There are four different types of courses in a computer science curriculum: programming, computer system structure, math, and the application computer science in technology. Computer science programs are available at both the community college and university level. The exact courses available vary by school, but all the courses will follow the same basic concepts and theories.
Completion of the computer science curriculum will provide the skills necessary to become a computer programmer, computer systems analyst, or software developer. These careers are all expected to experience above average growth over the next five to ten years, as the demand for skilled information technology staff expands. Computer science program graduates are able to create new software programs, analyze existing programs, and define new ways to integrate computer logic into our daily lives.
In order to prepare for the courses in a computer science curriculum, high school courses in calculus, algebra, English, and technology are recommended. It is important to remember that computer logic is built on mathematical concepts. A firm understanding of these concepts and how they can be combined is critical in this program.
Computer programming courses form a major part of the curriculum. In the first year, there are at least three computer programming courses. They typically focus on the basic computer languages, such as Java and C++. The concepts used with these languages are reused with a wide range of other computer programming languages, and are a great way to teach logic, program design, and analysis.
Computer system structure includes courses in hardware, infrastructure requirements, and models, as well as the different system design models that are widely used in industry. These courses also cover the hardware designs, technology currently available, and the next steps.
The computer science curriculum has a significant amount of math. This includes at least four calculus courses, algebra, statistics, and number structure. All this math may seem daunting, but it is important to realize that the quality of instructors available at this level is significantly better than at the high school level. Many people who struggle with advanced math in high school find it significantly easier to understand in their computer science program, simply due to better teachers.
In the last two years of the computer science curriculum, courses that focus on the application of technology are available. These courses may include robotics, geographical information systems, artificial intelligence, combining computer processing chips with radio frequency tags, and more. It is in these courses that many students find their area of interest and specialization.