Is Computer Science Hard to Learn? Here’s What You Need to Succeed
Is computer science hard to learn? Contrary to popular belief, computer science is not as complicated as many people think. Like any other STEM subject, it requires dedication, abstract thinking, and time management skills. The subject is not hard to master, especially with all the right resources at hand.
This guide will help aspiring computer scientists understand more about the subject and the tech world in general. You will get to learn about job opportunities in computer science, career prospects, and the credentials you will need.
What Is Computer Science?
Computer science is the study of computers and related technology. It involves software systems, hardware systems, and computer theory. If you pursue a computer science degree, you will learn how vast the subject can be.
A computer science degree can cover artificial intelligence, microprogramming, cryptography, operating systems, computer engineering, and game development. Learn more about the wide range of computer science education paths below.
How to Learn Computer Science: Educational Paths
There are plenty of educational paths to follow if you are interested in learning computer science. There is the traditional route of taking classes at a college level. However, if you are looking to learn the same technical skills in less time, you could consider attending a coding bootcamp. Below you will find a list of popular educational tracks to launch your career in computer science.
Computer Science Community College
If you want to study computer science for two years, an associate degree might be the path for you. Associate Degrees in Computer Science prepare students for entry-level positions in computer science.
A two-year computer science degree program will help you learn the essentials of the computer science industry, such as basic mathematical and scientific principles, applying strategies for computing systems, and methods of analyzing technical problems.
Once you complete a college degree program, you can easily start a career as a computer hardware engineer, computer programmer, database administrator, or information security analyst.
Computer Science University
You can easily master all the fundamentals of computer science by earning a four-year computer science degree. A Bachelor Degree in Computer Science can easily land you a job as a data scientist, software developer, systems analyst, product manager, or software engineer.
A four-year bachelor’s degree will open the door to entry-level and mid-career positions in top-rated tech companies. It is also a requirement if you want to pursue a Master’s Degree in Computer Science. A master’s degree will give you access to senior-level job opportunities in the tech industry with a higher annual wage.
These days, some students prefer a nontraditional model of education. Instead of going through a four-year degree program, many are choosing to attend coding bootcamps to learn the essentials of computer science. Coding bootcamps design career-oriented programs in line with the current market demand.
The popularity of coding bootcamps is on the rise due to the accelerated learning they provide. A bootcamp can help you master computer science fundamentals in a matter of weeks.
Not only do they take less time, but often coding bootcamps support students during the job hunt. They have career services to help you polish your interview skills, draft a high-quality resume, and support you as you apply for different job opportunities.
Online Computer Science Courses
Another excellent way to learn computer science is by signing up for online computer science courses. This is an advantageous educational option if you are a working professional and can’t commit to your studies full-time.
An accelerated course in computer science will cover all the basic concepts, and some programs can be completed in a matter of hours. Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platforms design their programs to cover specific aspects of computer science, so you may need to sign up for more than one course.
Is Computer Science Hard?
Studying computer science is not hard. If you are focused, passionate, and dedicated, you can master any tech skill, especially with all the resources that are available to you.
A computer science student needs an excellent grasp of math, knowledge of computer technology, and problem-solving skills. Ensure you cover all these bases on your road to mastering computer science.
Is Computer Science Hard to Learn for Someone with No Experience?
For someone without prior experience or programming background, learning computer science can be a bit challenging. However, having an interest in the subject will help you master the concepts more quickly.
Computer science courses always involve a lot of mathematical thinking, statistics, and programming, so you want experience in these areas. Many of these subjects are covered in high school, which means you might have the background needed to start learning computer science if you have a high school diploma.
Top 10 Computer Science Jobs and Salaries: Career Paths to Consider
Computer science can open up many job opportunities in technology. Studying computer science can be very useful, regardless of your current position and of whether you are new to the workforce or a seasoned professional. Take a look at some of the top computer science careers in 2021.
What Is the Average Computer Science Salary?
The average computer science salary in the United States is $91,250, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This figure varies depending on the state. You will find the highest-paid computer science professionals working in Maryland, Nebraska, Virginia, and New York. These well-paid professionals seek further experience and education to land better-paying positions.
Read below to find out the best career paths and their salary prospects if you choose to study computer science.
Top 10 Computer Science Jobs and Salaries 2021
- Median Salary: $110,140
A software engineer is responsible for the development of a wide variety of computer systems and applications software. This includes operating systems, database programs, and web browsers.
The growing complexity of technology is increasing the demand for highly skilled professionals. Therefore, if you have a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Software Engineering, you should consider becoming a software engineer. All you need is the right amount of experience, and you can land any top position in a tech firm.
- Median Salary: $77,200
You can start your career as a web developer if you have an Associate Degree in Computer Science. The two-year computer science program will take you through essential programming languages, programming tools, and current best practices, and will easily land you entry-level jobs as a web developer.
