There's no doubt in your mind that you want to work in the exciting field of technology when you're done studying. And with the fast career growth and exciting salary potential, who could blame you?
The average salaries of professionals in the technology sector (e.g. Software Developer, Web Developer, System Administrator, Database Developer, etc) are significantly higher than most other professions. The following table shows the annual average salaries for Software Developer in different countries.
|Annual salary in US$
With the world becoming increasingly more digital, the number of such jobs and salaries are certain to grow in the future. Considering these factors, it's no wonder that you consider studying Computer Science or Information Technology degree. Choosing your studies can be a tough choice, with this guide we hope to help you decide if you want to study Computer Science.
But first, what's the difference between a Computer Science & Information Technology Degree?
Difference between Computer Science and IT
The two may seem the same - they are both related to the study of computers at a college or university level. However, they focus on specific aspects of the field, and there are different skills and career opportunities associated with each.
When you study Computer Science you will learn to design and develop computer programmes, applications and software.
While in Information Technology you will learn how to maintain and use computer systems and software to solve business processes. They often use programmes created by computer scientists and focus on the practical application of computers in everyday life.
Hence, a computer scientist creates systems where information can flow through, and the information technologist’s job is to control and maintain this flow.
Why should you study Computer Science/IT?
1) To play a role in the digital age
Computer and technology opened a world of unlimited possibilities; as such, it has helped us to accomplish so many great things - from walking on the moon to facetiming with your friend on the other side of the world.
Having a Computer Science/ IT degree will give you the knowledge to create solutions through technology that can impact and transform everyday life. Steve Jobs did it, Zuckerberg did it, Elon Musk did it. Now it is your turn.
2) To challenge your mind
Studying Computer Science/IT can be tough at times, it is definitely hard work. It will test every fabric of your reasoning, logical and deductive skills while thinking in static and dynamic perspectives to solve various problems.
Having said that, it is very rewarding to solve a wide range of problems and help to create new ways to make people’s lives easier.
3) There are jobs and the money is good
Being able to find a job after graduating is something a lot of people are struggling with. That is not the case for people with a degree in Computer Science. In fact, the job market in Computing and IT is still growing!
And that is not all, when you decide to pursue a career in Computer Science or IT, high starting salaries are waiting for you.
What are the entry requirements?
Mathematics is one of the basic skills you need to study Computer Science. Some universities will require you to have at least a pass in further mathematics as well.
There are a few more subjects which will be helpful during your Computer Science study. Knowledge in physics, for example, is a valuable addition. Universities most often do not require that you have knowledge of computer science, ICT or computing already, although learning the basics of a programming language beforehand is something you could consider. Specific universities might ask for additional requirements or documents, so make sure to check the entry requirements of the university you are interested in on our website.
What will you study?
Generally, a Computer Science degree will equip you with knowledge in computer programming, mathematics, logical concepts and software development skills. Different universities might offer a slight variation in the courses they have to offer.
Some of the core subjects you can expect to master when pursuing a Computer Science or Information Technology degree are:
- Linear Algebra
- Design & Analysis of Algorithms and Data Structures
- Theory of Computation
- Programming C++
- Systems Development
- Advanced Mathematics
As you approach your final years, you can choose to specialise and take subjects like:
- Machine Learning
- Quantum Computer Science
- Database Systems Implementation
- Statistical Analysis
- Mobile Design & Technology Application
Upon completion of your studies, you’ll have mastered the skills to analyse, model and create a cool website or a unique mobile app.
Computer Science and Information Technology has grown in popularity over the last two decades, partly due to the success stories of start-ups that have grown into giants like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Alibaba. As the technological world continues to grow, being equipped with a Computer Science/ IT degree will serve you well in the future.
What skills do you need to study Computer Science/ IT?
1) You can solve problems
Generally, having a strong ability to solve problems will serve you well when studying for a Computer Science/IT degree. Imagine looking at a problem, breaking it down into smaller parts, fixing them and finally putting all the pieces back together systematically and accurately (and often within a short time frame).
As you can imagine, being creative will prove useful to tackle complex problems. It’s quite abstract, but once you become more familiar with it, you will be able to visualise solutions to solve the hardest problems.
2) You like numbers
Computer Science involves a tonne of calculations. So, it’ll do you good if you are a maestro who is particularly strong in probability, statistics, and discrete math which you run through all the complex computations.
Being mathematically strong will go a long way to help you as you crunch algorithms, commands and functions.
3) You are a good logical thinker
One of the fundamental parts which you will face during your Computer Science study is to think logically. To do well in Computer Science, you’ll need some serious ability to think logically.
You need to be able to think about computer systems and understand how different parts interact with each other so that you know where decisions need to be made and which consequences they carry.
If you can relate to the above skills, Computer Science might be the perfect fit for you. Don’t get discouraged if one of them is not your greatest strength; you will eventually practise and improve on them.
Where will you end up with a Computer Science/ IT degree?
You can end up almost everywhere. That is right, with a Computer Science/IT Degree, you can work in a wide variety of specialised areas.
Since computer technologies are used in almost every aspect of life, the need for people with Computer Science skills is growing rapidly. Whether you prefer a big corporation or a start-up, there is a demand for your expertise.
Jobs where Computer Science graduates can end up include:
- Mobile App Developer
- Front End Developer
- UI/ UX Designer
- Software Engineer
- Data Mining Specialist
- Game Developer
- Network Specialist
- Systems Designer
- IT Consultant
Computer Science or IT opens a lot of doors to the world of technology, with many great career options available. You can play a role in this world and help to change people’s lives by creating useful applications.
Top 10 Computer Science and IT Schools
These are the Top 10 universities in the world according to QS World University Rankings 2022 (by subject - Computer Science and Information Systems):
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA
- Stanford University, USA
- Carnegie Mellon University, USA
- University of California--Berkeley, USA
- University of Oxford, UK
- National University of Singapore (NUS)
- Harvard University, USA
- University of Cambridge, USA
- ETH Zurich, Switzerland
- École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)