No other invention in the last 50 years has changed our world like the computer. The science behind the development of PCs, cell phones, the Internet and intelligent technical systems is called computer science. This term is made up of the words “information” and “automatic”. Computer scientists are therefore developing computing systems that can process and save information systematically and automatically. The algorithms and data structures they have developed have revolutionized our lives in the long term. Computers, the Internet, cell phones and “intelligent” electronic devices have become indispensable in medicine, the world of work and private life. Computer scientists will also play a decisive role in shaping our future.
The subject of computer science
No wonder that computer science is one of the most popular subjects ever . Almost all universities, as well as technical colleges and vocational academies, offer courses in the field of computer science. Prospective students are spoiled for choice: they can of course opt for a general degree in computer science . This is mostly offered in combination with a minor subject such as mathematics or business administration . In addition, there are also numerous specialized courses that focus on a sub-area of computer science, such as media informatics or IT security. As a rule, the study programs at universities of applied sciences and vocational academies are somewhat more practice-oriented than those at universities.
Undergraduate studies in computer science
In the undergraduate courses in the field of general computer science, students first dedicate themselves to the basic subject of computer science: mathematics . They learn linear algebra, stochastics and analysis. You will also be introduced to the four most important areas of computer science :
- In theoretical computer science is all about algorithms and formal languages.
- In the technical computer science is about the hardware. These subjects are among others electrical engineering or physics .
- In practical computer science , the students deal with programming languages, among other things.
- In applied computer science is about the applicability of computer science to other areas of science, such as medicine or industry.
At most universities, students can specialize in one of the four sub-disciplines in the further course of their studies . However, the individual universities offer very different areas of focus within the four disciplines . In the field of practical computer science, for example, there are different specializations such as software technology and human centered computing . In software engineering, students acquire the ability to accompany the production process of new software. In Human Centered Computing is about the interaction between man and machine. At some universities, students can also choose specializations from other areas, such as business administration or environmental informatics.
Master’s degree in computer science
According to Top-Medical-Schools, the bachelor’s degree qualifies you for direct career entry. However, if you want to specialize in management positions or a career in research, you should follow up with a master’s degree. This offers students the opportunity to deal more intensively with individual sub-areas of computer science. In general master’s programs in the field of computer science , students mostly specialize in one of the four sub-disciplines. In addition, universities also offer many specialized master’s programs . You can choose from, for example, automotive informatics, media informatics or IT security.
Requirements for studying computer science
Regardless of which university and which course you ultimately choose: Anyone who wants to study computer science should in any case have a good knowledge of mathematics and be able to think analytically and logically . The relatively high number of dropouts shows that many first-year students underestimate the high proportion of mathematics in their studies. Also good English skills are required to understand the sometimes English-language technical papers and articles.
Professional fields for computer scientists
The stubborn cliché of the bespectacled, taciturn nerd who sits in a slouchy look in front of the PC all day is long out of date. Computer scientists are now among the most sought-after and best-paid university graduates . Many are courted by future employers towards the end of their studies.
Since almost all industries are dependent on IT applications, they include companies from all possible branches of industry, but also software houses, media companies and computer manufacturers. Insurance companies and banks also rely on the know-how of IT specialists. Typical fields of work for a computer scientist are the development and programming of software and hardware components and system administration. Many master’s graduates also take on management tasks and work, for example, in project management. Graduates can also work in completely different areas, depending on the focus areas chosen during their studies and practical experience. After a few years as an employee, many are attracted to the step into self-employment, for example as an IT consultant. Those with a master’s degree can also do a doctorate and embark on an academic career.
Advantages of studying computer science abroad
Employees in large software houses and computer manufacturers often have to deal with customers and experts from abroad. The ability to work in international teams and knowledge of foreign languages are taken for granted. It therefore makes sense for budding computer scientists to spend one or more semesters abroad during their studies . It offers the opportunity to improve foreign language skills and acquire important intercultural skills , for example the ability to communicate across cultural differences. But not only when it comes to later applications, studying abroad is a plus. It also offers the opportunity for personal development. Because if you live in a different culture for a while and get to know the country and its people intensively, you often discover completely new sides of yourself and look at the world from a completely new perspective.