Should I study computer science?
Computer science studies: right for me?
Requirements, content, structure and career entry of a computer science degree
Those who have successfully completed their Abitur are faced with one of the most important decisions in life. The decision of which career path he wants to take. This decision needs to be carefully considered, which is why it makes sense to think through the individual options very carefully.
You can hear it from every roof - studying computer science! Or at least one of the notorious “MINT” subjects. Then you can be sure of a successful career!
But is it really that simple?
IT specialists are wanted!
It cannot be denied that IT specialists are being sought. But that is not a guarantee of a job or a guarantee of high earnings. In addition, there is an above-average rate of drop-outs in information technology courses - how does that fit together?
As with any degree, the following applies: Under no circumstances should you choose your degree program just because of later career opportunities - the job market changes quickly. And essential for any degree is a fundamental and genuine interest in the subject - in this case computer science.
For those who have been dealing with computers for a long time, or have perhaps already written small programs, studying computer science could be a good investment.
Programming languages, reasoning and algorithms
But even if programming is part of every computer science degree, it is much more than just learning different programming languages. It is also about logical thinking, understanding basic information technology and mathematical problems and knowing how computers and common algorithms work.
What exactly is computer science anyway?
Computer science is basically defined as "the science that deals with the processing of information".
So far so good, that doesn't say much about specific topics and methods, but it shows what it is all about. It's about information, about data. But extracting information from pure data alone is a process. As trivial as that sounds, a large number of “computer scientists” are busy extracting information from a huge mountain of data and using it.
Math isn't everything
Historically, computer science emerged from mathematics, which is why mathematical knowledge plays a major role in computer science. But wait - you can wipe the beads of sweat off your forehead - computer science requires a basic knowledge of mathematics, but you should not let yourself be deterred from studying computer science out of pure respect for numbers and formulas - the universities offer many additional lectures and tutorials in which the math skills can be refreshed.
Nevertheless, you should have had some fun with science subjects at school - if you avoided all natural sciences, computer science may not be the right course for you.
The structure of the computer science course
The first semesters of the computer science degree are often mainly concerned with the mathematical basics and the introduction to well-known algorithms and data structures - the tools for later programming projects. The mathematics lectures often start relatively easily, but have a fast pace in the basics and go quickly within the semester to more specific mathematical problems. It is particularly important to stay on the ball right from the start and, if possible, to attend every lecture and tutorial. The strategy of simply learning everything for an exam at the end of the semester is almost doomed to failure. Because this mathematical knowledge is a basic requirement for the further content that is imparted during the course. Anyone who wants to study computer science should enjoy programming. In most current courses of study, great attention is paid to the paradigm of "object-oriented programming". The best-known representative of object-oriented programming is certainly Java, but other programming and scripting languages such as PHP and many more have meanwhile opened up to this paradigm.
Learn to program and apply it
A large part, especially in the main course, deals with the practical application of various programming languages and databases. At many universities this is taught - not only for the later career path - so important development in a team. Software is developed in a team of several students and methods of project development are taught in accompanying lectures. Many universities carry out entire projects in this area in cooperation with business partners.
Requirements for studying computer science
In order to be able to study computer science, it is by no means a prerequisite to have already mastered programming. However, this makes it easier to get started with your studies, and you can also find out in advance whether you like programming and whether it is fun. In addition to a certain passion for programming programs, good mathematics knowledge or basic knowledge and the ambition to deepen this knowledge are just as important in order to be able to study computer science successfully. Personal prerequisites are the ability to think logically and analytically. It is also important to be able to work persistently, precisely and with determination. Because when programming, a high level of accuracy is important so that the resulting program ultimately runs error-free.
To make the decision to study computer science easier, it makes sense to get information in advance from the university of your choice. There you will also find information about the other requirements for studying at this university.
What is specifically important before studying?
Knowledge is power - so find out more! Ask your questions to people who work in the IT industry and get in touch with the student council and thus students at your desired university. In this way, you get first-hand information and find out which focus is set at the respective faculty.
An internship also gives you important insights into everyday work. Admittedly, you can often only find a suitable internship when you can already demonstrate initial knowledge, but at the latest then it can make the choice of course much easier - or at least be a confirmation that you have chosen the right path.
Use information programs from universities
Use the information programs of universities and technical colleges. The training centers are aware of the above-average drop-out rate. And every dropout costs the universities, technical colleges and training companies hard cash, as the expenses for the previous training path do not end with a degree and the training / study place was not available to another applicant.
Accordingly, there are extensive offers at the faculties to find out in advance about the content and structure of an information technology course or training.
How can I finance my IT studies?
A course of study costs a lot of money even without direct tuition fees: semester fees, literature and daily living as a student as well as rent have to be paid. Fortunately, there are many ways to earn something while studying.
Part-time job, working student, internship
Time is often short besides studying, but with part-time jobs or working student activities you can earn good pocket money with relatively little effort. In all "university towns" or larger cities there is, for example, the possibility to go to waiters or help out in retail.
A part-time job in an area that is not entirely alien to your studies or training and in which the employer can benefit from your knowledge and you can benefit from additional experience and learning effects is much more rewarding and goal-oriented.
It is enormous what you can learn "in the wild" at a company beyond your studies. It starts with programming tips and tricks and ends with project organization techniques.
Our recommendation: Find a part-time job that suits your studies. In all universities there is a notice board with job offers, and many faculties also advertise auxiliary positions for their students.
And we also offer you a large number of internships and working student positions, just take a look at our job search for suitable offers.
Bafög and scholarships
Funding through student loans or scholarships is even more convenient than a part-time job. Bafög is a grant to which every student is entitled in principle, provided that he / she and the family do not have a high income. A disadvantage of student loans is that it is partly a loan. Half of the funding received must be paid back after completing the course. You don't get unlimited student loans either, if your studies are extended beyond the standard period of study, things can get tight.
A scholarship is much more convenient here. Many students do not even apply for a scholarship, as the idea is widespread that scholarships are reserved for first-class students anyway. This is a wasted opportunity - when awarding a scholarship, value is much more often placed on other aspects. If you don't try it, you have no chance from the start.
When choosing a scholarship, there is the widespread and well-known "Germany Scholarship", or scholarships from foundations or companies.
Together with our partners, we also regularly award IT scholarships (every 4 months), which are aimed directly at IT talents. If you are interested in funding, you can find out more about the IT-Talents scholarship here.
Career entry and prospects after studying computer science
As a graduate in computer science, there are many opportunities to start your career. Almost all medium-sized and large companies have their own IT department. Mainly computer scientists are employed there who take care of the company's IT processes and develop and optimize them. Computer scientists can also work in IT agencies or consulting agencies. SAP consulting in particular is of great importance here. That is why you should already think about which area you want to enter after your studies while studying computer science. Then the right focus can be selected during the course and initial contacts in business can be made. Larger companies in particular often offer internships for computer scientists.
Where can I find jobs?
Is your bachelor's or even master's degree in your pocket? Then you can start your career!
In addition to relevant job exchanges, it is worth taking a look at our job search - all partner companies provide jobs here specifically for students and graduates, maybe there is something for you too?
Plan your career now!
Would you like to get started in the IT industry now? Then register with us now and get in touch with companies in the industry as well as unique grants during your studies!
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