Do you need a computer science degree to work online?
Are you thinking about a career using computers and software? You have a lot of options. There are online educational programs, classroom training and college degree programs. What is the best route to getting started?
Getting a technical degree can be a big step. If you want to learn the ins and outs of computers then the computer science degree may be right up your alley. Learn about the inner works of computer hardware and learn the skills to develop the software to make those computers run.
Intro to Computer Science
One of the first classes that you will usually take in computer science will be the introductory course. These classes lay out the basics. A simple programming language will probably be discussed and you will get an overview of the topics that you will study.
Computers and software help make things run easier and faster. A computer science education will help you think about how to break down problems and how to solve them. Problem solving is a big part of computer science. Thinking about creative solutions to problems will be a part of your daily life when you study computer science.
Do you like solving puzzles and games?
Learn about Data and Databases
There are lots of pieces of information that your computer stores. Learn about binary numbers. It is all about 1′s and 0′s. On and off. Yes and No. Storing and retrieving information is going to be the foundation of your education. Learn how data is stored and managed.
Learn about different database programs and how to support them. SQL stands for structured query language. This the language that is used to communicate with database programs. You will learn how to create tables, queries and reports. You will learn how to manage user administration. Keeping data secure is also high priority. Learn about user administration. This can include setting up new users with usernames and passwords for database accounts.
There are lots of different database programs and each will have its own language and syntax. Once you learn the basics of data and database management, you should be able to learn new databases and languages much easier.
Learn how to test and debug
Computer Science programs give you everything you need to get started. You learn how to get the requirements for software, how to design and code it and how to make sure that it works. You can start writing software with the best of intentions but sometimes there are situations and conditions that you have not planned for. This is where software testing and debugging come in.
You will learn how to read software code and how to step through each line looking for problems. Sometimes the code can be correct but there could be logical errors. Putting software through it testing can help reduce errors before delivering it to clients. Software changes all the time. Hardware and software upgrades introduce new opportunities for errors. Once software is released there will still be opportunities for maintenance. New requirements and upgrades to the software require the testing process to be started all over again.
Software testing is probably not going to be at the top of your list when it comes to studying computer science. People love to code, but testing the software can seem like a pain. Software testing is an important part of the software development process.
Learn about Hardware and Software
Some of your computer science classes will allow you to crack open your computer to take a peek at what is inside. Learn about all the parts of a computer. The cpu ( central processing unit , motherboard, random access memory and much more will be covered in detail. Learn about hard drives and how they store data. Learn about networks and how they pass messages around. There are so many topics that you will touch when studying computer science.
Collaboration – Learn how to work with others
Computer programmers have to be able to focus to create software. Sometimes this can result in people thinking that software engineers are social misfits and out of the mainstream. Sure, there are lone wolf software developers that are talented and can code at a high level without a lot of interruption. When large scale software projects come into play collaboration is going to come center stage.
Large software projects may require you to work with other coders, so communication becomes essential. When you are studying computer science it can be a competitive environment. As you get deeper into the course work classes may start to focus on more group assignments to help you get adjusted to working well with others.
Software projects can be challenging. There are processes and procedures that you will learn in studying CS. Terms like software development life cycle, and agile project management will be covered. Developing software can be a creative process, but management needs to have a way to make sure projects are on the right track. Project plans, work breakdown structures, and project budgeting are covered in project management courses for computer science.
Project management will require a different skill set than what you normally use in computer science. Soft skills such as public and interpersonal speaking skills are developed in this area. Software projects can have large budgets and project managers need to be skilled and trained in order to bring projects in on time and under budget.
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