Your Guide To Computer Science and IT Degree

Computer Science will teach you everything about applications, software, and programs while information technology teaches how to use and control those things

There's no doubt in your mind that you want to work in the exciting field of technology when you're done studying.  And with the fast career growth and exciting salary potential, who could blame you?

The average salaries of professionals in the technology sector (e.g. Software Developer, Web Developer, System Administrator, Database Developer, etc) are significantly higher than most other professions. The following table shows the annual average salaries for Software Developer in different countries.

Country Annual salary Annual salary in US$
USA US$ 95,000 US$ 95,000
UK £45,000 US$ 66,000
Germany €44,000 US$ 50,000
Australia AU$ 66,000 US$ 49,000

 

With the world becoming increasingly more digital, the number of such jobs and salaries are certain to grow in the future. Considering these factors, it's no wonder that you consider studying Computer Science or Information Technology degree. Choosing your studies can be a tough choice, with this guide we hope to help you decide if you want to study Computer Science.

Difference between Computer Science and IT
Why should you study Computer Science/IT?
Admission - What are the entry requirements?
What will you study?
What skills do you need to study Computer Science/ IT?
Where will you end up with a Computer Science/ IT degree?
 

But first, what's the difference between a Computer Science & Information Technology Degree?

Difference between Computer Science and IT

To the layman, the two may seem the same - they are both related to study of computers at a college or university level. However, they focus on specific aspects of the field, and there are different skills and career opportunities associated with each.

Difference between CS and IT

Although there is some overlap. When you study Computer Science you will learn to design and develop computer programs, applications and software. Furthermore, you will learn how computers solve problems and how to present a problem to a computer. While with a study in Information Technology you will learn how to maintain and use computer systems and software, to solve business processes. They often use the programs created by Computer Scientists and focus on the practical application of computers in everyday life.

You can look at it this way; the Computer Scientist creates systems where information can flow through, the Information Technologist’s job is to control and maintain this flow.

Why should you study Computer Science/IT?

1) To play a role in the digital age

The computer (and technology) has opened a world of unlimited possibilities; as such, it has helped us to accomplish so many great things - from facetiming with your friend at the other side of the world, to standing on the moon. Having a Computer Science/ IT degree will give you the knowledge to create solutions through technology that can impact and transform everyday life. Steve Jobs did it, Zuckerberg did it, Elon Musk did it. Now it is your turn.

2) To challenge your mind

Studying Computer Science/IT can be tough at times, it is definitely hard work. It’ll test every fabric of your reasoning, logical and deductive skills while thinking in static and dynamic perspectives to solve various problems. Having said that, it is very rewarding to solve a wide range of problems and help to create new ways to make people’s lives easier.

3) There are jobs and the money is good

Being able to find a job after graduating is something a lot of people are struggling with. Good news, this is not the case for people with a degree in Computer Science. In fact, the job market in Computing and IT is still growing! And that is not all, when you decide to pursue a career in Computer Science or IT, high starting salaries are waiting for you. If that is not enough, the job satisfaction in the Computer Science world is one of the highest. What more do you want?

Admission - What are the entry requirements?

Mathematics is one of the basic skills you need to study for a Computer Science degree, some universities will prefer it if you have further mathematics as well. There are a few more subjects which will be helpful during your Computer Science study. Knowledge in physics, for example, is a valuable addition. Universities most often do not require that you have knowledge of computer science, ICT or computing already, although learning the basics of a programming language beforehand is something you could consider. Specific Universities might ask for additional requirements or documents, make sure to check the entry requirements of the University you are interested in on our website.

What will you study?

Generally, a Computer Science degree will equip you with knowledge in computer programming, mathematics, logical concepts and software development skills. Different Universities might offer a slight variation in the courses they have to offer, on our website you can find the exact courses for every University.

Some of the core subjects you can expect to master when pursuing a Computer Science or Information Technology degree are:

  • Linear Algebra
  • Design & Analysis of Algorithms and Data Structures
  • Probability
  • Theory of Computation
  • Programming C++
  • Systems Development
  • Advanced Mathematics

As you approach your final years, you can choose to specialize and take subjects like:

  • Machine Learning
  • Quantum Computer Science
  • Database Systems Implementation
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Mobile Design & Technology Application

Upon completion of your studies, you’ll have mastered the skills to analyse, model and create a cool website or a unique mobile app. Computer Science and Information Technology has grown in popularity over the last two decades, partly due to the success stories of start-ups that have grown into giants like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Alibaba. As the technological world continues to grow, being equipped with a Computer Science/ IT degree will serve you well in the future. 

What skills do you need to study Computer Science/ IT?

You can solve problems, you like numbers and you are a logical thinker. If you can relate to these statements, Computer Science might be the perfect fit for you. Don’t get discouraged if one of the statements does not attract to you, during your studies you will practice and improve upon them. The skills you will learn during your Computer Science studies are not only useful for your Computer Science degree, problem solving skills and analytical thinking are skills for life.

1) You can solve problems
Generally, having a strong ability to solve problems will serve you well when studying for a Computer Science/IT degree. Imagine looking at a problem, breaking it down into smaller parts, fixing them and finally putting all the pieces back together systematically and accurately (and often within a short time frame). As you can imagine, being creative will prove useful to tackle complex problems. If it helps, think like a computer; in fact, try to be a computer. It’s quite abstract, but once you become more familiar with it, you will be able to visualize solutions to solve the hardest problems. 

2) You like numbers
Computer Science involves a ton of calculations. So, it’ll do you good if you are a maestro who is particularly strong in probability, statistics, and discrete math which you run through all the complex computations. Being mathematically strong will go a long way to help you as you crunch algorithms, commands and functions.

3) You are a good logical thinker.

One of the fundamental parts which you will face during your Computer Science study is to think logically. To do well in Computer Science, you’ll need some serious ability to think logically. You need to be able to think about computer systems and understand how different parts interact with each other so that you know where decisions need to be made and which consequences they carry.

Where will you end up with a Computer Science/ IT degree?

You want the truth? You can end up almost everywhere. That is right, with a Computer Science/IT Degree can work in a wide variety of specialized areas. Since computer technologies are used in almost every aspect of life, the need for people with Computer Science skills is growing rapidly. Whether you prefer a big corporation or a start-up, your talent and technical skills are asked for. Computer Science/ IT graduates are always in demand. Daily tasks can vary from designing computer applications software, analyse data processing problems and administer computer databases.

Jobs where Computer Science graduates can end up include:

  • Mobile App Developer
  • Front End Developer
  • UI/ UX Designer
  • Software Engineer
  • Data Mining Specialist
  • Game Developer
  • Network Specialist
  • Systems Designer
  • IT Consultant

A study in Computer Science or IT opens a lot of doors to the world of technology, with many great career options available. You can play a role in this world and help to change people’s lives by creating useful applications. On our website you can look for Universities which offer a study in Computer Science or IT and find the University you like most.

Top 10 Computer Science and IT Schools

These are the Top 10 Computer Science and IT schools according to the QS World University Rankings: