

Students Standing Near a Building

A survey by the Higher Education Statistics Agency found that computer science has the highest dropout rate among undergraduates at 9.8%. The main reasons students drop out include:

  • Financial problems from high tuition and living costs
  • The commitment and work required to complete the degree
  • Insufficient quantitative and mathematic skills
  • Intimidation and inability to ask for help
  • Finding a job before they complete the degree because experience and skill can override an academic degree

Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are prime examples of successful tech professionals who dropped out of computer science. But having a strong network and skillset is critical when you don’t have a computer science degree.

At Tech I.S., we can help you certify in various computer science programming languages. Sign up today to strengthen your skillset.

Related Link: Data Science vs. Web Development: A Complete Guide

A Degree in Computer Science is Worth the Work

While getting a degree in computer science is challenging and requires a high level of proficiency in math and logic, it can be very rewarding. Computer science graduates enjoy high salaries, challenging projects, and a growing job market. But don’t underestimate the work and time you’ll need to commit to becoming a competent computer science professional.

Learn more about our six-month international certification programs in web development or data science. At Tech I.S., we help you gain the necessary certification, experience, and industry network to boost your career in computer science.
Related Link: Is Software Programming for Everyone?