Computer science graduates can land entry-level and mid-level jobs at top-rated tech companies. Most employers rely on web developers for their expertise in designing and building websites.
- Median Salary: $125,978
The position of a software architect is highly technical. These professionals are responsible for designing and developing software solutions for companies. A software architect’s job is quite versatile, but most of the time they will be leading a team of software developers. This job role is relatively similar to that of a project manager.
If you want to become a software architect, you must go through a four-year degree program in computer science or equivalent. As a computer science graduate, you will also need a few years of experience in the field as a developer, ideally in leadership positions.
Information Security Analyst
- Median Salary: $103,590
An information security analyst is responsible for safeguarding client’s critical information and minimizing the risks associated with hacking. These professionals have vast knowledge in cyber security that helps them analyze, develop, and implement effective policies for a company.
To become an information security analyst you will need to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or in a related field. Most employers give the top positions to candidates who go the extra mile and acquire an MBA in Information Systems.
Computer and Information Research Scientist
- Median Salary: $126,830
Computer and information research scientists are responsible for the general improvement of existing technology. Through them, businesses can achieve new and effective tech solutions. Their expertise allows them to develop computing languages, and test and develop software systems.
To become a computer and information research scientist, you will need a master’s degree to get enough research experience under your belt and acquire the practical skills required to perform the job successfully.
- Median Salary: $98,860
Companies rely on database administrators to ensure that their data is not only stored properly but is also easily accessible to the right personnel. These professionals are well equipped to monitor the systems and safeguard the company’s data. They work hand in hand with software developers, project managers, and database analysts.
To become a database administrator, you need a two-year degree in computer science or an equivalent credential. However, most employers prefer candidates who possess a bachelor’s degree. Having a four-year program guarantees that the candidate is well-versed in different aspects of computer design.
Computer Hardware Engineer
- Median Salary: $119,560
Tech companies rely on computer hardware engineers to come up with new and effective hardware designs for the market. Their extensive knowledge enables them to create blueprints for different hardware solutions. They analyze test results and modify the designs before implementing new changes.
To become a computer hardware engineer, you will need to complete a four-year degree program in computer science or in any other relevant field. Having experience in the tech industry will also make you a favorite amongst recruiters.
Network Security Engineer
- Median Salary: $88,199
The job of a network security engineer encompasses configuring, deploying, and administering network or security-related issues. These professionals are responsible for ensuring unauthorized individuals don’t gain access to a company’s systems. It is their job to conduct routine tests to ensure there are no vulnerabilities in the company’s network.
To become a network security engineer, you must first earn a bachelor’s degree. Employers want candidates with formal academic qualifications, as well as work experience in cyber security.
Computer Systems Analyst
- Median Salary: $93,730
A computer systems analyst is responsible for helping companies use technology more effectively and efficiently. These professionals are in charge of testing systems, overseeing installations, and identifying organizational needs when it comes to technology.
To become a computer systems analyst, you will need a four-year degree in any relevant field and some work experience. If you lack experience, you can still apply to entry-level positions.
IT Project Manager
- Median Salary: $151,150
IT project managers are responsible for planning, implementing, and overseeing processes in an organization’s information technology department. They oversee web development, database management, software implementation, and even backup and recovery.
Due to the demanding nature of the job, the candidate must possess at least a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. You will find that employers are drawn to professionals who have leadership experience in the IT industry. In other words, if you want to become an IT manager, ensure you have the hands-on skills, expertise, and experience to run an IT department.
Is Learning Computer Science Worth It?
Studying computer science is well worth it, especially in 2021. With the current trajectory of demand in information technology, learning computer science will set you up for a host of lucrative career paths.
More and more businesses are relying on technology, increasing the demand for computer science professionals. If you choose to study computer science, you will have the necessary skills and knowledge to qualify for a myriad of technological jobs.
Learn Computer Science FAQ
A degree in computer science usually features several math courses. Common courses in computer science degrees include algebra, calculus, graph theory, and discrete math.
Will pursuing a Master’s in Computer Science impact my career?
Yes, pursuing a master’s degree will impact your career positively. Master’s degrees equip professionals with advanced skills, enabling them to gain jobs with a higher annual salary.
What is the difference between computer science and programming?
Computer programming is considered a subset of computer science. Computer science is a much broader field and covers the theories behind computing. Computer programming, on the other hand, has a much narrower scope, focusing on coding, programming languages, and programming skills.
Is it easy to land a job in computer science?
Yes, landing a job in computer science is easy once you have obtained the education and training necessary. Demand for professionals with computer science skills and knowledge is growing fast so there are plenty of job opportunities to go around. Most employers require candidates to have extensive knowledge in IT, math, and statistics.