5 Signs a Computer Science Degree Program is Exceptional
- Hands-on Classes and Lab Activities
- Faculty Who Go the Extra Mile
- Large Range of Course Offerings
- Internship Opportunities
- Options for Specialties or Concentrations
Earning a degree in computer science is a wise choice, and it is important to look for these five hallmarks of a quality computer science degree program. Each college or university manages its programs differently, and student requirements and program features differ from one educational institution to the next. Overall, it is a good idea to seek out a computer science degree program that offers these top five features.
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1. Hands-on Classes and Lab Activities
Learning computer science from a book is one thing, but putting the ideas into action is another. The top hallmark of a quality computer science degree program is the availability of hands-on classes and activities in the computer lab. Students should have access to modern technology that is needed in order to program in the various languages and environments that currently exist. They should be able to test different types of coding styles and create apps for mobile devices. They should also have the opportunity to take apart devices and see how their components work.
2. Faculty Who Go the Extra Mile
A great computer science degree program depends a lot on the faculty. The professors and teaching assistants should have plenty of office hours. They should be approachable and willing to spend time with students. The lectures should be informative and get students thinking. Faculty members should be available to assist students with internship and fellowship applications and other learning opportunities.
3. Large Range of Course Offerings
Another hallmark of a quality computer science degree program is a large range of course offerings. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer scientists may need to take several classes outside of their majors in order to achieve success within their chosen specialty of computer science. For example, a computer scientist who wants to work the biomedical industry may need to take several classes in biology or healthcare administration. A computer scientist who wants to work in public service may need to take classes in government, public administration and statistics.
4. Internship Opportunities
Students in a great computer science degree program should have opportunities to intern at different companies. The university or college should have solid connections with local businesses of all types and sizes. Students should also have the opportunity to volunteer doing work related to their majors. For example, a student might want to have a paid summer internship as well as access to volunteer with a local nonprofit that wants to have an app built.
5. Options for Specialties or Concentrations
Computer science is a large major. Within the major, the educational institution should offer multiple specialties or concentrations. For example, cybersecurity is an important area of computer science. Electronic health records and data management could be another concentration for a student to consider. Honing in on an area of expertise may make it easier for a student to find a suitable job when they graduate with their computer science degree from the school.
Computer scientists can expect faster than average job growth through 2026, and quite likely for a longer period of time. Choosing the right computer science degree program will help a student find the ideal job and develop a satisfying career. The entire process starts by choosing a quality computer science degree program with these five hallmarks.