Saturday, 6 June 2020

Is A Computer Science Degree Worth It

Computer Science

The reason that you clicked on this article is that you wanted to know whether computer science is a good major, is it a good degree for you to spend four years of your life and thousands of dollars in order to get, because that sounds like a lot of commitment, on one hand, there is a ton of hype behind this degree, after all we are entering into the age of automation and so learning these skills that you learn in computer science can be extremely valuable. Now, on the other hand, if you've been around the web lately there's a ton of noise in the computer science community saying that "you don't need to get a computer science degree in order to break into the field". So why waste 4 years of your life when you can just self study and then take a boot camp that will teach you everything you need to know and the interviews and you're good to go. 

In today's article I am going to go over the pros and the cons of getting a computer science degree, I am going to tell you whether or not I think it's worth it to get one and I am also going to tell you why I think computer science is the best degree.

Four most important factors when it comes to choosing whether a degree is worth it or not

  1. Salary
  2. Job satisfaction
  3. Demand
  4. Prons and Cons


Let's get started


1. Salary

This is one of the only majors where you can get a degree in it, and in many cases you can start making six figures or very close to six figures right off the bat, there are a ton of different degrees that you can get with a computer science degree but just to name a few 

Software Developers
  • Median: $105,590 per year
  • $50.77 per hour



Computer Network Architects
  • Median: $109,202 per year
  • $52.41 per hour


There's also a ton of future growth potential so even if you don't make six figures right out of college, chances are you will get there within your first few years. This is insanely amazing for a four-year degree and it's one of the only undergraduate degrees that can get you to that six-figure mark right away. Like I said, there's a ton of different job options out there and which one you pick is going to depend on your strengths as well as what you like doing in general, and so it is definitely worth it to do your research about this. Pay is going to vary a lot depending on a ton of different factors from where you live, your job experience, what careers you are going into, your skills, and all kinds of different things. for example, if you are willing to live an extremely expensive area like Silicon Valley, you can make a ton of money, if you move to an expensive area the risk is going to be a lot higher you are going to be paying a lot more in rent but the reward is also higher as well.

Without a doubt in my opinion this is the best undergrad major in terms of pay, has the highest ceiling and it has a high floor as well, this one is going to get a score of 11 out of 10.


2. Job Satisfaction

This one was really difficult to calculate for this particular major and the reason for that is because there are so many different options you can go into when you get a computer science degree. One thing to note here is that job satisfaction and demand sort of go hand to hand, let's say you end up at a company that you don't like for whatever reason, you can easily just leave them and go to a company that you like. So you have a lot more leverage as an employee and this tends to go hand in hand with any type of job where there is a ton of need for a person that has your particular skill set.


3. Demand

Speaking of demand let's talk about the insane demand that we are experiencing for software developers and people who have computer science-related degrees. there are tons of job openings right now well over a million for software developers alone, and that's not even counting the dozens of other jobs that you can get with a computer science degree, and yet software developers still have a 21% expected job growth over the next 10 years which is absolutely insane. When you consider the average job growth of all jobs in general on BLS.gov, is about 4% to 6%, that shows you that it's about 4 to 5 times higher than the average and that's just a 10-year projection but just using common sense we are entering the age of automation those skills are still going to be valuable 20 30 and even 40 years down the line so for the demand we're definitely going to have to go with 10 out of 10 


Let's talk about the pros and cons


Pros: Very flexible

Obviously, if you are in the tech space you're going to be in a booming industry it is one of the best industries you could possibly get into, there is going to be a ton of opportunity for you whether you want to just get a normal job or maybe you even want to start your own business, that means that this is a very flexible degree because you have a lot of options in the future, like I said before, if you want to go big you can move to Silicon Valley or New York or Seattle, those are going to be where the higher-paying jobs are but, if you are not as ambitious you can also just get a remote job, and that means you can work from anywhere you want, if you want to work at home you can do that, saves yourself a lot of money with commuting as well as buying lunches, or you could get crazy and start traveling around the world while you're working your job. 

It is an extremely sought-after skill which means you can work in almost any industry, and on top of that, a lot of the best companies out there treat their employees like royalty I'm sure everybody's heard of Google for instance I mean they just have tons of different perks for their employees, and then there's just a ton of different options for employment. If you want to you can work for a start-up, you can work for a big company that treats their employees well, you can do a remote job, if you want to be ambitious you can go for a more difficult like manager role or if you want to just be really chill and not that ambitious at all I know a lot of people who have gone into easier jobs that don't pay quite as well but the quality of life is even better.


Cons: Your Job Could Potentially Get Outsourced

There are a lot of extremely bright people from India or the Philippines or other countries that are starting to catch on to this and they're realizing hey, I can make a lot of money if I learn computer science skills. And so there is a small possibility that your job can be outsourced. I personally don't think this is as big of a problem as some people make it out to be, and the reason for that is because there is no such thing as one computer scientist doing a project, projects require a bunch of different people and that means you have to have excellent communication skills and I think a lot of the people coming from other countries, for instance, are not going to know English quite as well as somebody who was born and raised in America.


Cons: You Don't Need Computer Science Degree To Into Computer Job

You can get into a lot of the different jobs without getting a computer science degree. While the people in this field have math degrees, physics degrees, engineering degrees, things along those lines where it's still a really difficult degree, they have to know quite a bit to get into it but they are also able to break into the computer science and technology field. There's even some evidence that people are able to break into the industry without a computer science-related degree, although this is very rare, I did know a guy who dropped out and he was in computer science and he was able to get a job at Google right after dropping out, but this is an outlier example because this guy was a child prodigy, his dad was a really good computer scientist and he taught this kid everything he knew from the time he was like 6 years old.


Cons: Ageism Can Become A Factor As You Get Older In The Computer Science Field

Meaning, when you are young a lot of the time you will have to learn a new language in a few weeks or maybe a month, and you have to be very adaptable, but as you get older it's not as easy to do that and so a lot of the times companies will phase out some of the older employees. To combat this a lot of the computer science people will seek management positions where it is less coding and it's more oversight and in order to do that you have to develop good leadership skills, good interpersonal skills and that sort of thing. 

Although there are a lot of jobs out there the job market is relatively volatile just because it's such a new and expanding field, you might be doing a great job at your work but you get laid off for just some stupid reason because they just simply can't afford to hire you however, this could be a pro or a con because with volatility comes opportunity.





Conclusion

For the most part with most jobs in the computer science field you are going to want to have either computer science degree or a degree that is very closely related to computer science, again, you know everybody is different and you want to go through the process of figuring out whether you are interested in this degree because if you absolutely hate coding or you find out that you're just bad at math or something like that, you probably don't want to pursue this, because it doesn't matter how much money you make if you're absolutely miserable doing something then you're not going to be happy. 

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