What You Need to Know About Becoming a Computer Science Major

Computer science majors are strong logical thinkers and problem solvers who use computers and computational processes to build websites, mine data and more.

STUDENTS IN A COMPUTER science major enter the dynamic world of technology, studying topics like artificial intelligence, software design and computer graphics. By the time majors complete their degrees, they will have the skills to examine complex problems with computer tools.

What Is a Computer Science Major?

Computer science is a major for problem solvers who want to learn how to use computers and computational processes to build websites, program robots, mine data and more. Computer science majors may go on to master’s or doctorate programs in the field, and they can work in research and industry. Students will gain experience with the theory and practice of computer science as they explore algorithms, programming languages and operating systems, for example. In classes, majors may apply their learning to topics like computational finance, robotics and network security. Undergraduates may also be able to access research opportunities.

Common Coursework Computer Science Majors Can Expect

Computer science majors must study calculus to earn their degrees, and other relevant math courses include statistics and linear algebra. Introductory computer science classes cover topics like algorithm design, computer organization and abstract data types. After students develop a strong foundation in the major, they can move on to more complicated courses related to data visualization, neural networks and cryptography, among other subjects. At some schools, students may choose to pursue either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in computer science. The B.A. contains fewer required classes and may be more relevant for students who plan to work in another field after college. Many degree programs make it possible for students to combine computer science with another discipline, like architecture, electrical engineering or molecular biology. Students interested in research can seek out opportunities with faculty members, develop independent projects and look into relevant coursework.

How to Know if This Major Is the Right Fit for You

Strong logical thinkers excited by the idea of entering a challenging field might think about majoring in computer science. If you’d be eager to contribute to innovative research that boosts cybersecurity, creates virtual reality or trains machines, computer science may be the right fit for you. Even if you don’t see yourself becoming a researcher, computer science could still be a good choice. Career paths in the field span industries from fashion to information technology, with jobs available in data science, software engineering, application development and more. If you’re an adaptable problem solver, or hope to become one, you may want to consider courses in computer science.

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What Can I Do With a Computer Science Major?

Computer science has applications in all kinds of industries, including transportation, entertainment and medicine. With so many possible landing places, you can likely find your niche. A major in computer science can open positions in data analytics, web development and consulting, for example, and jobs are available at companies ranging in size from small startups to large corporations. Students can also consider graduate study in the field, including master’s options for those interested in industry positions and doctorate paths for those more likely to pursue research. Job opportunities in computer science are on the rise, so majors should have plenty of options.


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