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There are four items to consider when choosing a computer science degree: education level, personal level of commitment, specialized programs, and admissions requirements. A computer science degree is typically offered through the faculty of computer science, and can be part of a larger university or college, or a separate school. The best computer science degrees are typically available from schools with graduate degree programs. These schools are able to attract high-caliber faculty and have dedicated resources to this school.
There are two types of programs available when looking for a computer science degree: investigative college and university. College programs are typically two to four years in length and are focused on practical skills. There are several theoretical courses, but the vast majority of the program is centered on obtaining the practical skills required to succeed in this career.
University programs are usually four to five years in length. The primary focus is on the theoretical information and knowledge necessary to advance the field of computer science. Although practical skills are taught, the primary focus is to provide a holistic view of computer science as a field, and the ability to move within that field.
Selecting the best school should be based on your own goals, achievements, and skill levels. An honest review of your high school marks, level of effort and dedication is a strong indicator to help you decide which school is best for you. Select a school where you will be both challenged and successful.
The best computer science degree programs should provide each student with a laptop and have computer workstations available in most classrooms. Computer science is a very technical skill that is best learned through practice, exposure to different programs, and exploration of new and emerging technologies. The workload in these programs is quite heavy, requiring round the clock access to computer equipment and resources.
Look for a program that offers the opportunity to specialize in something that is of personal interest to you. This may include robotics, biomechanics, system integration, or high-speed computing facilities. Look for additional courses, internships, job placement programs and other tools to help you obtain a job upon graduation.
In order to qualify for admission to a computer science degree program, you must have high school courses in technology, calculus, English, and computers. Some schools have standardized tests to measure your aptitude for computer science as part of their application process. Communication skills are often a point of weakness for computer science program applicants. Increase your written and oral skills through focused training courses before you apply.
If you are looking at the best computer science degree program in the country or state, take note that the admissions standard is higher to reflect the increased demand. This type of school often requires students to have a combination of high marks, letters of recommendation, and to have developed computer applications on their own. It is important to note that being in the lowest quarter of your class at the best school does not help either your career or quality of education you are receiving.