Whether a computer science degree at the bachelor’s or associate’s level makes sense for you hinges on a few key questions:
- Do you want a broad knowledge of technology or a highly specialized skill set?
- In the long run, would you prefer to be a coder or a manager of a tech team?
- Do you see yourself as continuing on in school to a master’s degree in technology?
- Do you have an idea of which industry you would like to work in ultimately?
Broad Versus Specialized Learning
But if you have a clear picture that you would like to be a security expert working for the banking expert or even the government, you might consider going for a degree that’s more specialized in that area.
It can be tough to make a smart choice of specialty before you’ve actually gone out and worked in an industry. A computer science degree online can equip you to handle basic projects from end to end, which can put you in a position to work your way into a more specialized area. If you want to look like a more unique job candidate, a specialized degree in networking or security might be the right thing. But studying computer science can give you the flexibility to head off in lots of different career directions, and potentially work in almost any industry.
Coding Versus Management
More specialized degrees in software development or computer engineering can be strong if you wish to spend your time building things with your own hands — albeit at a computer keyboard. A computer science degree online is often seen as a ticket to more of a management position. That’s because, like other bachelor’s degrees, a BS program in computer science will include courses in communication, business and other areas of value to someone who wants to be a well-rounded manager.
Onward To A Masters?
If you need to get a salary as soon as possible, then your strategy should be to get either an associate’s or bachelors in a specific area where you feel there will be employment opps. But if you can make time to stay in school a bit longer, you might want to do a general degree like IT or Computer Science and then develop a more specialized skill through a master’s degree program. Be aware, however, that if you are able to parlay an undergraduate degree into a job, you may be able to get your employer to then pay for you to get a masters – a move that can save you a ton of money.
Which Industry To Work In
People often then that computer specialists work for technology companies. But the truth is that companies like Facebook, Google and Buzzfeed are, in many ways, more like media entities. On top of that, many computer specialists wind up working for insurance, retail, pharmaceutical or even manufacturing companies. There really aren’t many companies left in this world that don’t need people to run their websites and other systems like logistics, billing, client information security or customer relationship management. They’re in all kinds of different businesses, but they all need computer tech specialists to keep them up and running.