With the continuous rise of technology comes the surge in demand for experts in the field. And, in effect, the increase in job opportunities and career paths available to fresh graduates. Combine all of these with the promise of lucrative salaries and certain career growth—and you can see why people are lining up for degrees in technology like computer science.
However, there have been common misconceptions about computer science as careers in information and technology have become more popular. Because of this, students who are truly passionate about the field start second-guessing their decision to pursue it.
If you’re one of them, don’t remove computer science from your shortlist of courses to take just yet. Let’s first debunk the common misconceptions about computer science, and then zero in on the importance and concentrations of this degree. Then, it’s up to you to decide whether computer science is worth pursuing.
What is Computer Science?
Before we dive into some of the most common misconceptions about computer science, let’s first talk about this course. Computer science solves complex organizational problems using technical solutions. Some of these include algorithms, programming languages, and data structures.
Thus, computer science isn’t just about studying the ins and outs of a computer system. It also deals with hardware, software, designs, applications, and theories of technology in connection with computers.
What is the Importance of Computer Science?
There’s no denying that computer science is invaluable to the growth of technology. But what’s more important is the vital role it plays in improving our everyday lives and society, through the following use cases:
1. Helping people with disabilities. Computer scientists develop assistive technologies, such as hi-tech prosthetics, speech-to-text apps, and eye-tracking software, to help people who have physical, mental, sensory, or intellectual impairments.
2. Fighting climate change. Many computer scientists are part of teams that invent sustainable technology and find new ways to source renewable energy.
3. Enhancing the systems and services of societal sectors. Through the innovations developed by computer scientists, sectors such as education, health care, and economics have vastly improved. Just look at how quickly we’ve developed a vaccine for COVID-19 thanks to computer science!
4. Minimizing risks from natural disasters. Because of the technology developed by computer scientists, we can now more accurately predict natural disasters and take the necessary steps to save the lives of many people.
5. Making life more convenient and accessible. Without computer science, we won’t have technologies like eCommerce, social media, smartphones, and more.
Concentrations in Computer Science
Some of the common misconceptions about computer science are that it’s a broad course and is confined to just studying software systems, but this isn’t the case. Computer science offers a wide range of job opportunities as it encompasses various specializations. Check out this short list of this degree’s concentrations.
1. App Development
App development focuses on creating programs that run on the web and mobile devices. This involves coding and creating prototypes and planning, designing, testing, troubleshooting, and analyzing and assessing applications. Because of app development, you can access real-time traffic updates, order food online, and chat with your friends on your phone.
2. Website Programming
3. Software Quality Engineering
Another in-demand career path is software quality engineering. This post aids software engineers in creating advanced programs and implementing designs made by software architects. Not just that, you’ll be tasked with ensuring all applications are working smoothly and of good quality by regularly testing and evaluating operating systems.
4. Data Science
Data science manages and analyzes large data sets to gather information. This involves working with data systems and cloud services. Under this concentration, you’ll learn about topics such as computer language theory, operating systems, and networks, among others.
5. Data Mining
Thanks to the power of the internet, it’s now easier to access, gather, and analyze data through data mining. As a data mining specialist, your main goal is to develop models that could help organizations extract large amounts of data, improve market segmentation, and use them to boost IT infrastructures.
6. Enterprise Data Management
Now that businesses are expanding their reach through online marketing efforts, the need for enterprise data managers is rising. This course deals with the process of checking and managing data and integrating it into different data streams for efficiency and effective onboarding to the system. Furthermore, this career path isn’t just limited to managing data; it’s also overseeing an IT department.
7. Machine Learning
Machine learning is another computer science concentration that uses algorithms to analyze historical data to predict behaviors and patterns. This is also known as predictive analysis, which is an important factor in making computer systems work efficiently while incorporating artificial intelligence.
8. Information Assurance and Security
In this digital age, information is easily accessible, making security a top priority. And to ensure that you’re not exposed to digital threats and risks, computer scientists who specialize in this field design and create high-security systems. Their core responsibilities are to maintain cybersecurity, clear out threats, and detect them before they become an issue.
9. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
This is one of the most in-demand specializations in computer science. If you want to explore this field, expect that you’ll work with human-computer interaction, machine learning, web technologies, natural language processing, and deep learning.
10. Game Programming
A degree in game development arms you with in-depth knowledge and skills in the field. However, computer science also enables you to pursue a career as a game programmer. It gives you strong foundations for software engineering, which is vital in producing a video game.
Common Misconceptions About Computer Science
Pursuing a job in computer science has become one of the top career goals of students in this generation. This is because it’s a promising field to work in with its higher salary and better opportunities. However, there are still some misconceptions about computer science that you should know about to help you decide whether to take this course or not.
1. You need to be a math genius.
One of the most common misconceptions about computer science is that you need to be a math wizard. What is actually essential is developing a mathematical way of thinking since math is the language of computers. The required depth of math knowledge you need to have will depend on the computer language or program you want to specialize in.
2. Computer science is for men.
Another mistaken belief in the field is that it’s only for men who are intelligent tech enthusiasts. While the industry had more men in the field when it was just starting, computer science has opened its doors to all kinds of people, regardless of gender and race. In fact, many of today’s tech leaders are women. So, don’t let this misconception ever stop you from pursuing your interests in computer science.
3. Coding is all that you’ll do.
Next on our list of common misconceptions about computer science is that your job revolves around coding and nothing else. On the contrary, working in the tech industry involves other tasks such as analyzing data, evaluating and managing projects, and collaborating with management and clients.
4. Computer scientists can troubleshoot all tech issues.
Even though you major in computer science, you can’t be an expert in all related fields. That being said, you don’t need to be a specialist in every aspect of device repair. There are tech issues that require the expertise of professionals who have in-depth knowledge of the specs of the device.
5. You’ll get a six-figure salary.
The computer science industry is thriving as technology continues to flourish. This results in the need for a skilled workforce to cater to the increasing demands of tech companies, making it a lucrative industry. Despite that, a six-figure salary isn’t always a guarantee. This will still be based on your skills and qualifications.
Be a CIITzen and Kick-Start Your Career in Computer Science
Now that we’ve disproved the common misconceptions about computer science, do you think it’s still worth pursuing? If your answer is yes, then the next step would be to look for the best school that can equip you with the relevant skills and advanced knowledge to thrive in your chosen career path.
Look no further—CIIT Philippines offers one of the top computer science programs in the country. Our SHS and college curriculum, as well as our related specialist short courses, are structured to provide industry-based, quality education that produces globally competent CIITzens. Enroll now and get ready to be frontrunners of the tech industry.