Thinking or preparing for an interesting degree at a Computer Science school in the United States? If so, maybe you’d like to know more about the daily life of a Computer Science degree student. Apart from the obvious that you will focus on studying, cracking all those codes, debugging, solve driver conflicts and configuring networks, being a Computer Science student in the U.S. is sort of a lucky charm.
After completing a Master’s degree in Computer Science, you can find a job at one of the local big technology companies, like Apple, Microsoft or any acclaimed name in the field. Sure, all important technology corporations have an office in all the big cities worldwide, but the United States is the place where the computers and modern technology frenzy started. For this reason, American colleges and universities are really dedicated to training future experts and to pass on the legacy of innovation.
Check these Computer Science degree specialisations you can apply for in the USA:
- Masters in Data Science in the U.S.
- Masters in IT Security in the U.S.
- Masters in Cloud Computing in the U.S.
- Masters in Information Sciences in the U.S.
So why study a Computer Science degree in the US?
1. You're encouraged to ask questions
Studying in this field is about being able to solve the most difficult puzzles. In order to learn how to do that, you can ask the professors as many questions as you need, especially when you don’t completely understand a certain topic or problem. They will be more than glad to help you and will appreciate your involvement and the desire to fully understand their teachings.
2. The focus is on quality, not quantity
When it comes to the daily schedule, students usually have to attend three theoretical courses each semester and each course has a weekly lecture of one hour and a half. Yes, you've counted right. There will be just four hours and a half of classes each week (more or less because it depends on the college or university). The schedule is organised this way in order to allow you to focus on completing assignments, getting involved in various projects and researching daily.
3. Top tech companies invest in your education
U.S. colleges and universities focus a lot on helping students acquire practical knowledge and most have partnerships with local famous technology companies. You will have the opportunity to meet with their employees and attend workshops on various Computer Science skills, like Cyber Security, which you can develop further. This kind of experiences are very important because they offer you the chance to work with experts and you can ask them more questions about how it is to really work in that field.
4. University contests will motivate you
In some universities, Computer Science colleges organize contests, encouraging student teams to build or create an innovative app or device. The goal of these contests is not necessarily winning a big prize, although sometimes they lead to offering an internship at a big company.
The contests are more about teaching students how to work under pressure, respect a deadline and create an original and useful tech product. To give an example, Computer Science students from the University of Michigan have developed a therapeutic game for children with autism and a mobile app that monitors the breathing of newborns.
5. Many opportunities to gain experience and pocket money
You could actually get paid as you study, as some Computer Science schools set-up research summer programs in which faculty members work on a research project. Students who join these projects and assist professors in their work are paid by the faculty for the duration of the program (that may last around 10-12 weeks). The extra money and the experience you get will serve you well.
Want to experience the student life of a future American IT specialist?
Check out some American tech schools that offer Computer Science and Information Technology Bachelor's and Master's degrees:
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- University of South Florida
- University of South Carolina
- Oregon State University
- Southern New Hampshire University
If you're not ready to study in America, you can also consider studying an online Computer Science Master's. Find some great options from Walden University.
How to be a successful Computer Science student in the U.S.
Don’t miss the deadline for submitting your projects!
Finish your assignments and projects before the deadline. Those movie scenes with students doing their homework just a few hours before they had to submit it don’t apply to real-life Computer Science students. Leaving your projects to the last minute won’t lead to a spectacular result.
Attend at least one elective course that’s not related to Computer Science
Choose elective courses in at least one field that is way different than Computer Science; it could be Biology, Business, Music, anything. Technology and Engineering may be all you’re interested in, but studying something else can actually enhance your career opportunities and it’s always a good idea to widen your horizons.
Get some hands-on experience
Do at least one internship (preferably at a big established company), or get involved in a start-up and attend any conference or project that you hear about. The job market for Computer Science graduates is extremely competitive, that goes without saying. So you have to prepare to stand out from the crowd early on, starting from your undergraduate or graduate education years.
Computer Science careers and salaries in the U.S.
Once you successfully complete your Bachelor's or Master's program in Computer Science, you can consider yourself a superhero and be really proud of what you achieved.
Being an engineering specialist is not only good for your self-esteem, but your talent will also be greatly rewarded. According to PayScale, check the average salaries for Computer Science experts in the USA:
- Software engineers: 79,000 USD/year
- Web developers: 58,000 USD/year
- Data scientists: 91,000 USD/year
- Product developers: 71,000 USD/year
Whether you’d like to create all kind of useful apps, fun video games, protect the integrity of online information or get involved in any activity in the IT field, choose an undergraduate or graduate degree in Computer Science at an American college or university, and join the constantly evolving world of technology.