Computer science is a field of study that is becoming hugely popular with those with an interest in tech. This is for good reason, because computer science is a fascinating field of study and one that can lead to a rewarding career in many different areas and with many different roles to choose from. As you might expect, studying computer science is highly technical and there are a number of skills that you will need in order to find success. On top of this, there are also various soft skills and attributes that will prove to be useful and help you to find success. Keep reading to discover what you need in order to find success when studying computer science.
To find success while studying computer science, you must possess strong math skills and there is no getting around this. This is the basis for computer science with the logic and structure being integral to using algorithms. If you struggle with math, it is a good idea to brush up on your skills prior to starting a computer science degree. A few of the key math areas that should be your strengths include:
- Probability theory
One of the great aspects of math is that this is knowledge that will never change or be wrong. So, once you have a strong understanding of the above, you can rely on this knowledge forever and it will make computer science much easier to get to grips with.
It is usually a requirement that you are proficient in at least one programming language before you start studying computer science. This is because coding is used as the foundation for software development and everyone who wants to pursue any career in IT should have basic programming skills. There are many useful languages that you can learn, but it is usually recommended that you focus on just one or two when getting started with your computer science studies. You can then learn new languages once you have a stronger understanding and have mastered one or two languages. A few of the best languages to learn include:
There are courses that you can take to learn programming languages, including boot camps, but it is also possible to teach yourself with online resources. This is an area where practice makes perfect, so it is helpful if you have the time to fully commit to learning and practice.
Machine Learning Basics
Machine learning and AI are transforming the world right now, and it is important that you have a basic understanding of machine learning and how it works before you start a computer science degree. You will learn more about how to use machine learning for data science on your course, but you will put yourself in a stronger position by having a solid understanding of this type of technology and its potential before you get started.
Leading on from this, you should also have a fairly strong grip on data science and how it can be used to help improve decision-making for organizations. You should know how data is collected, interpreted, and used to find solutions for organizations. It is also helpful to have basic data visualization skills that will allow you to easily communicate your data findings to others. Many people decide to study an online masters in data science, which can be a fantastic way to develop the essential skills and prepare for leadership roles in data science.
Computer science degrees often include a software development track, which is ideal for those who want to find work in software. This is where your coding skills will come in useful and you will want to learn how software can be used to help an organization to overcome the challenges that they have. If you have an interest in software, it might be worth creating a few software systems and apps of your own to help develop your skills, and so that you are prepared to start building software systems from the start.
As you can see, there are a lot of hard skills that are needed if you want to study computer science. There are also many important soft skills, none of which are more important than communication. In any computer science role, you will need to work as part of a team and often present your work to people without an understanding of computer science, data, and software. Therefore, you need to be a strong communicator, know how to listen and present to others, and know how to develop and maintain strong professional relationships. It is always worthwhile working on your communication skills as this can help you to get ahead in any line of work (and improve other areas of your life).
Strong Work Ethic
When you are studying such a technical field, it is important that you have a strong work ethic. Although you will have to work as part of a team, you will find that computer science can require a lot of independent work (particularly coding). Therefore, you need to be self-motivated and willing to put in the hours to improve and master your skills.
Following on from this, time management is another hugely important soft skill to have when studying computer science. Online courses can make it easier to fit into your schedule, but you still need to make sure that you have enough time for lectures, independent study, coursework, and other life responsibilities that you have. These are the key skills and attributes that you need to study computer science. Anyone interested in a rewarding career in computer science, data science, or software development will benefit greatly from studying computer science, but it is also a field of study that can be challenging even to those with a strong understanding of computers and tech. You can always work on the above skills and attributes prior to starting, which will put you in a strong position to find success.