Why I Think Everyone Should Try Computer Science
In my short time in this field, I have found computer science to be one of the most rewarding, interesting, and fulfilling fields out there. Lots of people for various reasons seem reluctant or uninterested in giving this career a chance. I’m hoping to change people’s minds so that they give coding/software development a chance.
The Future is Interesting and Moving Quickly. And Written in Code.
Let’s just have a glance at some of the recent headlines.
- Bitcoin reaches an all time high
- Video clips on NBA Top Shot recently sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars
- The stock of a company that is developing a car that can drive itself is up 400% in the last year(Tesla)
- Social Networks use artificial intelligence to make algorithms designed to keep our attention( as seen in the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma)
- 5G is changing and enhancing the way devices across the world communicate
At some level, a lot of this is implemented by software developers writing code. These industries are interesting to read about, and growing rapidly. Having knowledge of coding and software development might help you keep track of all of this stuff, and maybe even become a big part in moving the world forward by developing new technology.
College/Formal Education is not Required
Just start. Although a bachelors degree can help you land a job in software development, it’s not a requirement and here’s why.
According to a stack overflow survey, 25% of computer science workers don’t have a bachelors degree. Some other findings in this survey include developer’s opinions on the importance of formal education. About 40% of respondents believe that formal education is somewhat important or not important to success as a developer:
Companies like Google, are also offering certificates that they value the same as a bachelors degree.
As you can see, there are lots of people(myself included) who think that a bachelors degree isn’t critical to your success as a developer. I’ve met and worked with plenty of great developers without a bachelors degree.With tuition rates skyrocketing lately, it might give someone peace of mind that you can still get a job without a degree. There are plenty of options, like certificates, coding bootcamps, etc.
Job growth and great pay
According to the bureau of labor statistics, The computer science field is expected to grow 11% annually from 2019–2029, much higher than other fields. Another mind blowing statistic: in 2019, there were over 665,000 computer science job openings but fewer than 72,000 computer science graduates to fill them.
The median annual wage is around 88,000(and that varies greatly), which is well above the median for all occupations. Top software companies pay their engineers well into the six-figure range. High job growth rates combined with good pay make this career field very attractive for the long term!
Great For Learning How to be a Good Teammate
Before my career started, I had this image in my head that a software developer spends all day looking at a screen, not talking to anyone, churning out hundreds of lines of code like a machine. This is not the case at all. Methodologies like Agile require daily and weekly meetings to stay coordinated with your team. I often find that half of your day or more is spent in meetings. I actually crave and miss time when I can just sit at my computer and write code for a few hours uninterrupted.
You learn how to talk to all different types of people. Developers, managers, architects, business owners, etc. Good coordination and communication is a requirement to be an effective developer or engineer.
Freedom to work remote
Since the pandemic, many companies have allowed their software developers to work remotely. With a few exceptions(robotics, hardware testing, etc), software developers generally don’t need to be onsite. This varies from company to company, but most people I know in this field do their work remotely.
Working from home has helped me to live a healthier lifestyle. Instead of spending time getting ready for work, driving, packing lunch, I can spend that other ways, like getting more consistent with working out, eating healthier, etc. It might be hard for me to return to the office anytime soon.
I’m a big advocate of learning computer science and want to bring more people to the field. Engineers are needed everywhere, and together we are all moving the world forward one line of code at a time. Technology is embedded into our everyday lives, and it’s only getting more complicated and critical. It’s a tough learning curve and starting out can be scary and intimidating, but I promise it’s worth it!
Feel free to reach out to me if you want to chat about where to go from here. I’d be happy to point you in the right direction. Thanks for reading! Leave a comment on what you think.
** Disclaimer** This article reflects my opinions and what I’ve seen/researched so far in a few years working as a software engineer. Do your own research before making a big career or educational decision.