What other areas of study are related to my computer science program?
While enrolled in a computer science program, you will also need to expand your skills in other areas of study, the most crucial of which is mathematics. In addition to the math courses that are required for any bachelor degree, a traditional or online computer science bachelor degree may include additional classes in advanced calculus or statistics.
Another area of study examined in the best computer science programs is logic, which is usually taught within the philosophy department of a university. Logic forms the very basis of computer programming languages. By studying logic as it relates to computer science, you will learn about such things as the formal semantics of programming languages, logic programming, model checking, combinatory logic and abstract interpretation. Just like programming languages, logic is part mathematics, part semantics.
Many students pursuing an on-campus or online computer science program will find studying engineering helpful. In order to fully understand computers, it always helps to look at computers from an engineering perspective so you not only know how something works but also why. Computer engineering classes teach you some electronic engineering as well as hardware-software integration. Advanced computer engineering classes concern topics such as microprocessor and circuit design.
What internships should I pursue during my on-campus or online computer science degree program?
The best internships to pursue while studying for a computer science degree are those in the fields of computer science or information technology (IT). These include working for large companies such as Google or Apple, but getting an internship at such companies is highly competitive and there are often many smaller, local or startup companies that also accept interns.
Another option that would look great on your resume is to intern for a governmental organization. For example, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) offers an Undergraduate Internship Program in Computer Science/Engineering. Every government agency relies on computers to some extent, so it is worth looking into this internship. Even if no internship program currently exists at a particular agency or company, it is worth contacting them to see if they would consider opening 1, as very few people would turn down the opportunity for free labor!
An internship is especially important for students enrolled in computer science online programs, as they provide the needed hands-on experience that students at traditional universities access on campus. Often, the internship can be integrated into your curriculum and may even substitute required hours.
Are there any movies or TV shows that I might enjoy during my computer science degree program?
The best online computer science programs integrate real-life applications of your degree with the fundamentals of the subject. There are several TV shows and films that focus on characters working in computer science. Although these examples may be overly simplified or not representative of actual industry practices, they remain entertaining.
One of the greatest films to feature computer programmers in the starring role is Tron, both the original from 1982 and the recent sequel, Tron: Legacy. The film follows a computer programmer who inadvertently creates artificial life and gets caught in a computer-generated world. In the sequel, the programmer’s son, also a brilliant programmer, goes in search of his father in the virtual world.
If you don’t mind cheesy special effects and questionable acting, Hackers is a computer science cult classic that is a real blast to the past. The movie centers on an 18-year-old computer programmer who once wrote a damaging virus but must now use his skills to stop a dangerous virus that threatens the government.
The small screen has its computer science offerings as well. Among the funniest is the British sitcom The IT Crowd, which is about 2 socially awkward computer scientists and their somewhat clueless manager. While the show enforces some disparaging stereotypes about computer “geeks,” it does so in a hilarious way.
Are there any accelerated campus-based or online computer science programs to help me finish my degree faster?
Students interested in accredited online computer science programs may also be interested in accelerated options. One example is the 2-year Accelerated Degree Completion Program offered by Boston University Metropolitan College. It is geared toward those who do not already have a bachelors degree but do have work experience in computer science. Though the program is campus-based, classes also have an online component and are tailored for students who may already have a career in the industry but want to advance their knowledge.
Several schools also offer accelerated combined bachelors and masters degree programs in computer science. If you know you want to complete a masters in computer science, choosing this program is a good option, as you can finish your studies in 4 or 5 years instead of the normal 6, which means not only smaller tuition costs but also that you will secure advanced employment much sooner. An example of such a program is University of Oklahoma’s Accelerated Dual Degree Program offered by the School of Computer Science.
There are not many top online computer science programs that offer an accelerated option, but 1 such program is the B.S. Computer Science-Online from Oregon State University’s Ecampus program, which you can complete in just 1 year.